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Team Conflict Profiles: The Role of Status Conflict

Info: 7667 words (31 pages) Dissertation
Published: 9th Dec 2019

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Tagged: Teamwork

Team Conflict Profiles: The Role of Status Conflict


Traditionally, team conflict has been divided into 3 sub-dimensions: task (TC), process (PC), and relationship conflict (RC). These 3 conflict dimensions have largely been treated as independent from each other, despite often high correlations and natural coexistence within teams (De Wit, Greer & Jehn, 2012; Jehn, 1995; 1997). TC, RC, and PC have all been characterised as states of conflict (Shaw, Zhu, Duffy, Scott, Shih, & Susanto, 2011) that represent shared perceptions about the form and intensity of disagreement among team members (DeChurch et al, 2013). In addition to these classic forms of conflict, Bendersky & Hayes (2012) introduced status conflict (SC, disputes over people’s relative status (i.e., respect) positions in their group’s social hierarchy) as a potential fourth form of team conflict. Recently, a trend to focus on the processes involved in emerging perceptual conflict states has developed (DeChurch, Mesmer-Magnus, & Doty, 2013; O’Neill et al, 2018). Conflict states are characterised by the simultaneous, shared experience of all forms of team conflict interacting (DeChurch et al, 2013). While previous studies have investigated conflict profiles characterised by the interactions between TC, PC, and RC (i.e. O’Neill et al, 2018), as of yet the role of SC in team conflict profiles is unknown.

In this study, I propose the use of Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) and Latent Transition Analysis (LTA) to identify underlying patterns of team conflict defined by distinct combinations of TC, PC, RC, and SC. Further, this study will investigate the transition of conflict states throughout different stages of a team’s lifespan, investigate the possible role of conflict management as a mediating role both between conflict profile and performance outcomes, and as a mechanism for the transition between conflict states.

Task, Process, & Relationship Conflict

Despite the increasing use of teams in organisations, the interactive and interdependent nature of teams means they almost always experience conflict (DeChurch et al, 2013). Conflict is a state where individuals perceive disagreements between themselves and others in their team in terms of interests, values, or practices (De Dreu & Gelfand, 2008). Jehn (1995, 1997) identified 3 forms of team conflict: Task Conflict (TC), Relationship Conflict (RC), and Process Conflict (PC). TC involves conflicting perspectives of the task itself and is highest when members argue over incompatible points and ideas over the task itself. PC involves conflict about the delegation of roles, tasks, or schedules, and is most prevalent when team members cannot agree on a plan of execution. Finally RC involves interpersonal strife between team members and is highest when there is anger, resentment, and personality clashes between team members.

Past theory and research has suggested that TC has the potential to beneficially influence a variety of group outcomes (e.g. Amason, 1996; Jehn, 1997). However, there is also a significant body of research that suggests TC can impair team performance outcomes (De Dreu & Weingart, 2003), with meta-analytic results being inconclusive (De Wit et al, 2012; O’Neill, Allen, & Hastings, 2013). One potential reason for these mixed findings comes from the information processing perspective (Carnevale & Probst, 1998) which suggests that TC promotes idea generation and critical thinking behaviours, however the benefits of these processes can only be acted on when RC and PC are low (O’Neill, Allen & Hastings, 2013). When team members engage in high intensity RC and/or PC it increases cognitive load, distracts team members from task-relevant information processing and may result in team members interpreting TC as a threat to legitimacy or personal attacks, rather than as constructive problem solving (De Dreu, 2008).

Relationship conflict has almost invariably been found to have negative effects on both proximal and distal performance outcomes (Amason, 1996; Jehn, 1995). RCs are often interpreted as a threat to Self-concept, as issues associated with this form of conflict are likely personal in nature. This threat to Self-concept often elicits defensive and hostile behaviours and can have severe consequences for outcomes such as trust, collaboration, organizational citizenship behaviours or team identification (De Wit et al, 2012).

PC has also been demonstrated to be predominately negative for performance outcomes (De Wit et al, 2012; O’Neill et al, 2013). This is thought to be because issues such as role assignment and task delegation are often loaded with connotations regarding individual members’ competencies or status within the group (Jehn & Bendersky, 2003). That said however, in some situations PC may be beneficial for team performance, for example if PC elicits a re-evaluation of dysfunctional processes, delegations, or resource assignments (Jehn & Mannix, 2001). Further, there is potential that some aspects of PC, such as task and role delegation, may be beneficial to team performance when it occurs early on in a team’s tenure as it may promote the efficient allocation of resources and discussion on the best way to complete a task, however it becomes negative at later stages as PC interferes with task execution (Goncalo et al, 2010).

Status Conflict

Where a team member falls within a status hierarchy has a significant impact a variety of beneficial or negative outcomes, including influence over other members, access and control over information and resources, higher evaluations, higher self-esteem, and more credit for team performance (Bendersky & Hays, 2012; Gould, 2003; Magee & Galinsky, 2008; Ridgeway & Correll, 2008). As such, it is likely that team members engage in competition for high status positions within the hierarchy and attempt to shape hierarchies to serve self-interested ends (Gould, 2003). In particular, how a team delegates roles (i.e. the emergence of leader/follower dynamics), resources, and respect may elicit disagreement in the status of individual team members. Status conflict (SC), which  refers to conflict over team members’ relative status positions in the team hierarchy (Magee & Galinsky, 2008) is argued to be a potential fourth form of team conflict (Bendersky & Hays, 2012) in addition to those identified in Jehn’s (1995, 1997) seminal work.

Bendersky & Hays (2012) suggest that SC has different behavioural manifestations and outcomes from other forms of conflict (i.e. more competitive conflict management, restricted information sharing, and greater impact on resource distribution) that effect team performance. What distinguishes it from RC, they argue, is that it is structural in nature and occurs even between team members that have good interpersonal relationships. Is theorised to also be more competitive-oriented than RC, as role based status is a limited resource and can only be ‘owned’ by one member at a time. While SC often occurs in conjunction with other forms of conflict, it was also found to occur independently (Bendersky & Hays, 2012; Chun & Choi, 2014). For example, SC may occur in conjunction with PC when assigning roles within the team. From a PC perspective, disagreement in assigning roles may be over who is most competent for a role. However, leadership roles often come with a variety of benefits, including higher status, and therefore are competed over. The status implications of role assignment therefore mean that it may elicit both process and status conflict. Further, it was found that adding SC to conflict models had explanatory power for a variety of performance outcomes (Chun & Choi, 2014; Bendersky & Hays, 2012). The direction of this effect however is somewhat mixed. While SC may lead to distraction from tasks and performance, it may also lead to increased helping behaviours from members seeking status from others, or promote task efforts among team members attempting to gain status through performance based merit (Flynn, Reagans, Amanatullah, & Ames, 2006).

Bendersky and Hays (2012) as well as Chun and Choi (2014) both suggest that SC also has potential interactive effects with TC. For example, in a highly interdependent team where multiple members are competing for a high status position, SC may be forcibly reduced by other members because explicit SC jeopardizes coordination between members and ultimately group performance. Further, Chun and Choi (2014) found that SC moderated the beneficial effects of TC such that increased SC reduced both the frequency of TC, as well as its positive effect on group performance. This moderating effect is in congruence with that of PC and RC on TC (de Wit et al, 2012). In regards to RC, Chun and Choi suggest that SC is likely highly correlated with RC and may in some cases cascade into RC. For example, SC has been shown to predict in heightened hostility (Tiedens & Fragale, 2003) as well as reduced collaboration between team members (Bendersky & Hays, 2012). In their study, SC in isolation had a significant, small, negative effect on team performance, however when interaction effects were considered, the effect was absorbed by the more dominant, moderate effect of RC. Their suggested explanation for this was that SC may act as a catalyst, were conflict initially focused on status related issues cascades into interpersonal relationships more generally.

