Understanding reciprocity in organizations: a US‐China comparison

Understanding reciprocity in organizations: a US‐China comparison Purpose – The goal of this paper is to examine the relation of reciprocity to organizational commitment and the employment exchange relationship. In addition, it aims to investigate cross‐cultural differences on this relation between China and the USA. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from a sample of Chinese employees working on their MBAs ( n =321), a sample of employed MBA students in the USA ( n =199), and a sample of employed undergraduates from the USA ( n =348). Hierarchical moderated regression analyses were used to explore the interactive effects of the three dimensions of reciprocity on organizational commitment and the employment exchange relationship. Findings – The three dimensions of reciprocity were related to organizational commitment and the employment exchange relationship in all three samples. Nonetheless, in the US samples these dimensions reflected an additive model and in the Chinese sample the dimensions interacted, supporting the notion that Chinese perceive their employment exchange relationships more holistically than Americans. Research limitations/implications – The data were cross‐sectional and therefore causal inferences need to be made with caution. Practical implications – Different strategies should be adopted to manage Chinese and American employees' commitment and employment relationship. Originality/value – This study offers new insights on the relation of reciprocity to organizational commitment and the employment exchange relationship in different cultures. It integrates cross‐cultural differences in cognition into organizational research and reveals that Chinese employees tend to use a more holistic approach to understand their employment exchange relationships than their American counterparts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Managerial Psychology Emerald Publishing

Understanding reciprocity in organizations: a US‐China comparison

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0268-3946
DOI
10.1108/02683941111164463
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The goal of this paper is to examine the relation of reciprocity to organizational commitment and the employment exchange relationship. In addition, it aims to investigate cross‐cultural differences on this relation between China and the USA. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from a sample of Chinese employees working on their MBAs ( n =321), a sample of employed MBA students in the USA ( n =199), and a sample of employed undergraduates from the USA ( n =348). Hierarchical moderated regression analyses were used to explore the interactive effects of the three dimensions of reciprocity on organizational commitment and the employment exchange relationship. Findings – The three dimensions of reciprocity were related to organizational commitment and the employment exchange relationship in all three samples. Nonetheless, in the US samples these dimensions reflected an additive model and in the Chinese sample the dimensions interacted, supporting the notion that Chinese perceive their employment exchange relationships more holistically than Americans. Research limitations/implications – The data were cross‐sectional and therefore causal inferences need to be made with caution. Practical implications – Different strategies should be adopted to manage Chinese and American employees' commitment and employment relationship. Originality/value – This study offers new insights on the relation of reciprocity to organizational commitment and the employment exchange relationship in different cultures. It integrates cross‐cultural differences in cognition into organizational research and reveals that Chinese employees tend to use a more holistic approach to understand their employment exchange relationships than their American counterparts.

Journal

Journal of Managerial PsychologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 27, 2011

Keywords: Reciprocity; Job commitment; Employment exchange relationship; Organizational culture

References

  • Social exchange theory
    Emerson, R.
  • Asian management research needs more self‐confidence
    Meyer, K.E.
  • Confirmatory factor analysis of the WPPSI for language‐impaired children
    Ottem, E.
  • Social exchange in work settings: content, mixed and process models
    Shore, L.M.; Coyle‐Shapiro, J.A‐M.; Chen, X‐P.; Tetrick, L.E.
  • Social and economic exchange: construct development and validation
    Shore, L.M.; Tetrick, L.E.; Lynch, P.; Barksdale, K.

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