Intercultural Conflict Management Style ( Chen And Starosta, 1997-8 )
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There are three aspects of culture, including cultural context, language differences, and thought patterns, that influence conflict management style (Chen and Starosta, 1997-8). It is important to understand which cultural aspects of communication pattern may be at play when having conflict. One of the key factors that I have found for exploring the communication issues present in intercultural conflicts is the concept of high and low context communication. The idea of high and low context communication was first described by anthropologist Edward T. Hall. (Ting-Toomey, 2012) It helps us to better understand the powerful effect culture has on people and their conflict resolve conflict styles. Chen and Starosta (1997, 1998) wrote that language systems influence thinking or reasoning patterns. “The most common thinking pattern of English speakers is linear in language sequence, while the reasoning pattern behind Chinese or Japanese languages tends to be nonlinear, and is characterized by an indirect writing style that is akin to the method of deduction. Differences in reasoning patterns behind languages may induce intercultural and international.” (Chen & Starosta, 1997, 1998, p.3) The characteristics of the language we speak influence some aspects of our thinking patterns and our conflict management styles.
People in low-context cultures such as America tend to be more confrontational and direct attitude toward conflicts, while people in high-context cultures tend to be more