Behavioural Differences in Conflict Dynamics Between Mono- and Multi-Cultural Self-Managing Teams: An Exploratory Study (77161)

Session Information: Mental Health and Industrial Organization
Session Chair: Lara Carminati

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 11:35
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 607
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

In today’s increasingly globalised world, organisations rely more and more on multicultural teams to generate diversified ideas and boost team effectiveness. However, since multicultural teams seem to be prone to experiencing more conflicts than monocultural teams, the outcome of these conflicts often hinges on effective conflict management. Therefore, our paper aims to explore how moments of conflict are tackled and differ between monocultural and multicultural teams, and their impact on team effectiveness.
Our work examines multiple meetings of four monocultural and five multicultural self-managing teams from a large Dutch service organisation. We used thematic, content, and micro-ethnographic analyses on video recordings to assess team members’ behaviours during task, process, and relationship conflicts, considering also their duration, the expressed emotionality, communication directness, psychological safety, and the conflict resolution strategies employed.
The findings indicate that multicultural teams tend to experience a higher overall frequency of conflicts (particularly task-related conflicts and fewer process and relationship conflicts in proportion), more emotionality (with a higher frequency of negative emotions over positive ones), and to resolve conflicts without reaching a clear conclusion compared to monocultural teams. Lastly, regardless of cultural differences, when teams are high in psychological safety, conflict occurrences are less frequent, and team effectiveness higher.
This study extends previous research on conflict management by implementing novel video observations to provide fresh and more objective insights into team members’ behaviours in situations of conflict. Furthermore, it contributes to practice by offering managers suggestions on how to properly handle conflicts in multicultural and monocultural teams.

Lara Carminati, University of Twente, Netherlands
Desirée van Dun, University of Twente, Netherlands

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Lara Carminati is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at University of Twente in Netherlands

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00