Hirachl Mediation

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In Press - Academy of Management Journal
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THE IMPACT OF CULTURAL VALUES ON JOB SATISFACTION AND ORGANIZATIONAL
COMMITMENT IN SELF-MANAGING WORK TEAMS: THE MEDIATING ROLE OF
EMPLOYEE RESISTANCE

BRADLEY L. KIRKMAN
Joseph M. Bryan School of Business and Economics
Department of Business Administration
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Bryan Building, P.O. Box 26165
Greensboro, NC 27402-6165
Phone: (336) 334-3096
Fax: (336) 334-4141
E-mail: [email protected]

DEBRA L. SHAPIRO
Kenan-Flagler Business School
Department of Management
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Campus Box 3490, McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
Phone: (919) 962-3224
Fax: (919) 962-4425
Email: [email protected]

----------------------------We thank William Fischer, Luke Novelli, Jr., Benson Rosen, and Paul Tesluk for their invaluable
comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. We also thank the Cato Center for Applied Business

In Press - Academy of Management Journal
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Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Richard D. Irwin Foundation for the
grants that made this study possible.

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ABSTRACT
THE IMPACT OF CULTURAL VALUES ON JOB SATISFACTION AND ORGANIZATIONAL
COMMITMENT IN SELF-MANAGING WORK TEAMS: THE MEDIATING ROLE OF
EMPLOYEE RESISTANCE

Using a field survey of 461 self-managing work team (SMWT) members in four countries, we
examined: (1) whether employee resistance to SMWTs mediated the relationships between employee
cultural values and job attitudes; and (2) the strength of mediation in each country. Results show that
resistance mediated the cultural value-job attitude relationships, sometimes fully and sometimes partially,
depending on which type of resistance (to teams or to self-management) and which type of cultural
value was being examined. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Due to increasing international competition, U.S. multinationals have adopted various practices
to improve their competitiveness. One practice that has often been chosen is self-managing work teams
(SMWTs) in both domestic and international operations (Kirkman & Shapiro, 1997; Manz & Sims,
1993; Nicholls, Lane, & Brechu, 1999). SMWTs are defined as teams whose members: manage
themselves, assign jobs, plan and schedule work, make production- or service-related decisions, and
take action on problems (Wellins et al., 1990). In support of the use of SMWTs, research has shown
that they have been positively associated with both job satisfaction (Cohen & Ledford, 1994; Cordery,
Mueller, & Smith, 1991; Wall, Kemp, Jackson, & Clegg, 1986) and organizational commitment
(Cordery et al., 1991).
Job satisfaction and organizational commitment are important because they have, in turn, been
associated with other positive organizational outcomes. For example, employees who are more
satisfied with their jobs are also less absent (Hackett & Guion, 1985) and less likely to leave (Carsten
& Spector, 1987); and more likely to display organizational citizenship behavior (Organ & Konovsky,
1989) and be satisfied with their lives overall (Judge & Watanabe, 1993). Employees who are more
committed are less likely to intend to leave (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990), actually leave (Netemeyer,
Burton, & Johnston, 1995), and experience stress (Begley & Czajka, 1993); and more likely to
perform better (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990) and behave prosocially (O’Reilly & Chatman, 1986).
Internationally, commitment has been linked to less intent to leave in India (Agarwal, 1993) and Japan
(Marsh & Mannari, 1977) and to organizational citizenship behavior in Israel (Koslowsky, Caspy, &
Lazar, 1988) and New Zealand (Inkson, 1977).

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Interestingly, a consistent body of literature has identified differences in levels of satisfaction and
commitment across cultures (Clugston, Howell, & Dorfman, in press; Kanungo & Wright, 1983;
Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1985; Luthans, McCaul, & Dodd, 1985; Near, 1989; Palich, Hom, & Griffeth,
1995; Sommer, Bae, & Luthans, 1996; Verkuyten, de Jong, & Masson, 1993). For example, Luthans
et al. (1985) found, contrary to popular belief, U.S. employees had higher levels of organizational
commitment than employees in Japan or South Korea did; and Lincoln and Kalleberg (1985) found that
job satisfaction was higher in the U.S. than in Japan.
Some researchers have attributed satisfaction and commitment differences to cultural values
(Dorfman & Howell, 1988). For example, Palich et al. (1995) found employee commitment-levels in
15 European and Canadian affiliates of a U.S. multinational to be significantly negatively affected by
individualism (the tendency to promote one’s own interests over the interests of one’s groups or society,
Hofstede, 1980b) and uncertainty avoidance (the extent to which a society feels threatened by uncertain
and ambiguous situations, Hofstede, 1980b); and significantly positively affected by masculinity (the
extent to which the dominant values in society are assertiveness and material gain, Hofstede, 1980b).
Hui, Yee, and Eastman (1995) found a positive relationship between collectivism (the tendency to value
group welfare more than one’s own) and job satisfaction. In a review of 27 organizational commitment
studies conducted across cultures, however, Randall (1993) concluded that there is no overarching
theoretical framework to interpret findings like those above.
In response to this, we provided a more theory-based framework (Kirkman & Shapiro, 1997)
that includes four cultural values from Hofstede (1980a) and Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961).

