This chapter focuses on what it means for individuals from different cultures to manage conflict. We focus on one of the most prominent cultural differences: direct versus indirect confrontation. We describe the differences between direct versus indirect confrontation of conflict, elaborate on how culture influences this difference, discuss the pros and cons of each approach, and describe the different forms that direct and indirect confrontation can take. We end with a discussion of myths about indirect confrontation concluding that, despite the indirect label, indirect confrontation sends a very direct message to those who are primed culturally to recognize it.
Jeanne Brett, Kristin Behfar and Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks
Corinne Bendersky, Julia Bear, Kristin Behfar, Laurie R. Weingart, Gergana Todorova and Karen A. Jehn
The conflict literature has been greatly influenced by the work published by Jehn 15 years ago that introduced a task-relationship-process conflict taxonomy of intra-group conflict. However, recent work suggests limitations of this conceptualization and its accompanying measures of conflict. In this chapter, we identify five areas crucial to improving how conflict is both conceptualized and measured: clarifying the intensity of opposition in the conflict; specifying features of conflict episodes; distinguishing between perceived and manifest representations of conflict; disentangling emotions and the constructs of conflict; and adding nuance to the conflict types we consider. We critique past measurement approaches in each of these areas and discuss ways to improve the concepts and measures in order to move the field of conflict research forward.