Effects of Conflict Management Strategies on Perceptions of Intragroup Conflict

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Conflict over ideas is thought to be beneficial to task performing groups, research documents a strong interrelation between idea-based task conflict and emotionally laden relationship conflict. The current study posits the manner in which task conflicts are managed influences subsequent relationship conflict. Two hundred seventy participants formed dyads to discuss a task issue. The conflict management strategy of one member was manipulated to examine the resulting level of relationship conflict perceived by the partner. The level of relationship conflict after the meeting was significantly impacted by the management style used during the meeting: competing
produced the most, and collaborating the least, relationship conflict. Findings suggest competing to resolve task-based differences may be particularly harmful by generating relationship conflict.

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