Effect of conflict in organization

A number of studies have compared the effect of conflict on the work performance and on general found task or cognitive conflict to have positive effects while relationship or effective conflict to have negative effects on team performance. Amason (1996) argue that these two types of conflict have different performance outcomes and contend that cognitive conflict is functional whereas affective conflict is dysfunctional. Eisenhardt et al (1997) supported Amason to enhance cognitive conflict and discourage affective conflict. It also promoted by Roberto (2005) teams need to promote cognitive conflict to produce high quality decision while guarding against the ways in which affective conflict can deteriorate the shared understanding and consensus necessary for effective implementation.

On the other hand Jenh (1997) qualitatively investigated the effects of different types of conflict on work team performance and found groups with norms that accept task but not relationship conflicts are most effective. Simon and Peterson (2000) summarized the literature and noted that compared with the groups having deal with relationship conflicts, groups with task conflicts tend to make better decision because, as they stated, such conflict trigger greater cognitive understanding of the issue involved.

In contrast, relationship conflicts inhibit the normal information processing abilities of the group members because those conflicts divert their attention to each other rather than the group’s task – related problems.

However De Dreu and Weingart (2003) contradict all this accepted idea about this type of conflict. They found studies reporting negative relationship between either type and team member satisfaction, although relationship on conflicts had a more negative relationship than task conflicts. They found no evidence whatsoever that task conflicts and relationship conflicts were differentially correlated with team performance, both task and relationship conflict were equally disruptive even when the possible effect from the complexity of the task was taken in consideration.


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