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A Cross-cultural Examination of Preferences for Work Attributes
WCOB Faculty Publications
  • Melissa S. Woodard
  • Jane K. Miller
  • Daniel J. Miller
  • Kirk D. Silvernail
  • Chun (Grace) Guo, Sacred Heart University
  • Sudhir Nair
  • Mehmet D. Aydin
Document Type
Peer-Reviewed Article
Publication Date

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between individual- and country-level values and preferences for job/organizational attributes. Design/methodology/approach: Survey data were collected from 475 full-time employees (average of nine years work experience, and three years in a managerial position) enrolled in part-time MBA programs in seven countries. Findings: Preference for a harmonious workplace is positively related to horizontal collectivism, whereas preference for remuneration/advancement is positively related to vertical individualism. The authors also find a positive relationship between preference for meaningful work and horizontal individualism, and between preference for employer prestige and social adjustment (SA) needs. Research limitations/implications: Although the sample comprised experienced, full-time professionals, using graduate business students may limit generalizability. Overall, the results provide initial support for the utility of incorporating the multi-dimensional individualism and collectivism measure, as well as SA needs, when assessing the relationships between values and employee preferences. Practical implications: For practitioners, the primary conclusion is that making assumptions about preferences based on nationality is risky. Findings may also prove useful for enhancing person-organization fit and the ability to attract and retain qualified workers.

Originality/value: This study extends research on workers’ preferences by incorporating a new set of values and sampling experienced workers in a range of cultural contexts.

Citation Information
Woodard, M. S., Miller, J. K., Miller, D. J., Silvernail, K. D., Guo, C., Nair, S., . . . Peters, L. M. (2016). A cross-cultural examination of preferences for work attributes. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 31(3), 702-719. doi:10.1108/JMP-09-2013-0289