Meta‐analysis of the impact of the research setting on conflict studies

Jean Poitras (HEC Montréal, Montréal, Canada)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Publication date: 20 April 2012



The purpose of this paper is to determine the importance of research setting in conflict research design. Research studies conducted in a university setting were compared to other research conducted in workplaces.


A meta‐analysis of 28 related papers was conducted to compute effect sizes of the linkages between task conflict, relationship conflict, satisfaction and performance. The impact of the research setting (i.e. university vs workplace) as a moderator was also tested.


The research setting was found to be a significant moderator of the linkage between task conflict and satisfaction, task conflict and performance as well as relationship conflict and performance. In each case of moderation, the effect sizes were much greater when research was conducted in the workplace than in a university setting.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that research conducted in a university setting likely underestimated the impact of conflicts on the level of satisfaction and the degree of performance as compared to research conducted in a workplace setting.

Practical implications

The author proposes that more conflict studies should be conducted in a field setting. In addition, it is proposed that such studies include more often satisfaction and related variables in research design.


The majority of conflict research is conducted in a university setting (e.g. students doing a project for credit), under the assumption that the setting is a fair approximation of the workplace. The present study shows that this assumption might not be true.



Poitras, J. (2012), "Meta‐analysis of the impact of the research setting on conflict studies", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 116-132.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.