Conflict in Diverse Teams: The Problem of Representational Gaps And the Solution of Cognitive and Affective Integration
journal contributionposted on 2003-11-01, 00:00 authored by Matthew A. Cronin, Laurie WeingartLaurie Weingart
Diversity in teams, while potentially beneficial, increases the likelihood that individual team members will define the team’s task differently, leading to gaps in their perceptions of what is important for team task execution. These representational gaps are likely to create conflict as teammates try to solve what are essentially incompatible problems. We articulate how these representational gaps affect team functioning and how cognitive and affective integration can mitigate the potentially negative effect of representational gaps.