Chapter 9 What Are the Best Ways to Manage Intercultural Conflict? chapter 9 objectives and outline chapter 9 Objectives



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CHAPTER 9

What Are the Best Ways to Manage Intercultural Conflict?
CHAPTER 9 OBJECTIVES AND OUTLINE

Chapter 9 Objectives:
As a result of reading Chapter 9 and participating in related class discussions and activities, you should be able to:
(1) Compare the differences between independent-self and interdependent-self conflict lenses;
(2) Understand the four approaches to intercultural workplace conflict;
(3) Analyze the three types of intercultural conflict goals;
(4) Increase your self-awareness and other-awareness in relationship to the five conflict styles;
(5) Understand cross-ethnic conflict styles and facework patterns in multiple ethnic groups within the larger U.S. culture; and
(6) Practice competent intercultural conflict skills on a day-to-day basis.

Chapter 9 Outline:
Introduction section:

Intercultural conflict: struggle or frustration between persons of different cultures over various factors (NOTE: This is a brief description; for actual definitions, consult your textbook.)

I. Intercultural Conflict: Cultural Background Factors

A. Culture-Based Conflict Lenses

2. Independent-self conflict lens views conflict from a(n):

a. Content conflict goal lens

b. Clear win-lose conflict approach

c. “Doing” angle

d. Outcome-driven mode

3. Interdependent-self conflict lens views conflict from a:

a. Relational process lens

b. Win-win relational approach

c. “Being” angle

d. Long-term compromise negotiation mode

B. Intercultural Workplace Conflict Grid

1. Uses two value dimensions (individualism-collectivism and power distance)

2. Forms grid with four approaches:

a. Impartial (individualistic-small power distance) Personal freedom, equal treatment valued

b. Status-achievement (individualistic-large power distance) Employees can voice complaints, managers have authority

c. Benevolent (collectivistic-large power distance) Manager in authoritative parental role

d. Communal (collectivistic-small power distance) Communal decision- making, rotating leadership

C. Intercultural Conflict Perceptions: three primary perception features of intercultural conflict:

1. Involves intercultural perceptions (i.e., ethnocentrism, stereotypes)

2. Ethnocentric perceptions add biases to conflict attribution process

3. Attribution process compounded by verbal-nonverbal conflict styles

D. Intercultural Conflict Goal Issues

1. Content goals: external issues

2. Relational conflict goals: how relationships is defined

3. Identity-based goals: face-saving and face-honoring issues

D. Perceived Scarce Resources

1. Conflict resources: rewards people strive for

2. Tangible resources: items, time, scarce commodities, etc.

3. Intangible resources: desires or emotional needs (security, etc.)

4. Three techniques to negotiate scarce resources:

a. Differentiation: divide into different pieces

b. Expansion: search for creative solutions

c. Compensation: offer exchanges for issues each values differently

II. Intercultural Conflict Process Factors

Introduction section:

1. Face: socially approved self-image and other-image issues

2. Facework: verbal and nonverbal strategies to maintain, defend, or upgrade our social image (or attack or defend others’)

A. Defining Conflict Styles

1. Conflict communication style: patterned responses to conflict

2. Three approaches to studying conflict styles:

a. Dispositional: conflict style due to socialization, disposition

b. Situational: conflict topic and situation shapes styles

c. Systems: integrates a and b. People have predominant styles but modify based on situation, etc.

3. Five-style conflict grid: five conflict style tendencies

a. Dominating (or competitive/controlling): push for one’s own position above others’ conflict interest

b. Avoiding: dodge conflict topic, party, or situation

c. Obliging (or accommodating): concern for others’ conflict interest above one’s own conflict position

d. Compromising: give-and-take concession to reach mid-point

e. Integrating (or collaborative): concern for both oneself and others’ interest

B. Cross-Cultural Conflict styles

1. Face-negotiation theory: explains how individualism-collectivism value patterns influence use of conflict styles in different cultures

