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This paper aims to investigate the influence of cognitive style diversity on intra-group relationship conflict and individual-level organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs). The role of leader-member exchange as a moderating variable is also examined.Design/methodology/approachThe authors used hierarchical linear modeling and hierarchical regression analysis to analyze results from a sample of 344 members from 83 teams nested within 126 departments in six manufacturing organizations in the People’s Republic of China.FindingsResults yielded general support for our hypothesized relationships between cognitive style diversity and intra-group relationship conflict. Leader-member exchange was also found to moderate the relationship between these two variables. Contrary to expectations, there were no relationships between these variables and individual-level organizational citizenship behaviors.Originality/valueThis research addresses calls from the team diversity and conflict literature to address the understudied area of deep-level cognitive diversity. Second, this study addresses previous calls for more team-level and mixed-level theory and methodology to inform OCB research. Third, this is the first study of group-level cognitive style diversity and the moderating influence of leader-member-exchange and provides valuable insights into ways of mitigating some of the negative effects of cognitive diversity on teams.
International Journal of Conflict Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 4, 2019
Keywords: Leader-member exchange; Organizational citizenship behaviour; Relationship conflict; Cognitive style diversity
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