Perceptions of conflict strategies and communication competence in task-oriented dyads

Michael A. Gross, Laura Guerrero, Janet Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Individuals in temporary task-oriented dyads or groups must manage conflict competently if they hope to be successful in reaching their goals. Thus far, however, research on the associations between conflict styles and communication competence has focused on acquainted dyads, such as relational partners and coworkers, rather than unacquainted dyads assigned to work on tasks. The present study tests the applicability of the competence model of interpersonal conflict to temporary task-oriented dyads. Dyads (N= 100) who had little or no relational history completed a simulated decision-making task that involved choosing two out of four employees to lay off in response to a company's need to downsize. Results indicate people generally perceived the solution-oriented strategy as appropriate and effective. Although people perceived their partners' use of the controlling strategy to be inappropriate, people rated themselves as more effective when they used the controlling strategy. People evaluated nonconfrontational strategies as particularly incompetent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-270
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Communication competence
  • Conflict
  • Conflict strategies
  • Task-oriented dyads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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