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Title: Workplace conflict management styles : a comparison of public sector and private sector employees in Hong Kong
Other Titles: Bi jiao Xianggang gong ying ji si ying ji gou yuan gong zai gong zuo jian zhi chong tu guan li ji qiao
Authors: Lam, Kin Yu (林建宇)
Department: Department of Public and Social Administration
Degree: Master of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Conflict management -- China -- Hong Kong
Interpersonal conflict -- China -- Hong Kong
Personnel management -- China -- Hong Kong
Government business enterprises -- China -- Hong Kong -- Personnel management
Notes: 143, [11] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Thesis (M.Phil.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2004
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 132-143)
CityU Call Number: HD42.L34 2004
Type: Thesis
Abstract: The theme of conflict management styles has been the focus of extensive research in social psychology, organizational behaviour and the field of cross-cultural management. However, this piece of research represents a first attempt, in the areas of both public administration and conflict management, to apply the theoretical framework of new institutionalism to study the relationship between the public / private distinction and conflict management styles. It also contributes to the limited research on conflict management within the Hong Kong context. Through the use of Rahim's Organizational Conflict Inventory - II (ROCI-II), which was further developed to produce a bilingual format (English and Chinese). 494 usable cases were collected using 1) a convenience sample of part-time students with full-time employment and 2) a sample of respondents from the same occupational group who were employed in either a large public agency or a large private sector firm. This took place between December 2000 and March 2001 in Hong Kong. The main research findings indicated that public sector employees are significantly more likely to use an 'integrating style' to handle conflict with their supervisors when compared with their counterparts in the private sector. Such a finding is explained in terms of the public / private distinction. That is, the superior-subordinate relations operating in civil service systems are largely different from private sector organizations as a whole due to distinctive characteristics of public personnel administration such as justice culture, perception of red tape by superiors, participative management style adopted etc. The major implication of the research findings is to demonstrate that the two major operation systems of political economy, namely polyarchy and market economy, influence human behaviours in the workplace through the mode of socialization by public and private organizations respectively. Therefore, the advocacy of organizational theorists to adopt a generic perspective to approach the management issues of public sector organizations may not be appropriate, even though this is the current trend in relation to public sector reforms and the New Public Management WPM) paradigm. Finally, the present study's limitations and some suggestions for future research directions have been discussed in the conclusion chapter of this M.Phil Thesis.
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