The Buffering Effects of Importance of the Conflict Issue on the Co-Occurrence of Task and Relationship Conflict in Workgroups Via Reduced Negative Emotions
21 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2008
Date Written: November 9, 2008
Task conflicts may be beneficial whereas relationship conflicts are associated with negative group outcomes. Because the 2 conflict types are typically correlated within work groups it is difficult to enhance task conflicts and to avoid relationship conflicts. In this study I investigate how two conflict dimensions affect the association between the task and relationship conflict. I hypothesize that importance of the conflict issue buffers the association because less negative emotions will be activated when task conflicts are about important issues. I studied the proposed effects in a sample of 50 work groups. Results confirmed the buffering effect of conflict issue importance. This can be explained by the fact that less negative emotions were activated during important task conflicts.
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