Permeable Borders: How Understanding Conflict in Research Teams Can Enhance Understanding Conflict in Work Teams

  • Erica Gabrielle Foldy
  • Tamara R. Buckley
Part of the Jepson Studies in Leadership book series (JSL)


Most often, as researchers, we study conflict “out there”—we study research subjects or participants (whether in dyads, teams, organizations, communities, or societies) and assess the level and kind of conflict, its precursors and consequences, and the like. We usually avoid examining conflict “in here,” among ourselves the researchers, though of course we experience it regularly (see Bartunek & Rynes, 2016, this volume). Rarely do we explore how our own conflict can potentially enhance the validity of our findings, helping us dig down to the deeper dynamics lying below the surface.


Team Member Child Welfare Team Leader Team Meeting Psychological Safety 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alderfer, C.P., & Smith, K.K. (1982). Studying intergroup relations embedded in organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 27, 35–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alderfer, C.P., Tucker, R.C., Morgan, D.R., & Drasgow, F. (1983). Black and white cognitions of changing race relations management. Journal of Occupational Behaviour, 4, 105–136.Google Scholar
  3. Bartunek, J., & Rynes, S.L. (2015). Scholarly conflict in practice. In D.T. Kong & D.R. Forsyth (Eds.), Leading through conflict: Into the fray (pp. 65–84). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Behar, R. (1996). The vulnerable observer: Anthropology that breaks your heart. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bell, E., Meyerson, D., Nkomo, S., & Scully, M. (2003). Tempered radicalism revisited: How white women and black women make sense of white women’s silences and black women’s enactments. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 39(4).Google Scholar
  6. Berg, D.N., & Smith, K.K. (Eds.). (1985). Exploring Clinical Methods for Social Research. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  7. Bion, W.R. (1960). Experiences in groups. New York: Brunner-Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Edmondson, A. (1999). Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Work Teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, 350–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Edmondson, A.C. (2003). Speaking up in the operating room: How team leaders promote learning in interdisciplinary action teams. Journal of Management Studies, 40(6), 1420–1452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ely, R.J., & Thomas, D.A. (2001). Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(2), 229–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Foldy, E.G., & Buckley, T.R. (2014). The color bind: Talking (and not talking) about race at work. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Frost, P., & Stablein, R. (Eds.). (1992). Doing exemplary esearch. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  13. Harris, M.S., & Hackett, W. (2008). Decision points in child welfare: An action research model to address disproportionality. Children and Youth Services Review, 30(2), 199–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Heron, J. & Reason, P. (2008). Extending epistemology within a co-operative inquiry. In P. Reason & H. Bradbury (Eds.) Handbook of action research (pp. 367–380), 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  15. Jehn, K.A. (1995). A multimethod examination of the benefits and detriments of intra-group conflict. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40, 256–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kram, K.E. (1985). On the researcher’s group memberships. In D.N. Berg & K.K. Smith (Eds.), Exploring clinical methods for social research (pp. 247–265). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  17. Krauss, B.J., Goldsamt, L., Bula, E. & Sember, R. 1997. The white researcher in the multicultural community: Lessons in HIV prevention education learned in the field. Journal of Health Education Supplement, 28(6), S67–S71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Martin, R. (2001). Listening up. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann/Boynton-Cook.Google Scholar
  19. McRae, M.B., & Short, E.L. (2010). Racial and cultural dynamics in group and organizational life: Crossing boundaries. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. National Association of Social Workers. (2001). NASW standards for cultural competence in social work practice. Washington DC: National Association of Social Workers.Google Scholar
  21. Smith, K.K., Simmons, V.M., & Thames, T.B. (1989). “Fix the women”: An intervention into an organizational conflict based on parallel process thinking. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 25(1), 11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Steele, C.M., Spencer, S.J., & Aronson, J. (2002). Contending with group image: The psychology of stereotype and social identity threat. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 34, 379–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Thomas, K.M., Plaut, V.C., & Tran, N.M. (Eds.). (2014). Diversity ideologies in organizations. Taylor-Francis.Google Scholar
  24. Van de Ven, A.H. 2007. Engaged scholarship: A guide for organizational and social research. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Wells, L.J. 1980. The group-as-a-whole: A systemic socio-analytic perspective on interpersonal and group relations. Advances in Experiential Social Processes, 2, 1–35.Google Scholar
  26. Wells, S.J., Merritt, L.M., & Briggs, H.E. (2009). Bias, racism and eviden-based practice: The case for more focused Development of the ehild welfare evidence base. Children and Youth Services Review, 31, 1160–1171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Womersley, G., Maw, A., & Swartz, S. (2011). The construction of whame in feminist reflexive practice and its manifestations in a research relationship. Qualitative Inquiry, 17(9), 876–886. doi: 10.1177/1077800411423205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Erica Gabrielle Foldy and Tamara R. Buckley 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erica Gabrielle Foldy
  • Tamara R. Buckley

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations