Structured Conflict Approaches used in Strategic Decision Making: From Mason's Initial Study to Virtual Teams

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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, eadership, 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-400
Number of pages167
JournalFoundations and Trends in Information Systems
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems


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