Seeing the World Through Different Eyes: The Effects of Conflict Belief Asymmetry on Workgroup Performance

30 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2011

See all articles by Karen A. Jehn

Karen A. Jehn

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School

Randall S. Peterson

London Business School

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Date Written: June 24, 2011

Abstract

We examine the antecedents and consequences of an often ignored aspect of workgroup conflict – asymmetric conflict perceptions – on the effectiveness of individuals in workgroups and the workgroups themselves. We tested our hypotheses on 89 workgroups. We found that conflict asymmetry (a member perceiving more or less conflict than other group members) explained performance mediated by cognitive load and the affect of the group members. We also found that a priori folk wisdom about the consequences of relationship conflict to small group functioning was a significant predictor of conflict asymmetry. The overall contribution of this article is to provide a detailed model of group member asymmetry by examining the mediating chain of antecedents of conflict asymmetry (i.e., folk wisdom beliefs) on affect and cognition as it predicts outcomes in groups via conflict asymmetry.

Suggested Citation

Jehn, Karen A. and Peterson, Randall S. and Sanchez-Burks, Jeffrey, Seeing the World Through Different Eyes: The Effects of Conflict Belief Asymmetry on Workgroup Performance (June 24, 2011). IACM 24TH Annual Conference Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1872124 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1872124

Karen A. Jehn (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia

Randall S. Peterson

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

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