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This collection of Cross Cultural papers, published across a number of issues of Management and OrganizationReview, has been put together to celebrate Management and Organization Review 13.4, a Special Issue celebrating and honouring our friend and colleague Professor Kwok Leung and his scholarship. We are pleased to give free access to this collection.
This study presents a 12-year (1989-2001) longitudinal comparison of managerial values systems in China, Hong Kong, and the U.S. Using hierarchical cluster analysis, we test the validity of the three competing perspectives - convergence, divergence, and crossvergence - on values system evolution in these three societies. We use the sociocultural influence and business ideology influence typology as the foundation for developing our hypotheses. Additionally, we assess the contribution of the specific values within the values system to the overall system values findings. Our data most strongly support the multicultural crossvergence perspective. During a time period of stability in the U.S. and substantial change in both Hong Kong and China, the values of Hong Kong and China became more similar, while the values of these two Greater China societies became more different from those of the U.S.
This commentary offers several directions for the development of Chinese management research based on the penetrating analyses provided by Barney and Zhang (2009) and Whetten (2009). First and foremost, Chinese management researchers can develop novel, seminal ideas and theories that are not necessarily tied to the Chinese cultural context but are applicable in diverse cultural contexts. The success of this approach depends on the merit of the ideas and theories proposed. A fusion, or combined emic–etic approach, can also be attempted, which integrates elements from Western and indigenous theories. Finally, the synergistic approach involves a dynamic interplay of Chinese and Western management research, which will eventually lead to innovative, culture-general theories. This article argues that all three approaches should be emphasized in Chinese management research.
In this study, we examine culture-specific relationships between individual differences and distributive negotiations. We measured individual characteristics and their effects on distributive negotiations in both American and Chinese cultures, using a Western-based scale (the ‘Big Five’) and a Chinese-based scale (CPAI). We found that agreeableness and extraversion (from the ‘Big Five’) affected negotiations for Americans, but not for Chinese. We found that harmony, face and Ren Qing (from the Chinese-based scales) affected negotiations for Chinese, but not for Americans. Specifically, we found that in the American culture, those higher in extraversion and agreeableness achieved lower economic gain, whereas in the Chinese context that those high in harmony, face, and Ren Qing were more likely to be influenced by opening offers and achieve lower economic gain in distributive negotiations. Our study highlights the need to examine negotiations using culturally sensitive constructs and measures.
The assumption of strategy approaches like the resource based view is that, despite environmental constraints, ample room remains for organizations to differentiate on the basis of organizational culture (together with related human resource practices) to achieve sustained competitive advantage. In contrast, other perspectives assume that management practice and organizational culture mirror, or are constrained by, national culture. To the degree that such a constraint exists, within-country variance in culture should be small and between-country variance large. In statistical terms, the first question is: what is the magnitude of the effect size for country? The larger the effect, the more likely it is a constraint. Second, what portion of the country effect size is due to differences in national culture? My review finds that most of the variance in organizational cultures is not explained by country; of the variance that is explained by country, only a minority is due to national culture differences. As such, there may be more room for organizational differentiation than typically recognized. Third, under what circumstances will country and national culture effects be larger or smaller? I present a model suggesting more room for differentiation in countries having greater individual level variance in cultural values and related variables.
The analysis of societies, and of systems of business within them, has tended to be heavily influenced by institutionalist perspectives. Many scholars using this approach include culture as a subset of institutions, but often without specifying the logics of doing so. Others remove culture from the account, or acknowledge its significance without placing it clearly in their models. Culturalists, however, tend not to venture into the details of economic coordination and action. To resolve the theoretical challenges posed by this set of contrasting views, it is necessary to specify how culture works and how it is different from institutions. As ‘the societal effect’ is the influence of culture on institutions, it may thus be easier to study its workings. Here culture is seen, following Sorge, as meaning relevant within a series of semantic spaces, each related to a field of action, the total integrated coherently by social axioms binding the spaces and the meanings within them into a total societal fabric of meaning. The private sector of the Chinese economy is analysed, drawing from recent extensive empirical reports as to its functioning. Theory development is in line with business systems theory.
This Editors' Forum – ‘Creativity East and West’ – presents five papers on the question of cultural differences in creativity from the perspective of different research literatures, followed by two integrative commentaries. The literatures represented include historiometric, laboratory, and organizational studies. Investigation of cultural influences through country comparisons and priming manipulations, focusing on how people perform creatively and how they assess creativity. This introduction notes parallels in the findings across these research perspectives, suggesting some cultural universals in creativity and some systematic differences. Many differences can be explained in terms of the model that creativity means a solution that is both novel/original and useful/appropriate, yet that Western social norms prioritize novelty whereas Eastern norms prioritize usefulness – an account which predicts cultural differences would arise in contexts that activate social norms. The commentaries elaborate this argument in terms of processes – at the micro cognitive level and at the macro societal level – through which creativity occurs.
I compare networks of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in China and Russia by examining professional social networks of software entrepreneurs and private equity investors from the perspectives of institutional theory and culture paradigm. In the empirical study, I draw on survey data from Beijing and Moscow based on interviews of 159 software entrepreneurs and 124 venture capital decisions. I found that professional networks of the Chinese software entrepreneurs are smaller, denser and more homogeneous in educational specializations, compared with the networks of Russian entrepreneurs. Furthermore, I found that both ties and interpersonal trust in the referral tie are stronger in China than in Russia.
Demonstrating the equivalence of constructs is a key requirement for cross-cultural empirical research. The major purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how to assess measurement and functional equivalence or invariance using the 9-item, 3-factor Love of Money Scale (LOMS, a second-order factor model) and the 4-item, 1-factor Pay Level Satisfaction Scale (PLSS, a first-order factor model) across 29 samples in six continents (N = 5973). In step 1, we tested the configural, metric and scalar invariance of the LOMS and 17 samples achieved measurement invariance. In step 2, we applied the same procedures to the PLSS and nine samples achieved measurement invariance. Five samples (Brazil, China, South Africa, Spain and the USA) passed the measurement invariance criteria for both measures. In step 3, we found that for these two measures, common method variance was non-significant. In step 4, we tested the functional equivalence between the Love of Money Scale and Pay Level Satisfaction Scale. We achieved functional equivalence for these two scales in all five samples. The results of this study suggest the critical importance of evaluating and establishing measurement equivalence in cross-cultural studies. Suggestions for remedying measurement non-equivalence are offered.
We investigated the relationship between the national cultural value of power distance and collective silence as well as the role of voice-inducing mechanisms in breaking the organizational silence. Using data from 421 organizational units of a multinational company in 24 countries, we found that both formalized employee involvement and a participative climate encouraged employees to voice their opinions in countries with a small power distance culture. In large power distance cultures, formalized employee involvement is related to employee voices only under a strong perceived participative climate.
This special issue is devoted to celebrating and extending the scholarship of Kwok Leung, who passed away on May 25, 2015. Management and Organization Review is grateful to Michael W. Morris, Zhen Xiong (George) Chen, Lorna Doucet, and Yaping Gong for their thoughtful, instrumental effort in the publication of this special issue.