The Relationship between Individualism / Collectivism Consultation and Harmony Needs

Rebecca Merkin (1)
(1) Baruch College – CUNY, United States


This study examines how individualism and collectivism impact the need for consultation versus harmony respectively and whether they underlie direct and indirect communication during face-threatening situations. A MANCOVA design was employed testing individualism/collectivism, while controlling for social desirability, on consultation expectations and harmonious facework strategies from self-report questionnaires (n = 654) collected in the Chile, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Sweden, and the United States. Linear regression results show a direct link between individualism and consultation needs and collectivism and harmony needs indicating that when individualists’ face is threatened, they need to be consulted directly about the situation at hand, while face-threatened collectivists need to be treated with harmonious (indirect) communication to manage their face.

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Rebecca Merkin
(Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Rebecca Merkin, Baruch College – CUNY

Rebecca Merkin has a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication from Kent State University. She presently is an Associate Professor in the department of communication studies at Baruch College – CUNY in New York, New York. She is the author of a number of peer-reviewed articles on the topic of cross-cultural communication.

Merkin, R. (2015). The Relationship between Individualism / Collectivism Consultation and Harmony Needs. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 15(3), 1–17.

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