How Management Teams Can Have a Good Fight
This article includes a one-page preview that quickly summarizes the key ideas and provides an overview of how the concepts work in practice along with suggestions for further reading. Top level managers know that conflict over issues is natural and even necessary. Management teams that challenge one another's thinking develop a more complete understanding of their choices, create a richer range of options, and make better decisions. But the challenge--familiar to anyone who has ever been part of a management team--is to keep constructive conflict over issues from degenerating into interpersonal conflict. From their research on the interplay of conflict, politics, and speed in the decision-making process of management teams, the authors have distilled a set of tactics characteristic of high-performing teams. These tactics work because they keep conflict focused on issues; foster collaborative, rather than competitive, relations among team members; and create a sense of fairness in the decision-making process.