Managing Co-Occurring Conflicts in Teams
Group Decision and Negotiation, Vol. 24, No. 5, September 8, 2015
Posted: 3 Oct 2015
Date Written: September 2015
This study extends prior research on conflict in teams by showing that a team’s chances of appropriately managing one type of conflict depends on what other types of conflicts are co-occurring. We interviewed 44 managers from different industries who had recently participated in a negotiating team, asking about within-team conflicts and how those conflicts were managed. The data showed that task conflict increased the likelihood that teams managed co-occurring procedural conflicts appropriately, but that procedural conflicts decreased the likelihood that teams managed co-occurring task conflicts appropriately. These results explain why some teams fail to realize the theorized benefits of task conflict and why procedural conflict does not always have a deleterious impact on team performance: The co-occurrence of these different types of conflict can alter what strategy a team uses to manage conflicts.
Keywords: Conflict management, Negotiating teams, Team conflict, Team process
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