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Activation of Group Attachment, Perceived Group Diversity & Conflict Attribution

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Activation of Group Attachment, Perceived Group Diversity & Conflict Attribution

Bajramovic, Mark (2015) Activation of Group Attachment, Perceived Group Diversity & Conflict Attribution. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The main goal of this thesis is to apply attachment theory as a predictor of individual-level experiences in organizational work groups. Individuals with different group attachment styles (e.g., secure, preoccupied, dismissive avoidant, and fearful avoidant) were studied with respect to activation of the group attachment system, as well as their task and relationship conflict attributions in groups that were (or were perceived to be) homogeneous and heterogeneous. The participants of Study 1 were 129 students at the John Molson School of Business. The participants of Study 2 were 87 employees at an international Hi-Technology firm. Results indicate that the perceived and/or actual presence of diversity is correlated with the activation of the group attachment system in work groups. Activation of the attachment system is known to inhibit the exploration of, and learning about, other group members’ thoughts and emotions (Rom & Mikulincer, 2003). Findings also indicate that group attachment anxiety and avoidance are positively correlated to reported attributions of relationship and task conflict, and that people with different attachment styles report attributing different amounts of task and relationship conflict. Finally, when comparing individuals’ reported experiences in groups that are perceived to be homogeneous to those that are (or are perceived to be) heterogeneous, differences in task and relationship conflict attributions seem to depend on group attachment styles. An important practical implication of this research is that activation of the attachment system by group diversity may be a significant liability in jobs where exploration and learning are required for group performance and outcomes. Further, it could be that inhibiting the activation of the group attachment system may reduce the negative effects of diversity and conflict attributions in groups. In applying my findings to the workplace, they are consistent with the notion that if managers can maintain employees’ group attachment systems in a deactivated state, then they may be able to better harness the value in work group diversity.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Management
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Bajramovic, Mark
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Business Administration
Date:August 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hecht, Tracy
ID Code:980290
Deposited By: MARK BAJRAMOVIC
Deposited On:27 Oct 2015 19:31
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51
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