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Task Conflict Vs. Relationship Conflict During Group Decisio

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Thomas Schiel

on 29 April 2014

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Transcript of Task Conflict Vs. Relationship Conflict During Group Decisio

Task Conflict Vs. Relationship Conflict During Group Decision Making
Task Conflict
-
Task conflict
- is disagreements or separate opinions of group members that are related to a certain goal or task that the group is presented with

-Task conflict is viewed as a positive group attribute because it allows members of the group to use their
critical thinking skills
,
forces them to stand behind their ideas
, and
motivates them to learn all they can about the task at hand
(epistemic motivation)
Relationship Conflict
-
Relationship Conflict
- is conflict that is on a more personal level and perceived to be an "
attack
" or "
threat
" to one's self instead of the problem at hand
Relationship conflict is detrimental to cooperation and group productivity
-causes competitiveness
Research
Two separate studies:
Focused on the ability for groups to make decisions when task conflict was present and both task and relationship conflict were present
Hidden profile task design
Confederates were used as two of the three small group members
Both studies used a computer system to communicate and log there results

Research Findings and Conclusion
-Research found that the added stress caused by relationship conflicts increased:
Rigidity of Information
Information Bias
Lowered Epistemic and Social Motivation
While task conflict makes a group more productive and successful, relationship conflict decreases the success and efficiency within a group
Relationship Conflicts can arise from
-Past unrelated relationship conflicts
-misunderstandings
-Taking a task conflict to personal
Relationship Conflicts can cause:
-rigidity of information
-bias of others information
(if it does not substantiate your own information)
-lowered epistemic motivation
-lowered social motivation
Study 1
-82 participants
-given money or participation points for college credit
-50 women, 32 men
-broke down into groups of three (one participant to two confederates)
-groups were not in person they were through computer systen
-Hidden profile task
-given puzzle that had an automobile accident
asked to find which of four subjects was driving
-19 shared pieces of information and 9 unshared
-each member given a unshared piece of info
-after 1.5 minutes the participant was told to record their answer onto the computer system

-after the participants gave their answers the confederates responded that they did not agree and explained why
The confederates responses were prerecorded in order to control all aspects of experiment
-The participants were then given two short surveys to see if the confederates changed their intial ideas and also in they felt any form of relationship conflict

Study 2
-Same as study 1 with an added relationship conflict
-Paricipants went through the same hidden profile task as the study 1 participants
-1 participant to 2 confederates
-Participants were them asked to pick their favorite art piece out of a collection that they were shown
-The participants were split into two experimental groups
-Those that were to have an relationship conflict
-Those that were to not have an relationship conflict
- Participants with relationship conflict
-negative response to art choice
-Participants without relationship conflict
neutral conflict

References
Whit, F.R.,Jehn, K.A., & Scheepers D. (2013). Task conflict, information processing, and decision making: The damaging effects of relationship conflict.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Process
122, 177-189
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