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Individualism-collectivism and business context as predictors of behaviors in cross-national work settings : incidence and outcomes
International Journal of Intercultural Relations
  • Peter B. SMITH, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
  • Claudio V. TORRES, University of Brasília, Brazil
  • Julia HECKER, Open University, United Kingdom
  • Chei Hwee CHUA, University of Miami, United States
  • Alena CHUDZIKOVA, Center for Research into Ethnicity and Culture, Slovakia
  • Serdar DEGIRMENCIOGLU, Istanbul Arel University, Turkey
  • Francisco DONOSO-MALUF, Universidad de La Serena, Chile
  • Yifeng, Nancy CHEN, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • Charles HARB, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • Brad JACKSON, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Sigmar MALVEZZI, Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Brazil
  • Andrew MOGAJI, Benue State University, Nigeria
  • Lorena PEREZ-FLORIANO, Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Mexico
  • B. N. SRIVASTAVA, Indian Institute of Management, India
  • Günter STAHL, Vienna University of Economics and Business, France
  • Stephanie THOMASON, University of Tampa, United States
  • Vladimir YANCHUK, Academy of Sciences, Belarus
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
  • Cross-cultural skills,
  • Individualism-collectivism,
  • Work interactions

Brief descriptions of cross-national problem events by 1349 organizational employees from many nations were content analyzed. Contrasts between individualistic and collectivistic behaviors were much more strongly predicted by variations in business context (e.g., language spoken and hierarchical relations between the parties involved) than by a measure of nation-level in-group collectivism practices. Respondents from individualist nations emphasized performance goals and task focus, whereas those from collectivist nations emphasized personal aspects of work relations more strongly. Task-focused behavioral responses to problems were uniformly associated with positive outcome, whereas the outcome of emotional responses interacted significantly with individualism-collectivism practices. The results are interpreted in terms of collectivists' greater attention to context.

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Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd

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Citation Information
Smith, P. B., Torres, C. V., Hecker, J., Chua, C. H., Chudzikova, A., Degirmencioglu, S., ... Yanchuk, V. (2011). Individualism-collectivism and business context as predictors of behaviors in cross-national work settings: Incidence and outcomes. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35(4), 440-451. doi: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.02.001