In literature review, the first part is to discuss about the intergroup conflicts. Next, will be the factors and consequences of the conflict. Previous research study on the effect of intergroup conflict has demonstrated the importance of perception of the intergroup conflict. In recent years, a new generation of research study has advanced the understanding of intergroup relations (Wrangham, 1999; Boesch & BoeschAchermann, 2000; Mitani, 2002).

Besides that, a recent meta-analysis provided marked evidence for the benefits of intergroup contact, especially when the contact situation maximizes most or all of its optimal conditions (Pettigrew & Tropp, 1998). More ever, nowadays there is no study that has systematically examined whether the intergroup conflict increases enforcement of cooperation (Fehr & Fischbacher 2003).

Intergroup conflict requires actively setting up the in-group interests against the outgroup interests (Tajfel & Turner, 1979). In the case of intergroup conflict, the presence of an out-group directly challenges the value of belonging to an in-group, in-group members experience a threat to the value of their group, prompting them to protect their social identity and defend the value of the group (Branscombe et al, 2003). Previous research findings also demonstrates that when in-group members are faced with a threat to their value, they will engage in more intergroup conflict and in-group favouritism in order to change the intergroup situation and thus maintain their positive social identities (Ouwerkerk et al, 2000; Scheepers et al, 1998).


The more extensive the negative contacts such as disagreements, fights, losing group efforts, unpleasant intergroup interaction from out-group, the more the in-group is likely to be perceived as a threat (Stephan, Boniecki, 1985). When two groups are perceived to be different, it may lead to feelings of threat (Stephan & Boniecki, 1985). For example, some view conflict as purely consisting of disagreements or opinion differences (Moore, 1998), some see it as interfering or obstructing behavior (Alper et al, 2000) and others view it as some combination of the above and a mixture of negative emotions like anxiety, jealousy, frustration and anger (Jehn, 1994; Bodtker & Jameson, 2001). At the same times, intergroup conflicts in intense to drawn out and costly to those involved.

Hellriege and Slocum (2007) stated that intergroup conflict within organizations can occur horizontally across groups, departments or divisions while vertically between different levels of the organization such as between top management and first-level employees. Horizontal conflicts often occur between manufacturing and marketing or internal auditors and the other business functions. Furthermore, Chuang, Church and Zikic (2004) also stated that conflict occurs when group members perceived discrepancies, incompatible wishes or desires among them. The early research study on conflict tends to view intergroup conflict as having detrimental effects on group or organizational functioning.


2.0 Consequences of Intergroup Conflict

When intergroup conflict occurs, individuals and managers must identify the causes of the conflict, examine the results of the conflict and manage the conflicts based on the information gathered (Belisle & Daniel, 1998). Most organizations would prefer to have different groups work well together because the alternative is unpleasant. However, there was a common question about what really happens within an organization when it is in conflict with other groups. CIPD's "Managing Conflict at Work" survey (October 2004: 1190 participants) suggests that dealing with conflict is taking up increasingly more time. One thing known very clearly is that conflict changes group member’s perceptions of each other (Roccas & Schwartz, 2001). As conflicts emerge among the groups, cooperative relationships are replaced by a winlose mentality in which victory becomes more important than solving the problem that may have caused the conflict in the first place (Hellriege & Slocum, 2007).

In a recent meta-analysis results, De Dreu & Weingart concluded that conflict could still have positive consequences under certain conditions such as when the groups trust each other and called for future research to identify those (Simons & Peterson, 2000). When intergroup conflict emerges, changes also occur in group members perception, one own group tends to look increasingly, perhaps unrealistically positive and weaknesses may be denied. The perception of other groups and their accomplishment are likely to grow increasingly negative and become distorted (Stephen M. Shortell & Arnold D. Kaluzny, 2004). The belief that conflict is negative consequences is agreed by March and Simon (1967), they defined conflict as a breakdown of the mechanism of decision making and consider as a malfunction of a system. Maltz and Kohli (2000) concluded that intergroup conflict can be negative consequences and “frustrate initiatives” in other groups.

2.1 Positive Consequences of Intergroup Conflict
Resolution of conflict can lead to improvement, enhance cohesiveness, motivation and innovative to change. People are energized to action, experience increased motivation. Conflict can reveal problems with organizational functioning (Litterer, 1966).

2.1.1 Improvement
Effective management of intergroup relations is essential to avoid dysfunctional conflict and improve organizational performance. Jose, Ines, Lourdes and Francisco (2005) concluded that intergroup conflict is related to the quality of ideas and innovation. It increases constructive debate, facilitates a more effective use of resources, and leads to better service provision. Group members respond positively to decision processes that are open to them, and that consider their needs and concerns. Besides that, Senge (1990) argued that intergroup conflict will lead to arguments about how best to complete tasks and attain objectives allegedly and facilitate individual and group learning, and lastly increase in improvement. Darling & Walker (2001) also said it can lead to change which leads to adaptation and adaptation can lead to survival and even prosperity. Minority dissent within organisations can be healthy to long-term performance.


2.1.2 Cohesiveness
When a group sees a threat from an outside group, they may pull together and become highly cohesive. It is not unusual for such group to develop friendships inside that far outlast their military service (Steve M. Jex, 2002). This “common enemy” effect also occurs in organizations enhance the members of the group band together when faces with an outside threat. Increased intergroup cooperation and cohesion through this may be detrimental to the group as a whole (Blake & Mouton, 1960; Bornstein & Ben-Yossef, 1994; Kinzel & Fisher, 1993; Stein, 1976; Tajfel, 1969). Tajfel (1969) has also posited that for a group to form and for cohesion to intensify some satisfaction must be provided by the group to each member’s social identity. It has been found that group’s cohesion increases rapidly during intergroup conflict problem-solving activities (Blake & Mouton, 1960; Bornstein & Ben-Yossef, 1994; Kinzel & Fisher, 1993; Stein, 1976).

2.1.3 Motivation and Innovative to Change
Intergroup conflicts tend to have a motivational value by driving or energizing a group to tackle a situation (Hogg & Van Knippenberg, 2003). To resolve an intergroup conflict, one group might explore different avenues or alternatives of action, which make them to be more knowledgeable. By intergroup conflict, it will motivate different group to do better and to work harder. Various talents and abilities come to the forefront in an intergroup conflict situation. In addition, Litterer (1966) argued that healthy conflict will lead to innovative and change. He further argued that the conflict not only lead to motivation and innovative to change but will also make the change more acceptable and even desirable. According to Litterer (1966), the innovative in change can be done because intergroup conflict energizes people to


activity, sometimes just to reduce the conflict and its concurrent displeasure, at other time conflict give a zest to certain activities.

2.2 Negative Consequences of Intergroup Conflict
Under high levels of intergroup conflict, groups develop attitudes toward each other that are characterized by distrust, rigidity, a focus only on self-interest, failure to listen (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2007). The potential for conflict destroy the relations of humankind, and that potential is a force for health and growth as well as for destruction and barbarism (Burns, 1998). Intergroup conflict may lead to feelings of frustration, dissatisfaction, hostility, tension, and possibly aggression (Blake & Mouton, 1960; Kabanoff, 1985; Struch & Schwartz, 1989; Tajfel, 1982).

2.2.1 Cost Increased
When there is conflict happen among the groups, costs to implement the task will increase (time, money) devoted to dealing with the intergroup conflict (L.J.Jones, 1997). Intergroup conflict has a largely unrecognized but major financial impact on an organization that can be measured in wasted time, bad decisions and health costs (McGraw-Hill, 2001). For example, intergroup conflicts often create project delays that can result in missed market opportunities. The cost of intergroup conflict is composed of the following such as direct costs, productivity cost, continuity cost and emotional cost (Berrett-Koehier, 1998).


2.2.2 Decreased Morale
Group member morale is an important factor in any group (Gemmill and Oakley, 1992; Schwartz, 1990). For example, high morale can result in the achievement of group goals along with increased productivity, whereas low morale can result in high stress levels, active resistance, absenteeism, poor professional behavior and performance (Andersson and Bateman, 1997; Castledine, 1997; Denney, 2003; Ford et al., 2003; Gilmore et al., 1996). Intergroup conflict definitely will decrease or reduce the morale of the members thus will also lead to a decrease in grievances and an increase in absenteeism. A lack of morale can potentially cause pressure and anxiety, in either task performance or work group interaction, which results in both lowered morale and impaired efficiency (Gresov et al. (1989).

2.2.3 Complaints and Blaming
Conflicts among the groups will lead to complaint and blaming each other. Initially a dispute among one or more groups, without resolution, may cause an uncomfortable working environment, characterized by gossip and rumor, an awkward atmosphere and non-cooperation among the group members. This is now a conflict situation. The passing of blame becomes a formal complaint; employees are increasingly nonproductive as all their energy is directed towards the conflict. Without management intervention the conflict with complaints and blaming among the groups can readily approach crisis point. There may be strong clashes, highly emotional outbursts, shock resignations, verbal abuse, even threats of physical violence (Nicholls, 2003).


2.2.4 Lack of Cooperation
Cooperation requires a greater degree of maturation and intellectual development than conflict. When conflict happen among the groups, group will begin to emphasize on the differences on the groups rather than on the similarities. It will result in a tendency to favor the in-group and a tendency to look unfavorably on the out-group, procedures, culture and products (Giuseppe et al, 1998). The conflicting groups can bias the decision in its own favor by controlling the information relevant to the decision and even minor distortion can be of great importance as it will reduce the cooperation among the groups (Walton and Dutton ,1969).

2.2.5 Reduce Performance
Intergroup conflict is believed to reduce group performance and member satisfaction because it produces tension and antagonism, and distracts people from their task performance (De Dreu & Weingart, 2003). Accordingly, intergroup conflict is unhealthy and associated with negative behaviours, poor individual and group performance, thus reduced the organization performance. The intergroup conflict will tend to heighten the intensity of either antagonisms or friendliness, increase the magnitude of the consequences of unit conflict for organizational performance and also contribute to the difficulty of changing an ongoing pattern (Walton & Dutton, 1969).


3.0 Factors of Intergroup Conflict

Research study on intergroup theory in organizations has identified a number of characteristics that create opposing interests among the groups. These factors of intergroup conflict are not dependent on particular groups or the specific setting where the relationships occur (Alderfer & Smith, 1982). The analysis of intergroup relations is in part the study of power relations and the analysis of conflict among the groups.

3.1 Psychological Distance
The notion of psychological distance was introduced by Lewin (1951) and was recently revived within construal level theory (Trope and Liberman, 2003). Psychological distance does not imply dislike (Swift, 2000) but it does make individuals feel less “at ease” with others they perceive to be different. Also the higher the level of psychological distance the greater the “effort” required to understand and effectively communicate with the other party and hence form a close working relationship (Conway & Swift, 2000).

There are several variables that are included in psychological distance such as differences in education, values and attitudes, ethical and moral positions, status, management style, working practices, decision-making processes, tolerance for risk and language (Fisher et al, 1997). Therefore, language misunderstandings can impair communication therefore even if the volume of communication is extensive. Besides that, psychological distance was also define in terms of how similar leaders were in the time they took to make a decision, their tolerance for risk, the extent to which they

focus on technology, differences in their decision-making styles and whether they believed there was always a “right” answer. High psychological distance may therefore be associated with less effective and higher intergroup conflict (Fisher, 1997). (Fisher et al, 1997). Psychological distance is one of the main factors that will lead to intergroup conflict and thereafter conflict impairs organizational performance (R.Bennett & S.Savani, 2003). Lorsch and Lawrence (1965) noted that members among the groups are broadly different in their orientation and preferences, short versus long orientation and tolerance for ambiguity. As a result if these differences, members of one group may have difficulty understanding the goals, solutions and trade-off of the other group. This lack of understanding is therefore likely to lead to conflict the the groups.

3.2 Communication Openness
The second factor of intergroup conflict is communication openness. It defined as the ease of talking to each other among the groups and the extents of understanding gained when communicate among the groups. Walton, Dutton and Cafferty (1969) explained that intergroup conflict will be result from the obstacle of communication, whether they result in physical barriers, difficulties in synchronizing contact, lack of knowledge about one another works or lack of interpersonal skills. According to Swift (1998), different group interact socially as well as formally and gain experience of other functions that facilitates learning and understanding. In addition, members among each group are aware of the need to maintain open lines of communication for possible negotiation and avoid conflict (Blitman, 2002). Moreover, low level of communications openness among the groups will reduce the group effectiveness because it produces tension and distracts group members from performing the task (Hackman & Morris, 1975; Wall & Callister, 1995). Thus, it is no surprise that today’s managers and employees still overwhelmingly view difficulties in communication as negative that will lead to conflict and something to be avoided or


resolved as soon as possible (Stone, 1995).

3.3 Leadership Style
Leadership style is another factor of intergroup conflict. While many variables affect team success, the influence of the leader is especially important (Rober J. Trent, 2007). Leadership is studied in the context of criteria such as of individual characteristics and situational factors each of which may also affect group performance and lead to conflict among the groups (DeShon et al, 1984). Leaders often ignore these challenges. Although it may be more responsible or even ethical for leaders to think about other groups as well as their own (Burns, 1978; Rost, 1991), it is more common to find insular styles of leadership that encourage boundaries among the groups and discourage understanding of outside groups (Kellerman, 2004).

Although followers are often critical of poor leadership within their own group (Pittinsky, Rosenthal, Bacon, Montoya, & Zhu, 2006), they are not typically concerned about their leaders being ingroup-focused and ineffective at promoting positive relations with other groups. Indeed, followers often actively prefer leaders who favor the ingroup (Duck & Fielding, 1999, 2003; Platow, Hoar, Reid, Harley, & Morrison, 1997; Platow, O'Connell, Shave, & Hanning, 1995). Johnson and Huwe (2002) stated that conflict among the groups was caused by the leader’s functionality and the overall quality of the relationship. They explained that it can have an immediate impact on major conflict among the groups while it can escalate to the point that a working relationship becomes unmanageable and disintegrates. Next, leaders may have the same defensive motivations as followers and because of their leadership position, may move their group to conflict with another group.


Classic research by sociologists and psychologists has identified a general tension between internal group cohesion (i.e., the extent to which members of a group are bound together; Forsyth, 2006) and external conflict in social systems (e.g., Markides & Cohn, 1982). Leaders often add fuel to the fire. History shows that there is often, though not always, an “ingroup or outgroup leadership trade-off” (Pittinsky, 2005).

3.4 Goals
Goals also cause intergroup conflict. Goal incompatibility exists when the goals of two or more groups are in direct opposition that is one group accomplishes its goals at the direct expense of another group’s achieving its goals (Steve M. Jex, 2002). According to Realistic Conflict Theory, conflict is due to the presence of incompatible goals among the groups (Brown, 1986; Esses, Jackson, & Armstrong, 1998; Irvin & Baker, 1995; Kelly & Kelly, 1994).

Locke & Latham’s (1990) states that goals of the group are in competition with others group in an organisation, inter-group competition may arise. In striving to win, interracial group need each other to achieve their goal. Attainment of common goals must be an interdependent effort without intergroup competition (Bettencourt, 1992). Prejudice reduction through contact requires an active, goal-oriented effort. Conflict occurs when parties exercise power in the pursuit of valued goals or objectives and obstruct the progress of other parties (Wagner & Hollenbeck, 2005).


3.5 Status and Power Differences
Last, but not least, status and power differences is also one of the factors of intergroup conflict. When two groups are perceived to differ in status and power, it may lead to feelings of threat (Stephan & Boniecki, 2001). Unequal power in intergroup relationships occurs when parties who share a common condition induced by actions of a high-power group form an association as a way to improve their status (Alderfer, 1977).

Status differences could be associated with negative intergroup attitudes directly as well as indirectly through proximal, threat variables (Coleman, 2000). It is important that both groups expect and perceive equal status in the situation (Cohen et al, 1995; Robinson & Preston, 1976). Each group should have the opportunity for informal personal contact under equal status conditions so they can work cooperatively towards a superordinate goal which requires the efforts of both groups (Allport, 1984; Cook 1992).

These sources of intergroup conflict are not dependent on particular groups or the specific setting where the relationships occur. Most of the research supports this contention, although equal status is difficult to define and has been used in different ways (Cagle, 1993; Riordan, 1998). Intergroup conflict increased with relative status in laboratory groups but decreased in field research with real groups. The metaanalytic results of Mullen (2002) clarify these disparities.


4.0 Conclusion
Dimensions of Intergroup Conflict

Psychological distance

Communication openness Leadership style Consequences Goals

Positive Consequences

Throughout the research, researchers had identified the consequences and the factors Negative of intergroup conflict. From the literature review, researchers had found that those sources of conflict are also supported by other research done by other researchers. Besides that, researchers had identified the possible outcome of consequences of intergroup conflict which is positive consequences of intergroup conflict and negative consequences of intergroup conflict.
Status and power differences Consequences

The understanding of the factors of intergroup of conflict and their relationship to organization performance is vital in the business world especially in Malaysia. CEOs, managers and companies use to ignore or overlook the intergroup conflict that

occurred. By understanding the factors of the intergroup conflict towards their organization performance, organization may be able to understand the importance of the management of the intergroup conflict.

Researchers found that power and status is the factor when two or more groups are perceived to differ in or compete for status and power, it may lead to feeling of threat and negative feelings. In addition, goal is another influential factor to the consequences of intergroup conflict. Goal incompatibility exists which the goals of two or more groups are in direct opposition that is one group accomplishes its goals at the direct expense of another group’s achieving its goals. The other factors like psychological distance, communication openness and leadership style also contribute to the negative consequences of intergroup conflict.

As a conclusion, the future studies of this field can add in more factors of conflict and others consequences of intergroup conflict. Groups can reduce the conflict when more factors and consequences been identified.


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