Conflict States & Profiles

The complexity approach to team conflict argues that team outcomes are in part a function of the interaction between multiple forms of conflict operating simultaneously (Janssen, Van Der Vliert, & Veenstra, 1999). A particular proposition of this theory that has received attention is that teams can benefit from TC due to increased ideation, variance of perspectives, and deeper problem solving and decision making processes (Eisenhardt, Kahwajy, & Bourgeois, 1997; De Dreu, 2006; Jehn, 1995, 1997). However, this may only be the case when PC and RC are low (Jehn & Mannix, 2001; O’Neill et al, 2018). In regards to the potential moderating role of SC, Bendersky & Hays (2012) suggest that similar to PC and RC, high levels of SC may restrict task focus as team members devote cognitive resources to resolving SC instead. In this situation, group performance is negatively effected as team members engage in competitive conflict management style, restrict access to information, or ostracise other team members. Essentially, when overwhelmed by RC, PC, or potentially SC, teams have less cognitive resources to devote to critical analysis and the processing of multiple ideas and perspectives (Shaw et al, 2011). The result is fragmented thinking, withdrawal of effort, and inhibition (Mather, 2009). This suggests that the different forms of conflict have interdependencies that should be modeled to fully understand the implications of team conflict for performance outcomes (Greer, Jehn, & Mannix, 2008; Jehn & Chatman, 2000).

Recent team-centred approaches (O’Neill, Allen, & Hastings, 2013; O’Neill et al, 2018) that take into account intra-team variation in the perception of conflict have shown some support for distinct, complex, and interdependent conflict states (Janssen et al, 1999; Jehn & Chatman, 2002). Team conflict profiles may offer a novel way of conceptualising, studying, and understanding team conflict by using a team, rather than variable centric paradigm. A profile-centric approach, which posits than people, or in this case teams, have patterns of affect, behaviour, and cognition across multiple variables that are important for understanding outcomes. Instead of looking at individual or additive effects of team processes on performance outcomes, a team centric approach focuses on the interaction patterns among the nested variables, getting at both the function and the structure of team conflict (Morgeson & Hoffman, 1999) and better accounting for team conflict interdependencies.

There are several features of team-centric profile analysis that may contribute to the previous literature. First, profile analysis contributes beyond interaction effect analyses by identifying emergent latent structures of conflict based on patterns of TC, PC, RC, and SC. By delineating conflict profiles, we can more succinctly identify the ways in which conflict states interact. Second, mediation analysis is a power-intensive analysis, and the difficulty in obtaining large sample sizes in teams research limits finding significant 3-way team conflict interactions (Morin, Morizot, Boudrias, & Madore, 2011). A substantial contribution of O’Neill et al’s study (2018) was that it was the first empirical support for 3 way interactions between TC, PC, and RC, despite compelling theoretical arguments for their existence. Lastly, profile analysis allows latent profiles to be positioned as an independent, moderator, mediator, or outcome variable depending on the model specified, which allows for more flexibility in research on team conflict than previous multivariate analyses (O’Neill et al, 2018).

Although person centred profile analysis has been used successfully in other areas of research (i.e. Meyer, Stanly, & Vandenberg, 2013; McLarnon, Carswell, & Schneider, 2015), only one study has applied profile analysis to the team level so far. Using team-centred Latent Profile Analysis (LPA), O’Neill et al (2018) identified 4 distinct conflict states based on varying levels of TC, PC, and RC. The 4 conflict states found in their study were labelled Task Conflict Dominant (characterised by a moderate degree of TC, and low RC and PC), RC/PC minor (similar to TC-dominant, but with more RC and PC), Mid-Range Conflict (moderate levels of TC, PC, and RC) and Dysfunctional (high degree of all three conflict variables).

