In an experiment with 80 participants in China, protagonists with opposing views in organizations that valued collectivism, compared to individualism, were found to develop cooperative goals, were confident that they could work, sought to understand, and demonstrated that they understood the opposing arguments, accepted these arguments as reasonable, and combined positions to create an integrated decision. The inductions comparing participants who valued harmony as a goal or a technique in which they pretended to agree were only partially effective and did not yield significant differences on conflict dynamics and outcomes. Findings challenge traditional theorizing that collectivistic values lead to conflict avoidance, and support recent arguments that strong, cooperative relationships promote the productive discussion of opposing views in decision making.
Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc
Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.