Athlete Perceptions of Intra-Group Conflict in Sport Teams
Paradis, Kyle F.
Carron, Albert V.
Martin, Luc J.
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The study of conflict has been of primary interest in various fields such as organisational psychology for decades (e.g. Barki & Hartwick, 2004). In sport psychology, however, conflict research has been almost nonexistent (Lavoi, 2007) with few exceptions (e.g. Holt et al., 2012; Sullivan & Feltz, 2001). The importance of understanding conflict in sport and in groups, however, has been acknowledged because it has potentially serious implications for group outcomes (Lavoi, 2007). The present study investigated competitive sport athletes’ perceptions of intra-group conflict in sport. Ten intercollegiate athletes: (N=5 males, N=5 females; Mage=25.00, SD=2.87) participated in semi-structured interviews. Athletes perceived the nature of conflict to manifest itself in several ways including: (a) disagreements; (b) negative emotions; and (c) interference/antagonistic behaviors. In addition, conflict episodes were perceived to arise in task and social situations. The findings are discussed in terms of their contributions to current perspectives on intra-group conflict in sport.