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Cultural Conflict Management Styles

Several conflict styles are used to manage conflicts: factual-inductive, axiomatic-deductive, and affective-intuitive (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, p 299). Factual-inductive style, typical of the United States, focuses on facts and inductively moves toward a conclusion (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, p 299). This aligns with the universalist culture which prescribe consistent standards irrespective of cultural norms (Lanier, 2012). The axiomatic-deductive style relies on general principals and deduces implications for specific situations (Gudykunst and Kim, 2003, p 299). The affective-intuitive style is based on the use of emotional or affective messages (Gudykunst and Kim, 2003, p 299). Axiomatic-deductive and affective-intuitive styles are synonymous with countries like the Soviet Union (Gudykunst and Kim, 2003, p 299) and are aligned with the universalist or collectivist cultures (Lanier, 2012).

Conflict can be managed if not averted altogether through a familiarity of the culture (Lanier, 2012). Literature predicts cultural differences are based on five styles: integrating style, compromising style, dominating style, obliging style, and avoiding style (Gudykunst and Kim, 2003, p 300).

The integrating style focuses on managing conflict out of high concern for self and others (Gudykunst and Kim, 2003, p 299). The compromising Style focuses on moderate concern for self and moderate concern for others (Gudykunst and Kim, 2003, p 300). The dominating style represents a high concern for self and a low concern for others and is typically used to control or dominate (Gudykunst and Kim, 2003, p 300). An obliging style presents a low concern for self and a high concern for others and is present when we give in to others to avoid conflict (Gudykunst and Kim, 2003, p 300). Finally, the avoiding style involves low concern for self and others and the topic of conflict is avoided by all at all times (Gudykunst and Kim, 2003, p 300).


Lanier, John (2012). Retrieved from his posting: Blackboard Dialogues for Doctorate in Strategic Leadership, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.

Gundykunst, William B. and Kim, Young Yun (2003). Communicating with Strangers – 4th edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

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