Although conflict has traditionally been considered destructive, especially in collectivist societies like China, recent studies indicate that valuing and approaching conflict can contribute to effective teamwork. A hundred and six pairs of employees and their leaders were recruited from State Owned Enterprises in Shanghai and Nanjing. Employees described their conflict values and relationships. Their immediate supervisors rated the effectiveness of their teams and the extent of their citizenship behavior. Results indicate that positive conflict attitudes and approaching conflict can contribute to strong relationships, which in turn strengthen team effectiveness and employee citizenship. Findings suggest that how conflict values affect relationships and outcomes are more differentiated than originally expected. Results were interpreted as supporting the traditional idea that relationships are critical for effective organization work in China but also challenging future research to understand the processes by which conflict has a positive contribution to work relationships.
Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.