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Chinese Management Studies





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Purpose – The present study aims at contributing to the knowledge of organizational communication and cross-cultural female leadership by examining the conflict management strategies between Taiwanese female presidents and their American counterparts in Rotary Clubs.

Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through field observations and 25 in-depth interviews with 14 Taiwanese female presidents and 11 American female presidents in Rotary Clubs. Theme analysis of the interpretive method was used in this research.

Findings – This study revealed that the female presidents in both cultures applied obliging and integrating strategies to handle management conflicts. Yet, due to the interference of past presidents, the Taiwanese women leaders are more likely to follow the traditional norms whereas women leaders in the United States tend to employ new approaches and adopt new conflict management strategies in different situations.

Research limitations – This study has focused on exploring the conflict management strategies of only the female presidents in the Rotary Clubs in Taiwan and the United States. Thus, readers may not see the whole picture of the gender differences. Practical implications – The application of conflict management strategies may be determined by the factors of face, in-group relationships, and roles of the invited third party for Taiwanese subjects whereas American subjects usually adopt appropriate strategies according to the nature of the conflicts. That is, the Taiwanese female leaders would endeavor to keep relationships positive or/and keep positive relationships with their members while the American female leaders would strive do things right or/and do the right things for their conflict strategy application.

Originality/value – As the first study of its kind, this study has filled the gap by expanding female conflict management studies to cross-cultural contexts, thus contributing to the body of human knowledge of cross-cultural leadership in non-profit organizations.


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