واکنش تیم ها به تضاد و کار تیم و نتایج اجتماعی : نقش مدیریت تحول گرا و رهبری عاطفی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4431||2010||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Management Journal, Volume 28, Issue 3, June 2010, Pages 220–235
This research examines the impact of various leadership behaviours on outcomes in 97 teams. In particular, the research applied the frameworks used from studies of transformational leadership and emotional leadership to examine the impact of specific features of team leader style in determining team performance, as well as influencing social outcomes for team members. Leader behaviours that involved higher levels of emotional management were strongly related to improved levels of task performance. Results also revealed that higher levels of inspiration and communication of vision by leaders were directly associated with lower levels of bullying by team members. The findings were discussed in terms of the important role that leaders need to play in managing conflict, emotions and their consequences for team performance.
In recent decades, organizations have used teams as the basic unit of structure (Devine et al., 1999) to achieve increased organizational performance (Orlitzky and Benjamin, 2003), effectiveness (Kang et al., 2006) and creativity (Pirola-Merlo and Mann, 2004). Additionally, teamwork is employed to enhance team’s social outcomes such as improving the quality of working life for members. However, given difficult team interactions and processes (e.g. conflict), teamwork may be inversely linked with task and social outcomes (Allen and Hecht, 2004) and team leaders are expected to manage such conflict effectively. In fact, prior research indicates that twenty percent of a manager’s time is devoted to managing conflict (Thomas and Schmidt, 1976). Yet, studies that examine the impact of leadership (i.e. transformational leadership) in conflict at the team level are limited (Dionne et al., 2004). In the present research, we fill this void by investigating the role of transformational and emotional leadership on the relationship between conflict (and team reactions to conflict) and teams’ task and social outcomes. Researchers define teams variously (see Hackman and Oldham, 1976 and Smith et al., 1994). In the current research, we define teams as a set of independent parties usually small in number who recognize themselves as a team, have some degree of shared accountability (see also Cohen and Bailey, 1997) and who are collectively in charge of the achievement of one or several tasks as defined by the organization (Gladstein, 1984). Our research is focused on traditional teams where to a large extent, team members’ activities are directed by the leader (De Souza and Klein, 1995). Although research indicates that integrating individuals in team work is linked with increased innovation and employee satisfaction (Katzenbach and Smith, 2005), there is an overwhelming evidence to suggest that team work does not always bring success to organizations (Allen and Hecht, 2004, Rentsch et al., 1994 and Salas et al., 1995). For instance, prior research suggests that the need for team members to establish interdependency around achieving the task (Van der Vegt and Van de Vliert, 2002), often leads to team dynamics that have the potential to produce conflict (Jehn, 1997). Extant conflict research suggests that conflict may be a double–edged sword producing desirable outcomes such as innovation (Jehn, 1997), but also undesirable social outcomes such as animosity (Jehn, 1995). Furthermore, scholars report that conflict is beneficial for organizations and can assist in stimulating organizational performance (Tjosvold, 1991 and Jehn, 1994). Nevertheless, the results of a meta- analysis conducted by De Dreu and Weingart (2003) suggest that conflict has a damaging impact on team outcomes. Based on the above, we propose that two major reasons may be accountable for the mixed findings about the relationship between conflict and team outcomes. First, few studies have examined the separate impact of team members’ reactions to conflict. Second, we argue that the lack of attention to the role of some aspects of team leadership behaviours might further explain the consistent mixed outcomes for conflict in teams. Although, some studies have examined the impact of leaders’ behaviours and emotions on team outcomes, fewer studies have investigated the specific impact of leader behaviours (e.g. transformational and emotional) on team outcomes in the presence of conflict. Consequently, this current study focuses not only on team members’ reactions to conflict and on their impacts on team outcomes, but also on the moderating role of transformational and emotional leaders’ behavioural style upon team members’ reactions to conflict and team outcomes. Our study makes several contributions. First, the current study departs from the tradition of studying conflict and reactions to conflict in a composite form (see Jehn, 1995). Specifically, we build on the work of Jehn, 1995, Jehn, 1997, Pelled, 1996 and Jehn and Chatman, 2000 to test the impact of team members’ reactions to conflict on various team outcomes. Secondly, we focus on teams’ social outcome such as bullying (Einarsen, 1999) that has the potential to increase stress and reduce team members’ well-being (Sheehan, 1999). Thirdly, given the work of George, 2000, Druskat and Wolff, 2001 and McColl-Kennedy and Anderson, 2002, we extend the leadership literature by exploring more fully how transformational and emotional styles of leadership moderate the relationship between team members’ reactions to conflict and teams’ outcomes. To achieve this, we developed and tested a model that specifies links between team members’ reactions to conflict, transformational and emotional leadership behaviours and teams’ task and social outcomes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The main purpose of this paper was to examine the moderating impacts of various transformational and emotional leadership behaviours on conflict and emotions on teams’ task and social outcomes. According to Pescosolido (2002), research in the area of emergent (emotional) leadership should “explore the role of leadership within an “interacting group” (Yukl, 1999a and Yukl, 1999b) and not just as part of a dyadic relationship involving one leader and one follower” (p. 596). This study responds to this call by testing some aspects of emotional leadership in teams. In particular, four sets of hypotheses were predicted based on the links depicted on our model. Our discussion of result is organized around these hypotheses. Reactions to conflict and team outcomes Overall, there was a general support for the first set of hypotheses. Low levels of destructive reactions to conflict were associated with increased levels of team task performance (H1b) while higher levels of destructive reactions were linked with increased bullying (H1d). These findings indicate that team members’ reactions to conflict have significant impact on team outcomes and further corroborate previous research in this area (see Felstiner et al., 1981, Sheppard et al., 1992 and Sitkin and Bies, 1993). Although previous research showed a negative relationship between intragroup conflict and group outcomes (Jehn, 1997, Jehn et al., 1999 and Tjosvold, 1998), what is less understood is the impact of employees’ reactions to conflict on group outcomes. The findings from the current research did not only support prior research but further revealed that reactions to conflict are associated with task performance and bullying. These findings extend the conflict literature by suggesting that reactions to conflict are important predictors of teams’ task and social outcomes. Our findings that destructive reactions to conflict, rather than positive reactions to conflict, have significant effects on team outcomes (task, social) may have a range of possible explanations. For instance, there is a possibility that the experience of conflict that elicits a productive reaction is not as salient as those that elicit destructive reactions to conflict in the teams that we studied. Also based on the field theory (Lewin, 1943), more distal elements impact upon individual reactions if features of such elements are salient. Furthermore, unpleasant emotions usually lead to greater emotional contagion (Barsade, 2002). Additionally, research shows that people respond differently to positive and negative stimuli and negative events tend to elicit stronger emotions than positive events (Cacioppo et al., 1997). In the same vein, studies suggests that people tend to put more weight on negative information where subjects perceive negative words or personal attributes as more negative than they perceive equally matched positive messages as being positive (Crandall, 1975). Previous research reports similar outcomes for negative emotions. For example, when people try to determine their affective state, cues about negative rather than positive emotions have been found to be more relevant to them (Malasch, 1979). Altogether, destructive reactions to conflict, rather than positive reactions to conflict, appear to be more salient to team members and leaders while the perception of these destructive reactions to conflict was more successful in predicting outcomes in teams. Another explanation for the strength of these destructive reactions to conflict emerges from attribution theory (Weiner, 1986). When individuals perceive an actor to be responsible for a harmful outcome, they regard the actor as failing to meet performance expectations, and they are likely to ascribe blame (Weiner, 1986). Past research in leader attribution suggests that leaders are far more likely to be identified as the cause of team failures than the team as a collective (Naquin and Tynan, 2003). Team literature also indicates that team members view their leader’s behaviours in the early stages of team development as the main cause of what transpires in the team (Hackman and Wageman, 2005). Moreover, the links between team failures and negative attributions of leaders might also explain why, in the present study, leader behaviours emerged as a contributor only with negative experiences and consequent to destructive reactions to conflict and not with productive reactions to conflict. Reaction to conflict, leader transformational behaviours and team performance Previous research has linked transformational leadership with positive aspects of team performance (Dionne et al., 2004). For example, Kahai et al. (2000) found that transformational leaders are likely to increase group performance. Consistent with these findings, our results show that the teams that reported higher levels of destructive reactions to conflict, but had leaders with high levels of inspiration and communication of vision, reported increased levels of team task performance (H2b). These findings are generally consistent with previous findings in this area. For example, Dionne and colleagues (2004) argue that transformational leadership may be aligned to critical team work processes to develop team communication and conflict management skills that can promote improved groups’ performance. Our findings confirm this