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Conflict, Cohesion, and Mechanisms for Resolution & Achievement

From Upper Echelons Theory, we understand that enterprise performance depends on the quality of decisions emanating from its top management team, the antecedents of which are the tandem effects of functional diversity and effective social interaction to leverage such diversity effectively. Additionally, all members’ consensus in and affective acceptance of team decisions are jointly necessary to sustain team effectiveness and desirable enterprise performance. But, developing consensus and maintaining positive affect is actually hindered by the key factor underlying management decision quality – diversity. The effects of diversity in groups and teams generally involves conflict – which must ultimately be resolved through managed, appropriate social interaction processes. In turn, effective and sustained resolutions can help achieve group cohesion and attributes of ‘teamliness’ such as cooperation, collaboration, and effective joint decision-making. This article summarizes what we know about intra-group conflict, cohesion, their impact on team effectiveness, mechanisms for conflict resolution, and connections to enterprise performance.

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