Resistance to Deficient Organizational Authority: The Impact of Culture and Connectedness in the Workplace

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Abstract

In 2 countries differing on individualistic–collectivistic orientation, we investigated resistance to a request made by a manager perceived as lacking personal power based on a key attribute (e.g., expertise, relationality). Results of an experiment with Polish and American participants were consistent with cultural differences in the preferred attribute of leaders in the 2 nations. Participants were more resistant to a manager who lacked the attribute more valued in their culture: Americans were more resistant to managers perceived as lacking in expertise, whereas Poles were more resistant to managers perceived as lacking in relational skills. This effect occurred only under conditions of well-established workplace relationships, suggesting that group connectedness creates a tendency to behave in line with predominant cultural norms.

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