Folk Wisdom About the Effects of Relationship Conflict
Negotiation and Conflict Management Research (NCMR), Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 53-76
36 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2006 Last revised: 19 Feb 2009
Date Written: October 1, 2006
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: Suggested Citation