2. Individualists: self-face oriented, direct, low-context style

3. Collectivists: other-/mutual-face oriented, indirect, high-context style

4. Independent-self individuals: competitive/dominating conflict styles

5. Interdependent-self individuals: avoiding, obliging, integrating, and compromising styles

C. Cross-Ethnic Conflict Styles and Facework

Introduction section:



European American conflict styles: most research subjects; solution-based

strategies, compartmentalize socioemotional and task-based issues

1. African American conflict styles: Black mode of conflict: energetic, nonverbally animated, emotionally expressive. White mode of conflict: low-keyed nonverbally and emotionally restrained

2. Asian American conflict styles: Confucianism influence (roles, status, collective face-saving), avoiding, obliging, sometimes “silence”

3. Latino/a American conflict styles: tactfulness important, avoidance sometimes preferred over head-on confrontation, diversity exists

4. Native American conflict styles: verbal restraint, other- and mutual-face sensitivity, deliberate silence, ask elder for wisdom; diversity among tribes exists

III. Flexible Intercultural Conflict Skills

A. Facework Management

1. Core issues of protecting our communication identity during conflict and dealing with others’ communication identity

2. Self-oriented face-saving behaviors: to regain or defend one’s image after threats to face or face loss

3. Other-oriented face-giving behaviors: to support others’ face claims and help prevent further face loss or restore face. Giving face: not humiliating others’ communication identity in public

4. Individualists in conflict with collectivists: apologize when part of problem, give credit to team or family, hold mutual-orientation perspective

5. Collectivists in conflict with individualists: active expression of ideas, explicit verbal acknowledgement, complimenting others’ abilities and contributions

B. Mindful Listening

1. Mindful listening: learning to listen responsively or ting (a Chinese word that means “attending mindfully with our ears, eyes, focused heart”)

2. Creating new categories: apply culture-sensitive concepts to interpret conflict variation behaviors

3. Paraphrasing skills involve:

a. verbally summarizing content meaning of the message

b. nonverbally echoing your interpretation of emotional meaning

4. Perception-checking: Direct and indirect statements to ensure correct interpretation of speaker’s behaviors, usually ends with questions

C. Cultural empathy: learned ability to understand others’ self-experiences, convey understanding effectively

D. Mindful reframing

1. Highly creative, mutual-face honoring skill

2. Mindful process of using language to change how a person defines or thinks about experiences and views the conflict situation

E. Adaptive Code-Switching: purposefully modifying behavior to accommodate to different cultural norms.

IV. Intercultural Reality Check: Do-Ables

A. To deal constructively with conflict in a collectivistic culture, individualists need to do the following:

1. Be mindful of mutual face-saving premises

2. Practice patient, mindful observation and limit why questions

3. Mindful listening skills, attend to others’ identities and relational expectations

B. In encountering a conflict situation in an individualistic culture, collectivists need to do the following:

1. Assertive conflict behavior, state a clear thesis then develop key points

2. Use “I” statements and more content-clarification questions

3. Use active listening skills; do not rely solely on nonverbal signals

C. With interdependent-self collectivists: be sensitive to “process” orientation

D. With independent-self individualists, be sensitive to “outcome” orientation


CHAPTER 9 CHECK-UP
Check out the following self-assessment questions:


Self-Assessment Quiz: Take this quiz to learn about two conflict lenses. Choose the answer that best reflects your overall tendencies. Can you identify the two different conflict lenses reflected by the questions?
1. In most conflict situations, I am inclined to win and feel good about myself.

a. Agree


b. Disagree
2. In most conflict situations, I try to work toward some compromise.

a. Agree


b. Disagree


POP-UP INTERPRETATION:

1a. Agreement with this statement reflects a tendency toward an individualistic conflict lens.

To take a full assessment of your conflict lenses, check out my.blog 9.1 in the text on page 183.
POP-UP INTERPRETATION:

1b. Disagreement with this statement reflects a tendency away from an individualistic conflict lens.

To take a full assessment of your conflict lenses, check out my.blog 9.1 in the text on page 183.
POP-UP INTERPRETATION:

2a. Agreement with this statement reflects a tendency toward a collectivistic conflict lens.

