Title: Conflict perceptions in top management teams: a cross-cultural study

Authors: Dietmar Sternad; Alexander Schwarz-Musch

Addresses: School of Management, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Europastrasse 4, A-9524 Villach, Austria ' School of Management, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Europastrasse 4, A-9524 Villach, Austria

Abstract: In this quantitative empirical study, we investigate whether cultural differences as a contextual factor have a potential influence on conflict behaviour in top management teams (TMTs). Specifically, we explore the role that the procedural justice theory concept of voice plays for cognitive and affective conflict perceptions of Austrian and Slovenian managers during a strategic decision-making process following an economic crisis. The results of the study suggest that the extent to which TMT members perceive to have a lack of voice in strategic decision-making processes can affect perceived levels of team conflict. Lower conflict levels were reported when (a) decisions were made in groups rather than by one individual decider; (b) there was less informal behaviour during the decision-making process; and (c) when members were following the organisation's rather than their individual interests. No significant cross-cultural variations could be determined for these tendencies.

Keywords: conflict perception; top management teams; TMTs; cross-cultural study; economic crisis; national culture; Austria; Slovenia; cultural differences; culture; conflict behaviour; procedural justice theory; cognitive perceptions; affective perceptions; strategic decisions; decision making; team conflict.

DOI: 10.1504/EJCCM.2014.063381

European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management, 2014 Vol.3 No.1, pp.68 - 92

Available online: 14 Jul 2014 *

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