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abstract  While employee assistance programmes (EAPs) are becoming commonplace in large Western organizations, little is known regarding their prevalence in non-Western cultures. In this paper, we provide a framework for understanding the prevalence of EAPs in four distinct cells of societal culture-based variations. A cultural matrix for analysing the relative emphases of styles of coping, social support systems, rites and rituals, and the prevalence of EAPs is developed. The implications for managerial health and effectiveness in the global context are discussed.