This chapter will present past typologies of conflict and their historical development (for example, task, relationship, and process conflict). It will also review more recent research that has shown extended or varied typologies of conflict in organizations. Finally, different conceptualizations of conflict, such as conflict asymmetry (when members view the same conflict differently), will be presented and future research directions will be discussed.
Oluremi B. Ayoko, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Karen A. Jehn
This chapter is structured in two parts. In the first part, based on the tenets of affective events theory (AET) (Weiss and Cropanzano, 1996), we argue that employees’ territoriality shapes the course of their experiences of conflict and emotions, and ultimately their wellbeing – especially where employees occupy a common workspace (that is, the open-plan office). In the second part of this chapter, and given that territoriality is a relatively new construct in organizational behavior (OB) literature (Ayoko et al., 2010), we review research into the effects of the office environment on employees especially paying attention to the different methodological approaches used in the studies reviewed. In particular, we note that research has rarely addressed the nexus of workspace, conflict, and emotions; and suggest opportunities to incorporate these variables into future research.
Edited by Oluremi B. Ayoko, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Karen A. Jehn
This unique book draws together current thoughts and research in conflict management. Specifically, it brings a wealth of knowledge from authorities in the field on emerging issues such as power in conflict, cognition and emotions in conflict, leading conflict from multiple perspectives and cultural orientations, the role of context in conflict and the teaching of conflict management. Altogether, the Handbook provides a critical avenue for researchers and practitioners’ continued engagement in conflict research and management theory.
Frank R. C. De Wit, Karen A. Jehn and Daan Scheepers
Conflicts are typically considered stressful and therefore can elicit strong physiological reactions such as increases in heart rate or blood pressure. Thus far, surprisingly little research attention has been paid to how psychophysiological stress responses affect the way conflicts are managed. In this chapter we address this issue and focus specifically on intragroup conflicts. To that end, we first review the intragroup conflict literature, concluding that groups tend to be hurt by relationship and process conflict, but may benefit from task conflict under certain circumstances. Next, we discuss four studies in which we applied the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat (BPSM; for example, Blascovich, 2008) to understand how psychological and cardiovascular markers of challenge and threat states are related to how people deal with task conflict during joint decision-making tasks. We describe how across the four studies we found that people tended to hold onto their initially preferred decision alternatives more strongly when they exhibited a threat (vs. challenge) states during a task conflict. We also discuss how in many, but not all, cases this will lead to suboptimal decisions.
Corinne Bendersky, Julia Bear, Kristin Behfar, Laurie R. Weingart, Gergana Todorova and Karen A. Jehn
The conflict literature has been greatly influenced by the work published by Jehn 15 years ago that introduced a task-relationship-process conflict taxonomy of intra-group conflict. However, recent work suggests limitations of this conceptualization and its accompanying measures of conflict. In this chapter, we identify five areas crucial to improving how conflict is both conceptualized and measured: clarifying the intensity of opposition in the conflict; specifying features of conflict episodes; distinguishing between perceived and manifest representations of conflict; disentangling emotions and the constructs of conflict; and adding nuance to the conflict types we consider. We critique past measurement approaches in each of these areas and discuss ways to improve the concepts and measures in order to move the field of conflict research forward.