Conflict Contagion: A Temporal, Multi-Level Perspective on the Spread of Interpersonal Conflicts within Teams

30 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2008

See all articles by Lindred Greer

Lindred Greer

Leiden University - Social and Organizational Psychology

Sonja Rispens

Leiden University

Karen A. Jehn

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

In this paper, we present a theoretical model of the spread of conflict within teams, which we refer to as conflict contagion. This model brings a multi-level perspective to the process of intragroup conflict by showing how the presence of interpersonal conflict can spread to other group members over time. We discuss how this can lead to differing levels of conflict within a group at different points in time. Factors are identified which can either ameliorate or exacerbate the spread of conflict, and the associated degree of involvement of group members over time. Potential outcomes of different degrees of conflict involvement within a group are examined, including subgroup formation and group performance issues. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of our model of conflict contagion.

Keywords: Conflict, Teams, Time

Suggested Citation

Greer, Lindred and Rispens, Sonja and Jehn, Karen A., Conflict Contagion: A Temporal, Multi-Level Perspective on the Spread of Interpersonal Conflicts within Teams (2007). IACM 2007 Meetings Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1087362 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1087362

Lindred Greer (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Social and Organizational Psychology ( email )

Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

Sonja Rispens

Leiden University ( email )

2333 CA Leiden, Zuid Holland
Netherlands

Karen A. Jehn

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia

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