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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Petru L. Curşeu, Smaranda Boroş and Leon A.G. Oerlemans

The purpose of this paper is to examine the triple interaction of task conflict, emotion regulation and group temporariness on the emergence of relationship conflict.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the triple interaction of task conflict, emotion regulation and group temporariness on the emergence of relationship conflict.

Design/methodology/approach

A field study was conducted to test the interaction of emotion regulation and task conflict on the emergence of relationship conflict in 43 short‐term (temporary) groups and 44 long‐term groups.

Findings

The results show that the highest chance for task conflict to evolve into relationship conflict is when groups (both short‐term and long‐term) have less effective emotion regulation processes, while task and relationship conflict are rather decoupled in long‐term groups scoring high on emotion regulation.

Research limitations/implications

The paper concludes with a discussion of the obtained results in terms of their implications for conflict management in groups. Further research should explore the moderation effects in longitudinal studies in order to fully test the variables in the model.

Originality/value

The paper answers the call for contingency models of intra‐group conflict and tests the moderating effect of two such contingencies in the relationship between task and relationship conflict.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2021

Mohanad Dahlan, Amer Ali Al-Atwi, Elham Alshaibani, Ali Bakir and Kevin Maher

This study aims to develop a theoretical integrated model examining the role of the co-occurrence of task and relationship conflict (CTRC) as a mediator in the relationship

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop a theoretical integrated model examining the role of the co-occurrence of task and relationship conflict (CTRC) as a mediator in the relationship between diversity and group effectiveness. The model also examines transformational leadership (TFL) as a moderator in this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using a questionnaire survey from 354 faculty in 56 workgroups from three private universities in the Middle East. SEM and hierarchical regression analysis were used to test the suitability of the model and its hypotheses.

Findings

The results revealed that TFL moderated diversity's direct effect on CTRC as well as the indirect effect linking diversity, CTRC, and group effectiveness. Specifically, diversity had an inverted U-shaped relationship with CTRC in groups with low TFL, but a negative linear relationship in those with high TFL.

Originality/value

The findings expand understanding of how, and under what conditions, diversity influences group effectiveness by: offering a fresh treatment of this relationship, introducing CTRC as a bivariate construct and bringing into focus the centrality of its harmful effect on this association, and highlighting the influence of TFL in ameliorating this harmful effect.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2021

Gergana Todorova, Kenneth Tohchuan Goh and Laurie R. Weingart

This paper aims to add to the current knowledge about conflict management by examining the relationships between conflict type, conflict expression intensity and the use…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to add to the current knowledge about conflict management by examining the relationships between conflict type, conflict expression intensity and the use of the conflict management approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors test theory-based hypotheses using a field study of new product development teams in an interdisciplinary Masters program (Study 1) and an experimental vignette study (Study 2).

Findings

Results show that people are more likely to respond to task conflict and conflicts expressed with less intensity using collectivistic conflict management approaches (i.e. problem-solving, compromising and yielding), and to relationship conflicts and conflicts expressed with higher intensity through forcing, an individualistic conflict management approach. Information acquisition and negative emotions experienced by team members mediate these relationships.

Practical implications

Knowing how the characteristics of the conflict (type and expression intensity) affect conflict management, managers can counteract the tendency to use dysfunctional, forcing conflict management approaches in response to high intensity conflicts, as well as to relationship conflicts and support the tendency to use collectivistic conflict management approaches in response to low intensity conflict, as well as task conflicts.

Originality/value

The authors examine an alternative to the prevailing view that conflict management serves as a moderator of the relationship between conflict and team outcomes. The research shows that conflict type and intensity of conflict expression influence the conflict management approach as a result of the information and emotion they evoke. The authors open avenues for future research on the complex and intriguing relationships between conflict characteristics and the conflict management approach.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2021

Rahman Ullah

This study aims to examine how and when task and process conflicts relate to relationship conflict by detailing the mediating role of negative emotions and the moderating…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how and when task and process conflicts relate to relationship conflict by detailing the mediating role of negative emotions and the moderating effect of emotional intelligence.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from 462 employees working in different organizations in Pakistan.

