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Making the Team: A Guide for Managers by Leigh L. Thompson

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Types of Conflict

All conflict is not created equal. Many types of conflict can threaten teamwork. Before a manager launches into conflict management mode, it is important to accurately diagnose the type of conflict that plagues the team. There are two basic types.

Emotional conflict is personal, defensive, and resentful. Also known as A-type conflict or affective conflict (Guetzkow & Gyr, 1954), it is rooted in anger, personal friction, personality clashes, ego, and tension.

Cognitive conflict is largely depersonalized; also known as C-type conflict, it consists of argumentation about the merits of ideas, plans, and projects. Cognitive conflict is often effective in stimulating creativity because it forces people to rethink problems and arrive ...

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