Do fights prohibit helping? : the influence of task interdependence and conflict norms on helping behavior during task conflict

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Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of group conflict norms and task interdependence on individuals' willingness to help others under conditions of task conflict to better understand how group characteristics influence individual helping behavior. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 81 university students participate in a scenario study. The scenario has a 2 (task interdependence: high vs low) ×2 (group conflict norm: open vs avoiding) design. Findings – The results suggest that in groups characterized with open conflict norms and high-task interdependence members are less willing to help than members in groups with avoiding conflict norms and high-task interdependence. Research limitations/implications – This research implies that helping behavior in high-task interdependent workgroups is highest when groups have an avoiding conflict norm. Limitations include amongst others discussing the explicit request for help coming from the group used in this study and the external validity of scenario studies. Practical implications – The findings suggest that managers or supervisors can help to provide circumstances in which task conflict does not prohibit helping behavior. Originality/value – The paper offers a first step to experimentally investigate how individuals react to intragroup task conflict and the consequence for constructive behavior. Keywords: Conflict, Task analysis
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)158-172
TijdschriftInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Volume20
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 2009

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