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Rather than tying the cultural values to important organizational outcomes directly, we argued that
cultural values may create resistance to management initiatives (i.e., SMWTs) that, in turn, leads to
negative organizational outcomes. Our model provides a theoretical explanation (as yet untested) for
why cultural values are related to satisfaction and commitment.
Purpose of the Paper
The first purpose of our paper is to test our earlier theoretical contention (Kirkman & Shapiro,
1997) that employee resistance accounts for at least some of the relationship between cultural values
and important work outcomes (i.e., satisfaction and commitment). Such a test should provide a better
understanding of why job attitudes differ across cultures. The second purpose is to empirically examine
whether our proposed relationships hold in multiple countries. Existing literature does not address the
magnitude of these effects across cultures.
CONCEPTUAL BACKGROUND AND HYPOTHESES
Several studies that link cultural values to employee attitudes do not explain why certain cultural
values affect job satisfaction and organizational commitment (e.g., Luthans et al., 1985; Palich et al.,
1995; Sommer et al., 1996). Similarly, other studies omit intervening or moderating variables supporting
more complex models (e.g., Bochner & Hesketh, 1994; Clugston et al., in press; Lincoln & Kalleberg,
1985). The relationships between cultural values and employee attitudes are likely to be more complex
than has been specified previously. For example, Palich et al. (1995) point out that only 2.7% of the
variance in organizational commitment in their study can be accounted for by cultural values such as
individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and power distance. One explanation could be that

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there are intervening variables likely to affect job satisfaction and organizational commitment in U.S.based multinationals.
Our more complex model includes both resistance to teams and resistance to self-management
as mediators of the relationships between cultural values and important organizational outcomes
(Kirkman & Shapiro, 1997). We included two types of resistance because we predicted that certain
cultural values (e.g., collectivism) will affect resistance to teams while other cultural values (e.g., power
distance, doing orientation, and determinism) will affect resistance to self-management. We chose to
include these four values in the present study because they are consistent with our earlier work and
seem more likely than other values in international research to be related to the two types of resistance.
For example, we previously theorized that individuals will likely resist teams if they have negative
feelings about collaborating, making individual sacrifice for the group, and working interdependently.
Such feelings are likely to be held by those low in collectivism (Hofstede, 1980a). However, the link
seems much less clear for other cultural values such as uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede, 1980a) or time
orientation (Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck, 1961), which have little to do with beliefs about teams.
Additionally, we (Kirkman & Shapiro, 1997) previously theorized that individuals will likely resist selfmanagement if they dislike stepping outside the bounds of authority, working autonomously, and taking
initiative. Such attitudes are likely to be held by those high in power distance (characterized by beliefs in
status and power differences) and determinism (characterized by the emphasis on outside forces in
determining success or failure) and low in doing orientation (characterized by a weak work ethic).
Other cultural values did not seem to us to address issues of authority, power, or control as directly as

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the aforementioned ones do. In the present study, we predict that feelings of resistance (be these
related to teams or self-management) possibly related to the cultural values of collectivism, power
distance, determinism, and doing orientation will, in turn, probably be associated with lower levels of
job-satisfaction and organizational commitment. This is why resistance may have a mediating effect on
the cultural value-job attitude relationships. More specifically, consistent with our earlier theorizing and
the cultural value-effects described above, we hypothesize:
H1: Resistance to teams (but not self-management) will mediate the relationship that job
attitudes (i.e., job satisfaction and organizational commitment) have with collectivism.
H2: Resistance to self-management (but not teams) will mediate the relationship that job
attitudes have with power distance, doing orientation, and determinism.
We believe the relationships hypothesized in H1 and H2 above will vary by country. For
example, although high levels of power distance and determinism, characterizing the Philippines (cf.
Andres, 1985; Hofstede, 1980a), may cause Filipinos to resist self-management (Kirkman & Shapiro,
1997), these relationships are likely to be weaker in the Philippines versus the U.S. where power
distance and determinism are lower. The basis for this thinking is that people from high power distance
countries like the Philippines are likely to behave submissively in the presence of managers and to
thereby avoid disagreements (Andres, 1985; Sison & Palma-Angeles, 1997). In addition, the relatively
high determinism level of Filipino employees-- often expressed by the saying “bahala na,” or God willing
(Gochenouer, 1990)-- will likely lead to employees feeling that they cannot effect much change in their
organizations (cf. Trompenaars, 1993). Filipino employees would likely view attempts to do so as a

