An Expectancy Model of Chinese-American Differences in Conflict-Avoiding Author(s): Ray Friedman, Shu-Cheng Chi and Leigh Anne Liu
Source: Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan., 2006), pp. 76-91 Published by: Palgrave Macmillan Journals
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3875216 .
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C2006 Academy International
Ray Friedman', Shu-Cheng
Chi2, Leigh Anne Liu3
Correspondence: Ray Friedman, Owen
Graduate School of Management,
Vanderbilt University, 401 21st Avenue
South, Nashville, TN 37203, USA.
Tel: + 1 615 322 3992;
Fax: + 1 615 352 2414;
Received: 18 December 2002
Revised: 24 January 2005
Accepted: 18 May 2005
Online publication date: 27 October 2005
Thispaperdevelops an expectancy model for Chinese-American
conflict-avoiding, tests this model using a scenariostudy with respondents from Taiwanand the US. Our resultsshow that a higher Chinesetendency to avoid conflict is explained by higher Chinese expectations that direct conflict will hurt the relationship
with the other party,and by greaterconcern for the
other partyamong Chinese. It is not, however, explained by differencesin the with others.Also,Chinese
expected careercosts/benefitsof good/bad relations
are more sensitiveto hierarchy
than Americans, that avoidingis heightened
more for Chinesethan for Americans
when the other partyis of higher status.
differencesin time frames
Qualitativeresultssuggest that Chinese-American
may also explain differences in avoiding. Implicationsfor businesses and management are suggested.
Studies(2006) 37, 76-9 1.
With the rise of greater China as a major economic power (Child and Tse, 2001), and the growth of Western-Chinese business
contacts, it becomes increasingly important to understand
Chinese-Western cultural differences. One of the most commonly cited issues in cases about foreign companies in joint ventures with Chinese companies is differences in how conflict is managed and, in particular, a Chinese tendency to avoid conflict (e.g., Dyer and Song, 1997; Everatt et al., 1999). Western managers report great frustration when their Chinese colleagues do not approach
differences openly and directly (and, we expect, the reverse frustration is reported by Chinese business people).
Given the centrality of avoiding conflict as an impediment to Western-Chinese business relationships, it is critical to be able to understand more clearly why this difference exists across cultures. First, as Chinese and Americans move into each other's working cultures, it helps to...
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