College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-12-2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Alice F. Stuhlmacher, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Suzanne T. Bell, Ph.D.


This investigation examined the association between relationship conflict, task conflict, and peer appraisals of performance.The association between conflict types and performance appraisals was examined using both the group as a referent (i.e., members provide overall ratings representing the group as a whole), as well as an individual as a referent (i.e., members rate an individual member of the group). In an effort to best explain these associations, several moderating variables proposed in the literature were examined in conjunction with conflict types and performance. These moderators included task routineness, trust, and cooperative goal interdependence.

The study was conducted using both student and working adult participants that had been part of a work group in the past six months. Team members provided ratings of other team members and of the team as a whole, with a number of correlation and hierarchical regression analyses that followed. Results supported that in general, both relationship conflict and task conflict are negatively related to group and individual performance. Contrary to theoretical rationale, the task conflict-performance association was not moderated by any combination of variables proposed. A discussion of the results and suggestions for future research are offered.