Findings

The results revealed that individuals engaged in task and process conflicts are more likely to feel negative emotions toward others and consequently are more likely to engage in relationship conflict in the workplace. This mediated relationship of task and process conflicts with relationship conflict via negative emotions is lower when employees are more emotionally intelligent.

Practical implications

This study pinpointed a key mechanism, negative emotions, by which task and process conflicts lead to relationship conflict. Emotionally intelligent individuals are better at regulating their negative emotions; therefore, emotional intelligence training can be an effective tool for minimizing employees’ negative emotions during task and process conflicts, which can help reduce relationship conflict.

Originality/value

By examining the mediating role of negative emotions and the moderating effect of emotional intelligence, this study adds to the previous research by detailing how and when task and process conflicts lead to relationship conflict.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2021

Zoltán Krajcsák

The purpose of this paper is to model the nature of intra-group conflicts and to show how conflict process phases that are beneficial to the organization can be supported…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to model the nature of intra-group conflicts and to show how conflict process phases that are beneficial to the organization can be supported and how disadvantageous conflict process phases can be prevented or managed. Task (process) and relationship conflicts can appear alternately in the same conflict process, so the overperformance cannot be estimated by the number of intra-group conflicts alone. By exploring the intra-group conflict processes, the author can identify patterns of employee commitment that can increase, mitigate or prevent certain phases of conflict processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study presents three intra-group conflicts from the same multinational company using the narrative tool. Qualitative methods are particularly suitable for modeling feelings, thoughts, fears and workplace attitudes. The cases come from the immediate managers of the conflict-affected groups.

Findings

The process of intra-group conflicts can typically be divided into four phases: task (process) conflict; relationship conflict; task (process) conflict; end of conflict (end of teeming). Task conflict, which provides overperformance for the organization, is supported by the employees’ normative and professional commitment, while the prevention of relationship conflict, which is detrimental to performance, is supported by increasing the employees’ affective commitment. The relationship between affective commitment and relationship conflict is moderated by transformational leadership. Finally, the minimum of team performance is affected by both the degree of relationship conflict and the lack of affective commitment, while the maximum of team performance is positively affected by the degree of task (process) conflict and the employees’ normative and professional commitment.

Research limitations/implications

In the future, the results should be confirmed by researches using quantitative methods.

Practical implications

The results suggest to managers that enhancing employees’ affective commitment is primarily important for preventing the disadvantageous relationship conflicts, while enhancing their normative and professional commitment is important for fostering the performance-related task conflict. The results show that increasing commitment goes beyond the organizational value of employees’ loyalty alone, and also highlight the importance of training and development.

Originality/value

In the literature on intra-group conflicts, most studies treat task and relationship conflicts independently of each other in conflict processes. This paper shows that both conflicts can be part of the same process at the same time. In addition, little research had addressed how employee commitment reduces or increases the certain phase of a specific type of conflict process.

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

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Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2017

Ursula Pregernig

Demographic faultlines (i.e., potential subgroup splits based on demographic attributes) have been argued to have effects over and above those of diversity. Yet…

Abstract

Demographic faultlines (i.e., potential subgroup splits based on demographic attributes) have been argued to have effects over and above those of diversity. Yet, faultlines, much like diversity, do not seem to have positive or negative effects on performance per se, but to be affected by contextual variables as well as intermediate outcomes, such as relationship conflict. Relationship conflicts, a major threat to teamwork, are particularly likely to arise between subgroups. Thus, with the objective to shed some light on why and how exactly faultlines impact group outcome, we investigate the effect of faultline strength and distance on performance through relationship conflict as well as the effect of faultline strength on performance via relationship conflict, contingent on the level of faultline distance. To test our hypotheses we used data gathered in a laboratory setting with 267 graduate students. Results provide strong support for the extension of the faultline model.

