Conflict, Culture, and Performance in Virtual Teams - Results from a Study in an MMOG
36 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 2, 2010
The relationship between different types of conflict and performance in virtual teams is still unclear. Therefore, this paper tries to shed light on the relationship between conflict and team performance as well as the moderating role of culture. Using survey and archival data of 1,683 virtual teams from 23 countries from a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), this study’s findings show that task conflict is positively related to team performance while process conflict is negatively related to team performance. Furthermore, while collectivistic culture is positively related to performance, it also moderates the conflict-performance relationship. Whereas the team performance of collectivistic teams is highly affected by both types of conflict, team performance of individualistic teams is hardly affected by task conflict and almost not affected by process conflict. We provide a detailed discussion of our findings in the conclusion of the paper and highlight the implications for both research and practice.
Keywords: Virtual teams, conflict, culture, online games, massively multiplayer
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