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Henri Barki (HEC Montréal)
Jon Hartwick (McGill University)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 1 March 2004



The lack of a clear conceptualization and operationalization of the construct of interpersonal conflict makes it difficult to compare the results of different studies and hinders the accumulation of knowledge in the conflict domain. Defining interpersonal conflict as a dynamic process that occurs between interdependent parties as they experience negative emotional reactions to perceived disagreements and interference with the attainment of their goals, the present paper presents a two‐dimensional framework and a typology of interpersonal conflict that incorporates previous conceptualizations of the construct. The first dimension of the framework identifies three properties generally associated with conflict situations: disagreement, negative emotion, and interference. The framework's second dimension identifies two targets of interpersonal conflict encountered in organizational settings: task and interpersonal relationship. Based on this framework, the paper highlights several shortcomings of current conceptualizations and operationalizations of interpersonal conflict in the organizational literature, and provides suggestions for their remedy.



Barki, H. and Hartwick, J. (2004), "CONCEPTUALIZING THE CONSTRUCT OF INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 216-244.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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