At the end of this tutorial, the learner will understand that there are multiple instruments for evaluating conflict styles and more fully understand the usefulness of the Intercultural Conflict Styles Inventory
What about intercultural differences? Is there a way to look at conflict styles in light of intercultural differences? The answer to that is yes, I'm Marlene and today I'd like to take a look at the impact of culture on conflict styles.
Now we know the Thomas-Kilmann conflict styles inventory is the best known for measuring conflict styles however it's only one tool. Why? Because the users of this particular inventory all come from US culture, that's how it was designed with people from this culture and these are people who all share the same assumptions and the same world view. So if people come from a different culture it may not be as effective a tool.
Let's pause for a moment and define culture. Culture is a form of human social organization in which people identify themselves as members of a group sharing symbol systems, norms, traditions, and viewpoints towards the world. So that's what a culture is, we're all part of the American culture here. However we know that this country is a great melting pot, people came from all over into this country and we've come together to form the American culture but there's a lot of cross-cultural mix.
So what do I mean by cross-culture? Well cross-culture is a term used to describe interactions between members of different cultures, in which cultural differences may influence behavior, perception, or interpretation. I think if you've ever traveled abroad you've run into these kind of cross-cultural differences, I know I certainly have. I've traveled to countries where I don't speak the language and I've wandered in little villages and come across a lot of interesting cross-cultural differences which I enjoy. Now when people come to this country, immigrate to this country of course they bring their cultural traditions and norms and ways of seeing the world with them. Now we learn to share a number of things in common in this country but quite often we'll retain a lot of what we brought with us from our country of origin.
So within this country we also have subcultures. Now a subculture is a group with a different cultural orientation than the larger culture around it. So we can see this with influx of Latinos or Hmong, you go to New York City you have Chinatown, Little Italy, I love visiting these little pockets where you've got people a part of one subculture because they have their own traditions and ways of seeing and doing things as well as of course assimilating into the larger culture.
It's important, in closing let me just say that it's important to recognize the importance of these cross-cultural differences in conflict. Now there is an Intercultural Conflict Styles inventory and this is a tool that takes into account the cultural differences that people have, so if there's a conflict that involves cross-cultural elements this can be an especially helpful tool to use.
So I want to thank you for being part of this tutorial and I look forward to seeing you next time.