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Benchmark-Intercultural Relationships

Benchmark-Intercultural Relationships

Sample Answer 

Benchmark-Intercultural Relationships

Explain cultural factors that influence the development of ethical relationships in or between cultures.

The widely accepted concept of culture is that it is a critical determinant of the ethical ideology that a person has and which has an impact on the person’s inclination to behave in an ethical way. Culture thus acts as a guide in which certain practices are determined as being acceptable and appropriate (Chudzicka-Czupała, 2013). The ethical standards of an individual are affected by one’s education, experiences, non-verbal communication, language, and religion. All these factors can also impact the ideas that one has on what comprises ethical practices. For example, Chinese Culture is heavily impacted by Confucian theories. One of the major emphases that Confucianism has is the maintenance of good relationships and showing honor, respect, and loyalty to persons that deserve the same. Hence, in the business culture of the Chinese, as well as the culture in general, it is important to show appropriate honor and loyalty and also save face (Yaqing, 2012).

Several factors influence the ethical relationships’ development between cultures or within cultures. These factors include minimizing uncertainty, similarity, empathy, and social communication, as well as the level of apprehension in intercultural communication between or within diverse cultures (Belluigi, 2012). When people seek to develop relationships with persons from other cultures, they need to consider their communication methods, traditional beliefs, and language. The level of perception of their similarity leads to relationship forming. The ethical standards of individuals are important when developing ethical relationships as these lead to relationships based on a person’s familiarity with the environment and what is seen as acceptable by most people (Belluigi, 2012). This also varies between and within cultures. The personal standards that one has as well as perceptions of culture impact the way that a person perceives things and also how one behaves. This also helps in the development, maintenance, or termination of relationships between persons of different cultures (Belluigi, 2012).

What are different perspectives on the ethics of developing, maintaining, or ending relationships in members of different cultural groups?

According to Heinzelmann (2018), deontological ethical theories assert that people need to adhere to their duties and obligations when making ethical decisions. This means that a person should follow their obligations to another or to society because it is ethically correct to uphold the duty that a person has. A deontologist, for example, will keep the law and a vow made to a friend. The decisions made by such a person are consistent as they are founded on the individual’s set duties.

The theory of utilitarianism is founded on an individual’s ability to predict what actions they take will result in. Hence, to a utilitarian, the option that has the greatest results for the majority of persons is the foundation of ethical decisions. Two types of utilitarianism are Rule and Act utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism is where a person acts on behalf of most peoples’ benefits, the person’s feelings notwithstanding, nor do the constraints set by society, such as laws. Rule utilitarianism is concerned with fairness and the law and seeks to benefit a vast number of people via justice and fairness while including beneficence (Mulgan, 2014).

According to Shafer (2012), ethical theories based on rights are those that society protects and are also given the highest priority. Because a vast majority of society endorses the rights, they are deemed to be valid and correct. An individual can also endorse the rights of others when such a person has the resources and ability to do so. The person’s character is judged by virtue ethical theory as opposed to their actions that could deviate from their normal behavior. Virtue theory takes a person’s motivation, reputation, and morals when analyzing an irregular or unusual behavior deemed to be unethical.

Explain how differing cultural values and norms may influence the experience of intercultural conflict.

Cultures are ingrained in every type of conflict because human relationships are bound to have conflicts (Diaz-Guerrero & Szalay, 2013). Culture affects how people attempt to tame, blame, frame, and name conflicts. Whether there is a conflict depends on the perception of culture. Culture is always a factor when it comes to conflict and may play a central role or have a gentle and subtle influence. A cultural component will always be present in any culture that impacts a person to any degree, where a person holds their identity or makes meaning (Diaz-Guerrero & Szalay, 2013). Intractable conflicts, such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or the Pakistani—Indian conflict, are not only concerning territories, sovereignty, or boundaries; they also are about legitimization, representation, and acknowledging the diverse identities and ways of making meaning, being, and living (Griswold, 2012).

Avruch (2015), points out that generational cultures shape conflicts that arise between parents and teenagers, while gender culture influence conflicts between spouses. Conflicts that arise within organizations due to disciplinary culture escalate to co-worker tensions and create inaccurate and strained communication as well as stressed relationships. Culture, no matter what, always permeates conflicts and sometimes may push forth with much intensity or subtly sneaks along and eventually catches people unawares, nearly stumbling on the same.

