What's the difference? Insider perspectives on the importance of interpersonal differences

A. Oosterhof, Aad Oosterhof, Gerben S. van der Vegt, Evert van de Vliert, Karin Sanders, Henk A.L. Kiers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study presents a new approach to examine how team members experience interpersonal differences. This approach offers a way to examine how team members experience their differences with specific other individuals, and how these differences are related to the amount of perceived conflict with these individuals in an organizational context. Data from a non-profit governmental institution in The Netherlands were analysed, including 80 participants from 15 diverse teams. Five types of differences were salient to the individuals in this sample: differences related to extraversion; work pose; approach to work; task-related expertise; and seniority. Furthermore, individuals tend to contrast positive and negative evaluations of differences related to extraversion and approaches to work, but to conceptualize positive and negative evaluations of task-related expertise, seniority, and work pose as more mutually independent phenomena. Moreover, we found that differences related to task-related expertise were negatively related to both task and relationship conflict. In contrast, differences related to extraversion were positively related to both task and relationship conflict. Finally, the approach-to-work cluster was positively related to only task conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-637
JournalJournal of occupational and organizational psychology
Volume82
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • IR-104292
  • METIS-257461

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