, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 7-11

Positive effects of cognitive conflict and employee voice

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Conflict is usually viewed as undesirable and negative. Recent empirical work, however, has documented several positive outcomes from conflict. Benefits range from better problem solving and understanding to higher employee efforts. Since allowing employees voice in organizations raises cognitive conflict levels, one expects attendant benefits. However, conflict also leads to bad feelings and threatens those with a stake in the status quo. Thus, programmed conflict is needed. Two examples include a Devil's Advocate Decision Program and the use of outside auditors. These processes are intended to require conflict in organizational decisions.