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Title:A multilevel investigation of the effect of task conflict on creative performance: focusing on the role of information sharing and team trust
Author(s):Lee, Eun Kyung
Director of Research:Avgar, Ariel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Avgar, Ariel
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Joshi, Aparna; Rupp, Deborah E.; Northcraft, Gregory B.
Department / Program:School of Labor and Employment Relations
Discipline:Human Resources and Industrial Relations
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Task conflict
the effect of task conflict
team creativity
information sharing
team trust
Abstract:This dissertation proposes a complex and nuanced view to understand the effect of task conflict on creativity, emphasizing the role of critical contingencies. For a team-level phenomenon, I argue that teams can harvest the benefits of task conflict when they engage in information and knowledge sharing activities and maintain high levels of trust in the team, actions that both affect the mechanism through which informational resources generated by task conflict are effectively utilized for team creativity. For an individual-level analysis, I focus on each individual's asymmetric conflict perception within a team and its relation to individual creativity. I argue that individuals perceiving higher levels of task conflict than other members of the team are likely to achieve greater individual creativity. I also propose that team's information sharing climate and team trust would moderate the relationship between an individual’s conflict perception of task conflict and his or her creative performance. Results of the data analysis provide evidence for the claim that the effect of task conflict on creativity is affected by team-level contextual factors. Teams that were high in information sharing climate or team trust achieved greater team creativity than teams that were low in either condition at any given levels of task conflict. However, the enhancing moderating effects of both information sharing climate and team trust decreased as task conflict increased within the team. The relationship between individual conflict perception and individual creativity has been also supported, proving that the benefits of task conflict exist also at an individual level. Team's information sharing climate was found to be a facilitative context that influences the creative behaviors of individuals, however; the role of team trust was not supported. The key implication of this research is that task conflict can be beneficial to creativity both at an individual and team level, and that the benefits of task conflict can be amplified when teams are engaged in open and extensive information sharing or maintain high team trust. The findings of this research also suggest that effective conflict management should now focus on the utilization of a conflict rather than the control of it with a consideration of other important team processes. Finally, this thesis calls for more empirical examinations to test the contingency perspective of conflict and to identify critical conditions that may amplify the benefits of task conflict in order to enhance and refine our understanding of the effects of team conflict.
Issue Date:2014-01-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Eun Kyung Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-01-16
Date Deposited:2013-12

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