A Comparative Analysis of Conflict Management Styles between Local and Expatriate Managers in Hong Kong-Based Multinational Corporations

Li-Ying Wu, Du-Babcock Bertha
2021 Business Communication Research and Practice  
Objectives: This paper investigates and compares how and whether conflicts are managed differently between expatriate managers and Hong Kong local managers when handling conflicts with organizational members from different organizational levels. Methods: Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. To examine the differences, Rahim's ROCI-II Forms A, B, and C questionnaires were administered to 41 expatriate and 50 local managers working at multinational corporations in Hong Kong. The
more » ... questionnaire addresses five conflict management styles (CMS). In total, 273 questionnaires were collected. Ninety-one in-depth interviews were also conducted to strengthen findings and interpretation of the questionnaire data. Results: The findings show that similar and different preferred CMS are observed in both expatriate and local managers when handling conflicts at different organizational levels; to superiors, subordinates, and peers. Of five CMS, integrating style was the most preferred CMS by both expatriate and local managers. Dominating style was preferred when handling conflicts with subordinates by expatriate and local managers, while compromising style was likely to be used by local managers but not expatriate managers. Avoiding style, being considered lose-lose orientation, is least preferred. By adopting the avoiding style, both parties tend to withdraw themselves from the conflict scenes and leave conflicts go unaddressed. Conclusions: Findings suggest that culture affects the use of CMS between expatriate and local managers. Differences also are found by local and expatriate managers when dealing with conflicts in different organizational levels. We also provide implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research.
doi:10.22682/bcrp.2021.4.1.14 fatcat:x4h5zkjtqfbg3n4ig7libncc6q