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Title:Cultures Clashing in the Workplace: A Model of Intercultural Conflict as a Stressor
Author(s):Shupe, Ellen Irene
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Triandis, Harry C.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Industrial
Abstract:Although the management of diversity has increasingly become a top priority for organizations and researchers, little is known about what this "management" really means. Since a great deal of theoretical, anecdotal, and empirical evidence suggests that interactions among people from diverse cultures can result in interpersonal conflict, one way we can think about the management of cultural diversity is by preventing or minimizing this intercultural conflict. However, very little research has examined the nature of the conflict or its consequences for the individuals involved. The current study attempts to address this gap in the literature; it conceptualizes intercultural conflict as a stressor and proposes and tests two models of the conflict experience using the data of graduate students from approximately 50 countries. Results of path analyses of the Intercultural Conflict as a Stressor Model indicated that although cultural distance did not predict intercultural conflict, intercultural conflict strongly predicted poor job-related and sociocultural adaptation, and these negative effects occurred over and above the baseline effects of job stress. Job-related and sociocultural adaptation in turn predicted poor psychological adaptation, which mediated the negative effects on health-related adaptation. Results of path analyses of the Cognitive Appraisal of Intercultural Conflict Model indicated that characteristics of the people involved, including the number of people, their relative status, the nature of the their relationship, and the perceived availability of social support resources; as well as characteristics of the incident itself, including the extent to which it was controllable and predictable, the extent to which others were aware of the conflict, the duration and number of conflicts, and the importance of the conflict(s), were directly related to the stressfulness experienced. Furthermore, the level of this conflict-related stress predicted the use of both direct and indirect coping responses.
Issue Date:1998
Description:95 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9834742
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1998

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