Maximizing the benefits of task conflict: The role of conflict management

Leslie A. DeChurch*, Michelle A. Marks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


Intragroup conflict research has shown that task conflict can improve group outcomes, but it has not addressed how groups ensure that the positive aspects of task conflict are realized. This study examines the influence of group conflict management on group effectiveness, as well as the moderating role of group conflict management on task conflict -group outcome relationships. Results of a field survey of 96 business school project groups indicated that the use of agreeable conflict management in response to task conflict was associated with greater group satisfaction. Results examining group conflict management as a moderator showed that the relationship between task conflict and group performance was positive when conflict was actively managed and negative when it was passively managed. Similarly, task conflict improved group satisfaction when managed with agreeable behavior, and harmed satisfaction when neutral or disagreeable behaviors were used. Results from this work provide an important first look at how group conflict management behaviors directly impact group outcomes and affect task conflict - group outcome relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-22
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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