Details

Distance in International Business: Concept, Cost and Value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-718-0

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Article
Publication date: 25 November 2020

Tuvana Rua, Zeynep Aytug, Nastaran Simarasl and Lianlian Lin

Based on the social role theory, role congruity theory and gender role conflict theory, this paper aims to investigate the mediating role of “relationship conflict” in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the social role theory, role congruity theory and gender role conflict theory, this paper aims to investigate the mediating role of “relationship conflict” in the association between traditional gender role (TGR) endorsement and objective and subjective negotiation outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experimental negotiation studies (n1 = 138, n2 = 128) were conducted at a US university.

Findings

This paper presents three original and noteworthy findings: One, in mixed-gender negotiations, as a dyad’s TGR endorsement increases, final agreements become significantly more likely to favor men than women. Two, in mixed-gender negotiations, TGR endorsement is significantly associated with a decreased ability to establish a pleasant, mutually satisfactory and successful business relationship, resulting in a possible future economic cost due to lost opportunity. Three, the heightened relationship conflict during the negotiation mediates the negative association between TGR endorsement and women’s economic outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

Empirical findings support social role theory, role congruity theory and gender role conflict theory. The use of a distributive negotiation case and laboratory research methodology may limit the generalizability of findings.

Practical implications

Findings about the detrimental effects of TGR in mixed-gender negotiations magnify the importance of becoming aware of our TGR orientations and their potential negative consequences on our long-term collaborations. Also, it is necessary to provide negotiation trainings to both genders with regard to gender-driven conflicts and offer tools to prevent or tackle such conflicts.

Social implications

Negotiations are among the most consequential of social interactions as their results have a substantial impact on individuals’ careers and financial outcomes. Understanding the effect of TGRs is paramount to improve female representation, participation and effectiveness in management and leadership. Mixed-gender negotiations such as collective equality bargaining, workplace social interactions, work-life balance discourse are critical to establishing gender equality and fairness in organizations and societies.

Originality/value

Understanding how gender influences negotiation processes and outcomes and using the findings to improve both genders’ negotiation success are crucial to establishing fairness and equity in society and business. This research attempts to close a gap in the literature by focusing on the potential function of gender role orientation in explaining gender differences in negotiation.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2020

Mladen Adamovic

Teams often cannot fulfill their managers’ expectations due to unfairness issues and dysfunctional conflicts with teammates. This paper aims to create a fair team…

Abstract

Purpose

Teams often cannot fulfill their managers’ expectations due to unfairness issues and dysfunctional conflicts with teammates. This paper aims to create a fair team environment, it is important to analyze the interrelationship between unfairness and conflict. However, only a few studies have done this and reported inconsistent results. Using negative reciprocity research as a theoretical foundation, this paper analyzes the interconnection between unfairness and conflict dimensions in the team context. This paper further integrates conflict management research to show employees and managers how to handle unfairness and conflict in teams.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a longitudinal survey study (three points in time) with 237 employees from different German organizations.

Findings

The results of cross-lagged structural equation modeling provide some evidence that interpersonal, procedural and informational unfairness predict relationship conflict and process conflict. Several of these effects become non-significant over time. Further, relationship and process conflict have several significant relationships with the unfairness dimensions, while task conflict did not have any significant relationship. The results also suggest that employees can break up the vicious cycle of unfairness and conflict by using a cooperative conflict management approach.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on members of autonomous, interdependent and existing teams and the interpersonal relationship of a team member with her or his teammates. Future research could analyze leader-member relationships in different team types.

Practical implications

The application of cooperative conflict management enables employees to break up the vicious cycle of unfairness.

