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Individualism–collectivism as a moderator of the work demands–strains relationship: A cross-level and cross-national examination


  • Liu-Qin Yang

    (Portland State University, Portland, USA)

  • Paul E Spector

    (University of South Florida, Tampa, USA)

  • Juan I Sanchez

    (Florida International University, Miami, USA)

  • Tammy D Allen

    (University of South Florida, Tampa, USA)

  • Steven Poelmans

    (EADA Business School, Barcelona, Spain)

  • Cary L Cooper

    (Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK)

  • Laurent M Lapierre

    (University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)

  • Michael P O'Driscoll

    (University of Waikato, Waikato, New Zealand)

  • Nureya Abarca

    (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile)

  • Matilda Alexandrova

    (University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria)

  • Alexandros-Stamatios Antoniou

    (Athens University, Athens, Greece)

  • Barbara Beham

    (Humboldt-Universit&aauml;t zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany)

  • Paula Brough

    (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)

  • Ilker Çarikçi

    (Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey)

  • Pablo Ferreiro

    (Universidad de Piura, Lima, Peru)

  • Guillermo Fraile

    (Austral University, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

  • Sabine Geurts

    (Radboud University Nijmegen, Heijendaal, Netherlands)

  • Ulla Kinnunen

    (University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)

  • Chang-qin Lu

    (Peiking University, Beijing, China)

  • Luo Lu

    (National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)

  • Ivonne F Moreno-Velázquez

    (University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, USA)

  • Milan Pagon

    (Al Ghurair University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

  • Horea Pitariu

    (Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)

  • Volodymyr Salamatov

    (National Academy of Public Administration, Kiev, Ukraine)

  • Oi-ling Siu

    (Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China)

  • Satoru Shima

    (Kyoto Bunkyo University, Uji, Kyoto, Japan)

  • Marion K Schulmeyer

    (Private University of Santa Cruz of the Sierra, Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

  • Kati Tillemann

    (Estonian Business School, Tallinn, Estonia)

  • Maria Widerszal-Bazyl

    (Central Institute for Labor Protection, Warsaw, Poland)

  • Jong-Min Woo

    (Inje University, Seoul Paik Hospital, Seoul, South Korea)


Surveying 6509 managers from 24 countries/geopolitical entities, we tested the process through which individualism–collectivism at the country level relates to employees’ appraisals of and reactions to three types of work demands (i.e., work hours, workload, and organizational constraints). Our multilevel modeling results suggested that, while working the same number of hours, employees from individualistic countries reported a higher perceived workload than their counterparts in collectivistic countries. Furthermore, relationships of perceived workload and organizational constraints with job dissatisfaction and turnover intentions were stronger in individualistic than in collectivistic countries. Importantly, results of supplementary analyses suggested that the cultural value of individualism–collectivism moderated the mediation effect of perceived workload between work hours and both job dissatisfaction and turnover intentions. Our findings highlight the need to expand contemporary theories of work stress by applying multilevel approaches and incorporating cross-national differences in dimensions such as individualism–collectivism while studying how employees appraise and react to important work stressors.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu-Qin Yang & Paul E Spector & Juan I Sanchez & Tammy D Allen & Steven Poelmans & Cary L Cooper & Laurent M Lapierre & Michael P O'Driscoll & Nureya Abarca & Matilda Alexandrova & Alexandros-Stamatio, 2012. "Individualism–collectivism as a moderator of the work demands–strains relationship: A cross-level and cross-national examination," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 43(4), pages 424-443, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:43:y:2012:i:4:p:424-443

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    Cited by:

    1. Lewellyn, Krista B. & Bao, Shuji ‘Rosey’, 2015. "R&D Investment in the Global Paper Products Industry: A Behavioral Theory of the Firm and National Culture Perspective," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-17.
    2. Ratan J. S. Dheer, 2017. "Cross-national differences in entrepreneurial activity: role of culture and institutional factors," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 813-842, April.
    3. Guillermo Wated & Juan Sanchez, 2015. "Managerial Tolerance of Nepotism: The Effects of Individualism–Collectivism in a Latin American Context," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 45-57, August.

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