Harmony and Conflict: Towards an Integrated Model of Conflict Styles
7 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2009 Last revised: 4 Nov 2009
Date Written: June 15, 2009
Disagreements are typically viewed from a harmony perspective in East Asia, whereas they are viewed from a conflict perspective in the West. Harmony models developed with reference to the Chinese cultural context suggests that conflict avoidance represents vigilant, effortful attempts to maintain an interpersonal relationship, which contrasts sharply with dual concern model, which asserts that conflict avoidance represents low concern for self and others’ outcomes. To address this type of inconsistency, harmony motives are integrated with outcome concerns, giving rising to a three dimensional conflict model with eight conflict styles. This integrative model is argued to be more comprehensive and universal than either harmony or conflict models. Empirical evidence in support of this integrative model is reviewed, together with directions for future research.
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