Can conflict improve team effectiveness?

By Valerie I. Sessa
Center for Creative Leadership


Let’s say you are in a team meeting and a disagreement begins. What do you do? If you are like most of us, the conflict distresses you and your impulse is to try to eliminate it. Research on the dynamics of teamwork, however, suggests that conflict, handled properly, can actually enhance team effectiveness. Thus, in practice, teams should not aim to eliminate conflict but to make it less distressing.


Sessa, V. I. (1994). Can conflict improve team effectiveness? Leadership in Action, 14(4), 1–5.


Leave a Comment