Antecedents of Relationship Conflict in Cross-Functional Project Teams

Relationship conflict is a pervasive phenomenon in cross-functional project teams. Although previous studies have demonstrated the dysfunctional effect of relationship conflict, the direct drivers of relationship conflict in cross-functional project teams remain unclear. To address this gap, a literature review and an advisory group discussion were performed to identify the antecedents of the relationship conflict framework. Afterward, a structural equation model (SEM) was used to confirm the influence of such antecedents on relationship conflict. Intrapersonal diversity, uncertain project task, organizational culture diversity, and inappropriate behavior positively influence relationship conflict. These findings help researchers better understand the drivers of relationship conflict as well as open a gateway for practitioners to control and manage relationship conflict for a successful cross-functional project.
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