University of Twente Student Theses


Task, process and relationship conflict : behavioral differences in Dutch and multicultural agile teams

Wächtler, L.W. (2020) Task, process and relationship conflict : behavioral differences in Dutch and multicultural agile teams.

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Abstract:In today’s globalized world, organizations increasingly rely on multicultural teams. However, some scholars suggested multicultural teams to likely exhibit more conflicts. Whether a conflict then brings benefits or harm is often found to depend on the management of the conflict situation. Therefore, this thesis aims to obtain a better understanding of behavioral differences between monocultural and multicultural teams during said conflict situations. Thematic, content and microethnographic analyses were conducted on video recordings of multiple meetings of various monocultural and multicultural Agile teams. The members’ behavior during task, process and relationship conflicts were then assessed according to the duration of the conflict, expressed emotionality, communication directness, and whether and how the conflicts were resolved. Findings show multicultural teams to experience more overall conflicts, proportionally more task-related and fewer process-related conflicts, and higher levels of emotionality, which were proportionally more negative and less positive than emotionality expressed in monocultural teams. Lastly, resolving conflicts without expression of a conclusion occurred more often in multicultural teams, and monocultural teams exhibited more clearly direct and clearly indirect confrontation styles. An additional analysis of the teams’ psychological safety and perceived meeting effectiveness indicated an important role of psychological safety, mediating between conflict occurrences and meeting effectiveness.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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