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Goal interdependence for working across cultural boundaries : Chinese employees with foreign managers
International Journal of Intercultural Relations
  • Yifeng, Nancy CHEN, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • Dean William TJOSVOLD, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • Fang, Sofia SU, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, China
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
  • Commitment,
  • Constructive controversy,
  • Goal interdependence,
  • Innovation

The interaction between foreign managers and local employees is critical in helping them combine their expertise to innovate. However, their diverse cultural values can make developing a productive leader-member relationship challenging. This study proposes that goal interdependence is an important antecedent of an open-minded discussion of opposing views, innovation, and commitment. One hundred and eleven Chinese employees each described a specific interaction with their foreign manager and then responded to questions that were later used in the statistical analyses. The correlational and structural equation analysis indicated that cooperative but not competitive goals facilitated constructive controversy, which in turn promoted innovation and job commitment. These results suggest that Chinese employees and foreign managers can use the theory of cooperation and competition to develop their relationship, which help them integrate their ideas and abilities to implement useful innovations and heighten their commitment.

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Copyright © 2005 Elsevier Ltd

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Citation Information
Chen, Y.-f., Tjosvold, D., & Su, S. F. (2005). Goal interdependence for working across cultural boundaries: Chinese employees with foreign managers. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 29(4), 429-447. doi: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2005.05.010