Research on social conflicts in innovation processes has been rare, leaving an important research gap, as conflicts often arise in innovation processes and are even part of a researcher's everyday life. This study examines innovation and the variables of innovation success in the life sciences; it tests a conflict management model and examines the impact of both conflict type and conflict management style on innovation performance. This study surveyed 152 basic and applied researchers on their conflict management style through a multi-method approach incorporating both survey and qualitative methods. The substantive aspects and relational effectiveness of conflict management styles were compared, considering their number of publications and patents, problem solution quality, project newness, conflict de-escalation and communication. Applied researchers showed significantly more domination than did basic researchers, and a dominating conflict management style was significantly related to project newness. Moreover, problem solving was not always the most successful conflict management style. These findings have important practical implications for conflict management training and can help managers and researchers strengthen their co-operation and improve productivity.