This article integrates theory from the cognitive tradition in negotiation with theory on culture and examines cultural influences on cognitive representations of conflict. The authors precicted that although there may be universal (etic) dimensions of conflict construals, there also may be culture-specific (emic) representations of conflict in the United States and Japan. Results of multidimensional scaling analyses of U.S. and Japanese conflict episodes supported this view. Japanese and Americans construed conflicts through a compromise versus win frame (R. L. Pinkley, 1990), providing evidence of a universal dimension of conflict construal. As the authors predicted, Japanese perceived conflicts to be more compromise-focused, as compared with Americans. There were also unique dimensions of construal among Americans and Japanese (infringements to self and giri violations, respectively), suggesting that identical conflict episodes are perceived differently across cultures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology