An Empirical Examination of the Relationship Between Adult Attention Deficit, Cooperative Conflict Management and Efficacy for Working in Teams

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Finance and Supply Chain Management

Publication Date



A recent national survey of the US workforce suggests that adult attention related disorders are producing a wide range of negative outcomes in the workplace. The symptoms typically associated with the disorder (difficulties with activation, concentration, effort, emotional interference and accessing memory) suggest that team work may represent a problematic situation for adults with the disorder. Subjects were one hundred and fifty‐five student teams (subjects=628) from universities in both Canada and the United States. The study begins by confirming a hypothesis arising out of previous qualitative research that team members with adult attention deficit have relatively greater difficulty with necessary but uninteresting tasks. The hypothesis that team members with the disorder will be extraordinarily reliant on their teammates was also supported. The need to secure situations of particular fit, and to do so without undermining the support of fellow teammates, suggests that cooperative conflict management styles are especially important for clinical AAD vs. non‐clinical team members. The specific hypotheses, that cooperative styles (problem solving and compromising) are especially important for producing positive team experiences/expectations and efficacy for working in teams, were supported. Future research needs to sample more workplace teams.


This article was originally published in American Journal of Business. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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American Journal of Business


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