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needless waste of time (Flores, 1972). Thus, the very cultural values that would conflict with the
demands of SMWTs are the same values that will likely suppress tendencies toward resistance. Filipino
cultural values suggest that they may not like the self-managing aspect of SMWTs, but this dislike will
not likely be translated into high levels of demonstrated resistance (cf. Scarborough, 1998).
In contrast to the Philippines, lower levels of power distance and determinism characterize
people in the U.S.; and the same holds true for collectivism. Thus, U.S. employees are more likely than
Filipinos to resist the team aspect of SMWTs (Kirkman & Shapiro, 1997). Since employees with
lower levels of power distance and determinism expect to bypass, or even challenge, their boss in order
to get their work done (Hofstede, 1980a) and believe that they can effect change in their organizations
(Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck, 1961), mismatches between cultural values and management initiatives will
likely result in resistance. In addition, people with low levels of collectivism are less apt to feel
constrained by conformity norms or the fear of being singled out (Hofstede, 1980a). Thus, there is
likely to be a stronger relationship between the cultural values and resistance in the United States than in
the Philippines. Similar to the Philippines, Finland is also significantly higher than the U.S. on power
distance and is slightly more deterministic. Unlike the Philippines, however, Finland had a relatively low
score on collectivism (Hofstede, 1980a). Thus, we predict:
H3: Country will moderate the relationships that the cultural values have with resistance to, both,
teams and self-management. Specifically, these relationships will be less strong in the
Philippines or Finland than in the United States.
METHODS

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Sample
Two U.S.-based multinationals participated in this research: Company A (Fortune 100) in
Belgium, Finland, and the United States and Company B (Fortune 30) in the Philippines. Company A
employees work in the chemical industry and manufacture enzymes for a variety of uses. The Company
B employees manufacture electronic components for use in devices such as cellular phones and stereo
components. Both companies had formally implemented SMWTs in their domestic and foreign
operations at least one year prior to our data collection.
We chose to contrast the U.S. with an Asian country due to both older (e.g., Hofstede, 1980a)
and more recent research (e.g., House et al., 1999; Maznevski, DiStefano, Gomez, Noorderhaven, &
Wu, 1997; Schwartz, 1994; Smith, Peterson, Misumi, & Bond, 1992) finding these countries to differ
extremely on cultural values and other work-related preferences; and our selection of a European
country as another contrast with the U.S. was based on Hofstede’s (1980a) finding more moderate
differences on the cultural values. However, since the cultural differences between Belgium and the
U.S. are not as pronounced as they are between the U.S. and either Finland or the Philippines, we do
not expect Belgium to differ from the U.S. on any of the relationships proposed in Hypotheses 1 or 2.
We present sample demographics and the reliabilities and means for all variables by country in Table 1.
--------------------------------Insert Table 1 about here
--------------------------------Even though we used different measures, the scores for collectivism and power distance match
those found by Hofstede (1980a) using the same countries. Scores for doing orientation and
determinism follow the same pattern found by Maznevski et al. (1997).

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Measures
Because Hofstede’s (1980a) measures were designed to be used only for country-level
analyses, we used Maznevski et al.’s (1997) measures constructed specifically for use at the individual
level of analysis. Since Maznevski et al.’s measures have not been published, we conducted a
validation study using 125 part-time (i.e., full-time working) MBA students. Using convergent,
discriminant, and predictive validity tests, we found strong construct validity support for all four of
Maznevski et al.’s cultural values. Results are available from the first author. In a recent study, Thomas
(1999) used Maznevski et al.’s collectivism measure with adequate results. All items were assessed on
a 1 to 7 scale where 1= strongly disagree and 7=strongly agree.
Collectivism. We used six items from Maznevski et al. (1997). Example items included: society
works best when people willingly make sacrifices for the good of everyone; and good team members
subordinate their own goals and thoughts to those of the team.
Power distance. We used Maznevski et al.’s (1995) 7-item relational hierarchy scale. Example
items included: a hierarchy of authority is the best form of organization; and people at higher levels in
organizations have a responsibility to make decisions for people below them.
Doing orientation. We used Maznevski et al.’s (1997) 8-item scale. Example items included:
effective managers use spare time to get things done; once you set a goal, it is important to work
towards it until it is achieved; and hard work is always commendable.
Determinism. We used Maznevski et al.’s (1997) 7-item scale. Example items included: people
should not try to change the paths their lives are destined to take; most things are determined by forces

