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J Appl Psychol. 2008 Jan;93(1):170-88. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.93.1.170.

The critical role of conflict resolution in teams: a close look at the links between conflict type, conflict management strategies, and team outcomes.

Author information

  • 1The Paul Merage School of Business, The University of California, Irvine, CA 92698, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Appl Psychol. 2008 Mar;93(2):462.


This article explores the linkages between strategies for managing different types of conflict and group performance and satisfaction. Results from a qualitative study of 57 autonomous teams suggest that groups that improve or maintain top performance over time share 3 conflict resolution tendencies: (a) focusing on the content of interpersonal interactions rather than delivery style, (b) explicitly discussing reasons behind any decisions reached in accepting and distributing work assignments, and (c) assigning work to members who have the relevant task expertise rather than assigning by other common means such as volunteering, default, or convenience. The authors' results also suggest that teams that are successful over time are likely to be both proactive in anticipating the need for conflict resolution and pluralistic in developing conflict resolution strategies that apply to all group members.

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