The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of three important group process variables, namely, agreement-seeking behavior, group trust, and cognitive diversity, on decision outcomes. In addition, it seeks to examine the role of process conflict as a moderator in the relationship between agreement-seeking behavior and team effectiveness; agreement-seeking behavior and decision commitment; cognitive diversity and team effectiveness; and cognitive diversity and decision commitment.
Using a structured survey instrument, this paper gathered data from 160 students enrolled in a strategic management capstone course that features strategic decision making in a simulated business strategy game. The data from 41 teams were collected from the student population using a carefully administered instrument, and the data were aggregated only after appropriate inter-rater agreement tests were run.
Results show that the group process variables are positively related to decision outcomes. The data support the view that process conflict acts as a moderator in the relationship between agreement-seeking behavior and team effectiveness and decision commitment. Further, the results support that cognitive diversity has a positive impact on decision commitment and team effectiveness. Process conflict, which acts as a deterrent, is outweighed by the presence of agreement-seeking behavior.
Since the present research is based on self-report measures, the limitations of social desirability bias and common method bias are inherent. However, sufficient care is taken to minimize these limitations. The research has implications for both the conflict management and strategic decision-making process literatures.
This study contributes to both practicing managers and the strategic management literature. The study suggests that administrators should select those teams who are prone to agreement-seeking behavior; and team members who trust one another. Administrators need not unduly avoid process conflict because diversity in opinions and thinking and agreement-seeking behavior outweigh the negative effects of process conflict.
The findings from the study will be useful for creating congenial social environment in the organizations.
This study provides new insights about the previously unknown effects of process conflict in strategic decision-making process.
Parayitam, S. and Papenhausen, C. (2016), "Agreement-seeking behavior, trust, and cognitive diversity in strategic decision making teams: Process conflict as a moderator", Journal of Advances in Management Research, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 292-315. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAMR-10-2015-0072Download as .RIS
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