Conflict Management

De Church et al (2013) suggest that conflict management is likely an important mechanism connecting team conflict states and performance outcomes. Approaches to conflict management generally come in two forms (Tjosvold, 1998; Alper, Tjosvold, & Law, 2000). Cooperative conflict management is when individuals focus on shared goals and put aside their differences. In this approach, team members seek to resolve conflict by developing objectives and practices that allow each member to pursue their goals without interfering with each others’. Competitive conflict management is when individuals take a more combative approach to goal achievement. In this approach, team members will pursue their goals at the expense of other team members and believe their success is mutually exclusive with that of others. Bendersky & Hays (2012) argue that SC in particular is prone to induce competitive behaviour because of their longer-term implications, greater bystander engagement, and more distributive outcomes. While both forms of conflict management are important to team performance, cooperative approaches tend to be positively associated with team performance outcomes while conflict approaches are negatively associated (DeChurch et al, 2013).

Current Study

The current study aims to expand on previous research on team conflict states by investigating the interactive effect of SC with the traditional team conflict variables. In particular, to 1) identify the number and forms of conflict states that arise, 2) the transition of conflict states throughout different stages of a team’s lifespan, 3) investigate the possible role of conflict management as a mediating role both between conflict profile and performance outcomes, and 4) as a mechanism for the transition between conflict states.

The first hypothesis involves the addition of SC to team conflict states identified in previous research (e.g. O’Neill et al, 2018). While these studies provide an analytical background and precedence for conflict states, they did not take into account the possible role of SC. The addition of SC to the analysis is likely to elicit more conflict states, as well interact with those already identified. While previous studies have supported the independence of SC, it remains moderately to highly correlated with the other forms of team conflict, particularly relationship conflict (Bendersky & Hays, 2012). SC has been conceptualised as a dynamic structure which suggests that the frequency and degree of SC will significantly change over time.  Previous research has suggested that patterns of team conflict are temporally dependent (Bendersky & Hays, 2012; Chen & Choi, 2014; O’ Neill et al, 2018). For example, early stage teams may be less likely to engage in high levels of TC. Many teams do not engage in significant task-relevant work until at least the midpoint of their tenure, when they realise the need for activity and focus more intensely on their task (West, 2002). In other words, TC is likely low intensity early on in team tenure, then gradually increases as the team gets closer project deadlines. O’ Neill et al (2018) found support that TC tends to increase over time, and suggest that conflict profiles may shift in step with this change.

Like TC, SC is likely temporally dependent, with the majority of SC happening at the early stages of a team’s lifespan (Chen & Choi, 2014). Status hierarchies are evolving social structures (Bendersky & Hays, 2012), and a fundamental mechanism of their transitions is SC. SC may even interact with the other forms of conflict as an initial source of conflict, that then cascades into other conflict domains (Chen & Choi, 2014). At early stages of a team’s lifespan, the roles and relative status of team members has not yet been established. As such, team members are more likely to be engaged in navigating and conflicting over relative status levels, for example the emergence of leader/follower dynamics or developing social relations. Consistent with West’s (2002) multi-stage team process model, this profile is expected to be most prevalent in teams that are still in the process of establishing a status hierarchy and have not entered a stage of implementation and execution of tasks, and will likely experience little to no TC. This hypothesised profile characterised by high SC, moderate RC, and low TC and PC is labelled SC-dominant (SCD).

H1: Five conflict states will be the optimal number of profiles and LPA will identify the following profiles: TC-dominant, RC/PC-minor, Midrange, Dysfunctional, and SC-Dominant.

In terms of the temporal order of team conflict states and conflict management processes, DeChurch et al (2013) theorise that behavioural manifestations of conflict and conflict related interactions provide feedback input that contribute to conflict profiles, which in turn influence subsequent conflict management interactions. Conflict management processes are also more proximal to performance outcomes as they encompass tangible, recent behaviours, whereas conflict states represent the team’s intra-conflict environment. As such, conflict management processes are expected to mediate between a team’s conflict profile, and team performance outcomes.