proposition. Our findings are also consistent with empirical results in this area. For example, Keller (1992) showed that transformational leadership successfully predicted higher project quality and budget/schedule performance of research and development project groups. Kotlyar and Karakowsky (2007) propose that transformational leadership behaviour may be a double edged sword that increases “the potential to unwittingly ignite disproportionately high levels of affective team conflict”(pg 38). Our findings are contrary to this proposition as they have shown that transformational leaders have a significant positive impact on team outcomes. Our results are also consistent with findings from the study by Pirola-Merlo and his associates (2002). In their study, Pirola-Merlo and his colleagues (2002), report that effective team leaders with more transformational styles (e.g. inspiration and vision) were better at managing negative events that affected the team (see also Rafferty and Griffin, 2004). Our results confirm their findings. Reaction to conflict, leader emotions management behaviours and bullying The present study also showed that teams that experienced higher levels of destructive reactions to conflict and with team leaders that had higher levels of emotions management behaviours, were more prone to report increased levels of bullying (H3d). This finding demonstrates the importance of studying team members’ reactions to conflict especially in the management of bullying in work teams. From the work of Barron, 1998 and Zapf, 1999, we know that bullying is highly connected with conflict. Also, given that our results show that higher levels of destructive reactions to conflict are linked with increased bullying; leaders need to assist team members in fostering a productive reaction to conflict but with a caution. The fact that teams with high levels of destructive reactions to conflict and with leaders with higher levels of emotions management were linked with increased bullying suggests that there is a possibility that team members may have negative perceptions of their leaders’ emotions management behaviours. This may also explain why earlier studies in the area of bullying suggest that the majority of the employees perceived their supervisors as bullies (Sheehan, 1999). Over all, leaders with high emotions management behaviours need to be cautious so their behaviours do not come across as negative. This has implications for a thorough training in emotions management skills. Our study is one of the few empirical efforts to have examined the relationships between leadership transformational and emotional behaviours, conflict, and teams’ task and social outcomes. The insights gained from our study are important, but the study has a number of limitations. First, our sample was drawn from the public sector and may not be representative of most organizations. However, we do believe that our sample is representative of workgroups in the public sector organizations. In future, researchers should strive for a broader sample especially from the private sector. Secondly, our main focus was on gathering data from work teams generally and we have not controlled for gender, personality and organizational effects in the study. Future research should explore the impact of gender, personality and organizational effects on leadership behaviours that are geared towards managing conflict and emotions to promote effective task and social outcomes in teams. Finally, we aggregated individual scores to the group level in analysing data for current research. Consequently, characteristics at the lower levels might have been lost. More research is needed to extricate the full effect of leaders’ transformational and emotional behaviours on outcomes in teams. In particular, future research should now examine the multilevel effects of the variables hypothesised in the current study. In practice, Kotlyar and Karakowsky (2006) propose that different leadership styles can have different effects on the degree and the nature of conflict generated in work teams. Overall, our findings support this proposition for transformational and emotional leadership. Specifically, our results imply that leaders’ competency in emotions management behaviours and other transformational behaviours such as creating a vision are important for managing and leading teams. For example, leaders that are more transformational are more likely to promote a more supportive team climate that gives team members a sense of emotional security and a greater basis for more coordinated efforts (Ashforth and Humphrey, 1995). In addition, managers and team leaders with better developed emotions management skills are possibly more able to diffuse destructive reactions to conflict and to reduce bullying behaviours in teams. The above suggests the need to train team leaders in emotions management skills while developing their competency in transformational behaviours. In conclusion, the present research focused on employees’ reactions to conflict in teams and we put forward leadership as a moderator of the link between team members’ reactions to conflict and team outcomes of performance and bullying. We argue that the team leader serves as a bridge that connects team members in meaningful ways to reaching team goals (see Mannix and Neale, 2005). The findings from the present study support the need to continue to review our broader interpretation of transformational styles of leadership and to give greater recognition to the significant role that leaders have in the management of emotions as well as the emotional consequences for teams.