Harmony and conflict

a cross-cultural investigation in China and Australia

Kwok Leung*, Frances P. Brew, Zhi Xue Zhang, Yan Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    84 Citations (Scopus)


    Study 1 identified three distinct harmony factors in Hong Kong: disintegration avoidance, harmony enhancement, and harmony as hindrance. Furthermore, disintegration avoidance was found to relate positively to conflict avoidance and negatively to negotiation in a conflict situation. Study 2 examined how the harmony factors were related to various conflict styles in China and Australia. The three harmony factors were identifiable in Australia, but the Chinese scored higher in both disintegration avoidance and harmony enhancement. For the two groups, disintegration avoidance was related positively to avoiding and dominating and negatively to integrating, whereas harmony enhancement was related positively to compromising and integrating. Compromising was related more strongly to harmony enhancement than to disintegration avoidance. Finally, disintegration avoidance was positively related to compromising and obliging for Chinese but not for Australians. The study extends the current conflict management research by incorporating the Chinese notion of harmony.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)795-816
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


    • conflict
    • dual-concern model
    • harmony

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