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Small Group Facilitation: Improving Process and Performance in Groups and Teams by Judith A. Kolb

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Types of Conflict

Putnam (1986) uses the terms “substantive,” “procedural,” and “affective” to describe types of conflicts. Substantive conflicts involve disagreements over members’ ideas and group issues. Procedural conflict is disagreement among group members about the methods of process that should be followed by the group in accomplishing a goal. Affective conflicts involve people’s feelings and the way members relate to each other. Since both substantive and procedure conflicts are task related, I will combine those two for our purposes in discussing conflicts in groups.

Substantive/procedural conflict. Differences of opinion about task issues (substantive/procedural conflicts) are considered healthy and can lead to improved performance. ...

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