The Conflict Over Conflict: An Integrative Approach

Posted: 14 Dec 2008

Date Written: November 9, 2008


Debate continues over the value of organizational conflict. Researchers from one tradition emphasize its constructive role in improving performance. Those from a second dispute this and emphasize its destructive effects on outcomes like satisfaction. I argue this divergence primarily reflects narrow theoretical conceptions of conflict by each that are easily reconciled. An integrative model is proposed which describes the transformation of conflict over time and source using Pondy's (1967) stage model and the task versus relationship conflict distinction (Jehn, 1995). Initial empirical support for the model via a natural experiment was strong. The results replicate and integrate past findings of two diverse traditions under a unified conceptual model. The methodology illustrates the use of multilevel analysis in the study of conflict.

Suggested Citation

Mannes, Albert, The Conflict Over Conflict: An Integrative Approach (November 9, 2008). IACM 21st Annual Conference Paper. Available at SSRN:

Albert Mannes (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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