Although increasingly relied upon, teams can be ineffective and frustrating. Recent research suggests that conflict management contributes to team effectiveness but the value of conflict has not been considered to apply to China and other collectivist societies. However, collectivist values can make developing justice particularly important. This study investigates how conflict management can contribute to team effectiveness by developing justice. Structural equation analysis of data provided by 126 MBA student respondents involved in group projects in China supports the model that a cooperative approach to conflict leads to distributive, procedural, and interactive forms of justice which in turn promote team effectiveness. In contrast, an avoiding approach was found to predict injustice and team ineffectiveness. Unexpectedly, a competitive approach was not as consistently related to injustice as avoiding conflict. Findings were interpreted as suggesting that orienting members to manage conflict cooperatively can strengthen justice and effectiveness in teams in China.
- Team effectiveness