Originality/value

This paper clarifies the interrelationship between unfairness and conflict and shows that a team member can apply a cooperative conflict management style to handle effectively unfairness and conflict.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2020

Guangdong Wu, Junwei Zheng, Xianbo Zhao and Jian Zuo

This study aims to investigate how the strength of ties (i.e. strong ties and weak ties) in megaproject networks influences project performance in terms of types of conflicts.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate how the strength of ties (i.e. strong ties and weak ties) in megaproject networks influences project performance in terms of types of conflicts.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was undertaken with professionals in Chinese megaprojects and 445 valid responses were received. A conflict-based theoretical model was developed and tested with structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results indicated that task conflict had a constructive effect on project performance, whereas relationship conflict and process conflict had destructive effects. Both strong and weak ties positively affected project performance, and that weak ties exerted greater effects on performance. The introduction of conflicts significantly weakened the effect of strong ties on project performance. Strong ties indirectly affected project performance via task conflict and relationship conflict, whereas weak ties affected performance only through task conflict. Task conflict had a constructive effect on project performance, whereas relationship conflict and process conflict had destructive impact.

Research limitations/implications

This study identified the positive effect of strength of ties on project performance as well as the constructive and destructive roles of conflicts. Furthermore, the findings provided evidence that strength of ties and conflicts were critical factors for project performance. While, there are still limitations. There are other attributes of megaproject networks, such as network nodes’ characteristics and network structure, which may influence conflicts and project performance. Future research would be conducted to explore the role of these variables. Meanwhile, because different types of conflicts may mutually transform under certain conditions, future research would also address this issue in megaprojects.

Practical implications

As for the management strategies, project stakeholders should know the existence of project networks, exactly assess their resource endowment, especially their external and internal relationship network. In accordance with changes of the project network, stakeholders should share knowledge and learn techniques about how to respond to relationship disturbances, thus reducing relationship conflict and process conflict. Furthermore, stakeholders should place an emphasis on fostering and reinforcing communication and trust, thus effectively resolving task conflict, ambiguity and uncertainty engendered from network ties in a megaproject network.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this study is threefold. First, this study will enrich the literature on strength of ties by accentuating the roles of conflicts in megaproject context. Second, this study contributes to the theoretical development of a conceptual model for explaining the interrelationships among strength of ties, conflicts and project performance. Third, this study will respond to the call “which dimension, i.e. strong ties or weak ties, is more influential” by exploring the direct and indirect effects of strength of ties on project performance.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Sara Altaf, Muhammad Zahid Iqbal, Jan-Willem van Prooijen and Malik Ikramullah

This study seeks to examine the links between employee agreeableness, group performance, and peers' perceptions of threat of retaliation, through relationship conflict.

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to examine the links between employee agreeableness, group performance, and peers' perceptions of threat of retaliation, through relationship conflict.

Design/methodology/approach

In a laboratory setting, 42 groups of undergraduate students (N = 182) from a Pakistani university were assigned to group projects to be completed within four months. Data collected from three different questionnaires at four different times and actual scores awarded by the course instructor to each group were used for the analyses. Based on rWG(J) and ICC(1), level 1 (182 students') data were aggregated to level 2 (groups), and then analysed using regression analysis followed by Preacher and Hayes' bootstrapping procedure.

Findings

Results suggest that high agreeableness predicts group performance positively and peers' perceptions of threat of retaliation negatively. Moreover, relationship conflict among group members significantly mediates the agreeableness-group performance relationship. The above relationships may be sensitive to national culture.

Research limitations/implications

In this study, groups were formed for a few months, whereas in real organizational life, workgroups are formed for different durations. Therefore, the range of situations to which these findings generalize remains an open question.

Practical implications

Agreeableness of group members can be constructive for performance of the group. Managers may utilize this insight while forming groups, and rating performance.

Originality/value

There is dearth of research illuminating how employee's personality traits affect group performance and appraisal ratings. The study tests the effects of employee agreeableness on: (1) group performance, as rated by supervisors; (2) the threat of retaliation, as perceived by peer raters; and (3) the mediating effect of relationship conflict.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 70 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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