Article

Avoidance Brings Japanese Employees What They Care About in Conflict Management: Its Functionality and “Good Member” Image

Authors
  • Ken‐ichi Ohbuchi
  • Emi Atsumi

Abstract

Avoidance is preferred by Asian people in organizational conflicts. Even when self‐assertion offers immediate rewards, it is viewed by collectivists as risky from the long‐term perspective because it impairs group membership and future rewards associated with it. Instead, collectivists are concerned with being accepted by peers as “a good member (agreeable person).” We assume that avoidance in organizational conflicts is an identity strategy, by which collectivists seek to form an interdependent identity and secure future rewards. We asked 341 Japanese business employees to rate their conflicts with supervisors in terms of coping strategies and goal achievements. Consistent with our predictions, the results indicated that avoidance contributed to group harmony and interdependent identity while it hampered personal interests and fairness. The theory of the functionality of avoidance was validated, at least with collectivists, although this long‐range strategy seems to depend on an individual’s belief that the organization is properly managed.

Keywords: Japanese, culture, identity, avoidance, conflict

How to Cite:

Ohbuchi, K. & Atsumi, E., (2010) “Avoidance Brings Japanese Employees What They Care About in Conflict Management: Its Functionality and “Good Member” Image”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 3(2), 117-129. doi: https://doi.org/10.34891/0ntd-3961

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Published on
01 Apr 2010
Peer Reviewed