Special Issue Article

Conflict and Decision‐Making: Attributional and Emotional Influences

  • Kevin J. Hurt
  • Jennifer Welbourne


There is general consensus among conflict scholars that cognitive conflict's impact within the organization is functional, whereas affective conflict's impact is dysfunctional. Inconsistent findings in the literature suggest that additional factors impact these relationships. In this study, we integrate theories of conflict, affect, and attribution within the domain of decision‐making to gain a greater understanding of how and why organizational conflicts are at times positive, negative, or neutral. Specifically, we posit that the conclusions individuals reach as a result of their attributions, and their subsequent emotions and behavioral responses, play a significant role in determining conflict's effects. We apply theories of team‐level emotional convergence to propose how the individual emotional responses of team members may converge into a collective emotional response at the team level. Finally, we propose that the team‐level emotional responses initiated by the attribution process are significant moderators of the relationship between conflict type and decision outcomes.

Keywords: decision‐making, emotions, attributions, conflict

How to Cite:

Hurt, K. & Welbourne, J., (2018) “Conflict and Decision‐Making: Attributional and Emotional Influences”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 11(3), 225-251. doi: https://doi.org/10.34891/xe5d-d040

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Published on
26 Jul 2018
Peer Reviewed