Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 6:4 (November 2013), pp. 259–279; doi: 10.1080/17513057.2013.829577


Copyright © 2013 National Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


Sino-American economic joint ventures are most often studied through a lens of technical rationality that typically emphasizes organizational efficiency, reduces culture to a manageable resource, and views conflict as discrete disruptions requiring efficient handling. Here, we conceptualize Sino-American business partnerships as sites of struggle where co-managers' accounts of intercultural disagreements reveal friction around action, voice, interests, and identity. We propose cooperative struggle as a critical management practice for working creatively with the multiple forms of difference that arise in this organizational form.