In the team decision-making process, the complexity of tasks and the heterogeneity of members make the team internal conflicts unavoidable; however, the team conflicts usually have important impacts on team decision-making performance. Task conflict focuses on " things”, which stems from members’ disagreement and discussion on team tasks. It can increase members’ understanding of tasks and spark new ideas, and is conducive to improving team decision-making performance. Relationship conflict is aimed at " persons”, which reflects the interpersonal relationship pressure and negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, and hostility. It can lead to insufficient motivation and low satisfaction of members, and is always harmful to team decision-making performance. Although the two kinds of conflict are distinctly different in definition and influence, but in reality there is a close relationship between them. In the process of team interaction, even simple task conflict is inevitably infused with members’ subjective emotions, resulting in the transformation from task conflict that is originally beneficial to team decision-making performance to relationship conflict that is harmful to team decision-making performance. Therefore, the key to the improvement of the decision-making performance lies in effective prevention from the transformation from task conflict to relationship conflict. Team leaders are most suitable to manage team conflicts. Previous studies have shown that effective leadership is able to promote team positive interaction and coordination, and has significant effects on team internal interaction process. There are diverse leadership styles. Owing to the variable of relationship conflict derived from interpersonal relationships and closely related to emotions, we choose two leadership styles with the greatest contrast in emotional induction, namely pragmatic leadership style and charismatic leadership style, to study. On the basis of generalizing and analyzing the team conflict theory, pragmatic leadership style theory and charismatic leadership style theory, we structure a model of " task conflict-relationship conflict” under the regulation of pragmatic leadership style and charismatic leadership style, and explore the different effects of the two leadership styles on the transformation from task conflict to relationship conflict in the decision-making process. The behavior simulation experiment method is used to verify the model. Through strict experimental manipulation on pragmatic leadership style, charismatic leadership style and task conflict, and rigorous analysis of the data obtained, the conclusions can be drawn as follows: firstly, in the decision-making process, task conflict leads to relationship conflict, and the higher the degree of task conflict is, the higher the degree of relationship conflict is; secondly, pragmatic leadership style can effectively inhibit the transformation from task conflict to relationship conflict, while charismatic leadership style has no obvious effect on the inhibition of the transformation from task conflict to relationship conflict; the key reason lies in that charismatic leadership style is easy to arouse the members’ self-esteem and self-concept through emotional contagion, and the enhancement of self consciousness makes members more sensitive to the different ideas, therefore, it is hard to stop the transformation from task conflict to relationship conflict; however, pragmatic leadership style only focuses on " things” and behavior regulation without emotion, which can effectively avoid the transformation from task conflict to relationship conflict. The above conclusions show that in the decision-making teams, the selection of suitable leadership style can effectively avoid the transformation from task conflict to relationship conflict, which has certain guide significance to the leadership behavior practice of decision-making teams.
Experimental Research on Leadership Style and Team Conflict Control
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 40, Issue 02, pp. 82 - 92 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2018.02.006
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Cite this article
Dai Peihua. Experimental Research on Leadership Style and Team Conflict Control[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2018, 40(2): 82-92.