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we cannot control; and whatever is going to happen will happen.
Resistance to teams. Shapiro and Kirkman’s (1999) 5-item measure of resistance to SMWTs
was adapted to include only team-related aspects. The items addressed the extent to which the
respondents agreed or disagreed that they: are eager (R), feel frustrated, fully accept (R), support (R),
and resist working with other employees in a team.
Resistance to self-management. We used three items from Shapiro and Kirkman’s (1999)
measure of resistance to SMWTs including only those factors that Wellins et al. (1990) indicate are selfmanagement related. The items addressed the extent to which the respondents agreed or disagreed that
they: are eager to take on the responsibilities traditionally reserved for management (R); fully accept
making more and more decisions such as planning and scheduling work (R); and fully support taking on
the responsibility for production-related concerns (R).
Job Satisfaction. We used Thomas and Tymon’s (1994) 4-item measure. The items addressed
the extent to which the respondents agreed or disagreed that they are satisfied with their: pay, promotion
opportunities, relations with other employees and job assignments.
Organizational Commitment. We used Mowday, Steers, and Porter’s (1979) 7-item measure.
Example items included: I could just as well be working for a different organization as long as the type of
work was similar (R); and I am loyal to this organization.
Control Variables
Because research has identified age, education, job level, and tenure as predictors of
satisfaction (Bedeian, Ferris, & Kacmar, 1992; Robie, Ryan, Schmieder, Parra, & Smith, 1998) and

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commitment (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990), we included them as a first step in all regressions. In addition,
we included organization membership, team size, team tenure, and task interdependence (using
Campion, Medsker, & Higgs, 1993, 3-item measure) as controls in light of their potential influence on
resistance-related relationships (cf. Kirkman & Shapiro, 1997).
Procedure
Regarding Finland and Belgium, the surveys were translated (into Finnish and Flemish,
respectively) and back-translated in an iterative fashion to minimize translation error (Brislin, 1980).
Employees in the Philippines responded to English versions of the survey due to their high English
language proficiency (see Earley, 1993, for a similar strategy in Israel). Any data from non-native
respondents were dropped from the study (n = 14). Survey response rates for all four countries were
generally quite good (United States = 84%, n = 105; Belgium = 73%, n = 117; Finland = 84% n =
125; and Philippines = 91%, n = 114) as was the overall response rate of 83 percent (N = 461).
RESULTS
Factor Analysis
Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was chosen, rather than confirmatory, for two reasons: (1)
the 47 items were too many to use in a confirmatory factor analysis (Bentler & Chou, 1987); and (2)
the cultural value scales are relatively new. Because previous studies have demonstrated relationships
between the cultural values (Hofstede, 1980a; Maznevski et al., 1997), we chose oblique rotation
(Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994). Eight factors emerged in the analysis using a standard eigenvalue cutoff
of 1.0 and an inspection of a scree plot (Child, 1990) explaining 88 percent of the total variance in the

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data. All of the items loaded on their a priori scales. Factor analysis results are available from the first
author upon request.
Due to the importance of demonstrating measurement equivalence across cultures in our sample,
we also ran factor analyses separately by country. Equivalence in number of factors and in items that
load on each factor would support equivalence (Ryan, Chan, Ployhart, & Slade, 1999). Although the
factor loading weights varied slightly across the countries, each factor analysis yielded the same number
of factors and similar item loading patterns. However, one collectivism item and one doing orientation
item did not reflect a similar pattern and were dropped. We report the reliabilities for each scale by
country in Table 1. Means, standard deviations and correlations are shown in Table 2.
-------------------------------Insert Table 2 about here
-------------------------------Before testing the hypotheses, we checked the level of self-management (α = .85; mean =
5.56) and the level of task interdependence (α = .68; mean = 5.31) for all of the teams. Given the 1-7
scale, the small standard deviations across the teams, and the reported levels of these variables in
previous research (Cohen et al., 1996; Cordery et al., 1991), we concluded that the teams were
operating at moderately high levels of self-management and task interdependence.
Hypothesis Testing
Regarding Hypotheses 1 and 2, mediation analysis first requires an examination of three sets of
relationships (Baron & Kenny, 1986) including the relationships between: (1) the four cultural values
and the two types of resistance; (2) the four cultural values and both job satisfaction and organizational
commitment; and (3) the latter outcomes and the two types of resistance. These relationships’ tests are

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in Table 3’s Models 1, 2, and 3, respectively.
-------------------------------------Insert Table 3 about here
-------------------------------------Model 1 of Table 3 shows that all four cultural values are significantly related to both resistance
to teams and resistance to self-management. Model 2 shows that all four cultural values are significantly
related to organizational commitment, but only collectivism and doing orientation are related to job
satisfaction. Model 3 shows that both resistance to teams and resistance to self-management are
related to the two job attitudes.
Support for H1 would be observed if the initially significant relationships we found between
collectivism and the two work attitudes (job satisfaction and organizational commitment) disappeared
after we added only resistance to teams (but not self-management) to the regression equation. Indeed,
as can be seen in Model 4 of Table 3, after adding only resistance to teams to the regression, the initially
significant effect of collectivism on the two work attitudes is no longer significant; and, as can be seen in
Model 5 of Table 3, after adding only resistance to self-management, collectivism continues to
significantly affect the two work attitudes. This pattern is consistent with Hypothesis 1. Importantly,
however, a test of the significance of the change in beta-coefficients (Baron & Kenny, 1986) showed
that, with regard to collectivism-job satisfaction, the decrease in the strength of this relationship was only
marginally significant.
Support for H2 would be observed if the initially significant relationships we found between
doing orientation and job satisfaction disappeared after we added only resistance to self-management
(but not teams) to the regression. As can be seen in Model 6 of Table 3, after adding only resistance to

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self-management to the regression equation, the initially significant effect that doing orientation had on
job satisfaction fell (but did not lose statistical significance). However, as can be seen in Model 7 of
Table 3, the same effect occurs when only resistance to teams is added. Importantly, a test of the
significance of the change in beta-coefficients showed that the significant effect that doing orientation had
on job satisfaction was statistically significantly reduced only after resistance to self-management (but
not resistance to teams) was added to the regression equation. This pattern is consistent with
Hypothesis 2.
Support for H2 would be observed, also, if the initially significant relationships we found
between organizational commitment and power distance, doing orientation, and determinism
disappeared after we added only resistance to self-management (but not teams) to the equation. As
can be seen in Model 6 of Table 3, after adding only resistance to self-management to the regression
equation, the initially significant effect that determinism had with commitment is no longer significant, and
the effects that both power distance and doing orientation had are less (but still) significant. However,
as can be seen in Model 7 of Table 3, the same effects occur when only resistance to teams is added.
A test of the significance of the change in beta-coefficients for resistance to self-management showed
that the reductions were significant for doing orientation and determinism but only marginally significant
for power distance. With regard to resistance to teams, we found significant reductions for power
distance and doing orientation but only marginally significant reductions for determinism. This pattern of
results is consistent with Hypothesis 2 for determinism but is mixed for both power distance and doing
orientation.

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In order to test H3, we ran two moderated regression analyses in which the criterion variables
were resistance (to teams and self-management) and the predictor variables were the dummy variables
(i.e., the non-U.S. countries), each cultural value, and interaction-terms (created by multiplying each
cultural value by each dummy variable). The results are shown in Table 4.
---------------------------------Insert Table 4 about here
---------------------------------In support of H3, it can be seen in Table 4, Model 1 that we found significant differences
between the U.S. and both the Philippines and Finland (but not Belgium) with regard to the cultural
values’ influence on both types of resistance. Some of the interaction term beta coefficients are positive
while others are negative. These differences are due to our finding employee resistance to be negatively
related to both collectivism and doing orientation, but positively related to both power distance and
determinism (plots are available from the first author). An examination of mean-differences shows,
specifically, that when employees were low versus high in power distance and doing orientation, their
mean resistance-level to teams changed much more significantly when they were from the U.S. than
when they were from the Philippines. The U.S. employees differed in this way from the Finnish
employees on power distance, collectivism, and doing orientation, but only with regard to resistance to
self-management. Regarding determinism, it had more of an effect on both types of resistance in the
U.S. than in the Philippines. These findings suggest that U.S. and Belgian employees’ cultural values
play a stronger role in creating resistance than Filipino or Finnish employees’ values do.
DISCUSSION
Taken together, our findings lead us to three conclusions. First, the overall pattern of cultural

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values amongst North American, European, and Asian countries found by others (Dorfman & Howell,
1988; Hofstede, 1980a; Maznevski et al., 1997) continues to be observed; and the tendency for higher
levels of collectivism to be associated with greater job satisfaction (Hui, 1996; Hui et al., 1995) and
organizational commitment (Dorfman & Howell, 1988; Palich et al., 1995), and for lower levels of
power distance to be associated with higher levels of organizational commitment (e.g., Clugston et al., in
press) also continues to be observed.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, we extend previous research that found differences in
satisfaction and commitment across cultures but did not explain why (Luthans et al., 1985; Palich et al.,
1995; Sommer et al., 1996). Specifically, we found that resistance behavior accounts for some, and in
a few cases all, of the variance between the cultural values and both satisfaction and commitment. Thus,
at least in U.S. multinationals, our data suggests that satisfaction and commitment level differences
across multiple affiliates can be explained, in part, by differences in employee reactions to U.S.-based
management initiatives.
Finally, although we found that cultural values do influence employee resistance to SMWTs, the
resistance to the self-management-related and team-related aspects of SMWTs differs by country.
Specifically, cultural values’ influence on employees’ SMWT-related resistance is apparently greater for
employees in the U.S. than in Finland or the Philippines.
Theoretical and Practical Implications
First, Hofstede’s (1980a) conclusion regarding the importance of cultural values when
implementing U.S.-based management initiatives in foreign affiliates still applies (i.e., participative