To take a full assessment of your conflict lenses, check out my.blog 9.1 in the text on page 183.
POP-UP INTERPRETATION:

2b. Disagreement with this statement reflects a tendency away from a collectivistic conflict lens.

To take a full assessment of your conflict lenses, check out my.blog 9.1 in the text on page 183.

Self-Assessment Quiz: Take this quiz to learn about general conflict styles. Choose the answer that best reflects your overall tendencies during conflict. Can you identify the two different general conflict styles reflected in these questions?

1. I attempt to stand firm in my conflict requests.

a. Agree

b. Disagree

2. I do my best to soothe the other person’s feelings and tend to the relationship.

a. Agree


b. Disagree


POP-UP INTERPRETATION:

1a. Agreement with this statement reflects a tendency toward a low-context conflict style.

To take a full assessment of your conflict style, check out my.blog 9.2 in the text on pages 191-192.


POP-UP INTERPRETATION:

1b. Disagreement with this statement reflects a tendency away from a low-context conflict style.

To take a full assessment of your conflict style, check out my.blog 9.2 in the text on pages 191-192.

POP-UP INTERPRETATION:

2a. Agreement with this statement reflects a tendency toward a high-context conflict style.

To take a full assessment of your conflict style, check out my.blog 9.2 in the text on pages 191-192.

POP-UP INTERPRETATION:

2b. Disagreement with this statement reflects a tendency away from a low-context conflict style.

To take a full assessment of your conflict style, check out my.blog 9.2 in the text on pages 191-192.

Self-Assessment Quiz: Use this quiz to learn about five specific conflict styles. See if you can identify which conflict style is reflected in each question:

1) I usually avoid open discussion of the conflict with the person.

2) I “give and take” so a compromise can be reached.

3) I’m generally firm in pursuing my side of the issue.

4) I’m open to the other person’s suggestions in resolving the problem.

5) I often go along with the suggestions of the other person.

(For help, see pages 192–195 for descriptions of integrating, compromising, avoidance, dominating, and obliging.)



POP-UP ANSWER:

These statements reflect a tendency toward the following conflict styles:

1. Avoidance

2. Compromising

3. Dominating

4. Integrating

5. Obliging

To take a full assessment of your particular preferences with regard to conflict styles, check out my.blog 9.3 in the text on pages 193-194.


CHAPTER 9 GLOSSARY-MATCHING QUIZ


Match the following five terms with their respective descriptions of conflict styles:

a. Compromising

b. Avoiding

c. Obliging (or accommodating)

d. Integrating (or collaborative)

e. Dominating (or competitive/controlling)


___ 1. Involves pushing for one’s own position above others’ conflict interest. Includes aggressive, defensive, and controlling tactics.


___ 2. Involves high concern of others’ conflict interest above and beyond one’s own conflict position. Includes smoothing over a conflict or giving in to a partner’s wishes.


___ 3. Involves a high concern for both self-interest and also the other person’s interest. Uses nonevaluative descriptive messages and qualifying statements.


___ 4. Involves dodging the conflict topic, party, or situation altogether. Includes denying the conflict exists and glossing over the topic.


___ 5. Involves a give-and-take concession approach to reach a mid-point agreement. Includes fairness appeals, trade-off suggestions, and other short-term solutions.
POP-UP ANSWER:

1. e


2. c

3. d


4. b

5. a


Match the following five terms with their respective definitions:

a. Identity-based goals

b. Tangible resources

c. Content goals

d. Relational conflict goals

e. Intangible resources

___ 1. How individuals define a particular relationship, or would like to define it in that situation.


___ 2. Face-saving and face-honoring issues in a conflict episode.


___ 3. Conflict resources that may include money and other scarce (or perceived to be scarce) commodities.

___ 4. The practical issues that are external to individuals involved.

___ 5. Conflict resources that may include deeply felt desires or emotional needs.


POP-UP ANSWER:

1. d


2. a

3. b


4. c

5. e


Match the following five terms with their respective definitions:
a. Differentiation

b. Compensation

c. Dispositional approach

d. Expansion

e. Situational approach

___ 1. The view that while individuals are socialized into a cultural group, their particular personality traits influence their conflict style tendencies.

