Forestalling the inevitable? Belief in conflict inevitability and dispute resolution system adoption

H. Y. Jeanne Fu, Melody Chao, Pun Zee Pamsy Hui

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


In this research, we explore individuals’ tendency to adopt dispute resolution system (DRS) - alternative dispute resolution inclusion clause - in partnership contracts. We propose a new theoretical construct and explore its associated effect with preference for DRS. Our basic assumption is that an individual’s implicit theory about the nature of conflict will strongly influence the extent to which s/he will adopt DRS. We expect that when people strongly believe that conflicts are inevitable, they are more willing to adopt DRS. Their adoption may stem from the belief that such practice can protect the relationship among the concerned parties. In contrast, when individuals strongly believe that conflicts are preventable, they would hesitate to adopt such a system because they may perceive such system as harming the relationship. We constructed a scale measuring implicit theory of conflict and administered it to 521 Americans and 402 Chinese. Results showed that the scale achieved excellent psychometric properties. The Cronbach’s alpha was .83. Measurement invariance tests showed that the scale was different from other implicit theories (personality, morality and world), emotional regulation and optimism, and the factor structure was similar across the two samples in terms of factor loadings. For convergent validity, correlational analysis showed that it was mildly related to locus of control and prevention focus, free will and fatalistic thinking. Preliminary findings on criterion validity also showed that implicit theory of conflict was related to preference for DRS in a work team setting. Implications will be discussed in light of relationship management, conflict management, and team work.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusNot published / presented only - Jul 2021
EventThe 32nd International Congress of Psychology - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 19 Jul 202124 Jul 2021


ConferenceThe 32nd International Congress of Psychology
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


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