Skip to main content
  • Research Article
  • Published:

Impact of team conflict on team decision quality and satisfaction: An empirical research in China


Conflict is a pivotal variable influencing team decision performance. This article reviewed literature on intragroup conflict and studied how different types of conflicts affect perceived team decision quality and satisfaction. We conducted a survey on 156 managers and found that the task-relationship conflict dimensions are also valid in the Chinese context. We also found that both task conflict and relationship conflict are negatively related to team members’ decision satisfaction. Relationship conflict acts as a mediator between task conflict and decision satisfaction.


冲突是影响团队决策绩效的重要变量。 在总结近年来国内外团队冲突研究成果的基础上, 研究中国文化背景下的不同类型冲突对团队决策质量认知和满意度的影响。 通过对156名企业맜理人员的问卷调查, 发现中国企业맜理人员对团队内冲突同样可以区分为关系冲突和任务冲突两个维度, 两种冲突都对决策满意度有负面影响, 其中关系冲突对于任务冲突和决策满意度有中介作用。


  • Amason A C(1996). Distinguishing the effects of functional and dysfunctional conflict on strategic decision making. Academy of Management Journal, 39(1): 123–148

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Amason A C, Harry J S(1997). The effects of top management team size and interaction norms on cognitive and affective conflict. Journal of Management, 23(4): 495–516

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baron R A(1991). Positive effects of conflict: A cognitive perspective. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 4(1): 25–36

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baron R M, Kenny D A(1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6): 1173–1182

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boulding K(1963). Conflict and defense. New York: Harper & Row

  • Brehmer B(1976). Social judgment theory and the analysis of interpersonal conflict. Psychological Bulletin, 83: 985–1003

    Google Scholar 

  • Chen X P(2005). Cross-culture management. Beijing: Tsinghua University Press (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  • De Dreu C K W, Weingart L R(2003). Task versus relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(4): 741–749

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Janssen O, Van De Vliert E, Veenstra C(1999). How task and person conflict shape the role of positive interdependence in management teams. Journal of Management, 25(2): 117–141

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jehn K A(1995). A multimethod examination of the benefits and detriments of intragroup conflict. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(2): 256–282

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jehn K A, Mannix E A(2001). The dynamic nature of conflict: A longitudinal study of intragroup conflict and group performance. Academy of Management Journal, 44(2): 238–251

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kuhn T, Poole S(2000). Do conflict management styles affect group decision making? Evidence from a longitudinal field study. Human Communication Research, 26(4): 558–590

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McGrath J E(1984). Groups: Interaction and performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

    Google Scholar 

  • Northhouse P(2002). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Jiangsu Educational Press(in Chinese)

  • Pearson A W, Ensley M D, Amason A C(2002). An assessment and refinement of Jehn’s intragroup conflict scale. International Journal of Conflict Management, 13(2): 110–126

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pondy L(1967). Organizational conflict: Concepts and models. Administrative Science Quarterly, 12: 296–320

    Google Scholar 

  • Simons T L, Peterson R S(2000). Task conflict and relationship conflict in top management teams: The pivotal role of intragroup trust. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(1): 102–111

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tjosvold D, Hu J C, Chen Y F(2005). Conflict management: learn how to work together. Shanghai: Shanghai Fareast Press(in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams K Y, O’reilly C A(1998). Demography and diversity in organizations: A review of 40 years of research. Research in organizational behavior, 20: 77–140

    Google Scholar 

  • Yukl G(1994). Leadership in organizations(3ed). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lang Chungang.

Additional information


Translated from Guanli pinglun 管理评论 (Management Review), 2007, 19(7): 10–15

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lang, C., Xi, Y. & Guo, S. Impact of team conflict on team decision quality and satisfaction: An empirical research in China. Front. Bus. Res. China 2, 1–14 (2008).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: