National Culture and Subordinates' Upward Communication of Private Information

Posted: 26 Feb 1998

See all articles by Chee W. Chow

Chee W. Chow

San Diego State University

Nen-Chen Richard Hwang

California State University - San Marcos

Woody M. Liao

University of California, Riverside

Anne Wu

National Chengchi University (Taipei)

Date Written: November 1997

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of national culture on the truthfulness of subordinates' upward communications under alternate pay schemes. U.S. nationals and Chinese nationals in Taiwan were used to represent members of two cultures that significantly diverge on three cultural dimensions hypothesized to have major impacts on the focal subordinate behavior -- Confucian dynamism, individualism/collectivisim and a correlate of the latter: concern with "face". The results of an experiment were consistent with the prediction that Chinese nationals would make smaller misrepresentations of their private information, as compared to U.S. nationals working under the same pay scheme. The findings also supported the hypothesized effect of concern with "face" in the presence of face-to-face interactions between superiors and subordinates. However, contrary to prediction, U.S. nationals reacted more to such interactions than did their Chinese counterparts. These findings as a whole support the importance of national culture and attributes of the employment setting on subordinates' communication truthfulness. They also provide the basis for suggesting directions for future research.

JEL Classification: M40, M46

Suggested Citation

Chow, Chee W. and Hwang, Nen-Chen Richard and Liao, Woody M. and Wu, Anne, National Culture and Subordinates' Upward Communication of Private Information (November 1997). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=62433

Chee W. Chow

San Diego State University ( email )

San Diego, CA 92182-0763
United States

Nen-Chen Richard Hwang

California State University - San Marcos ( email )

College of Business Administration
333 South Twin Oaks Valley
San Marcos, CA 92096-0001
United States
760-750-4211 (Phone)
760-750-4250 (Fax)

Woody M. Liao (Contact Author)

University of California, Riverside ( email )

900 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92521
United States
909-787-6541 (Phone)
909-787-3970 (Fax)

Anne Wu

National Chengchi University (Taipei) ( email )

No. 64, Chih-Nan Road
Section 2
Wenshan, Taipei 11623
Taiwan

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