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2019 International Association for Conflict Management Conference

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Intra-team conflict in the nascent venture crucible: The consequences of misalignments and conflict management processes

Keywords: intra-team conflict, conflict management, nascent ventures, entrepreneurial teams

Abstract: Conflicts within nascent venture teams (NVTs) differ from those within established organizations due to the ambiguous, dynamic, high-risk context and the potential impact on both the team and the venture. Drawing on existing literature and content analysis of interview and survey data, we identify four types of conflicts that arise within NVTs: respective contributions and rewards, resource allocation, decision-making processes, and personality and values. We then map how these conflicts can yield positive or negative outcomes depending on the underlying misalignment and on how team members manage the conflicts. We propose that a mutual problem-solving approach to non-values-based conflicts yields the most positive outcomes, while other approaches (forcing, yielding, or avoiding) yield more negative outcomes, and values-based conflicts typically end negatively regardless of conflict management approach. We theorize that the nascent venture context both generates conflicts and magnifies their impact, making NVTs particularly susceptible to negative repercussions of conflict.

Amanda Weirup, Babson College

Melissa Manwaring, Babson College

Lakshmi Balachandra, Babson College


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