Towards a Model of Cross-Cultural I/O Psychology

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1 Towards a Model of Cross-Cultural I/O Psychology Miriam Erez Technion - Israel Institute of Technology In M.D. Dunnette & L. Hough, H. Triandis (Eds.) (1994). Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2nd Edition), Volume 4. pp Palo Alto, Ca: Consulting Psychologists Press. Send Correspondence to: Miriam Erez Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management Technion - Israel Institute of Technology Haifa, Israel. In M.D. Dunnette & L. Hough, H. Triandis (Eds.) (1994). Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2nd Edition). Volume 4. pp. Erez, M., "Goal-Setting". In N. Nicholson, R. Schuler and A. Van de Ven (Eds.), Dictionary of Organizational Behavior, Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Palo Alto, Ca: Consulting Psychologists Press.

2 Towards a Model of Cross-Cultural Industrial/Organizational Psychology The lack of a cross-cultural perspective on organizational behavior has limited our understanding of why motivational approaches and managerial practices are not always smoothly transferred across cultures, and how to predict the potential effectiveness of various managerial techniques in a given organizational context. These questions cannot be answered by current models of I/O Psychology because they overlook cross-cultural factors. The purpose of the present chapter is to formulate key research questions concerning the cross-cultural aspect in understanding I/O Psychology. These questions serve as guidelines for the development of a conceptual model of cross-cultural I/O Psychology. The following questions are proposed: a) Is there a need for developing models of cross-cultural I/O Psychology? b) Why does traditional research in I/O Psychology tend to ignore cultural influences on employees' behavior in organizations? c) Is it possible to develop a theoretical model of cross-cultural I/O Psychology which integrates cultural factors into models of employees' work behavior? d) Do the same managerial techniques result in similar effects on employees' behavior across cultural borders? e) Does the focus of research topics differ across cultures? f) What do we learn from cross-cultural research in I/O Psychology that may benefit research within a particular culture? More than two-thousand articles published during the eighties in the leading journals of I/O

3 2 Psychology and Cross-Cultural Psychology were reviewed to answer the fifth question concerning differences and similarities in research topics in I/O Psychology across cultures. The review process was conducted with the use of two major data sources: Psychlit and Psychological Abstracts. Psychlit is a computerized data source and it was used to review the following English written journals published between : Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Business Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of cross-cultural psychology, Applied Psychology: an International Review, International Journal of Psychology, Occupational Psychology, British Journal of Psychology,and British Journal of Social Psychology. The Psychological Abstract was used to review studies in I/O Psychology which were published in five countries which are influential in Europe and Asia: Scandinavia, West-Germany, Japan, India and Israel. The chapter is further organized around the above six research questions. I) Is there a need for developing models of cross-cultural Industrial/Organizational Psychology? The field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology pertains to the application of psychology to the way individuals, groups and organizations behave to create output of products and services as a means for maintaining and enhancing their own survival. In line with the discipline of psychology, the vast majority of research has centered on the individual level of analysis overlooking cultural and contextual effects. On the other hand, the field of Cross-Cultural Psychology is "the study of similarities and

4 3 differences in individual psychological and social functioning in various cultures and ethnic groups" (Kagicibaci & Berry,1989, p.494). Until very recently, these two fields of psychology were developed in parallel with only a limited amount of influence on each other. Cross-cultural research has mainly focused on the relationship between psychological variables at the individual level, and variables at the societal level including cultural, social, economic, ecological and biological variables. The field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology has occupied only a small niche within the wide scope of cross-cultural research, and vice-versa: Research in I/O Psychology has not taken a cross-cultural perspective on employees' behavior in organizations. Research in cross-cultural psychology still lacks a strong conceptual framework (Kagitcibasi & Berry, 1989). On the other hand, highly developed conceptual models with strong empirical support were developed in I/O Psychology, including the goal-setting theory of motivation (Locke & Latham, 1990); expectancy models (Vroom, 1964); Job design (Hackman & Oldham, 1980); Naylor, Pritchard and Ilgen's (1980) theory of behavior in organization ; Kanfer and Ackerman's (1989) integrative resource model of learning and task performance, decision-making models (Beach & Mitchell 1990; Staw, 1985) and models of employee-organization interaction (Schneider, 1987). In the presence of highly developed theories in Industrial/Organizational Psychology it is legitimate to ask whether these theories are necessary and sufficient for understanding employees' behavior in organizations across cultures, or whether there is a need for developing a new conceptual framework of Cross-Cultural I/O Psychology. A comprehensive theory of human behavior should take into consideration the interrelationship between individual difference characteristics and

5 4 environmental factors. Behavioral models which are centered mainly on the individual level of analysis may capture all the variance in behavior when contextual factors are held constant. For example, Hanges and Schneider (1990) demonstrated that teachers' evaluation scores along a period of six years were highly correlated when the course subject was held constant. Yet, lower correlations were obtained among evaluation scores for the same teachers across courses, and for the same courses across teachers. Thus, teachers' characteristics are highly related to evaluation scores only when the context is held constant. When the context varies across individuals its effect on behavior cannot be ignored. During the last decade major changes in the world market have brought into focus cultural diversity in relation to organizational behavior. a) Cultural diversity of the labor force. Demographical changes all over the world intensify the cultural diversity of the labor force. These trends in the U.S. suggest that by the year 2000 about one third of the labor force will be Black and Hispanic, and managers of the future will have to cope with cultural diversity (Triandis, in press). The unification of Europe as well as the political changes in the Russian Republics have resulted in waves of immigrants across cultural borders. Israel, in particular is in a process of absorption of about 200,000 new Russian immigrants per year, which is a 5% population growth per year, and during the last two years the population of Israel increased by 10% (Israel Labor Bureau of Statistics, 1991). The Russian immigration is going to have a significant impact on the labor market and the recognition of the cultural factor may help in the process of absorption of the new immigrants into the labor force. b) The scope of the work environment has changed from local to global and international markets.

