Does Conflict Shatter Trust or Does Trust Reduce Conflict in Teams? Revisiting the Relationships between Team Diversity, Conflict, Trust and Team

25 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2008  

Petru Lucian Curseu

Tilburg University

Sandra Schruijer

University of Utrecht

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

This paper explores the interplay between trust and conflict - two important emergent states in teams - as antecedents of team effectiveness. Two alternative path models are tested in a sample of 139 teams (729 respondents), with the emergent states (task conflict, relationship conflict and trust) acting as mediators between on the one hand team demographic variety (gender and nationality) and cognitive disparity (knowledge and cognitive motivation) and on the other perceived team effectiveness. In one model trust is considered as an antecedent for the two types of conflict, while in the other the two types of conflict precede the emergence of trust. Both models fitted the data well and received equally strong support. These results are interpreted using the complex adaptive system perspective. In line with this framework we argue that the interplay between these emergent states is much more complex than a simple unidirectional causation.

Suggested Citation

Curseu, Petru Lucian and Schruijer, Sandra, Does Conflict Shatter Trust or Does Trust Reduce Conflict in Teams? Revisiting the Relationships between Team Diversity, Conflict, Trust and Team (2007). IACM 2007 Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1100581 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1100581

Petru Lucian Curseu (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

Postbus 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

Sandra Schruijer

University of Utrecht ( email )

Vredenburg 138
NL-3508 TC Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

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