IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The impact of conflict on manufacturing decisions and company performance


  • Ehie, Ike C.


Although the organization psychology literature is replete with an ongoing debate on the impact of conflict on organizational performance, the operations management literature has provided few empirical studies to examine this issue. In this study we adapt the Amason and Schwieger (1994) framework to investigate the impact of conflict on operational decisions and company performance. We test operational decisions made in two different contexts - physically efficient condition (functional products) and market responsive conditions (innovative products). Although not empirically tested, these two decision scenarios have been characterized as the antecedents of two supply chain designs based on product offerings (Fisher, 1997). We conduct a survey of manufacturing managers in the USA and analyze 392 valid responses using partial least square regression. Our results indicate that when conflict arises in a manufacturing decision, cognitive conflict would lead to a higher level of company performance particularly when the decision scenario is based on a market responsive situation (innovative products). Consistent with previous studies, affective conflict tends to have adverse effects on performance regardless of the decision scenario. This study contributes to our understanding of situations in which conflict can facilitate or hamper company performance in an operational decision-making setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Ehie, Ike C., 2010. "The impact of conflict on manufacturing decisions and company performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 145-157, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:126:y:2010:i:2:p:145-157

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhi-Long Chen & Nicholas G. Hall, 2007. "Supply Chain Scheduling: Conflict and Cooperation in Assembly Systems," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 55(6), pages 1072-1089, December.
    2. Robert A. Levine, 1961. "Anthropology and the study of of conflict: an introduction," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 5(1), pages 3-15, March.
    3. Agndal, Henrik & Nilsson, Ulf, 2008. "Supply chain decision-making supported by an open books policy," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 154-167, November.
    4. King, William R. & Teo, Thompson S. H., 2000. "Assessing the impact of proactive versus reactive modes of strategic information systems planning," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 667-679, December.
    5. Sridhar Balasubramanian & Pradeep Bhardwaj, 2004. "When Not All Conflict Is Bad: Manufacturing-Marketing Conflict and Strategic Incentive Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(4), pages 489-502, April.
    6. Charles R. Schwenk, 1990. "Conflict in Organizational Decision Making: An Exploratory Study of Its Effects in For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(4), pages 436-448, April.
    7. Karen A. Bantel & Susan E. Jackson, 1989. "Top management and innovations in banking: Does the composition of the top team make a difference?," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(S1), pages 107-124, June.
    8. Jinhong Xie & X. Michael Song & Anne Stringfellow, 1998. "Interfunctional Conflict, Conflict Resolution Styles, and New Product Success: A Four-Culture Comparison," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(12-Part-2), pages 192-206, December.
    9. John Hulland, 1999. "Use of partial least squares (PLS) in strategic management research: a review of four recent studies," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 195-204, February.
    10. Paul M. Swamidass & William T. Newell, 1987. "Manufacturing Strategy, Environmental Uncertainty and Performance: A Path Analytic Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(4), pages 509-524, April.
    11. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeu, 1998. "Contract flexibility and conflict resolution: Evidence from African manufacturing," CSAE Working Paper Series 1998-21, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    12. Blackhurst, Jennifer & (Teresa) Wu, Tong & Craighead, Christopher W., 2008. "A systematic approach for supply chain conflict detection with a hierarchical Petri Net extension," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 680-696, October.
    13. repec:fth:oxesaf:98-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. David M. Schweiger & William R. Sandberg, 1989. "The utilization of individual capabilities in group approaches to strategic decision‐making," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 31-43, January.
    15. Velasquez, Juan D. & Lara, Marco A. & Nof, Shimon Y., 2008. "Systematic resolution of conflict situations in collaborative facility design," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 139-153, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Maynard, M. Travis & Falcone, Ellie C. & Petersen, Kenneth J. & Fugate, Brian S. & Bonney, Leff, 2020. "Conflicting paradigms in manufacturing and marketing decisions: The effects of situational awareness on team performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 230(C).
    2. Vos, F.G.S. & Van der Lelij, R. & Schiele, H. & Praas, N.H.J., 2021. "Mediating the impact of power on supplier satisfaction: Do buyer status and relational conflict matter?," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 239(C).
    3. Henrik Franke & Stephanie Eckerd & Kai Foerstl, 2022. "Rising to the Top: Motivational Forces Influencing Status Conflict in Sourcing Teams," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 31(3), pages 963-983, March.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Higashide, Hironori & Birley, Sue, 2002. "The consequences of conflict between the venture capitalist and the entrepreneurial team in the United Kingdom from the perspective of the venture capitalist," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 59-81, January.
    2. Engelen, Andreas, 2010. "Entrepreneurial orientation as a function of national cultural variations in two countries," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 354-368, December.
    3. Merschmann, Ulf & Thonemann, Ulrich W., 2011. "Supply chain flexibility, uncertainty and firm performance: An empirical analysis of German manufacturing firms," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 43-53, March.
    4. Naranjo-Gil, David & Hartmann, Frank, 2007. "Management accounting systems, top management team heterogeneity and strategic change," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 32(7-8), pages 735-756.
    5. Fabio Zona, 2015. "Board ownership and processes in family firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 105-122, January.
    6. Linder, Christian, 2019. "Customer orientation and operations: The role of manufacturing capabilities in small- and medium-sized enterprises," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 216(C), pages 105-117.
    7. Mezgebo, Taddese & Dereje, Fikadu, 2010. "Structure, conduct and performance of grain trading in Tigray and its impact on demand for commodity exchange: The case Maychew, Mokone, Alemata, Mekelle and Himora," MPRA Paper 24901, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2000. "Ethnicity and credit in African manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 205-235, February.
    9. Bongjin Kim & Mark M. Suazo & John E. Prescott, 2008. "Exploring the Cognitive Nature of Boards of Directors and Its Implication for Board Effectiveness," Working Papers 0032, College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio.
    10. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 1999. "Relationships and traders in Madagascar," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 1-35.
    11. Mark M. Suazo, 2007. "Implications of the Affective Response to Psychological Contract Breach," Working Papers 0028, College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio.
    12. Barr, Abigail, 2004. "Forging Effective New Communities: The Evolution of Civil Society in Zimbabwean Resettlement Villages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1753-1766, October.
    13. Torchia, Mariateresa & Calabrò, Andrea & Gabaldon, Patricia & Kanadli, Sadi Bogac, 2018. "Women directors contribution to organizational innovation: A behavioral approach," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 215-224.
    14. Wagner, Stephan M. & Grosse-Ruyken, Pan Theo & Erhun, Feryal, 2018. "Determinants of sourcing flexibility and its impact on performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 205(C), pages 329-341.
    15. Idris, Fazli & Mohammad, Jehad, 2014. "The Impacts of Team Management on Customer Service: The Mediating Role of Operation Flexibility," Chapters from the Proceedings of the Hamburg International Conference of Logistics (HICL), in: Blecker, Thorsten & Kersten, Wolfgang & Ringle, Christian M. (ed.), Innovative Methods in Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Current Issues and Emerging Practices. Proceedings of the Hamburg International Conferenc, volume 19, pages 437-458, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute of Business Logistics and General Management.
    16. Parayitam, Satyanarayana & Dooley, Robert S., 2009. "The interplay between cognitive- and affective conflict and cognition- and affect-based trust in influencing decision outcomes," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 789-796, August.
    17. Craig Pearce & Charles Manz, 2011. "Leadership Centrality and Corporate Social Ir-Responsibility (CSIR): The Potential Ameliorating Effects of Self and Shared Leadership on CSIR," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(4), pages 563-579, September.
    18. John A. Parnell, 2017. "Cronyism from the Perspective of the Firm: A Cross-National Assessment of Nonmarket Strategy," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 32(Fall 2017), pages 47-74.
    19. Apriani Soepardi & Pratikto Pratikto & Purnomo Budi Santoso & Ishardita Pambudi Tama & Patrik Thollander, 2018. "Linking of Barriers to Energy Efficiency Improvement in Indonesia’s Steel Industry," Energies, MDPI, vol. 11(1), pages 1-22, January.
    20. Tobias Knabke & Sebastian Olbrich, 2018. "Building novel capabilities to enable business intelligence agility: results from a quantitative study," Information Systems and e-Business Management, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 493-546, August.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:126:y:2010:i:2:p:145-157. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.