Influences of chinese cultural orientations and conflict management styles on construction dispute resolving strategies

Jiin-Song Tsai, Cheryl S.F. Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Investigating styles of handling interpersonal conflict across multiple situations, this study explores the orientations of Hofstede's cultural dimensions (power distance, individualism versus collectivism, femininity versus masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term versus short-term orientation) influencing the choice of dispute resolving strategies in construction industry. Combinations of the five conflict approaches (collaborating, dominating, compromising, avoiding, and accommodating) of the two concerns model are adopted to present the styles of handling conflict (or conflict management styles). Chinese residing in Taiwan are chosen as the focus group. 62 engineering students in universities and 64 engineers in industry practices, totaling 126, were interviewed, and their conflict management styles toward supervisors and equally ranked peers were assessed using Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. The cultural orientations are detected and articulated by the degree of people's style adjustment that switches from one's preferable style to another style to handle conflicts with his/her supervisors and peers differently. The results of the investigation data show that the adjustment of styles facing different situations clearly demonstrates the influences of cultural orientations. Our findings on Chinese cultural orientations (high power distance, femininity, and high uncertainty avoidance) may partially explain why Taiwanese-Chinese engineers prefer handling disputes through cumbersome administration routes and why most filed disputes will eventually escalate up to the central governmental authority for final settlements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-964
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Volume135
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sep 28

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management

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