CAREY Timothy Patrick

Research Projects

  • Bicultural Orientations and Conflict Resolution: A Cross-Cultural Study
  • CAREY Timothy Patrick, CHEN Xiaohua Sylvia*
    1 January 2007
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    The present study aims at investigating the relationship between bicultural self-construal and conflict resolution in the industrial and organizational contexts of Hong Kong and the U.K. Research on cultural dynamics has received growing attention, and the cultural concept of self-construals has been used increasingly to explain social behavior. In such studies, the self in individualistic cultures is characterized as independent, autonomous, and agentic; in collectivistic cultures, as interdependent, connected, and communal (e.g., Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Triandis, 1989, 1995). Past research has explored the relation between self-consturals and conflict management or negotiation styles. Previous studies have shown that respondents from individualistic cultures prefer confrontational styles such as dominating, whereas those from collectivistic cultures favor nonforcing, harmony-enhancing styles such as obliging and avoiding (e.g., Gire, 1997; Kim & Kitani, 1998; Leung, Au, Fernandez-Dols, & Iwawaki, 1992; Trubisky, Ting-Toomey, & Lin, 1991). Furthermore, self-construals have been found to be a better predictor of conflict resolution styles than ethnic/cultural background (Oetzel, 1998). Higher levels of independence have led to greater concern for self-face maintenance; higher interdependence to concern for other-face maintenance (Kim, Lee, Kim, & Hunter). In this study, we will measure four patterns of self-construal, viz., bicultural, Western, traditional, and culturally-alienated (Yamada & Singelis, 1999). We suggest that individuals with bicultural self-construal have a well-developed sense of independence and interdependence, and will display more culturally appropriate behaviors in conflict resolution. The availability of both types of self-construals may facilitate communication and adaptive behaviors for individuals interacting in multicultural societies. (SS06514)

* Name of external researcher
# Name of staff who has left the University