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Small, Task-Oriented Groups:Conflict, Conflict Management, Satisfaction, and Decision Quality

Small, Task-Oriented Groups:Conflict, Conflict Management, Satisfaction, and Decision Quality

Abstract

This study focuses on the relationship among amount of conflict experienced, the style of its management, individual satisfaction, and decision quality of small, task-oriented groups. In all, 129 subjects took part in a task requiring a group product. Data suggested that a curvilinear relationship exists between the number of conflict episodes experienced by group members and the subsequent quality of their decisions. The study also found that integrative conflict-management strategies were associated with higher quality solutions than were distributive strategies. Satisfaction was found to be negatively related to conflict. Interaction between number of conflict episodes and management style was discussed in terms of its implications for increasing decision quality and future research.
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