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38 J. Conflict Resol. 3 (1994)

handle is hein.journals/jcfltr38 and id is 1 raw text is: 











Integrative Complexity

and British Decisions during

the Munich and Polish Crises



STEPHEN G. WALKER
GEORGE L. WATSON
Arizona State University




   This study addresses the impact of crisis management strategies, stress, and groupthink
conditions on the integrative complexity of British decision makers in 10 decision-making
episodes during two Anglo-German crises in 1938 and 1939. A systematic random sample of
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's statements during British cabinet deliberations in the
intragovemmental arena and British messages to Germany in the intergovernmental arena during
the acute phase of each crisis was scored for integrative complexity. An ANOVA of integrative
complexity for crisis, arena, and episode demonstrated a significant independent relationship
between strategy and integrative complexity plus a significant interaction effect between strategy
and arena on integrative complexity. There were also significant differences in Chamberlain's
integrative complexity between early and later episodes of the Polish conflict in the in-
tragovernmental arena; no significant differences occurred between episodes in either arena
during the Munich conflict. These results support the hypotheses that associate low integrative
complexity with the implementation of a competitive strategy in the intergovernmental arena
and with high stress in the intragovernmental arena.




In  this article our goal is to compare and interpret the cognitive complexity
of communications circulating   within the British cabinet and emanating  from
the British government   during the Munich  and Polish crises. We focus on the
relationships between  the onset and duration of an international crisis and the
complexity   of communications   articulated by government   officials, plus the
broader  relationship between  the implementation   of different political strat-
egies and integrative complexity  (Tetlock 1985a;  Suedfeld and Tetlock  1977;
Raphael   1982; Wallace,  Suedfeld,  and Thadchuk 1993). The research also
builds on  earlier studies of groupthink by Janis (1982)  and the relationship
between   groupthink  and  integrative complexity  (Tetlock 1979;  Walker  and
Watson   1989).

JOURNAL  OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION, VoL 38 No. 1, March 1994 3-23
D 1994 Sage Publications, Inc.
                                                                              3


from the SAGE Social Science Collections. All Rights Reserved.

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