An Integrated Perspective on Conflict in Work Groups: A Case Study on Conflict Dynamics

Posted: 10 Aug 2011

See all articles by Angelo A Camillo, PhD

Angelo A Camillo, PhD

Sonoma State University - School of Business and Economics

Loredana Di Pietro

University of Molise

Francesca Di Virgilio

Università degli Studi del Molise

Massimo Franco

Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II - Department of Political Science

Date Written: August, 10 2011

Abstract

Despite initial efforts to investigate conflict in organizations, the relationship between conflict and performance continues to be a contested topic in the literature. This paper investigates the effect of conflict on work group performance. For this purpose, a case study of an international company, in the design and manufacturing of petrochemical products sector, is presented. Using an organizational behavior perspective and a qualitative approach, we examine the amount of conflict in the organization and analyze the impacts of three conflict types - relationship, process, and task conflict - on work group performance. The participants are included in 12 work groups consisting of 12 operators each. The methodology applied includes direct interview techniques and on site non-intrusive observations. Results suggest that the types of conflict determine whether a conflict has positive or negative impacts on group performance. The findings contribute to the body of knowledge of group conflict and broaden the understanding of dynamics of conflict. They also help practitioners in top-level management to understand the different types of conflict and to use opportunely them in order to increase the work group performance.

Keywords: work groups, relationship conflict, task conflict, process conflict, group performance

JEL Classification: J28

Suggested Citation

Camillo, Angelo A. and Di Pietro, Loredana and Di Virgilio, Francesca and Franco, Massimo, An Integrated Perspective on Conflict in Work Groups: A Case Study on Conflict Dynamics (August, 10 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1907539

Angelo A. Camillo (Contact Author)

Sonoma State University - School of Business and Economics ( email )

1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
United States
+17076642910 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://web.sonoma.edu/sbe/

Loredana Di Pietro

University of Molise ( email )

Via de Sanctis
86100 Campobasso
Italy
00390874404460 (Phone)
00390874418924 (Fax)

Francesca Di Virgilio

Università degli Studi del Molise ( email )

Via De Sanctis
Campobasso, Campobasso (CB) 86100
Italy

Massimo Franco

Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II - Department of Political Science ( email )

via Mezzocannone, 4
Napoli, 80138
Italy
0812534086 (Phone)
0812534061 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.docenti.unina.it/massimo.franco

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