Conflict management styles of Americans and Japanese within close friendships: differences and intriguing similarities

Morita, Hideto
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
The present study was designed to investigate cultural and gender influences on conflict management styles in close friendships. An interaction between culture and gender on the selection of the conflict strategies was also examined. The conflict styles were classified into integrating, obliging, dominating, avoiding, and compromising styles. This study employed a 2 x 2 factorial design for data analysis. Subjects were 76 American and 101 Japanese college students. They were given a conflict scenario and asked to rate scales measuring conflict styles. The instrument was based on Rahim's Organizational Conflict Inventory-II (ROCI-II). The results showed that there was significant cultural effect on the dominating and obliging styles; Americans reported the use of significantly higher degree of these two styles than Japanese. The significant gender effect on the dominating style was also found; males used this style significantly higher than females. Moreover, significant interaction between nationality and gender appeared on the integrating and dominating styles; Japanese females scored higher on the integrating style, and American males scored higher on the dominating style than other groups. It is believed by many scholars that there is a direct interaction between cultural values and communication behavior. However, this study also revealed that there were more similarities than differences between Americans and Japanese in conflict management styles with their close friends. For example, both groups reported that the integrating and compromising styles were preferable strategies for managing conflict within close friendships.
vii, 50 leaves
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