A Meta-Analysis of the Cultural Propositions about Conflict Management Styles in Face-Negotiation Theory

Peter Cardon, Ephraim Okoro


Among the most influential intercultural communication theories is Ting-Toomey's face-negotiation theory. The theory has undergone a number of refinements over the past two decades and has emerged as one of the most cited theories in intercultural business communication research. The theory posits that face or "identity respect and other-identity consideration" is maintained and negotiated in communications and interactions of members of all cultures; however, it is perceived and enacted differently across cultures as a function of the cultural dimensions of individualism and power distance. Our study is a meta-analysis of all research that we could find that has been conducted about the cultural propositions related to conflict management styles in face-negotiation theory. Specifically, these propositions state that individualist cultures tend to use more dominating conflict management styles whereas collectivist cultures tend to use more integrating, compromising, avoiding, and obliging conflict management styles. We integrate findings across studies to answer the degree to which these theoretical propositions are answered by empirical research. 

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