The Chinese value of harmony is often considered literally as the need to avoid conflict. Recent experiments have shown that Chinese people can value and use conflict to explore issues, make effective decisions, and strengthen relationships when they communicate that they want to manage the conflict for mutual benefit rather than win at the other's expense. Field studies document that cooperative conflict dynamics contribute to effective teamwork, quality service, and leadership in China. Chinese managers and employees are able to use participation and other management innovations to become partners in discussing issues and solving problems. Although more research is needed, the Chinese and their international partners appear to be able to use cooperative conflict to discuss their differences open-mindedly and forge productive, market-oriented organizations.
Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Inc
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