Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

A.F. Stembridge

Abstract

Problem. The Collectivism-Individualism literature argues that there is a difference in the way that Americans and the Chinese handle conflict based on differences in culture. It is also speculated that these differences have been influenced by Confucian values. However, these positions have not been conclusively supported by empirical findings.

Method. Both the Chinese Value Survey and Thomas and Kilmann's Management-of-Differences Exercise were administered to 124 U.S. White American graduate business students and 142 Hong Kong Chinese graduate business students. Three null hypotheses were formulated. These hypotheses stated that there is no linear combination of Integration, Human-heartedness, Confucian work dynamism, and Moral discipline that significantly discriminates between the two sample groups; that there is no linear combination of Competitiveness, Collaborativeness, Avoidance, and Accommodation that significantly discriminates between the two sample groups; and that there is no significant canonical correlation between Integration, Human-heartedness, Work dynamism, and Moral discipline and Avoidance, Accommodation, Competitiveness, and Collaborativeness. The data were analyzed by t-test, discriminant function analysis, and canonical regression analyses.

Results. Hypothesis 1 was rejected because the Hong Kong Chinese male graduate business students were placed higher than the White American male graduate business students on Moral discipline. Hypothesis 2 was rejected because the Hong Kong Chinese subjects were placed higher than the U.S. White American subjects on Competitiveness, Accommodation, and Collaborativeness. Hypothesis 3 was rejected because those who scored higher on Moral discipline, Integration, and Confucian work dynamism tended to score higher on Avoidance and Accommodation.

Conclusion. The results of the study indicated that the Hong Kong Chinese subjects were more collectivistic than the White American subjects and could have been influenced by Confucian values more than their White American counterparts. The Hong Kong subjects employed Avoidance, rather than Competitiveness and Collaborativeness, in conflict situations. Finally, the results implied that the people who were labelled as collectivists tended to avoid conflicts.

Subject Area

Collectivism, Individualism, Conflict management--Cross-cultural studies, Philosophy, Confucian

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