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Cross-cultural misunderstandings of conflict avoidance: A multi-method test of the roles of attributions and communication enhancement


Cross-cultural interpretations of conflict avoidance have not been examined previously but have important implications for global organizations. Furthermore, in some cultures, avoidance is viewed as a negative coping strategy in terms of negotiation and conflict management, whereas in other cultures, it is seen as a positive strategy. Thus, I propose to examine three specific research objectives, namely (1) Understanding cross-cultural interpretations of and attributions made for avoidance behavior; (2) Examining the relationship between attributions for avoidance and outcomes in the context of negotiation; (3) Testing an intervention aimed at improving cross-cultural understanding of avoidance. Specifically, I propose to test hypotheses about how avoidant behavior is interpreted during a cross-cultural negotiation between Jewish and Arab Israelis. Attributions for avoidance are hypothesized to be correlated with outcomes, and information sharing is hypothesized to mediate the relationship between attributions and outcomes. Research questions will first be explored during qualitative interviews with Arab and Jewish Israeli managers in Israel, and hypotheses will subsequently be tested in an experimental study. Given the differences between Arab and Jewish cultural norms for avoidance, Israel provides an excellent laboratory for examining how avoidance of conflict is interpreted (or misinterpreted) cross-culturally. The proposed research also has direct implications for the EU mission of transfer of knowledge, and is in line with the EU’s goals for greater political and economic integration within the EU, between the EU and its neighbors, and throughout the Middle East.

Call for proposal

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Senate building technion city
32000 Haifa

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Mark Davison (Mr.)
EU contribution
No data