Give specific illustrations that show how different conflict styles are grounded in cultural differences.

The combination of concern for others and concern for self results in five different styles of handling conflict. These styles include compromising style, obliging style, dominating style, avoiding style, and integrating style. In a collectivist culture, responsibility and collectives are related to belonging to a community or group. On the other hand, individualism focuses on the individuals, and the relationships between individuals are quite weak. In collectivist societies, community- or group-focused values are deemed more important than individual values, such as an individual’s achievements (Gunkel, Schlaegel, & Taras, 2016).

Hence, people living in collectivist cultures prefer conflict styles that potentially increase all involved parties’ outcomes, that is, compromising, obliging, avoiding, and integrating styles. These styles allow the individuals in the group to act in ways that align with the values set by their respective cultures. People living in collectivist cultures have values that propel them to avoid more confrontational conflict handling, that is, the dominating style that can increase the outcome of a single individual at the cost of the others. This kind of confrontational way of resolving conflict in a collectivist culture would not be in line with the values of the community. Additionally, uncertainty avoidance is also related to dominating conflict handling and avoiding conflict style. Also, individuals who go around some situations minimize their level of uncertainty (Gunkel, Schlaegel, & Taras, 2016).

Lastly, Tsai and Chi (2011) add that for cultures that are long-term oriented, respect for, and commitment to traditions is important. In such cultures, people tend to dominate over a conflict as this is more in line with their cultural values. Also, cultures with a high power distance expect and accept power inequalities and wealth distribution inequalities. Hence, such cultures are likely to prefer conflict handling that allows them, in social interactions, to maintain power distances. Such cultures are likely not to prefer conflict-handling styles that minimize the power distance as these may result in undesirable outcomes.


Avruch, K. (2015). Context and pretext in conflict resolution: Culture, identity, power, and practice. Routledge.

Belluigi, D. Z. (2012). Provoking ethical relationships. Re-Imagining Academic Staff Development: Spaces For Disruption, 119-143.

Chudzicka-Czupała, A. (2013). Ethical ideology as a predictor of ethical decision making. International Journal of Management and Bussiness, 4 (1), 28-41.

Diaz-Guerrero, R., & Szalay, L. B. (2013). Understanding Mexicans and Americans: Cultural perspectives in conflict. Springer Science & Business Media.

Griswold, W. (2012). Cultures and societies in a changing world. Sage.

Gunkel, M., Schlaegel, C., & Taras, V. (2016). Cultural values, emotional intelligence, and conflict handling styles: A global study. Journal of World Business, 51(4), 568-585.

Heinzelmann, N. (2018). Deontology defended. Synthese, 195(12), 5197-5216.

Mulgan, T. (2014). Understanding utilitarianism. Routledge.

Shafer-Landau, R. (Ed.). (2012). Ethical theory: an anthology (Vol. 13). John Wiley & Sons.

Tsai, J. S., & Chi, C. S. (2011). Linking societal cultures, Organizational cultures and conflict management styles. Proceedings Editor.

Yaqing, Q. (2012). Culture and global thought: Chinese international theory in the making. Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals, 100, 67-89.


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Benchmark-Intercultural Relationships

In 1000-1250 words, complete the following: 

  1. Explain cultural factors that influence the development of ethical relationships in or between cultures.
  2. What are different perspectives on the ethics of developing, maintaining, or ending relationships in members of different cultural groups?
  3. Explain how differing cultural values and norms may influence the experience of intercultural conflict.
  4. Give specific illustrations that show how different conflict styles are grounded in cultural differences.
  5. The project must have a minimum of 5 scholarly sources.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

Benchmark-Intercultural Relationships

Benchmark-Intercultural Relationships

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All B.A. in Communication majors should save the final version of this assignment with edits that incorporate faculty feedback after grading. Students should also save the assignment directions. COM-490: Communication Capstone will require students to prepare a portfolio that showcases their work in the program. Please save this assignment in multiple locations. See the “Communication Professional Portfolio Guide” under course materials for further instructions.

Benchmark Information

This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies and professional standards:

Comp 2.3 Explain how behaviors express cultural norms or values.

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