Global Issues: Conflict Management Differences across Cultures
Summary: Individuals from different cultures adopt different conflict resolution strategies. For example, compared to U.S. managers, Asian managers avoid discussing a conflict. U.S. managers prefer a style of dominance and assertively competing to see who can convince the other. Chinese managers favor compromise and avoidance, whereas British executives favor collaboration and competition. Arab Middle Eastern executives use an integrating and avoiding style. An Indian employee is hesitant to give a superior direct feedback to save face. Instead, the person may tell you what you want to hear. Because Indians communicate positives, you should listen for what they do notsay. A desire to maintain face is related to a dominating conflict style, and a desire to maintain the face of the other party is related to avoiding, integrating, and compromising styles.Collective cultures manage conflict differently from individualistic cultures. Collectivism emphasizes group harmony, whereas individualism emphasizes individual rights. The Chinese culture is collective and the North American culture is individualistic. Collective societies avoid open conflict—conflict is resolved in inner circles before it justifies public involvement.
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