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Intergroup conflict and conflict management in the R&D divisions of four aerospace companies

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1 Author(s)
Chan, M. ; Dept. of Manage., Youngstown State Univ., OH, USA

The author examined the intergroup conflict between R&D managers and non-managers in four aerospace companies, as well as the relationship between each of the five conflict-handling modes: competition, accommodation, sharing, collaboration, and avoidance, with the following variables: conflict frequency, job satisfaction, and job performance. The research findings indicate that intergroup conflicts were in the areas of goals, reward, control, authority, and insufficient assistance from technical support staff. Furthermore, intergroup conflict and conflict management were found to have both positive and negative consequences. Competition and avoidance were found to have exacerbated the frequency of conflict, and they had a negative impact on performance. Collaboration was found to have ameliorated the frequency of conflict, and it had a rather high positive impact on performance. Both sharing and accommodation were found to be inconsistently related to conflict frequency, and they had an inconsistent impact on performance. For three organizations, job satisfaction was negatively related to conflict frequency and avoidance while it was negatively related to accommodation based on one sample of subjects from one organization only. Competition, sharing, and collaboration were not found to be significantly related to job satisfaction

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 2 )