Stefan Schulz-Hardt, Andreas Mojzisch, and Frank Vogelgesang (2009)

Dissent as a facilitator: Individual- and group-level effects on creativity and performance

In: Verhaltenswissenschaftliche Grundlagen in ökonomischen Systemen, ed. by Tscheulin, Dieter K.; Schüpbach, Heinz. BWV Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin, chap. Dissent as a facilitator: Individual- and group-level effects on creativity and performance, pp. 162-192. (ISBN: 978-3-8305-1644-6).

Discusses the relationship of conflict brought about by dissenting opinions with creativity and performance. First, illustrative studies that investigated the facilitative effect of dissenting opinions on creativity and performance are presented. Secondly, psychological processes that mediate this effect are discussed. It is argued that dissent has an activating effect on information processing and information exchange in general. A distinction is drawn between minority and majority dissent, and the effects of pure minority vs. majority dissent and simultaneous occurrence of these types of dissent on individual information processing and information exchange as well as creativity and performance at the group level are discussed. It is suggested that minority dissent is especially beneficial to creativity and performance. Thirdly, the use of dissent in organizations to promote creativity and performance is addressed. Finally, theoretical and practical questions for future research regarding the facilitative effects of dissent on creativity and performance are outlined. It is concluded that despite progress in the research of dissent effects, further research is needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of these effects and the optimal utilization thereof in organizations.

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