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MAXIMIZING THE BENEFITS OF TASK CONFLICT: THE ROLE OF CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

Leslie A. DeChurch (Florida International University)
Michelle A. Marks (Florida International University)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 1 January 2001

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Abstract

Intragroup conflict research has shown that task conflict can improve group outcomes, but it has not addressed how groups ensure that the positive aspects of task conflict are realized. This study examines the influence of group conflict management on group effectiveness, as well as the moderating role of group conflict management on task conflict—group outcome relationships. Results of a field survey of 96 business school project groups indicated that the use of agreeable conflict management in response to task conflict was associated with greater group satisfaction. Results examining group conflict management as a moderator showed that the relationship between task conflict and group performance was positive when conflict was actively managed and negative when it was passively managed. Similarly, task conflict improved group satisfaction when managed with agreeable behavior, and harmed satisfaction when neutral or disagreeable behaviors were used. Results from this work provide an important first look at how group conflict management behaviors directly impact group outcomes and affect task conflict—group outcome relationships.

Citation

DeChurch, L.A. and Marks, M.A. (2001), "MAXIMIZING THE BENEFITS OF TASK CONFLICT: THE ROLE OF CONFLICT MANAGEMENT", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 4-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb022847

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited