Embedded in intercultural conflicts are identity or face-based goal issues (Rothman, 1997), which, when not effectively managed, may lead to unresolved conflicts. This study examined actual email interactions over a period of five months between an American visiting professor and an International Office staff member at a University in China. It showed three patterns of interaction that failed to manage each other’s face or identity needs and led to unresolved conflicts, hurt feelings, and ruined intercultural relationships. It suggested principles or lessons for effectively handling intercultural conflicts.
Chang, Y. (2011). You think I’m stupid? Face needs in intercultural conflicts. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 25(4).
Journal of Intercultural Communication