Variant Conflict Management: A Conceptual Model on Varying Conflict Management Approaches within Work Teams
37 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2011
Date Written: 2011
Studies on conflict management in teams have generally relied on existing conflict management theories and frameworks conceptualized at the individual level. Much of this research also assumes convergence of individual conflict management approaches in teams. Such assumptions limit our understanding of the emergence and predictive value of variability in team conflict management. To begin addressing these limitations, I propose a multilevel theory of team conflict management. Central to this theory is a configural teamlevel construct called variant conflict management (VCM), which refers to the relative levels of cooperative and competitive conflict management among members in a team. In this paper, I discuss key antecedent conditions predicting VCM, and propose three archetypal profiles of VCM: minimum, maximum and moderate VCM. Potential consequences of these profiles on team outcomes are also considered. I conclude the paper by discussing theoretical limitations, future research directions, and practical implications of this theory.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation