Conflict Management for Individual Problem Solving and Team Innovation in China
43 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2003
Although an emphasis on teams and an emphasis on individuals are often considered mutually exclusive, teams depend upon the skill and effort of individual team members. In addition, teams can support and encourage individuals to perform effectively. Team capability to help individual team members overcome obstacles that are frustrating their performance is theorized to help teams integrate individual's ideas and efforts in order to innovate. This study also suggests that managing conflict cooperatively facilitates effective problem solving for individuals. 200 employees in 100 work teams in China completed measures of their team's cooperative, competitive, and avoiding approach to managing conflict and problem solving for individuals and 100 managers indicated the team's innovation. Results support the theorizing that conflict management can contribute to team problem solving for individuals. Structural equation analysis suggests that cooperative conflict management approach promotes problem solving for individuals that in turn results in team innovation. These findings, coupled with previous research, were interpreted as suggesting that cooperative conflict management approach and problem solving for individuals provide a strong foundation for innovative teams.
Keywords: Cooperative conflict, Individual problem solving, Team innovation
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