Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to build theory and present a model of the development of conflicts in teams.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper develops a conceptual model based on past theory and research.
Findings – The model brings a multi-level perspective to the process of intragroup conflict by showing the mechanisms by which an interpersonal, dyadic conflict can spread to other team members over time through a process of conflict contagion.
Originality/value – This study provides a new model for conflict escalation and it sheds light on factors which can either ameliorate or exacerbate the speed and extent of conflict contagion. The repercussions of different degrees of conflict involvement within a team are discussed.