Conflict and Decision-Making: Attributional and Emotional Influences

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Conference Proceeding

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Negotiation and Conflict Management Research



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attributions, conflict, decision-making, emotions


© 2018 International Association for Conflict Management and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. There is general consensus among conflict scholars that cognitive conflict's impact within the organization is functional, whereas affective conflict's impact is dysfunctional. Inconsistent findings in the literature suggest that additional factors impact these relationships. In this study, we integrate theories of conflict, affect, and attribution within the domain of decision-making to gain a greater understanding of how and why organizational conflicts are at times positive, negative, or neutral. Specifically, we posit that the conclusions individuals reach as a result of their attributions, and their subsequent emotions and behavioral responses, play a significant role in determining conflict's effects. We apply theories of team-level emotional convergence to propose how the individual emotional responses of team members may converge into a collective emotional response at the team level. Finally, we propose that the team-level emotional responses initiated by the attribution process are significant moderators of the relationship between conflict type and decision outcomes.

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