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management may not be suitable for countries high in power distance). Not only does our data on
cultural value differences support Hofstede, we also echoed his conclusions by finding that employees
do resist management initiatives when they clash with their cultural values. Attention to, and respect for,
differences in cultural values remains a high priority for international managers (Adler, 1997). Elenkov
(1998) recently advised that empowerment approaches (similar to the self-managing aspect of
SMWTs) ought to be implemented in Russia “…cautiously, adaptively, and systematically in the context
of the [high power distance] Russian managerial culture” (p. 155). Similarly, based on interviews with
Mexican executives, Nicholls et al. (1999) concluded, “…applying SMWTs [in Mexico] is a matter of
implementation” (p. 23).
The second conclusion above, regarding our finding that employee resistance to SMWTs
(partially or fully) mediates the relationship between cultural values and job attitudes, supports our
earlier contention that cultural values may not always directly influence employee outcomes (Kirkman &
Shapiro, 1997); and conversely, casts doubt on the wisdom of Palich et al.’s (1995) recommendation
that, before choosing plant locations, multinational managers should consider the local workforce’s
cultural predisposition for commitment (and by extension, satisfaction). Rather, the resistance-mediating
effects we observed suggests a focus— not solely on the cultural values of any particular country, but—
on the extent to which employees resist team- or self-management-related work as a result of
their particular cultural value orientations. Practically speaking, then, in order to reduce resistance to
SMWTs and increase positive job attitudes, SMWT-implementers may wish to consider how the
cultural values of employees in a particular country may relate to employees’ resistance to assignments

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that require them to work in a team and/or to be self-managing; and to then implement these
assignments in ways that are as consistent as possible with these values. For example, implementing
SMWTs in ways that maximally empowers workers (see Spreitzer, 1995) may be especially important
for employees in more doing-oriented, less deterministic cultures who would welcome and respond well
to increased control over their environment (Kirkman & Shapiro, 1997). Similarly, implementing
SMWTs with change-agents who are perceived as high-level authorities may be especially important for
employees in high power distance countries (Nicholls et al., 1999).
Our last conclusion regards the differences across countries (between employees from the U.S.
versus Finland and the Philippines, specifically) in the extent to which all four cultural values were
associated with resistance to self-management- and team-related aspects of SMWTs. Although the
direction of the cultural value-job attitude relationships was the same for these countries, determinism
and power distance had a stronger relationship with resistance in the U.S. than in the Philippines; and
collectivism, power distance, and doing orientation had stronger relationships with resistance in the U.S.
than in Finland. Perhaps the unique combination of cultural values in the U.S. (e.g., low collectivism,
low power distance, moderate doing orientation, and low determinism) explains, in part, why there is a
stronger connection between cultural values and resistance. In other words, there is lower pressure for
conformity, more freedom to question superiors, an emphasis on work activities, and a strong belief that
one can take action to effect significant change, perhaps by resisting management initiatives. It may thus
behoove managers and scholars interested in employee resistance to management initiatives to be aware
of the potential influence that cultural values may have on employee resistance—especially in countries

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low in collectivism, power distance, and determinism, and high in doing orientation.
Limitations and Needs for Future Research
Our data was cross-sectional making causality difficult to determine. However, cultural values
are presumed to be formed early in childhood and are relatively stable over time (Adler, 1997).
Therefore, the strong theoretical base for forming many of the hypotheses supports the causal direction
from cultural values to resistance. However, the same rationale may not hold for the resistance-job
attitude relationships, and future research should attempt to examine this issue longitudinally. Also, since
all variables were assessed with self-report data, we followed the recommendations of Podsakoff and
Organ (1986) to assess common method variance. The first factor in our factor analysis, determinism,
accounted for only 28 percent of the total variance in the data suggesting that common method variance
is not a significant problem in our study.
Our regression analyses showed that country remained as a significant predictor of outcomes in
a few cases even after the cultural values had been entered into the equation. Thus, the four cultural
values we chose did not explain all of the country differences in our sample. Perhaps another task for
future researchers is to identify other cultural values that are important or other aspects of these
countries that have yet to be taken into consideration. We also found that all four cultural values were
significantly related to both types of resistance in contrast to our more restrictive propositions (Kirkman
& Shapiro, 1997). More work needs to be done on teasing out these effects in order to create more
conceptually accurate models.
Finally, the strength of mediation for resistance to teams and self-management varied across

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different predictors and outcomes. Resistance mediated the effect that collectivism and determinism had
on job attitudes, as predicted; but the mediation-related predictions regarding power distance and doing
orientation were only partially supported. Future research should continue to examine the role of other
potential mediators affecting the relationships between cultural values and employee work attitudes.
Such research promises to capture more fully why cultural values affect job satisfaction and
organizational commitment worldwide.

