This paper aims to examine resource allocation behaviors of US and Taiwanese managers to help multinational firms understand the potential for divergence in resource allocations under different contextual conditions by managers from different national cultures.
The experimental design was developed as a 2 (national culture) × 2 (degree of project completion) × 2 (nature of market information) factorial design. The first two were between-subject factors. Because we would investigate subjects’ responses to both favorable and unfavorable conditions, the nature of market information was designed as a within-subject factor. Also, to avoid an order effect, half of the subjects first received favorable information and then unfavorable information, and the other half received the market information in the opposite order. Questionnaires were distributed randomly to subjects.
The results show that Taiwanese managers are less willing than US managers to continue a project in the presence of favorable information, but that both groups are equally willing to continue the project when receiving unfavorable information. Furthermore, Taiwanese managers allocate more funds than US managers do when the project is near completion. The authors use uncertainty avoidance and individualism to explain the different judgment and decision behaviors of these two cultural groups.
In this study, the authors examine only two contextual factors in resource allocation contexts. There are other important contextual factors associated with national culture that should be scrutinized, such as risks involved in each project, incentive plans related to performance evaluation and information asymmetry between central managers and division managers. It would be interesting for future studies to examine these factors in conjunction with different dimensions of national culture.
This study provides empirical evidence of the impact of different aspects of national culture (i.e. uncertainty avoidance and collectivism/individualism) on managerial resource allocation in light of different degrees of project completion and different types of market information. The results of our experiment add to both practice and theory of management. The findings of this study help top-level managers better understand the effects of national culture on division managers’ resource allocations. Hence, it may be possible to design incentive schemes and decision aids to mitigate the divergence in judgments and decision-making that can be attributed to cultural differences. This study also contributes to the management literature by extending our knowledge of complex managerial resource allocation decisions by incorporating the role of national culture with contextual factors.
Chang, C., Ho, J. and Wu, A. (2016), "The effects of culture and contextual information on resource allocation decisions", Review of Accounting and Finance, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 174-197. https://doi.org/10.1108/RAF-10-2015-0150Download as .RIS
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