Constructive controversy for innovation in business : theory, research, and application

Dean William TJOSVOLD, Mo Lin, Moureen TANG, Man Kei, Paulina WAN

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Construcive Controversy is the open-minded discussion of opposing views for mutual benefit. It has been demonstrated to be a practical, powerful approach to understand the conditions and dynamics of how opposing ideas can strengthen decision-making and contribute to organizations and people. Research shows that Constructive Controversy promotes innovation in such key areas as marketing, finance, and leadership; evidence also documents that it helps manage emotional and interests conflicts and that it applies in collectivist as well as individualistic cultures. Cooperative goals, where team members believe that their goal attainment is positively related to other members’ goal attainment, are an important foundation for Constructive Controversy. Studies have documented that although it is challenging to discuss controversies openly and constructively, together team members can understand and practice its major steps to develop and express positions, question and understand opposing positions, integrate and create solutions, and reach agreement as well as strengthen their cooperative goals. Results have important practical implications for how managers and employees can develop Constructive Controversy to stimulate innovation and organizational effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKonstruktive Kontroverse in Organisationen : Konflikte bearbeiten, Entscheidungen treffen, Innovationen fördern
PublisherSpringer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783658002626
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2015


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