The Pursuit of Information Sharing: Expressing Task Conflicts as Debates vs. Disagreements Increases Perceived Receptivity to Dissenting Opinions in Groups
Group members often over-weigh shared information and under-value unique information during discussions to the detriment of decision quality. Fortunately, perceiving other group members as receptive to dissenting opinions may enhance information sharing. We distinguish between two ways of expressing opinion-differences about tasks-debates and disagreements-that we predict are perceived by others as conveying varying degrees of receptivity to dissenting opinions. In four studies with mixed methods and a causal chain design, we manipulate and measure group members' (the "senders") expressions of debates and disagreements, others' (the "receivers") perceptions of the senders' receptivity to dissenting opinions, and receivers' information sharing intentions and behavior. We demonstrate that task conflicts that are expressed as debates rather than as disagreements are associated with greater information sharing because receivers perceive senders to be more receptive to dissenting opinions. We, thus, offer a novel approach to increasing information utilization during group decision making and help resolve the paradoxical effects of opinion differences on group performance.
task conflict, debate, disagreement, perceived receptivity to dissenting opinions, information sharing, group performance
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences)
TSAI, Ming-Hong, & BENDERSKY, Corinne.(2016). The Pursuit of Information Sharing: Expressing Task Conflicts as Debates vs. Disagreements Increases Perceived Receptivity to Dissenting Opinions in Groups. Organization Science, 27(1), 141-156.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1979