Styles of handling interpersonal conflict in Hong Kong workplaces

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Styles of handling interpersonal conflict in Hong Kong workplaces

 

Author: Lui, Sau-wah Mary
Title: Styles of handling interpersonal conflict in Hong Kong workplaces
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2000
Subject: Conflict management -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Management
Pages: 222 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1517948
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4602
Abstract: Conflict management is an essential aspect of organizational life. The effective use of various conflict handling styles by employees contribute to the success of conflict management. This study focuses on the factors affecting the choice of interpersonal conflict handling styles among organizational members of different hierarchical levels in Hong Kong Chinese. A questionnaire, based on Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory ( ROCI- II), was administered to 365 employees from different industries and employing organizations to identify their styles in handling conflict with supervisor or peers. According to Rahim conflict model, there are five conflict styles, namely, collaborating, compromising, avoiding, obliging and dominating. The present result identified that employees are more obliging in handling conflict with supervisor than with peers. This non-confrontational style in respect of higher authority is especially significant in Chinese culture. Apart from hierarchical factor, personal attributes, such as, gender, age, managerial responsibilities, organizational tenure, professional tenure, educational level, marital status, of employees are also influential in affecting the conflict styles. Male employees are more dominating than female counterparts. Employees with increasing age are less likely to use obliging style. Non-managerial employees are more obliging than managerial counterparts. Experienced employees (with longer organizational tenure) are less dominating than inexperienced counterparts in handling conflict with supervisor. Employees with longer professional tenure, with a degree, or having married are less obliging. On the other hand, the findings of organizational factors, namely, organizational ownership ( Oriental Vs Western ) and employing organization ( Public sector Vs Private sector) do not show any correlations with the conflict styles. The prevalence of adopting non-confrontational conflict style by Chinese subordinates, as revealed in this study, has resulted in many Western management practices, such as MBO, being difficult to transfer to Hong Kong. Moreover, the present result suggested that conflict styles are a function of hierarchical factors and personal factors. In order to manage interpersonal conflict functionally, one style may be more effective than another depending on situations, rather than on hierarchical relationship, or as a result of personal pre-dispositions. Hence, there is significant implications for training and development of organizational members to make effective use of the various conflict styles. It is hoped that the appropriate use of conflict styles would bring the positive outcome of conflict management to help us build a more enjoyable work environments.

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