The effects of conflict types, dimensions, and emergent states on group outcomes

The effects of conflict types, dimensions, and emergent states on group outcomes

By
Karen Jehn, Lindred Leura Greer, Sheen Levine, Gabriel Szulanski
Group Decision & Negotiation.
2008, Vol. 17, Pages 465-495

In this study, we examine three types of conflict (task, relationship, and process) and four dimensions of conflict (emotions, norms, resolution efficacy, and importance) in decision making groups. We also investigate emergent states (e.g., trust, respect, cohesiveness; Marks et al. 2001; Acad Manag Rev 26: 530–547) as mediating the effects of the conflict types and dimensions on group outcomes (productivity and viability). All three types of conflict decreased positive emergent states in groups and this led to a decrease in group viability (the ability of a team to retain its members through their satisfaction and willingness to continue working together; Balkundi and Harrison 2006; Acad Manag J 49: 49–68). This effect was alleviated by resolution efficacy (the belief that the conflict can be easily resolved) regarding process conflict, but could be exacerbated by any negative emotion associated with relationship conflict. Norms that encouraged task conflict also increased positive emergent states within groups, which marginally and positively influenced group performance.