Cross-national Similarities and Differences in Employee Perceptions of Issues in the Work Environment

Authors

  • David Ripley,

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      DAVID RIPLEY David Ripley, Ph.D., AFHRINZ, SPHR is a senior lecturer at Canterbury and a member of the adjunct graduate faculty of Boise State University. His primary research interest is the impact of system factors in improving employee performance. He has significant practitioner experience. Mailing address: The University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand. Telephone: +64 3 364 2987. E-mail: david.ripley@canterbury.ac.nz

  • Irene Hudson,

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      IRENE HUDSON Irene Hudson, Ph.D., FRSS UK is a senior lecturer at Canterbury and an Adjunct Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She is elected a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society UK and to the Editorial Board of Statistical Methods in Medical Research. Mailing address: The University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand. Telephone: +64 3 364 2987. E-mail: i.hudson@math.canterbury.ac.nz

  • Robin Turner,

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      ROBIN TURNER Robin Turner, Ph.D., B.Sc. (Hons) recently completed her doctorate in mathematics and statistics. Her research has investigated the link between personality and depression; a second aspect of the research used statistical parametric mapping to examine the relationship between personality and brain function. Mailing address: The University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand. Telephone: +64 3 364 2987. E-mail: robin.turner@canterbury.ac.nz

  • AAhad Osman-Gani

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      AAHAD OSMAN-GANI AAhad Osman-Gani, Ph.D. is associate professor and director, the Asian Centre of International Business at Nanyang Technological University. His research interest spans the areas of international human resource development, cross-cultural & expatriate management, international technology transfer, and quality & performance improvement. Mailing address: Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798. Telephone: 6790 4982. E-mail: AAhad@ntu.edu.sg


Abstract

This exploratory study examines cross-national similarities and differences in employee perceptions of issues in the work environment in 17 organizational work settings in seven Asia-Pacific countries; Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. Employees at these 17 sites indicated their degree of agreement with statements about 60 work environment issues which previous research has shown impact performance. Resulting data were compared using coefficients of concordance as described by Gibbons (1971) at three levels of analysis. Analysis indicated that differences and similarities in responses did not reflect those one would expect to find based on previous well-known research concerning cultural differences in those same countries (Hall, 1976; Hofstede, 1980, 2001). This suggests that relying primarily on national cultural differences is not a sufficient guide for the design of performance improvement interventions in various countries and that other context factors need to be taken into account. Possible hypotheses for future research are offered.

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