In terms of criterion variables, team potency, team satisfaction, and objective performance criteria will be assessed. Potency refers to the team’s collective belief in their ability to perform (Guzzo, Yost, Campbell, & Shea, 1993).  Team satisfaction refers to each member’s overall satisfaction with the success of the team and the relationships within it. Lastly, objective performance criteria will be measured as the teams’ overall grades within the course. Based on Church et al’s (2013) theoretical model, team conflict states will influence team performance outcomes indirectly through competitive and cooperative conflict management processes. As such, its proposed that:

H2a: Cooperative CM will mediate the relation between conflict states and team potency

H2b: Competitive CM will mediate the relation between conflict states and team potency

H2c: Cooperative CM will mediate the relation between conflict states and team satisfaction

H2d:  Competitive CM will mediate the relation between conflict states and team satisfaction

H2e: Cooperative CM will mediate the relation between conflict states and team grade

H2f: Competitive CM will mediate the relation between conflict states and team grade

DeChurch et al (2013) suggest that conflict management processes precede the emergence of conflict states, and effect their development, stabilisation, and dissolution over time. How teams manage early manifestations of conflict may affect the intensity of subsequent reported conflict states by establishing shared norms and expectations of conflict management styles, their effectiveness, when they’re to be used, etc. SC revolves around the establishment of status hierarchies and relations within a team (Bendersky & Hays, 2012) and is likely most significant during the early stages of a team’s lifespan (Chen & Choi, 2014). In line with DeChurch et al’s (2013) argument, SC conflict should precede the establishment of status hierarchies and how it is resolved should significantly affect the form and stability of hierarchies over time. It is likely that teams will experience the majority of SC during the early formative stages of team development, then gradually become less intense as the team members settle into a status hierarchy. In turn, the establishment of status hierarchies (particularly leader-follower relationships) will provide the context in which shared norms and expectations for the use of different conflict management styles, as well as the form and intensity of the other team conflict variables emerge. With this in mind, hypothesis 3 is proposed.

H3: This profile will be most frequent early in team tenure, then gradually decrease over time.

Proposed Method

Participants for this study will consist of ~575 first year engineering majors from a Canadian university placed in ~120 teams (Mnumber of respondents per team= ~5, SD = ~.50). Over the course of an 8 month academic year, the students are required to complete several engineering design projects such as freestanding towers and measurement devices. The design course is heavily team-based, as the projects and their teamwork skills make up a significant portion of their grade. The tasks assigned to the teams throughout the year will be largely additive or conjunctive in nature (Steiner, 1972).   Surveys measuring team conflict, potency, satisfaction, status conflict, and conflict management processes will be administered at three separate time points, at the beginning of the course, 5 months into the course and again at the end of the course.


Team Potency

Team potency will be measured as each member’s confidence in achieving a range of scores for their final grade (see appendix A).

Team Satisfaction

Team satisfaction will be measured with 1 item (Overall, how satisfied are you with your team?) -3 (very dissatisfied) to 3 (very satisfied) Likert scale.

Task, Process, & Relationship Conflict

TC items were drawn from Behfar et al’s (2011) revised version of Jehn’s (1995) scale items. The TC measure included the 4 items developed by Behfar et al that avoided the use of the expression ‘conflict’ and negative connotations associated with it. For RC, the 4 items used were also drawn from Behfar et al. The 3 PC items were drawn from Behfar et al’s logistical conflict scale, which coincides and correlates highly with Jehn’s original definition of PC. All team conflict variables were measured using a 5 point Likert scale ranging from a very small amount, to a lot (see appendix A for an item list).

Status Conflict

SC was measured using the 4 item measure developed by Bendersky & Hays (2012) (see appendix A for item list)

Conflict Management Processes

Cooperative and competitive conflict management will be measured with 7 items each (Barker, Tjosvold, & Andrews, 1988) (see appendix A for a list of items).

Analytic Procedure

Within-Team Agreement & Internal Validity

To identify team conflict profiles, individual level responses for each variable will be aggregated to the team level using within-team mean (Kozlowski & Klein, 2000). ICC and rwgscores will be computed to establish that within-team agreement and between team variance are beyond chance and represent shared perceptions of the team’s conflict state. Prior to the main analysis, CFAs will be performed to assess the internal and discriminant validity of the constructs being measured: TC, PC, RC, SC, and Cooperative and Competitive Conflict management.