23
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30
TABLE 1
Demographic Characteristics, Reliabilities, and Scale Means by Countrya
United
States

Finland

Belgium

PhilipPines

All
Countries

Gender
Female

32.0

39.5

16.9

66.1

38.3

Organizational Level
Non-manager
First-line manager
Middle manager

80.6
05.8
12.6

64.3
19.4
15.3

67.0
4.40
28.6

95.9
1.00
3.10

77.7
7.70
14.6

34.48x,z
16.02x
4.30x
1.99x
9.36x

36.90x,y
10.66y
7.51y
1.62x
6.82y

39.04y
14.15z
16.56z
1.13y
9.46x

31.69z
13.35z
9.47y
2.26z
12.98z

35.67
13.55
9.56
1.81
9.58

RELIABILITIES (all variables)
Collectivism
Power Distance
Doing Orientation
Determinism
Resistance to Teams
Resistance to Self-Management
Job Satisfaction
Organizational Commitment

.67
.74
.70
.76
.86
.77
.69
.81

.73
.70
.69
.77
.88
.85
.67
.76

.71
.76
.72
.72
.77
.78
.70
.71

.70
.77
.71
.83
.72
.70
.82
.67

.70
.77
.74
.81
.80
.78
.70
.76

MEANS (all variables)
Collectivism
Power Distance
Doing Orientation
Determinism
Resistance to Teams
Resistance to Self-Management
Job Satisfaction
Organizational Commitment

4.86x
2.56x
4.46x
2.47x
2.30x
2.71x
4.26x
4.44x

4.55y
3.29y
4.81y
2.78x,y
2.21x
3.32y
4.20x
3.92y

4.90x
3.04y
4.64x,y
2.83y
2.38x
3.03x,y
4.87y
3.52z

5.54z
3.72z
5.83z
3.76z
1.78y
2.71x
5.25z
4.49x

4.95
3.15
4.93
2.95
2.16
2.95
4.65
4.07

N=

105

117

125

114

461

χ2 or F

η2

CATEGORICAL DATA

INTERVAL DATA
Age (years)
Education (years)
Organization tenure (years)
Team tenure (years)
Number of team members

64.07***

57.84***

17.37***
22.86***
68.99***
60.37***
56.61***

.11
.15
.33
.30
.30

24.07***
35.45***
64.55***
29.51***
10.86***
8.23***
24.70***
21.46***

.14
.20
.31
.17
.07
.05
.14
.18

Percent of the total sample
23.4%
25.4%
24.3%
26.9%
100%
a
Entries for gender and organization level are percentages. Different subscripts indicate significant differences.
Reliability estimates are based on Cronbach’s alpha.

31

30
TABLE 2
Descriptive Statistics and Correlation Matrixa
Variables
1. Age (years)
2. Education (years)
3. Organization Tenure (years)
4. Team Tenure (years)
5. Team Size (members)
6. Task Interdependence
7. Collectivism
8. Power Distance
9. Doing Orientation
10. Determinism
11. Resistance to Teams
12. Resistance to Self-Management
13. Job Satisfaction
14. Organizational Commitment
a

N=461;*p<.05; **p<.01.

Mean
35.67
13.55
9.56
1.51
9.58
5.31
4.95
3.15
4.93
2.95
2.16
2.95
4.65
4.07

s.d.
8.20
5.08
7.89
1.42
4.06
1.25
0.95
0.99
0.93
1.06
0.90
1.12
1.16
1.12

1
-.09
.56**
-.07
-.13**
-.03
-.17**
.05
-.12*
-.03
-.01
.07
.02
-.11*

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

.08
-.04
.04
.14**
.09
-.22**
-.06
-.14**
-.02
-.13*
-.02
-.01

-.13**
.06
.01
-.03
.11*
.01
.09
-.05
.09
.17**
-.03

.05
-.16**
.03
.04
.17**
.08
.12*
-.07
-.04
.17**

.06
.26**
.11*
.32**
.23**
.02
-.10*
.17**
.21**

.24**
-.08
-.04
.02
-.09
-.08
.12*
.05

.05
.27**
.15**
-.13**
-.21**
.22**
.23**

.34**
.46**
.18**
.12*
.10*
.13**

.23**
-.03
-.17**
.32**
.47**

.29**
.10*
.11*
.12*

.25**
-.17**
-.22**

-.13**
-.30**

.52**

-

31
TABLE 3
Results of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for Mediation Tests
MODEL 1
Predictor Variables

