Title

Social face concerns and conflict avoidance of Chinese employees with their Western or Chinese managers

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Human Relations

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Volume

64

Issue

8

First Page

1031

Last Page

1050

Keywords

conflict avoidance, cross-cultural interaction, face negotiation theory, social face concerns

Abstract

This study explores behavioral strategies in conflict avoidance and how they are related to social face concerns. One hundred and thirty-two Chinese employees recalled an incident where they avoided a conflict with their supervisors. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the categorization of yielding, outflanking, delay, and passive aggression as alternative approaches to avoiding conflict. Overall, other-face was positively associated with yielding and delay, whereas self-face was positively associated with passive aggression. The associations of social face concerns and avoidance were stronger among employees who interacted with Chinese managers compared with those working for Western managers. In conjunction with recent studies, findings challenge the traditional theorizing that the Chinese value of social face leads to passive avoidance.

DOI

10.1177/0018726711400927

Print ISSN

00187267

E-ISSN

1741282X

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011 by The Tavistock Institute

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Peng, A. C., & Tjosvold, D. (2011). Social face concerns and conflict avoidance of Chinese employees with their Western or Chinese managers. Human Relations, 64(8), 1031-1050. doi: 10.1177/0018726711400927