Cross-Cultural I/O Psychology
Past, Present, and Future of Cross-Cultural Studies in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Interest in cultural research began with the Father of Psychology, Wilhelm Wundt (Öngel
& Smith, 1994), but pursuit in the assessment of cultural differences and similarities was put on
the back burner until recently.
Cross-cultural studies in Industrial and Organizational (I/O)
psychology further lacks a history (cf. Erez, 1994a).
Although work-related psychology
research is plentiful in single-nation studies, such as the United States, United Kingdom,
Sweden, Israel, India, Germany, Japan, and Finland, cross-cultural I/O psychology research may
be insufficient because there are not enough theories in single nation I/O psychology studies, in
And Berry (1989) suggests, deriving etics (i.e., universal theories) might be done by
imposing a theory established in one culture to other cultures.
Nonetheless, there was a thrust in
cross-cultural comparative research after the 1980’s when Hofstede (1980) published his
research of a typology of values (individualism-collectivism, power distance, uncertainty
avoidance, masculinity-femininity) on which to compare more than forty nations.
Most of the countries exemplified in cross-cultural research are in fields other than I/O
In the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
only two I/O related articles were
published in the period from 1970-1993 (Öngel & Smith, 1994).
Should one consider social
psychology to be strongly related to I/O psychology in terms of themes addressed then one
might presume that articles falling under the cross-cultural social psychology heading may be
relevant to cross-cultural I/O psychology, as well.
Examining only human resources and
organizational behavior journals, Tayeb (1994) noted that nearly 94 percent of the articles
mentioned the importance of cross-cultural research, but very few had actually tested its
Erez (1994a) also found that of over 2,000 articles from thirteen English-language