By Jerry Fjermestad, Martin Tuchman School of Management, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA, email@example.com
Prior structured conflict research has not fully addressed the strategic decision making approaches. To address this gap, the objective of this monograph is to organize, summarize, categorize, and analyze the structured conflict decision approaches. It has been fifty years since Mason (1969) published his famous study on dialectical inquiry. Since then there have been 52 studies investigating the performance of these structured conflict decision techniques. The organizational case and field studies support the intention that dialectical inquire is effective in strategic decision making. The experimental studies favor the devil’s advocacy decision aid. There are moderating effects based on the type of participation, active or passive. Technology can play a role in strategic decision making, but there have not been an adequate number of studies to make any generalizations with structured conflict. Studies with virtual teams need to be developed and explored. One factor which appears to be missing in the research literature is leadership. Management, leadership, is clearly involved in the case and field studies, but not in the experimental studies. This comprehensive study of structured conflict research is designed to improve the essence of strategic decision making with structured conflict decision aids.
Structured Conflict Approaches Used in Strategic Decision Making focuses on strategic planning processes which use structured conflict to aid in elicitating and exposing management’s underlying assumptions and how to stimulate management to adopt a broader view of the planning problem. The objective is to examine the whether structured conflict procedures are superior to expert or consensus-oriented procedures in face-to-face and virtual teams working on strategic decision-making tasks. The author begins with a brief background in section 2, then section 3 discusses structured conflict, followed by philosophical and empirical debate in section 4. Section 5 examines structured conflict: devil’s advocacy and dialectical inquiry studies in both case and field, and experimental studies. Section 6 presents an integrative analysis of the structured conflict studies. Section 7 focuses on leadership. Section 8 addresses structured conflict and leadership in virtual teams. Section 9 is the conclusion and addresses the issues of this paper and discusses potential future studies.