Team Conflict contributing to Entrepreneurial Learning: understanding conflict as positive within an Effectual Problem Space

The impact of team conflict seems to depend upon context. Entrepreneurship literature suggests that learning from diverse perspectives in teams can contribute to entrepreneurial action (Harper 2008; West III, 2007; Williams-Middleton, 2010), while management literature has shown that conflict in teams often negatively affects creativity (Jehn et al., 2010). Recent research streams suggest that entrepreneurial learning might be better understood by applying an effectual logic perspective, instead of causal logic (Sarasvathy and Venkataraman, 2011). This causes us to question whether conflict is experienced similarly in entrepreneurial versus managerial teams. We suggest negative consequences of team conflict found in management literature may be due to the causal logic underlying this literature, and thus not readily applicable to entrepreneurial learning. Through exploring relationships between team work, team conflict, and effectuation, we propose that positive learning outcomes can emerge from experience of team conflict within an effectual and uncertain problem space.

Journal or Publication:
International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal
C Butler
K Middleton
Year Published
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