Is Team Harmony Necessary for Success? Cultural Beliefs About Conflict and Team Performance

30 Pages Posted: 19 May 2006

See all articles by Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Eric J. Neuman

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration

Oscar Ybarra

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Hyekyung Park

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Psychology

Karen Goh

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Date Written: September 2004

Abstract

Despite empirical evidence that relationship conflict hampers team performance, recent cultural psychology theories have posited that European Americans underestimate the negative influence of relationship conflict. Consistent with research on Protestant Relational Ideology, a crosscultural experiment showed that compared with Koreans, European Americans were less likely to believe that relationship conflict - but not task conflict - limits a team's ability to succeed. European Americans were also more likely to join a talented team despite its likelihood of experiencing relationship conflict. Furthermore, secondary analyses showed that the cultural effect observed in participants' decisions to join the potentially conflict-ridden team was related to participants' beliefs about whether relationship conflict is detrimental to team performance.

Keywords: relationship conflict, task conflict, team performance, cultural differences, Protestant

JEL Classification: J21

Suggested Citation

Sanchez-Burks, Jeffrey and Neuman, Eric J. and Ybarra, Oscar and Park, Hyekyung and Goh, Karen, Is Team Harmony Necessary for Success? Cultural Beliefs About Conflict and Team Performance (September 2004). Ross School of Business Paper No. 909, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=901775 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.901775

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

Eric J. Neuman

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration ( email )

1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Oscar Ybarra

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Hyekyung Park

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Psychology ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Karen Goh

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

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