Emotion regulation and conflict transformation in multi-team systems

P.L. Curseu, M.T.H. Meeus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to test the moderating role of emotion regulation in the transformation of both task and process conflict into relationship conflict.
A field study of multi-teams systems, in which (94) respondents are engaged in interpersonal and inter-team interactions, was conducted to test the effects of the interaction of emotion regulation and task and process conflict on the emergence of relationship conflict in 23 multi-team client/supplier systems.
The findings show that when collective emotion regulation strategies are effective, process conflict is less likely to transform into relationship conflict. An emerging finding of this study shows that process conflict mediates the interaction between task conflict and emotion regulation on relationship conflict in multi-team systems.
Research limitations/implications
This study uses a relatively small number of projects and participants: further studies with larger samples are recommended; in addition, longitudinal studies would allow for further testing the effect of team longevity in the emergence of effective emotion regulation strategies.ct transforming into relationship conflicts.
Practical implications
The findings imply that managers of multi-team systems should actively try to stimulate their teams to develop effective emotion regulation strategies as effective emotion regulation mechanisms minimize the risk of process conflict transforming into relationship conflicts.
The paper looks at a real-world (as opposed to lab-situation) environment; it addresses a contingency model of intra-group conflict and tests the transformation of task and process conflicts into relationship conflict taking into account the moderating effect of emotion regulation.
Keywords: Relationship conflict, Conflict transformation, Multi-team-system, Process conflict, Task conflict
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-188
JournalThe International Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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