Faultlines, Fairness, and Fighting

 “Faultlines, Fairness, and Fighting: A Justice Perspective on Conflict in Diverse Groups,”  by Chester S. Spell, Rutgers University, Katerina Bezrukova, Santa Clara University, Jarrod Haar, University of Waikato, and Christopher Spell, Rutgers University, was published in the June 2011 issue of Small Group Research.

Professor Bezrukova kindly shared some background information about the article.

Who is the target audience for this article?

Scholars interested in how group composition affects conflict as well as managers concerned with managing task conflict.

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

One of us experienced an organization transformed by group responses to felt in justices leading to role and task conflict.

Were there findings that were surprising to you?

The finding that faultline groups had weaker relationships between injustice and conflict may seem counterintuitive.

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

We hope scholars and practitioners will be inspired to more closely examine the implications of group faultlines for conflict management.

How does this study fit into your body of work/line of research?

We each have an ongoing interest in group faultlines and diversity, as well as the relationship between group composition and employee reactions to injustice.

How did your paper change during the review process?

We were able to more fully explain the moderating role of faultlines and match our measures with the theory with the help of the reviewers and editor.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could go back and do this study again?

As always, collect more data! Specifically, we would have liked to have been able to collect longitudinal data to examine changes over time in the relationships.

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