Under harmony and cooperation: Patterns of conflict and competition in Hong Kong organizations
AuthorKoch, Pamela Lynn Tremain
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe prevailing wisdom in current intercultural research is that people in collectivistic societies such as Hong Kong have low levels of conflict and competition. This view is challenged, however, based on three arguments: cultural values are too often equated with actual practice, the multiple goals of actions are ignored, and the in-group/out-group distinction is not adequately addressed in theory and research. Data drawn from an ethnographic study of organizational relationships in Hong Kong indicate that a reexamination is in order. While the surface harmony reported in many studies was acknowledged, informants also consistently pointed to underlying currents of competition and conflict within the organization. Two models are proposed based on a reanalysis of the literature. The Classical Confucian Collectivist model represents the received view that Confucianism and collectivism lead to suppression of personal goals in favor of group goals. The Pragmatic Collectivist model, on the other hand, argues that instrumental goals still are the primary drivers of human interaction. While the Classical Confucian Collectivist might represent an idealized model that influences actors' accounts, the Pragmatic Collectivist model is a better representation of everyday action. Analysis of results in an experimental study lends support to these challenges.
Degree ProgramGraduate College