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An expectancy model of Chinese–American differences in conflict-avoiding


  • Ray Friedman

    (Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA)

  • Shu-Cheng Chi

    (Department of Business Administration, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)

  • Leigh Anne Liu

    (Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA)


This paper develops an expectancy model for Chinese–American differences in conflict-avoiding, and tests this model using a scenario study with respondents from Taiwan and the US. Our results show that a higher Chinese tendency to avoid conflict is explained by higher Chinese expectations that direct conflict will hurt the relationship with the other party, and by greater concern for the other party among Chinese. It is not, however, explained by differences in the expected career costs/benefits of good/bad relations with others. Also, Chinese are more sensitive to hierarchy than Americans, so that avoiding is heightened more for Chinese than for Americans when the other party is of higher status. Qualitative results suggest that Chinese–American differences in time frames may also explain differences in avoiding. Implications for businesses and management are suggested. Journal of International Business Studies (2006) 37, 76–91. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400172

Suggested Citation

  • Ray Friedman & Shu-Cheng Chi & Leigh Anne Liu, 2006. "An expectancy model of Chinese–American differences in conflict-avoiding," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 37(1), pages 76-91, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:37:y:2006:i:1:p:76-91

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    Cited by:

    1. Peng, Kelly Z. & Wong, Chi-Sum & Song, Jiwen Lynda, 2016. "How do Chinese employees react to psychological contract violation?," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 815-825.
    2. Liu, Yipeng & Almor, Tamar, 2016. "How culture influences the way entrepreneurs deal with uncertainty in inter-organizational relationships: The case of returnee versus local entrepreneurs in China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 4-14.
    3. Dietmar Grichnik & Alexander Smeja & Isabell Welpe, 2010. "The Importance of Being Emotional: How do Emotions Affect Entrepreneurial Opportunity Evaluation and Exploitation?," Post-Print hal-00856603, HAL.
    4. Wen Wu & Fangcheng Tang & Xiaoyu Dong & Chunlei Liu, 2015. "Different identifications cause different types of voice: A role identity approach to the relations between organizational socialization and voice," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 251-287, March.
    5. Chao C. Chen & Ali F. Ünal & Kwok Leung & Katherine R. Xin, 2016. "Group harmony in the workplace: Conception, measurement, and validation," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 903-934, December.
    6. Gunkel, Marjaana & Schlaegel, Christopher & Taras, Vas, 2016. "Cultural values, emotional intelligence, and conflict handling styles: A global study," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 568-585.

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