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ERIC Number: EJ1179996
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1363-2434
We Belong Together: Belonging to the Principal's In-Group Protects Teachers from the Negative Effects of Task Conflict on Psychological Safety
Gerlach, Rebecca; Gockel, Christine
School Leadership & Management, v38 n3 p302-322 2018
Psychological safety is the shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking. Critical team events such as conflict and faultlines (hypothetical lines that split a team into subgroups) should impact psychological safety. Previous research has shown the benefits of task conflict on team outcomes under certain conditions and the consistently negative effects of demographic faultline strength on team outcomes. We propose that being close to the principal (what we call belonging to the principal's in-group) should help attenuate the negative effects of task conflict and faultlines among teachers, because it is associated with a more effective working relationship. In a survey study with 244 teachers from 45 primary schools, we tested the moderating effect of belonging to the principal's in-group vs. belonging to an out-group on the relationships of task conflict and faultlines on psychological safety. Results of multilevel model tests showed that relationship conflict (but not task conflict) and faultlines decreased psychological safety. However, when teachers belonged to the principal's in-group as compared to an out-group, task conflict had no negative effect on psychological safety. We present implications to bridge the negative effects due to subgroup presence, so that psychological safety can become a resource for all.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A