Open-minded discussion in organizations : A meta-analytic evaluation of cooperation and competition theory

Dean TJOSVOLD*, Xin ZHANG, Wen-Dong LI, Alfred Shiu-ho WONG, Kaili YU

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the extensive interest in open-minded discussion in organizations, inconsistencies regarding its antecedents and consequences remain. Drawing upon cooperation and competition theory, we propose a theoretical framework of open-minded discussion. On the basis of 114 primary studies (128 independent samples), a meta-analytic investigation showed that cooperative goal interdependence was positively associated with open-minded discussion, which in turn was positively related to desirable work outcomes, including performance, creativity, relationship quality, LMX, and commitment, whereas competitive and independent goal interdependence were negatively related to open-minded discussion and desirable outcomes. We also explored three moderators: culture (i.e., East Asian cultures and North American cultures), level of analysis (i.e., incident, individual, and team level), and research area (i.e., goal interdependence and conflict management). Results support the theorizing that cooperative goal interdependence develops mutual benefit motivation and integrative conflict management that in turn lead to open-mindedness where collaborators combine their best ideas that result in high quality contributions to organizations. Through the meta-analysis, we offer a more stringent test of cooperation and competition theory and expand the research on open-minded discussion in organizations across various contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-921
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Issue number5
Early online date22 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cooperation and competition theory
  • Culture
  • Goal interdependence
  • Meta-analysis
  • Open-minded discussion


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