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Individualism-collectivism cultural differences in performance feedback theory

Mooweon Rhee (Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea )
Valerie Alexandra (San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA)
K. Skylar Powell (Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 18 June 2020

Issue publication date: 3 September 2020




Performance feedback theory (PFT) has informed analyses in numerous national contexts and has been used to explain various business and management activities of firms. Stemming from behavioral theory and grounded in a cognitive perspective, which views organizational actions as being the results of decisions produced by groups of individual decision-makers, PFT research has mostly assumed the universal nature of cognition and decision-making processes. However, PFT also presumes that individual decision-makers bring with them different backgrounds and experiences. Hence, this paper offers propositions on how cultural differences in individualism-collectivism influence the major components of PFT, including the formation and revision of performance goals (aspiration levels), and search behaviors and risk preferences in response to gaps between goals and actual performance. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.


This paper offers theoretical propositions for the above purpose.


This is not an empirical analysis.


By integrating the individualism-collectivism differences framework into the PFT model, the authors answer previous calls to integrate concepts and frameworks from other theories into PFT while considering the role of cultural differences in aspiration-consequence relationships. Additionally, much of PFT research has focused on outcomes, while actual internal processes have remained unobserved. By focusing on how cultural differences influence various PFT processes, this conceptual analysis sheds light on the unobserved bounds of decision-makers' cognitions.



Rhee, M., Alexandra, V. and Powell, K.S. (2020), "Individualism-collectivism cultural differences in performance feedback theory", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 343-364.



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