Missing data

In terms of missing data, standard practice is to remove teams that have higher than a pre-specified threshold of missing data. However, Stanley, Allen, Williams, & Ross (2011) and others suggest that this method of addressing missing data results in distorted effect sizes, type II errors, and low power. In addition, in the context of this study missing data may reflect systematic differences between teams. For example, if a team is missing members, it may be because of withdrawal behaviour related to high levels of PC, RC, or SC. Removing these teams from the analysis may therefore disproportionately remove teams that are characterised by a dysfunctional conflict profile, with implications for the ability to detect these profiles. As such, to preserve the construct validity and power of the study, all data will be retained.


To investigate emergent conflict profiles. LPA analysis using the robust maximum likelihood estimator will be performed in MPlus 7. Following Morin, Morizot, Boudrias, and Madore’s (2011) recommendations, the optimal class solution will be explored by initially specifying a one-class solution, then adding classes in subsequent models until the optimal fit is discovered. Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC), sample-size adjusted Bayesian Information Criterion (aBIC) and bootstrap likelihood ratio tests (BLRT) will be conducted to assess class solutions (McLachlan & Peel, 2000). It is expected that the BLRT value will be significant and the BIC and aBIC values will be highest in a 5 profiles solution.

Once the optimal conflict state solution is established, antecedent, mediating, and criterion variables will be added to the model using the 3-step latent class predictor method as outlined by Asparouhov and Muthén (2014). This allows conflict states to be treated as an independent variable in a mediation model. The effect size and significance of the mediation pathways will then be assessed using bias-corrected bootstrapping. To assess the effect of conflict states on mediating and outcome variables, Asparouhov and Muthén (2014) suggest the use of pseudo-Wald χ2tests for equivalence of means.

Following Preacher & Hayes (2016) recommendations for assessing mediation with categorical independent variables, the emergent conflict states will be compared to the TC-dominant state that is expected to emerge, as this hypothetical conflict profile is likely to have the most favourable conflict management scores given previous research (i.e. O’Neill et al, 2018; McLarnon, Woodley, Hoffart, & O’Neill, 2015). In addition to the b pathways developed in traditional mediation analysis, this method generates a pathways that reflect the mean differences in the CM variables between TCD and the other conflict states  to account for homogeneity of regression (Preacher & Hayes, 2016).

To track transitions in conflict profiles over its lifetime and its functional implications, Latent Transition Analysis (LTA) will be performed (Collins & Lanza, 2010). In addition to establishing unique profiles, LTA uses regression modeling to illustrate shifts in profiles over time and the probability of these shifts. Further, LTA allows for the influence of other variables on the transition process (Wang & Chan, 2011). This method will be used to test hypothesis 3, that the SC-D profile will gradually become less prevalent over time as team members move from stage 1 processes such as status comparisons and relationship building, to stage 2 processes revolving around task implementation and completion (West, 2002). It is likely that how a team engages in conflict management to resolve status conflict will effect how the team transitions into other, more task-oriented profiles which can be modeled with LTA.

Potential Practical Implications:

In terms of theory, this study will be a direct test of DeChurch’s (2013) proposition that conflict management processes mediate between a team’s experienced conflict state, and their performance outcomes. More generally, this study will also add to the SC literature by further exploring its relationship to other forms of team conflict and how it interacts in natural settings.  Secondly, establishing a small number of relatively stable conflict profiles that retain some degree of fluidity (DeChurch et al, 2013; O’ Neill, 2018) and into which teams can be reliably and accurately classified is an important theoretical contribution because it brings parsimony to the complexity model of team conflict.

A key feature of this study will be the investigation of the potential for team conflict profiles to change over time. Previous studies investigating the effects of conflict profiles have largely been single time point designs. This approach is limiting as the temporal precedence cannot be established. This study however will track conflict and conflict management across 3 time points. The temporal aspect of emerging team conflict states are important for theory and research design, and this study will not only investigate the changes in profiles over time, it will also indicate the role of conflict management processes in this transition. Tracking SC and conflict profiles over a team’s lifetime is also a novel contribution. SC that occurs early on while the hierarchy is being established will likely look different than SC at later points, when it challenges an existing order, and how early SC is resolved may have cascading functional consequences for other forms of conflict, conflict management, and team performance outcomes.

