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2019 International Association for Conflict Management Conference

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Do attributions matter when task conflict becomes personal? The relationship between team task conflict attributions, relationship conflicts and work-sense of coherence in agile software development teams

Keywords: attributions, conflict types, sense of coherence, well-being, team, multilevel

Abstract: Effects of conflicts types on well-being indicate that task conflict is only detrimental to well-being in the presence of relationship conflict. Task conflict is neither harmful nor conducive when relationship conflict is controlled. However, the two conflict types are normally correlated in teams and a number of studies show that task conflicts can spill over into relationship conflicts that negatively impact well-being. The co-existence of the two conflict types is explained by misattributions of task conflict as relationship conflict. Critically assessing current ideas may be experienced as a personal attack or as an indication of negative intention, such as asserting one's own interests. Such misattributions trigger negative emotions like anger and may induce escalating conflict spirals that result in relationship conflicts. The purpose of this article is to investigate groups’ misattributions of task conflicts as relation-ship conflicts and their cross-level impacts on individuals’ work-sense of coherence (Work-SoC).

Ariane Vetter, FHNW University of Applied Psychology

Albert Vollmer, FHNW University of Applied Psychology


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