Strategies for managing interorganizational conflict: A laboratory paradigm, Journal of Applied Psychology
A laboratory paradigm was developed for examining interorganizational conflict and its management. Sixty-two three-person groups (drawn randomly from 282 business administration students) participated two groups at a time. One group acted as manufacturer and the other as wholesaler, their goal being agreement on the price and quantity of microscalpels. Conflict was induced by presenting a profit-loss matrix, a bogus distribution of past groups' earnings, and contrived information on complementary skills of group members. Semantic differential responses differed significantly (F(44, 198) = 1.46, p < .05) for conflict-management (superordinate goal, exchange of persons) and no-conflict- management groups, indicating lessening conflict in the former groups. There were no specific differences on in-group/out-group items. Expressive-Mal-integrative Behavior Indexes, derived from Bales's Interaction Process Analysis, provided further support for the exchange-of-persons strategy.