Managers are confronted with many conflicts when they use a budget. How they discuss their opposing views may have a substantial impact on whether the conflicts contribute to the budget process productively or destructively. This study used the theory of cooperative and competitive goal interdependence to analyze the interaction between managers as they deal with budget conflicts. Structural equation and other analyses of interviews with managers in a large utility indicate that cooperative goals support an open-minded discussion of opposing views, which in turn promotes productivity and work relationships that result in acceptance of the budgeting system and a sense of team unity. The results were interpreted as suggesting that organizations that structure cooperative goals and develop constructive controversy skills help their managers use their budget conflicts productively.
Copyright © 1998 ASAC
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