Resistance Resistance
to Teams to Self-Mgt

MODEL 2
Job
Satisfaction

Organizational
Commitment

MODEL 3
Job
Satisfaction

MODEL 4

Organizational
Commitment

Job
Satisfaction

MODEL 5

Organizational
Commitment

Job

MODEL 6
Organizational

MODEL 7

Job

Organizational

Satisfaction

Commitment

Satisfaction

Commitment

Job

Organizational

Satisfaction

Commitment

β

β

β

β

β

β

β

β

β

β

β

β

Control Variables
Country 1 (Finland)
Country 2 (Belgium)
Country 3 (Philippines)
Age
Education
Job Level 1 (line manager)
Job Level 2 (mid-manager)
Organizational Tenure
Company
Team Size
Team Tenure
Task Interdependence

-.18*
-.07
-.38***
.06
.04
.03
-.11
.02
.11
-.05
.01
-.03

.28***
.04
-.12
-.01
-.03
-.09
-.11
.06
.08
.01
-.02
.01

-.13
.07
.10
-.01
-.08
.02
.16**
.08
.05
-.00
-.04
.03

-.23**
-.25**
-.01
.07
-.06
.030
.10
.01
-.04
.01
-.04
.07

-.10
.06
.26**
.00
-.08
.04
.14*
.11
.09
.02
-.03
.07

-.15*
-.28***
-.02
.10
-.06
.02
.05
.03
-.05
.040
-.03
.08

-.09
.05
.25**
.00
-.09
.04
.13*
.10
.08
.01
-.03
.04

-.20**
-.30***
-.01
.10
-.06
.04
.06
.02
-.04
.04
-.02
.07

-.06
.09
.28**
-.01
-.09
.04
.16**
.10
.02
.03
-.03
.04

-.10
-.22**
-.10
.08
-.07
.01
.08
.03
-.07
.05
-.04
.08

-.12
.09
.11
-.00
-.08
.02
.17**
.10
.04
-.00
-.04
.05

-.17*
-.22**
-.03
.08
-.07
.01
.09
.02
-.06
.01
-.04
.07

Cultural Values
Collectivism
Power Distance
Doing Orientation
Determinism

-.14** -.18**
.18**
.15**
-.21*** -.23***
.25*** .20***

.08
-

.07
-

.15***
-

.12*
-

-.03
-.16**
.20*** .22***
-.00
-.07

-.01
.19**
-.08

-.08

-.09

-.18** -.20***

-.15** -.29***
-

Resistance Measures
Resistance to Teams
Resistance to Self-Mgt

-

*p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001.

-

.13**
.12*
.00
-.21***
.24*** .29***
-.03
-.12*

-

-

-.20*** -.29***
-.18*** -.18***

-.16*** -.33***
-

β

β

-.06 -.27***
.11
-.32***
.33***
-.02
-.00
.09
-.08
-.05
.02
.04
.17**
.08
.08
.01
.03
-.07
.03
.00
-.02
-.04
.07
.05

-.14**
.23***
-.09

32

34
TABLE 4
Results of Moderated Regression Analysis for Country Effects
Resistance

Variable

Resistance to Teams

Step 1
Country 1 (Finland)
Country 2 (Belgium)
Country 3 (Philippines)
Collectivism
Power Distance
Doing Orientation
Determinism

β
-.14*
-.08
-.35***
-.15***
.20***
-.11*
.29***

Step 2
Collectivism x Finland
Power Distance x Finland
Doing Orientation x Finland
Determinism x Finland
Collectivism x Belgium
Power Distance x Belgium
Doing Orientation x Belgium
Determinism x Belgium
Collectivism x Philippines
Power Distance x Philippines
Doing Orientation x Philippines
Determinism x Philippines

.30
-.53*
-.03
-.33
.13
-.34
-.19
-.28
.34
-.85***
.93***
-.59*

Step 1 to Step 2
*p<.05
**p<.01
***p<.001

∆R2

to Self-Management

β
.20***
.09
-.03
-.14***
.12*
-.17***
.13*

∆R2

.76*
-.42
.77*
-.38
.11
.24
-.49
-.38
.44
-.15
.54
-.80**
.05*

.06***

35
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES
Bradley L. Kirkman is an assistant professor of business administration at the Joseph M. Bryan School
of Business and Economics, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his Ph.D. in
organizational behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests
include work team effectiveness, international management, organizational change and development, and
organizational justice.
Debra L. Shapiro is a professor of management and Associate Dean for Ph.D. Programs at the KenanFlagler Business School, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. in
organizational behavior from Northwestern University. Her research centers on how to manage conflict
(e.g., change-resistance, perceived injustice/mistreatment) in organizations.

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