Special Issue Article

Managerial and Employee Conflict Communication in Papua New Guinea: Application of the Culture‐Based Social Ecological Conflict Model


Framed by the culture‐based social ecological conflict model (CBSECM), this study examines individuals’ accounts of conflict communication in Papua New Guinea (PNG) between Chinese managers and PNG employees. In‐depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 14 participants: six Chinese managers and eight PNG employees. The findings show that primary orientation elements of face and power distance and situational features of labor laws and family obligations shape reported conflict communication strategies. PNG employees tended to submit to managers even when they felt wrongly accused given their cultural orientations and situational constraints. To express dissent, these employees often used indirect, passive resistance strategies. Chinese managers reported using competition to resolve conflicts. The resulting conflict outcomes are distrust and dissatisfaction and have potential negative implications for intercultural relations and organizational success. The study contributes to the CBSECM by illuminating some of the multilevel effects proposed in the model.

Keywords: Papua New Guinea, managerial–employee conflict, intercultural conflict, communication, culture‐based social ecological conflict model




Published on
02 Sep 2018
Peer Reviewed