___ 2. Actively searching for alternative paths or creative solutions to enlarge the amount, type, or use of available resources for mutual gains.

___ 3. Offering exchanges or concessions for conflict issues each person values differently.


___ 4. The view that stresses the importance of conflict topic and conflict situation in shaping what conflict styles will be used.

___ 5. Acknowledging different cultural perspectives and dividing up the large “conflict” puzzle into different pieces, striving to reach a shared goal.


POP-UP ANSWER:

1. c


2. d

3. b


4. e

5. a


CHAPTER 9 REVIEW QUIZ
Multiple Choice: Select and click the BEST ANSWER from the choices available.

1. Inez was born and raised in Australia. In this individualist culture, there is a tendency for individuals to view conflict using a(n) _____________ conflict lens.

a. independent-self

b. interdependent-self

c. identity-based

d. relational-based


POP-UP ANSWER:

a. independent-self (p. 182)


2. Ilona, who was raised in a collectivist culture, needs to work on what communication tool in order to be more effective in a conflict with an individualist?

a. More active sharing of her voice or opinions

b. Increasing other-oriented face-giving behaviors

c. Attending more to nonverbal signals from an individualist

d. Giving credit to their team or family


POP-UP ANSWER:

a. More active sharing of her voice or opinions (p. 203)

3. Scheduling mistakes were made at a restaurant and no food server wants to work the next lunchtime shift. Isaiah offers a solution: He offers to work the lunch shift in exchange for a portion of the other food servers’ tips earned during the dinner shift. Isaiah is using which conflict style?

a. Compromising

b. Integrating

c. Dominating

d. Profitable! 
POP-UP ANSWER:

a. Compromising (p. 195)


4. Collectivists tend to view conflict using a(n) _________ conflict lens.

a. independent-self

b. interdependent-self

c. identity-based

d. relational-based

POP-UP ANSWER:

b. interdependent-self (p. 182)

5. In negotiating conflict over scarce resources, the technique that includes offering exchanges or concessions for conflict issues that each conflict party values differently is called ________________.

a. differentiation

b. expansion

c. compensation

d. content goals


POP-UP ANSWER:

c. compensation (p. 190)


6. Isaak and Inga must decide where to go on vacation, and each has a different location in mind. This situation is a conflict over ____________ resources.

a. intangible

b. tangible

c. relational

d. identity


POP-UP ANSWER:

b. tangible (p. 189)

7. During their conflict over where to go on vacation, Ian wants to be respected for his knowledge about traveling. This is a description of which kind of conflict goal?

a. Relational conflict

b. Identity-based

c. Content

d. Tangible
POP-UP ANSWER:

b. Identity-based (pp. 188-189)

8. Which of the following suggestions should individualists do in a conflict with a collectivist?

a. Engage in assertive style of conflict behavior

b. Actively express ideas

c. Learn to apologize when part of the problem

d. Compliment his/her abilities and unique contributions

POP-UP ANSWER:

c. Learn to apologize when part of the problem (pp. 202-203)

9. In her culture, Iduia has learned that during conflict, she should avoid eye contact and speak softly in order to avoid attacking the social images of others. These nonverbal and verbal strategies are called _____________ and she probably lives in a(an) ______________ culture.

a. facework; individualistic

b. facework; collectivistic

c. avoiding conflict style; individualistic

d. avoiding conflict style; collectivistic

POP-UP ANSWER:

b. facework; collectivistic (p. 190)

10. Ignacio’s workplace values personal freedom. Employees expect equal treatment and they even may ask for managers to justify their decisions. According to the intercultural workplace conflict grid, Ignacio’s workplace takes the ___________ approach.

a. impartial

b. status-achievement

c. benevolent

d. communal
POP-UP ANSWER:

a. impartial (p. 183)



True/False: In order to identify the best answer, consider whether each statement is true (i.e., accurate) or false (i.e., inaccurate). Click either “a” for “True” or “b” for “False.”

