Not Available for Download

Relationship and Task Conflict in E-mail: Performance Effects Moderated by Verbal Style and Influence Tactic Usage

Posted: 1 Jun 2005  

Lindred Greer

Leiden University - Social and Organizational Psychology

Karen A. Jehn

Melbourne Business School

Date Written: June 1, 2005

Abstract

The modern workplace is finding traditional organizational processes dramatically changed by the increasing use of electronic communication. In this longitudinal multi-method study, we provide one of the first assessments of the process of intra-group conflict as it occurs in email. We examine the impacts of relationship and task conflict on performance. We also investigate new e-mail specific, moderators of conflict, such as verbal style quality and influence tactic usage. To test our model, we collected e-mail data from political-organizing organizations over a period of 36 months, conducted interviews with members, took field notes at meetings, and collected ideological handouts. Our total sample consisted of 7,501 emails, sent from a total of 165 members. Our findings revealed that good verbal style increased the positive impact of task conflict on performance and decreased the negative impact of relationship conflict on performance. Soft influence tactics (such as flattery and ingratiation) and rational influence tactics (such as the use of logic and information sharing) decreased the negative impact of relationship conflict on performance, while hard tactics (such as the use of directive orders) increased the negative impact of relationship conflict on performance.

Keywords: Conflict, e-mail, virtual teams

Suggested Citation

Greer, Lindred and Jehn, Karen A., Relationship and Task Conflict in E-mail: Performance Effects Moderated by Verbal Style and Influence Tactic Usage (June 1, 2005). IACM 18th Annual Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=732565

Lindred Greer (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Social and Organizational Psychology ( email )

Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

Karen A. Jehn

Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
402