Cross‐cultural equity sensitivity: a test of differences between the United States and Japan

Richard S. Allen (Management Department, College of Business Administration, The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA)
Margaret Takeda (Management Department, College of Business Administration, The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA)
Charles S. White (Management Department, College of Business Administration, The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the cross‐cultural differences in equity sensitivity between the USA and Japan.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 390 Americans and 202 Japanese were surveyed to determine their equity sensitivities and how each group would likely respond to under‐payment scenarios.

Findings

The findings support the notion that the Japanese are in fact more entitled in their equity orientation than Americans. Furthermore, the Japanese were also significantly more likely to respond with overt actions to reduce their feelings of inequity.

Research limitations/implications

Foremost among these limitations is the fact that the situation presented to the subjects was hypothetical rather than real. Since it would be considered unethical to manipulate subjects in real work settings a first person scenario approach was utilized consistent with other equity theory literature. While the scenario was easily identifiable by the student subjects, it is unknown if the findings from this research would apply to adults working in real world organizations.

Practical implications

The results may have important implications for international human resource strategies and practices. Equity sensitivity may affect perceived value of rewards (compensation), promotion (selection), and motivation (performance management) all of which are critical issues in the effective management of human resources. This study illustrates that cross‐cultural differences exist in regard to equity sensitivity and these differences may affect the efficacy of human resource strategies in global organizations.

Originality/value

This paper offers a significant contribution to the literature on equity sensitivity by testing the theory in a cross‐cultural setting.

Keywords

Citation

Allen, R., Takeda, M. and White, C. (2005), "Cross‐cultural equity sensitivity: a test of differences between the United States and Japan", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 20 No. 8, pp. 641-662. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940510631426

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.