1. In the United States, the Black mode of conflict is high-keyed (energetic, nonverbally animated, and emotionally expressive).

a. True

b. False
POP-UP ANSWER:



a. True (p. 196)

2. A workplace that holds both collectivistic and small power distance values is one where managers have authority and power.

a. True

b. False
POP-UP ANSWER:



b. False (pp. 183-184). The statement describes the communal approach.

3. Cultural empathy involves the ability of participants to understand accurately the experiences of others from diverse cultures.

a. True

b. False
POP-UP ANSWER:



a. True (p. 201)

4. The avoiding style of conflict describes a high degree of self-interest and a low degree of other-interest in a conflict.

a. True

b. False
POP-UP ANSWER:


b. False (pp. 192-193)

5. U.S. culture tends to view obliging and avoiding styles negatively, as indifferent to or fleeing from the conflict.

a. True

b. False


POP-UP ANSWER:

a. True (p. 195)


CHAPTER 9 INTERCULTURAL WEB SURFING
Check out the following Internet sites and other resources that are relevant to this chapter:

Public Conversations Project:



www.publicconversations.org
Search for Common Ground:

www.sfcg.org
Initiatives of Change:

www.us.initiativesofchange.org
This article shows pictures of the different styles of headscarves worn by Muslim women. It also discusses the reaction to the burqa ban in France:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/04/11/france.burqa.woman/index.html


Film:
Secrets and Lies (England, 1996). An adopted black woman in England tries to find her birth mother. When she finds her, she discovers that her mother lives in a lower-class neighborhood and denies she is her mother. In this emotional movie, everyone's secrets are exposed.

Book:
Laura Hillenbrand (2011). Unbroken. This inspiring true story tells the journey of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed.

CHAPTER 9 INTERCULTURAL TOUR
Check out the following intercultural scenario:

(NOTE: See “Chapter 9 Class Handouts” for a printable version.)


A CRITICAL INCIDENT: WHO GETS THE JOB?*

Competitive organizations across the United States are trying to create more open climates where all people from diverse backgrounds can get along. Their ability to do so effectively depends largely on whom they bring into the workplace when promotional opportunities exist. The following incident will raise a number of important issues about this complex subject.

A medium-sized company in the southern part of Oregon is looking for a manager to oversee the accounting department, which consists of twenty bookkeepers, controllers, and accountants, and four secretaries. The current manager, who has been in the job for seven years, has just been promoted. While the company does have a history of promoting from within, it is also interested in creating a more diverse work environment. It is the hope of the company that a diverse work environment can spark new ideas, and, at the same time, attract new customers in different parts of the region and perhaps expand to California. To that end, it is willing to consider both outside and inside job applicants. Four candidates have shown interest in the job:
JOHN CONNORS is a skilled accountant. He has been with this company for six years. He is actively involved in community affairs, and graduated from a local university. He has cultivated excellent interpersonal relationships both in and out of the company. The only concern some people have is with his sexual orientation: he is gay. While his sexual orientation has not been an issue at work, he does bring his partner to company parties and picnics. However, some people in the department think his sexual orientation is immoral. If he does not get the promotion, he will consider leaving the company. After all, he has served the company loyally for the last six years.

JENNY CHU is a Chinese immigrant from Singapore and has been with the company for seven years. In fact, she and the outgoing manager started their employment at the same time. Jenny, a Certified Public Accountant, has outstanding accounting skills and is viewed as the real expert when work-related issues come up. While Jenny has her college degree from Singapore, she continues to update her accounting skills and acquire supervisory skills via continuing education courses at the local university. Her work relationships with others are congenial. However, some people believe she is a bit quiet and introverted.

