Folk Wisdom About the Effects of Relationship Conflict

Ross School of Business Research Paper No. 1038

Negotiation and Conflict Management Research (NCMR), Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 53-76

IACM 20TH Annual Conference Paper

36 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2006 Last revised: 19 Feb 2009

See all articles by Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Eric J. Neuman

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration

Oscar Ybarra

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Shirli Kopelman

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Hyekyung Park

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Psychology

Karen Goh

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Date Written: October 1, 2006

Abstract

Three experiments examined cultural differences and similarities in folk wisdom about the effects of perceived conflict. In Study 1, Americans exhibited an optimistic bias relative to East Asians in their beliefs about perceived relationship conflict, but not conflict in general. Study 2 suggests that these findings cannot be alternatively accounted for by cultural differences in perceptions about the distinction, or lack thereof, between relationship and task-focused forms of conflict. Furthermore, the results demonstrated an interaction effect such that both groups prefer to proactively address and resolve perceived task conflict, whereas only European Americans perceive that it is relatively unnecessary to address relationship conflict to achieve task performance. Study 3 suggests that these cultural patterns have behavioral implications, such that Americans were more likely than East Asians to join a talented group likely to experience relationship conflict. Together, these results suggest novel implications for intra-group dynamics in intercultural contexts.

Keywords: Culture, Conflict Frames, Holistic Thinking

JEL Classification: M0, M10

Suggested Citation

Sanchez-Burks, Jeffrey and Neuman, Eric J. and Ybarra, Oscar and Kopelman, Shirli and Park, Hyekyung and Goh, Karen, Folk Wisdom About the Effects of Relationship Conflict (October 1, 2006). Ross School of Business Research Paper No. 1038, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research (NCMR), Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 53-76, IACM 20TH Annual Conference Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=928580 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.928580

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

Eric J. Neuman

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration ( email )

1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Oscar Ybarra

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Shirli Kopelman

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.shirlikopelman.com

Hyekyung Park

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Psychology ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Karen Goh

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

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