Article

Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 1343-1358

First online:

Cross-cultural variations in climate for autonomy, stress and organizational productivity relationships: A comparison of Chinese and UK manufacturing organizations

  • Giles HirstAffiliated withDepartment of Management, Faculty of Business Economics, Monash University Email author 
  • , Pawan BudhwarAffiliated withAston Business School, Aston University
  • , Brian K CooperAffiliated withDepartment of Management, Faculty of Business Economics, Monash University
  • , Michael WestAffiliated withAston Business School, Aston University
  • , Chen LongAffiliated withInstitute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • , Xu ChongyuanAffiliated withJiangsu Wuxi Economic Development Zone
  • , Helen ShiptonAffiliated withAston Business School, Aston University

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Abstract

Cross-cultural researchers have questioned the extent to which European–American management practices can be transported to major markets in Asia, such as the People's Republic of China. Applying employee involvement theory, we examined the relationships between climate for autonomy, work demands climate, employee stress and organizational productivity in a cross-national study of 51 UK and 104 Chinese manufacturing organizations. We predicted and found that climate for autonomy was positively and negatively related to stress in the Chinese and UK contexts, respectively. The interaction of climate for autonomy and work demands climate was significant: climate for autonomy was positively related to organizational productivity only when work demands climate was low.

Keywords

cross-cultural research/measurement issues Asia multilevel analysis productivity organizational climate