Abstract

In entrepreneurial teams, conflicts are found to seriously determine group functioning and resulting outcomes (e.g., Jehn & Bendersky, 2003; Ensley & Pearson, 2005), yet the way conflicts work exactly is less clear. Combining Bandura’s (1997) social cognitive theory with research distinguishing task from relationship conflicts (Amason, 1996), we suggest different roles of these conflict types for team efficacy (a team’s ability to implement required actions) and psychological outcomes (e.g., satisfaction). We advance and support research suggesting that effects of conflicts differ across outcome categories (De Wit et al., 2011).

We test the following hypotheses: Task conflicts, relationship conflicts, and team efficacy affect team satisfaction (H1a-c). Due to its task-relatedness, task conflicts have a stronger relationship with team efficacy than have relationship conflicts; while the effect of task conflicts on team satisfaction is mediated by team efficacy, the effect of relationship conflicts is not (H2a-c). To illustrate the relevance of conflicts for the bigger picture of the personality – team outcome relationships, we exemplarily consider a team’s composition of leadership orientation and hypothesize that its effects on team satisfaction is mediated by conflicts (H3).

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