Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 501–536 | Cite as

Managing Co-occurring Conflicts in Teams

  • Kristin Behfar
  • Ray Friedman
  • Jeanne Brett


This study extends prior research on conflict in teams by showing that a team’s chances of appropriately managing one type of conflict depends on what other types of conflicts are co-occurring. We interviewed 44 managers from different industries who had recently participated in a negotiating team, asking about within-team conflicts and how those conflicts were managed. The data showed that task conflict increased the likelihood that teams managed co-occurring procedural conflicts appropriately, but that procedural conflicts decreased the likelihood that teams managed co-occurring task conflicts appropriately. These results explain why some teams fail to realize the theorized benefits of task conflict and why procedural conflict does not always have a deleterious impact on team performance: The co-occurrence of these different types of conflict can alter what strategy a team uses to manage conflicts.


Conflict management Negotiating teams Team conflict Team process 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Darden School of BusinessUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Owen Graduate School of ManagementVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Kellogg School of ManagementNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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