Managing Conflict Across Cultures: Preparing Our Graduates for Global Diversity

Abstract

New technologies continue to enable global workers to collaborate more closely. The upside of this opportunity comes with one big risk: as recent graduates encounter more colleagues, partners, vendors, etc., with widely different cultural backgrounds, what tools will they have for dealing with the most fundamental source of human tension: conflict?

In this session, we will address this question and more by discussing four conflict styles grounded in recent intercultural leadership research, and by developing strategies for bridging differences. Participants will gain an understanding of how they can better equip their students for the ever-more-diverse global workforce.

We will also look at how technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, when paired with awareness of conflict style differences across cultures, hold unprecedented promise for facilitating students’ and young workers’ skill-building in the realm of conflict management across cultures, and in related areas around cultural difference. Specifically, we will look at AI-based avatars as a low-risk, high-reward tool for building these skills.