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Attenuating The Negative Effect Of Team Relationship Conflict: A Study Based On Chinese Context

Posted on:2016-02-16Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:K H ZhaoFull Text:PDF
GTID:2309330461956780Subject:Business management
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Team is the basic unit of organization work. To be effective, team work requires not only the exchange of information among team members, but also the elaboration of information. Information elaboration is a more in-depth process of information processing and machining based on information sharing and communication. Therefore, information elaboration has greater impact on team effectiveness than simple information sharing. However, the relationship conflict within team is common in our life and workplace. Relationship conflict is manifested as relational hindrances and barriers among the team members, which greatly dampen the depth of information processing within the team. In the Chinese society which emphasizes mianzi, circle and guanxi, this phenomenon may be more significant, and how to effectively attenuate this negative effect becomes particularly important.Therefore, this paper is mainly based on social identity theory to study the mechanism of relationship between relationship conflict and information elaboration. Because of the existence of relationship conflict, employees are more likely to classify themselves to independent sub-groups in a team, which will generate hindrances and barriers among them. It will reduce their ability, motivation, and opportunity to process the information, and be disadvantageous to the information elaboration within the team.Based on the Chinese context, this study introduces two relevant concepts, middle way thinking and leader-member exchange, to detect the mechanism of negative effects of relationship conflict on team information elaboration, and to attenuate the negative effects of relationship conflict on team information elaboration. Middle way thinking is a kind of thinking mode to achieve the overall optimization rather than local maximum through integration but not excluding other means. It includes three dimensions which are multi-thinking, integration and harmony. If team members have higher degree of middle way thinking overall, they can still integrated think from the perspective of others even the barriers among subgroups exist. The role of social classification of each subgroup will be suppressed, the adverse effects on the motivation, opportunity and ability of information elaboration will be reduced, which will attenuate the negative impacts of relationship conflict on team information elaboration. Leader-member exchange refers to the perceived support, understanding and trust from the leaders of team members, as well as the relationship between them. Similarly with middle way thinking, when a team has a high level of leader-member exchange internally, it will form a higher level group that the leader is the core of it. The identity of employees to sub-groups will be reduced. So even if there are barriers among the various subgroups, the effects to the ability, motivation and opportunity of information elaboration will be reduced, and it will attenuate the negative impacts of relationship conflict on team information elaboration as well.This study conducted a questionnaire survey in a coastal province of eastern China. The data from 405 team employees and supervisors nested within 59 R&D teams from 31 high-tech corporations reveal:team relationship conflict has a significantly negative effect on the level of information elaboration; when team members hold high level of middle way thinking, the negative effect of relationship conflict on information elaboration is significantly attenuated; when team members perceive high level of leader-member exchange overall, the negative effect is also suppressed significantly. In addition, this paper merges to a sample of 100 teams with 41 teams outside the formal study, and we conduct robust tests of the main effect and moderating effect of middle way thinking. The results further support the hypothesis of this paper. Because the supplement sample lacks the data of leader-member exchange, this paper can only provide interpretation to the moderating effect of leader-member exchange in theory. Theoretically, the study not only deepens our understanding of team working process but also expands the theoretical boundary; practically, it provides context-relevant guidance for managing relationship conflict.
Keywords/Search Tags:Team, Relationship conflict, Middle way thinking, Leader-member exchange, Information elaboration
PDF Full Text Request
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