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Chinese Culture in a Cross-Cultural Comparison

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Edited By Michael B. Hinner

Chinese culture has a very long and extraordinary tradition. With China’s rapid economic growth and a population of more than one billion people, China has become a very important market for many companies. In order to conduct business in a particular country, it is necessary to also understand the culture of that country. After all, culture influences people’s behavior and communication – also in the world of business. That is why an understanding of a country’s culture is crucial when communicating with all relevant stakeholders including its consumers, businesses, employees, and government authorities. This eighth volume of the Freiberger Beiträge seeks to provide some essential insights into Chinese culture to help improve transactions and relationships with Chinese stakeholders. The contributing authors help explain the various facets of Chinese culture revolving around communication, business negotiations, and conflict management.
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Analyzing an Intercultural Conflict Case Study: Application of a Social Ecological Perspective

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Introduction to Analyzing an Intercultural Conflict Case Study: Application of a Social-Ecological Perspective

By Ruifang Zhang and Stella Ting-Toomey

Ruifang Zhang and Stella Ting-Toomey note that intercultural conflicts are multilayered and multi-contextual phenomena. Instead of using the typical macro-level or micro-level view to analyze intercultural conflicts as is often done, the authors argue that a social-ecological approach may be a better option. That is why Zhang and Ting-Toomey wish to demonstrate the merits of this approach by using a case study.

The authors define intercultural conflict as the perceived or actual incompatibility of cultural values, situational norms, goals, face orientations, scarce resources, processes, and/or outcomes in a face-to-face or mediated context. The greater the cultural distance between the two conflicting parties, the more likely that the assessment of the conflict interaction process might be misunderstood.

Zhang and Ting-Toomey argue on behalf of using a multilevel approach to analyzing conflicts because it focuses on understanding themes and concepts at multiple levels as well as between different levels. Such an approach considers the primary socialization factors, situational and relational boundary factors, conflict communication process factors, and intercultural conflict competence dimensions to explain the macro-micro situational nature of the intercultural conflict. Situational and relational features are viewed as the mediating factors that link primary socialization factors and conflict process factors. Such an approach combines the macro, exo, meso, and micro level analyses, Zhang and Ting-Toomey note.

The macro level refers...

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