Seeing the World Through Different Eyes: The Effects of Conflict Belief Asymmetry on Workgroup Performance
30 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2011
Date Written: June 24, 2011
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.
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