Cooperative goals and team agreeableness composition for constructive controversy in China

Zhen WANG, Yifeng, Nancy CHEN, Dean TJOSVOLD, Kan SHI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Studies have shown that constructive controversy, which is the open-minded discussion of diverse views, contributes to team effectiveness. However, there are few studies on the conditions that facilitate constructive controversy. This study explores the antecedents of constructive controversy from both team interdependence (cooperative goals) and team personality composition perspectives. Sixty customer service teams from a call center of a large mobile communication service provider in China participated in the study. Results further document that cooperative goals predict to constructive controversy. Agreeableness diversity was also found to be an antecedent of constructive controversy, and this effect was moderated by team agreeableness level: The higher the team average agreeableness, the stronger the positive association between agreeableness diversity and constructive controversy. Results were interpreted as suggesting that both cooperative goals and team agreeableness composition can develop constructive controversy in work teams in China and possibly in other cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


  • Constructive controversy
  • Cooperative goals
  • Team agreeableness composition


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