Individualism-collectivism and business context as predictors of behaviors in cross-national work settings: Incidence and outcomes

Peter B. Smith, Cláudio V. Torres, Julia Hecker, Chei Hwee Chua, Alena Chudzikova, Serdar Degirmencioglu, Francisco Donoso-Maluf, Nancy Chen Yi Feng, Charles Harb, Brad Jackson, Sigmar Malvezzi, Andrew Mogaji, Juan Carlos Pastor, Lorena Perez-Floriano, B. N. Srivastava, Günter Stahl, Stephanie Thomason, Vladimir Yanchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-451
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-cultural skills
  • Individualism-collectivism
  • Work interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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