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Instigating, Engaging in, and Managing Group Conflict

Instigating, Engaging in, and Managing Group Conflict: A Review of Literature Addressing the Critical Role of the Leader in Group Conflict 

by Emma Y. Zhao, Sherry M. B. Thatcher and Karen A. Jehn 

We present an integrative review and synthesis of the literature on the ways leaders become involved in conflict. Studies have investigated the effect of leaders on some aspect of group conflict but there is no compilation of research that gives us a clear understanding of when, why, and how leaders influence group conflict. An integrative review and synthesis of this work will provide the field with insight into the myriad of ways that leaders regulate, manage, and even promote group conflict, something that is currently missing from the group conflict literature. Specifically, our multi-disciplinary review incorporates the role of leaders in instigating, engaging in, and managing group conflict. Crafting our review around the ways that conflict is manifested in groups lends itself to exploring the multitude of ways that leaders impact conflict, such as through intentional/unintentional conflict instigation, engagement in conflict as strategic observers, or conflict management via conflict resolution. The manner in which we organize our review stimulates both theoretical and methodological advancements around leaders’ involvement in group conflict and conflict management. 

Published Online:20 Sep 2018

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