A cross-cultural examination of preferences for work attributes

Melissa S. Woodard (Department of Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)
Jane K. Miller (Department of Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)
Daniel J. Miller (Department of Management and Organization, School of Business, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut , USA)
Kirk D. Silvernail (Department of Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)
Chun Guo (Department of Management, John F. Welch College of Business, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA)
Sudhir Nair (Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada)
Mehmet Devrim Aydin (Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Hacettepe University , Ankara, Turkey)
Ana Heloisa da Costa Lemos (IAG School of Management, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Paul F. Donnelly (College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland)
Vilmante Kumpikaite-Valiuniene (Department of Management, Economics and Business School, Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania)
Robert Marx (Department of Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)
Linda M. Peters (Department of Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 11 April 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between individual- and country-level values and preferences for job/organizational attributes.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from 475 full-time employees (average of nine years work experience, and three years in a managerial position) enrolled in part-time MBA programs in seven countries.

Findings

Preference for a harmonious workplace is positively related to horizontal collectivism, whereas preference for remuneration/advancement is positively related to vertical individualism. The authors also find a positive relationship between preference for meaningful work and horizontal individualism, and between preference for employer prestige and social adjustment (SA) needs.

Research limitations/implications

Although the sample comprised experienced, full-time professionals, using graduate business students may limit generalizability. Overall, the results provide initial support for the utility of incorporating the multi-dimensional individualism and collectivism measure, as well as SA needs, when assessing the relationships between values and employee preferences.

Practical implications

For practitioners, the primary conclusion is that making assumptions about preferences based on nationality is risky. Findings may also prove useful for enhancing person-organization fit and the ability to attract and retain qualified workers.

Originality/value

This study extends research on workers’ preferences by incorporating a new set of values and sampling experienced workers in a range of cultural contexts.

Keywords

Citation

Woodard, M., Miller, J., Miller, D., Silvernail, K., Guo, C., Nair, S., Aydin, M., Lemos, A., Donnelly, P., Kumpikaite-Valiuniene, V., Marx, R. and Peters, L. (2016), "A cross-cultural examination of preferences for work attributes", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 702-719. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-09-2013-0289

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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