INTRA-INDIVIDUAL CONFLICT AND TASK PERFORMANCE IN A MULTITEAM CONTEXT: EXAMINING THE STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS OF CONFLICT EXPERIENCE

Semin Park, Margaret M. Luciano, John E. Mathieu, Virgil W. Fenters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this article, we advance a novel intra-individual conflict cognitive process framework, highlighting two structural elements of conflict experiences: (1) directions (sending vs. receiving) and (2) team boundaries (within team vs. between team). Integrating theorizing on cognitive resource allocation, we explain how and why the effect of individuals’ conflict experiences on their task performances hinges upon their self-regulation of attention processes guided by the structural elements of conflict experiences. In Study 1, using data extracted from continuous audio and video streams of paramedics participating in live-actor mass-casualty response exercises, we found that sending within-team conflict and receiving between-team conflict related positively with task performance, whereas receiving within-team conflict related negatively to task performance. In Study 2, we conducted a mixed-design scenario-based experiment to examine the underlying mechanisms that drive such effects. Our findings reveal that on-task attentional pull was an important mechanism for a positive sending within-team conflict–task engagement relationship, whereas off-task attentional demands were driving the negative receiving within-team conflict–task engagement relationship. Collectively, we demonstrate that examining the intra-individual microfoundations of conflict in a multiteam context yields unique insights and enables building new theory on when and why conflict is beneficial or harmful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-60
Number of pages28
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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