EDURADO GARCIA is an outsider who heard about the job opening from some of his fellow Mexican friends at a recent church meeting. He ran his own successful business in Mexico City, sold it, and moved to the United States seven years ago. He has been a practicing accountant in several different companies. He has depth of experience and a good track record. He is extremely involved in his ethnic community and recently joined the Rotary Club to expand his social contacts. He is personable, approachable, and easygoing. He enjoys spending lots of time with his clients. However, some people are uncomfortable with his accent.
MALCOLM WASHINGTON JR. is an African American new to the area and an outsider. He graduated with honors from Yale where he got his BS and his MBA is from Wharton (University of Pennsylvania). For the past year, he was a rising star at his former company, but left to relocate when his wife was offered a once-in-a-lifetime position in this city. Malcolm is bright and willing to learn. He looked like a shoo-in for the job until the vice president took him and his wife out for dinner. In a town not used to interracial relationships and marriage, there was a lot of discomfort. Malcolm’s wife is Euro-American.
*Source: Adapted from Lee Gardenswartz and Anita Rowe. (1995). The Diversity Toolkit. Irwin Publishing.

RANKINGS: WHO GETS THE JOB?

(NOTE: See “Chapter 9 Class Handouts” for a printable form containing these questions.)

Instructions: Read the incident very carefully and rank order the job candidates based on who you think is the best candidate for the job and the company. Be clear about why you are ranking the individuals in your order of preference. After your individual ranking, please discuss your decision with a personnel committee in your class. In the group consensus ranking, everyone on the team has to agree on the top four candidates in order of preference. You have to come to a true consensus ranking system through active communication.

INDIVIDUAL RANKING:

I would vote for __________________ as the top candidate because:

My second choice is _______________________ because:


My third choice is _______________________ because:
My fourth choice is _______________________ because:

GROUP CONSENSUS RANKING:


We, as a team, would vote for ________________ as the top candidate because:

Our second choice is ________________________ because:


Our third choice is ________________________ because:
Our fourth choice is ________________________ because:

INTERACTIVE PROBES

(After the completion of the entire group discussion exercise,

ask yourself and probe your classmates’ reactions)

(NOTE: See “Chapter 9 Class Handouts” section for a printable form containing these questions.)


1. How would you characterize your own conflict styles in this group discussion exercise?
2. How would you characterize your group members’ conflict styles?
3. Did you or your team members apply some of the intercultural conflict skills mentioned in Chapter 10?
4. On a scale of 1–10, with 1 = not satisfied and 10 = extremely satisfied, how would you rank your satisfaction level with the team negotiation process? Why?
5. If you could rewind the group discussion, what would you do differently?
6. Can you relate to any of the characters in the “Who Gets the Job?” critical incident? Can you share your story with your teammates?

FURTHER APPLICATION PROBES

Use these questions to ask yourself and discuss with other students.

Let’s apply some concepts from Chapter 9 to the scenario.

1. What type of resource is the job promotion?

a. Tangible

b. Intangible

c. Relational

d. Identity

POP-UP ANSWER:

a. Tangible (It’s a scarce resource: only one job promotion exists.)


2. During your team negotiation process, if one team member says, “I’m willing to give up Eduardo as my vote for first choice in exchange for letting him be our second choice.” This statement reflects what technique for negotiating conflict over scarce resources?


a. Differentiation

b. Expansion

c. Compensation

d. Content goals


POP-UP ANSWER:

c. Compensation


3. If you were highly interested in getting your rankings approved by the team members and actively opposed their choices, you are most likely operating from which of the five types of conflict styles?

a. Dominating

b. Avoiding

c. Obliging

d. Compromising

e. Integrating


POP-UP ANSWER:

a. Dominating


4. If one of your team members said, “I don’t care that much, let’s go with your choices,” which of the five types of conflict styles would he or she using?

a. Dominating

b. Avoiding

c. Obliging

d. Compromising

e. Integrating

POP-UP ANSWER:

c. Obliging


CHAPTER 9 CLASS HANDOUTS
Note: Your instructor may ask you to download, print out, and/or e-mail the following class handouts for this chapter:

A CRITICAL INCIDENT: WHO GETS THE JOB?
RANKINGS: WHO GETS THE JOB?
INTERACTIVE PROBES FOR “WHO GETS THE JOB?”

A CRITICAL INCIDENT: WHO GETS THE JOB?*

Competitive organizations across the United States are trying to create more open climates where all people from diverse backgrounds can get along. Their ability to do so effectively depends largely on whom they bring into the workplace when promotional opportunities exist. The following incident will raise a number of important issues about this complex subject.

