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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/412

Authors: Newton, Christine Elizabeth
Supervisor(s): Dr. Janice Thomas (Athabasca University)
Examining Committee: Dr. Kay Devine (Athabasca University)
Dr. Maiga Chang (Athabasca University)
Dr. Giuseppe Labianca (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Degree: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Department: Faculty of Business
Keywords: Multiple team membership
Team conflict
Group conflict
Conflict spillover
Issue Date: 21-Apr-2023
Abstract: This research focuses on interpersonal conflict that occurs in project-based environments where an individual is a member of more than one project team simultaneously (i.e., multiple team membership, or MTM). Although the body of existing conflict research is substantial, scholarly studies of multiple team membership are comparatively recent and conflict in MTM settings has been largely unexplored. Our understanding of conflict in MTM settings can be improved by asking the following question: What are the effects of conflict spillover in MTM contexts? In other words, when team members experience interpersonal conflict in one of their project teams, how (if at all) do the effects of this conflict affect other teams that they are members of? Using archival peer evaluation data from students who participated on multiple project teams while completing coursework in a Canadian college graduate program, the extent of conflict spillover was measured and the risk of decreased performance was assessed. The moderating role of high conflict intensity, conflict type and team member attributes were also examined. Social network analysis and other statistical procedures were used to assess peer evaluations from online and colocated student cohorts. Research findings suggested that conflict spillover was not uncommon among MTM team members, although spillover decreased for MTM team members in the second half of the program. Conflict intensity was typically low/moderate and conflict spillover was generally not associated with a higher risk of negative performance outcomes. Conflict intensity appears to have had a moderating effect, as both conflict spillover and negative performance outcomes increased among MTM team members who perceived high-intensity conflict towards other team members. Relationship conflict was common but evidence of higher spillover or decreased performance for MTM team members who experienced relationship conflict was mixed. Findings suggested that conflict, spillover, and negative performance outcomes were potentially magnified for virtual relative to colocated team members. Finally, there was evidence to suggest that some rater and/or ratee attributes (such as age difference and difference in student grade point average between the rater and the ratee) were associated with higher levels of conflict spillover, high intensity conflict, and relationship conflict.
Graduation Date: Jun-2023
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/412
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