Intentions for cooperative conflict resolution in groups: An application of the theory of planned behavior

Gabriela Dodoiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was twofold: first, to test to what extent a cooperative conflict management style can be related to attitudes, norms and perceived volitional control. Second, because conflict resolution is an activity that unfolds at the team level, the validity of the theoretical model was tested at the team level of analysis. The aim was to extend the understanding we have on antecedents of conflict management styles and to build a bridge between two different levels of analysis.
This was done by building on the theory of planned behavior, which, to the authors’ knowledge, has neither been related to organizational behaviors nor to small group dynamics. A questionnaire was distributed to subjects that have experienced working together in teams. In total, 131 team members (grouped in 33 teams) provided answers on the key concepts of the model.
First, perceived norms and high volitional control relate to individuals’ intentions to engage in cooperative conflict management activities, with intentions not mediating to role of norms on behavior. Second, at the team level, a high level of perceived norms relates to a higher occurrence of a cooperative resolution style. Additionally, high diversity on the attitudes over the value of this style negatively impacts its occurrence.
Research limitations/implications
This study offers a cross-sectional image of an important process in the team. Additionally, relying on the subjects’ self-reports represents a limitation in the current study, considering the goal of the model is to predict behavior. Future research could address this, and additionally, consider team characteristics or individual traits that could add to the model of planned behavior.
This paper adds to the literature as an attempt the bridge individual level constructs team-level processes. Moreover, it provides evidence for potential antecedents of conflict management styles. This latter contribution can be relevant for practitioners as well, that could invest in the institutionalization of favored resolution style to benefit from it.
Keywords: Teams, Social norms, Cooperative conflict resolution
Original languageEnglish
Article number259-273
JournalTeam Performance Management
Issue number5/6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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