The paradox of intragroup conflict

Leiden Repository

The paradox of intragroup conflict

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: The paradox of intragroup conflict
Author: De, Wit F.R.C.
Journal Title: Dissertatiereeks Kurt Lewin Instituut
Issue Date: 2013-02-28
Keywords: Challenge
Group decision making
Intragroup conflict
Meta-analysis
Relationship conflict
Task conflict
Threat
Abstract: During group decision making, people often experience disagreements in which they need to choose between their own viewpoint and the viewpoint of another group member, for example, when cabinet members disagree about the best decision to tackle a crisis. These intragroup conflicts often pose a paradox for groups. On the one hand, conflicts use up precious time, evoke frustration, and reduce group members’ motivation to work for the group. Yet, on the other hand, conflicts challenge group members’ to more critically evaluate their initial viewpoints which, in the end, may result in more well-informed decisions. In this dissertation I address this “paradox of intragroup conflict” by means of a meta-analysis of past intragroup conflict research and six experiments examining when conflicts are most likely to help or hinder group decision-making. The findings show that although two types of conflict (i.e., rela tionship and process conflict) have a strong tendency to hurt group outcomes, a third type of conflict (i.e., task conflict) has the potential to help group outcomes. Yet, whether a group can indeed benefit from a task conflict strongly depends on contextual factors (e.g., the presence vs. absence of a relationship conflict) and individual-level factors (e.g., cardiovascular reactions to conflict).
Promotor: Supervisor: Jehn K.A. Co-Supervisor: Scheepers D.T.
Faculty: Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
University: Leiden University
Uri: urn:isbn:9789461916150
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/20566
 

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