Goal interdependence for working across cultural boundaries : Chinese employees with foreign managers

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

20 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction between foreign managers and local employees is critical in helping them combine their expertise to innovate. However, their diverse cultural values can make developing a productive leader-member relationship challenging. This study proposes that goal interdependence is an important antecedent of an open-minded discussion of opposing views, innovation, and commitment. One hundred and eleven Chinese employees each described a specific interaction with their foreign manager and then responded to questions that were later used in the statistical analyses. The correlational and structural equation analysis indicated that cooperative but not competitive goals facilitated constructive controversy, which in turn promoted innovation and job commitment. These results suggest that Chinese employees and foreign managers can use the theory of cooperation and competition to develop their relationship, which help them integrate their ideas and abilities to implement useful innovations and heighten their commitment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-447
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005



  • Commitment
  • Constructive controversy
  • Goal interdependence
  • Innovation

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