Edited by Oluremi B. Ayoko, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Karen A. Jehn
Chapter 4: The emergence of intragroup conflict: Variations in conflict configurations
AbstractThe consequences of intragroup conflict for group processes and outcomes are myriad and complex. Understanding the nature and origins of intragroup conflict is therefore essential to effective group functioning, yet theory and research emergence of group-level conflict is lacking. The bulk of research on antecedents of intragroup conflict has focused on group-level predictors, downplaying the role of cross-level relationships involving individual factors and interpersonal processes. The core thesis of this chapter is that cross-level emergent processes lead to substantial and systematic variation in conflict perceptions within groups. Based on this premise, we explore two broad themes. First, we discuss how intragroup conflict varies in degree and form, exploring various configurations beyond consensus and dispersion models. Second, we address the processes by which different configurations of conflict emerge, namely: direct contact, indirect contact, and coalition formation. We conclude the chapter by discussing the implications of this approach for theory building and research.
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