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Article
Social face concerns and conflict avoidance of Chinese employees with their Western or Chinese managers
Human Relations
  • Ann Chunyan PENG, Michigan State University, United States
  • Dean William TJOSVOLD, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
1-1-2011
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
E-ISSN
1741282X
Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011 by The Tavistock Institute

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Citation Information
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