This study will have beneficial contributions for practitioners as well. In essence, the results of these tests will indicate which conflict profiles are most favourable for conflict management and team performance outcomes. Establishing the nomological network of conflict profiles will benefit practitioners looking to develop evidence-based interventions for conflict management. The team centric approach, and more specifically the development of conflict profiles provides a user-friendly, intuitive, and meaningful framework that are largely consistent with lay theory on team conflict and conflict management. It is likely that the different conflict profiles that emerge in this study will predict different levels and forms of conflict management. Recognising this will allow practitioners to make more targeted and responsive interventions for the mitigation of team conflict. For example, previous studies have found that the TCD conflict profile generally has the best performance outcomes. Providing training to team members to recognise different conflict profiles and their consequences may promote better self-regulation and conflict management (O’Neill et al, 2014).


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Appendix A


Team Potency

When responding to the question below, think about the team you have just worked with. Based on your initial impression of your team, how confident are you that your team will be able to achieve a grade in this course of at least….

Team Satisfaction

Task Conflict (Behfar et al, 2010)


(Behfar et al., 2010)

A Very Small Amount A Little Some A Considerable Amount A Lot
1. To what extent does your team argue the pros and cons of different opinions? 1 2 3 4 5
2. How often do your team members discuss evidence for alternative viewpoints? 1 2 3 4 5
3. How frequently do members of your team engage in debate about different opinions or ideas? 1 2 3 4 5

Process Conflict (Behfar et al, 2010)


(Behfar et al., 2010)

A Very Small Amount A Little Some A Considerable Amount A Lot
1. How frequently do your team members disagree about the optimal amount of time to spend on different parts of teamwork? 1 2 3 4 5
2. How frequently do your team members disagree about the optimal amount of time to spend in meetings? 1 2 3 4 5
3. How often do your team members disagree about who should do what? 1 2 3 4 5

Relationship Conflict (Jehn, 1995)


(Jehn, 1995)

A Very Small Amount A Little Some A Considerable Amount A Lot
1. How much friction is there among members of your team? 1 2 3 4 5
2. How much are personality conflicts evident in your team? 1 2 3 4 5
3. How much tension is there among team members? 1 2 3 4 5
4. How much emotional conflict is there among team members? 1 2 3 4 5

[Status Conflict (Bendersky & Hays, 2012)]

Please indicate your agreement with each statement. When responding to each statement, please consider your team as a whole.

Response options range from 1 (A very small amount) to 5 (A lot).

  1. My team members frequently took sides (i.e., formed coalitions) during conflicts.
  2. My team members experienced conflicts due to members trying to assert their dominance.
  3. My team members competed for influence.
  4. My team members disagreed about the relative value of members’

[Team conflict management processes (Barker, Tjosvold, & Andrews, 1988)]


Please indicate your agreement with each statement. When responding to each statement, please consider your team as a whole.

Response options range from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree)

[Cooperative items]

1. Individual team members encourage a ‘we are in it together’ attitude

2. Individual team members seek a solution that will be good for all of us

3. Individual team members encourage one another to try to understand the problem fully

4. Individual team members try to understand others’ views and positions

5. Individual team members ensure that the people working on a task understand a problem before seeking a solution

6. Individual team members encourage a lot of ‘give’ and take’

7. Individual team members combine the best of one position with those of others to make an effective decision

[Competitive items]

1. Individual team members stick to their position to get others to compromise

2. Individual team members demand that I agree to their position

3. Individual team members want others to make concessions, but do not want to make concessions themselves

4. Individual team members treat issues in conflict as a win-lose contest.

5. Individual team members overstate their needs and position to get their way

6. Individual team members make it costly for me to hold my view

7. Individual team members force functional groups to accept schedules and budgets with which they are not comfortable

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