A medium-sized company in the southern part of Oregon is looking for a manager to oversee the accounting department, which consists of twenty bookkeepers, controllers, and accountants, and four secretaries. The current manager, who has been in the job for seven years, has just been promoted. While the company does have a history of promoting from within, it is also interested in creating a more diverse work environment. It is the hope of the company that a diverse work environment can spark new ideas, and, at the same time, attract new customers in different parts of the region and perhaps expand to California. To that end, it is willing to consider both outside and inside job applicants. Four candidates have shown interest in the job:
JOHN CONNORS is a skilled accountant. He has been with this company for six years. He is actively involved in community affairs, and graduated from a local university. He has cultivated excellent interpersonal relationships both in and out of the company. The only concern some people have is with his sexual orientation: he is gay. While his sexual orientation has not been an issue at work, he does bring his partner to company parties and picnics. However, some people in the department think his sexual orientation is immoral. If he does not get the promotion, he will consider leaving the company. After all, he has served the company loyally for the last six years.

JENNY CHU is a Chinese immigrant from Singapore and has been with the company for seven years. In fact, she and the outgoing manager started their employment at the same time. Jenny, a Certified Public Accountant, has outstanding accounting skills and is viewed as the real expert when work-related issues come up. While Jenny has her college degree from Singapore, she continues to update her accounting skills and acquire supervisory skills via continuing education courses at the local university. Her work relationships with others are congenial. However, some people believe she is a bit quiet and introverted.

EDURADO GARCIA is an outsider who heard about the job opening from some of his fellow Mexican friends at a recent church meeting. He ran his own successful business in Mexico City, sold it, and moved to the United States seven years ago. He has been a practicing accountant in several different companies. He has depth of experience and a good track record. He is extremely involved in his ethnic community and recently joined the Rotary Club to expand his social contacts. He is personable, approachable, and easygoing. He enjoys spending lots of time with his clients. However, some people are uncomfortable with his accent.
MALCOLM WASHINGTON JR. is an African American new to the area and an outsider. He graduated with honors from Yale where he got his BS and his MBA is from Wharton (University of Pennsylvania). For the past year, he was a rising star at his former company, but left to relocate when his wife was offered a once-in-a-lifetime position in this city. Malcolm is bright and willing to learn. He looked like a shoo-in for the job until the vice-president took him and his wife out for dinner. In a town not used to interracial relationships and marriage, there was a lot of discomfort. Malcolm’s wife is Euro-American.

*Source: Adapted from Lee Gardenswartz and Anita Rowe. (1995). The Diversity Toolkit. Irwin Publishing.

NAME:_________________________________
RANKINGS: WHO GETS THE JOB

Instructions: Read the incident very carefully and rank order the job candidates based on who you think is the best candidate for the job and the company. Be clear about why you are ranking the individuals in your order of preference. After your individual ranking, please discuss your decision with a personnel committee in your class. In the group consensus ranking, everyone on the team has to agree on the top four candidates in order of preference. You have to come to a true consensus ranking system through active communication.


INDIVIDUAL RANKING:

I would vote for __________________ as the top candidate because:

My second choice is _______________________ because:

My third choice is _______________________ because:

My fourth choice is _______________________ because:




GROUP CONSENSUS RANKING:


We, as a team, would vote for ________________ as the top candidate because:

Our second choice is ________________________ because:

Our third choice is ________________________ because:

Our fourth choice is ________________________ because:


NAME:__________________________________



INTERACTIVE PROBES

(After the completion of the entire group discussion exercise,

ask yourself and probe your classmates’ reactions)

1. How would you characterize your own conflict styles in this group discussion exercise?


2. How would you characterize your group members’ conflict styles?
3. Did you or your team members apply some of the intercultural conflict skills mentioned in Chapter 9?
4. On a scale of 1–10, with 1 = not satisfied and 10 = extremely satisfied, how would you rank your satisfaction level with the team negotiation process? Why?
5. If you could rewind the group discussion, what would you do differently?

6. Can you relate to any of the characters in the “Who Gets the Job?” critical incident? Can you share your story with your teammates?




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