Chinese/Taiwanese female civil servants : their conflict negotiation strategies & cooperative game theory

Suzan Porter Babcock, School for International Training


Working with conflict within an organization is often complicated by the presence of outside variables, which can influence how conflict is negotiated. The focus of this study is to investigate how Chinese/Taiwanese female civil servants at the Republic of China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations (BICER) view conflict within their workplace and to examine variables that influence their strategy making decisions for negotiating conflict. Data was collected in Mandarin Chinese and translated into English from a questionnaire/survey and from a round-table interview given to Chinese women working at the MOE and BICER. The significance of this study lies in its analysis on how the women view conflict and how outside variables influence their strategy making decisions regarding conflict negotiation within their workplace. Based on the Cooperative Game Theory model and other current research, an examination is made using this theory from a cultural perspective to examine the women’s conflict negotiation strategies as game playing strategies, especially with respect to the amount of power held by the players, how these players play the game and how their winnings are distributed. The significance of these findings is that it generates a hypothesis that many of these women view the process of conflict negotiation as a game and develop their conflict negotiation strategies accordingly. The study also suggests that the Cooperative Game Theory can also be applied to behavioral studies and not just to economic formulae. Thus, further research may be of value in exploring possible gender-based strategies for the collection and distribution of winning chips when contemplating the negotiation of conflict strategies.