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2019 International Association for Conflict Management Conference

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You don’t know me: Status incongruence hurts teams

Status is traditionally viewed as emerging quickly and consensually among team members. Recent work has questioned this assumption based on the premise that people subjectively interpret status through cues that signal competence and worth. We build on this work by using theories of team heterogeneity and configurational emergence to suggest that status incongruence is common in teams and negatively impacts team processes and performance. To test this, we use a novel alignment approach empirically maintaining teams as sets of members who simultaneously assess their teammates’ status and whose status is being assessed by their teammates. Results of one field study involving military cadet teams and one laboratory simulation find that status incongruence indeed hurts team processes and performance. Our results are discussed in terms of the roles subjective status perceptions and status incongruence play in team functioning and how viewing teams as subjective systems can lend insight into team processes.

Kyle Emich
University of Delaware
United States

Jamie Perry
Cornell University
United States

 


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