This paper proposes a broad perspective for studying the influence of culture on the process of conflict management. Three models of conflict management are described, based on the culture framework of Glen (1981). In the confrontational model, conflicts are conceptualized as consisting of subissues, and a sense of reasonable compromise aids resolution despite a confrontational style. In the harmony model, conflict management starts with the minimization of conflict in organizations through norms stressing observance of mutual obligations and status orderings. Conflicts are defined in their totality, and resolution is aided by avoidance and an accommodative style. Less emphasis is placed on procedural justice, as on maintenance of face of self and others. Third parties are used extensively, and their role is more intrusive. In the regulative model, bureaucratic means are used extensively to minimize conflicts or to aid avoidance. Conflicts get defined in terms of general principles, and third party roles are formalized. The implications of the differences among the three models for conflict resolution across cultures and for future research are discussed.
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