The Indiana Jones Approach: Cultural Competencies and Conglomerated Conflict Behavior in Intercultural Conflicts
IACM 18th Annual Conference
27 Pages Posted: 24 May 2005
Date Written: 2005
This study explores the relation between cultural competencies and conglomerate behavior in interpersonal conflicts within an intercultural context. The theory of conglomerate conflict behavior (Van de Vliert, Euwema, & Huismans, 1995) presumes that conflict behaviors should not be studied as if independent, but as 'gestalts', that is, in relation to each other, and that these gestalts can be meaningfully interpreted in terms of competitive or cooperative conglomerates (H1). The second hypothesis explores relations between cultural competencies and conglomerate conflict behavior. Survey data on five conflict styles were collected from Dutch military peacekeepers (N=542), describing a conflict they were involved in during their mission. Using cluster analysis, two different patterns of conflict handling were identified. The main contrast between the conglomerates is cooperative (high problem solving and compromising), low forcing), versus competitive behavior (low problem solving and compromising, high forcing). As expected, cultural empathy is positively related to cooperative behavior, and adventurism is related with competitive behavior. This is what we call the Indiana Jones approach; peacekeepers who like the adventure also like to fight their conflicts.
Keywords: Conglomerate conflict behavior, cultural competencies, peacekeeping
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