6 5 The U.S. for example, is becoming a part of an increasingly global economy. More than 100,000 American companies do business overseas, including 3,500 multinational companies. It is estimated that one third of the profit of U.S. companies is derived from international business, along with one sixth of the nation's jobs (Cascio, 1989). The competitive global market sets new rules for survival. Companies and their employees have to become more competitive to survive, and they have to learn to compete against foreign competitors not onlin their home court, but also in their rival courts. The level of ambiguity and risk-taking increases, and there is a growing need to learn about the characteristics of the global market in order to adjust. The eagerness to know more about the competitors has led to the development of numerous university affiliated educational programs and research centers on international management, and the growing concern of Americans for the economic competition with Japan has been documented in a significant number of publications. Yet, the current body of knowledge and processes are bounded and limited, and the field of organizational behavior is still trapped within geographical, cultural, temporal and conceptual parochialism (Adler & Jelinek, 1986; Boyacigiller & Adler, 1991). c) Mergers and acquisitions. A substantial number of companies have gone through processes of mergers, acquisitions, and downsizing. In the U.S. alone between there were 11,428 deals of mergers, with a total value of 645,386 billion dollars (Mergers & Acquisitions, 1990). One thousand four hundred and twelve deals were of foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies, and only 621 deals were of U.S. acquisitions overseas. Two of the more "famous" cases, which may have a symbolic meaning, are the acquisition of the Rockefeller center in New-York, and the acquisition of Columbia Pictures, the movie industry in Hollywood, by Japanese companies.

7 6 Processes of mergers and acquisitions result in organizational downsizing and in massive lay-offs. A 1989 survey of the American Management Association showed that 39% of the 1,084 companies surveyed reduced their work force during the later year. (Offerman & Gowing, 1990). From 1985 to 1988 approximately 15 million workers were affected by mergers and acquisitions, and nearly three quarters of the senior executives in an acquired company left within three years. These processes have a strong impact on those who were forced to leave as well as on the "survivors" (Offermann & Gowing, 1990). For the survivors, restructuring meant a high level of uncertainty and dissatisfaction, stress, and increasing distrust. Very often a confrontation between different organizational cultures is created when two or more companies are merged together. Those who were forced to leave experienced economical problems, a high level of stress, and loss of personal worth which often resulted in physiological symptoms. This cost was paid not only by the single individual but rather by society at large. Henry and Stephens (1977) pointed at the relationship between heart attacks and social support. Their finding demonstrated that the highest rate of heart attack was found in the U.S. which is known for its individualistic values, and low level of social support. The rate decreases as the level of collectivism and social support increases, and it was found to be very low among Japanese in Japan. d) Organizational restructuring. Following the process of globalization organizations no longer have distinct physical identities (Miles & Snow, 1984). Headquarters of organizations can be located in one country, manufacturing in another location, sales and distribution in a third country, and service close to the customer in a non-local market. As a result, organizations change their structures to become flatter, with fewer layers of management and more diversification. Each distinct business is

8 7 responsible for the day-to-day operations, whereas the corporate office is responsible for the overall financial control of the division and the overall strategic development (Hill, Hitt, & Hoskisson, 1988). Globalization requires more joint ventures and results in a network of contracted relationships and strategic alliances which often take place across cultural borders (Galbraith & Kazanjan, 1988). Another aspect of organizational restructuring is the emergence of virtual organizations whose members do not meet face-to-face, but are linked together through computer technology. It is estimated that about 16 million corporate employees in the U.S. now work at their homes (Offerman & Gowing, 1990). e) Focus on teamwork. Organizations to date emphasize the formation of self-contained, close to the customer work groups that learn customer preferences and feed forward the information to other divisions. As a result, there is a growing emphasis on teamwork and team building (Sundstrom, DeMeuse & Futrell, 1990). This shift toward teamwork is of special interest to I/O psychologists since it is implemented in cultures of individualistic values. Empirical research on the group level in I/O psychology still lags behind the needs of organizational reality today. f) The growth of the service sector. The service sector now accounts for 71% of the work force. A growing number of technicians and engineers are required to shift their focus from technical aspects to marketing and sales, and to consider customers' needs more than ever in the past. Experts of total quality control recognize customers's satisfaction as the ultimate criterion of quality (Feigenbaum, 1983). Consumers in the nineties are going to put additional emphasis on time saving, and on product quality and reliability, hence, companies should increase their effort to compete in the market.

9 8 g) The emergence of high technology and telecommunication systems. The revolution in telecommunication systems introduced into the market electronic mail, fax machines, cellular phones, and tele-conferences. The new technology has facilitated communication across geographical borders, and significantly reduced the time needed to process information. New developments of computer-based simultaneous translation of written documents from one language to another will overcome language barriers. In parallel, the technological revolution in office and manufacturing automation continues to develop. Hence, all these changes will accelerate crosscultural communication and the exposure to different systems of values, norms, and behavior. Management and employees of the future will have to deal with cultural diversity more than ever in the past. h) Financial forces. The market is mainly driven by financial considerations of shareholders. The world centers of stock exchange in New -York, Tokyo, and Europe are not bounded anymore by geographical borders. Shareholders from all over the world can buy stocks in any one of the stock markets and influence the market values of companies in a particular country. Thus, companies should learn to cope with the cultural diversity of their shareholders. i) The political arena. Significant changes are taking place in the political arena and as I write this chapter the political map around the world is changing. On the one hand we witness the process of unification, in particular the unification of Europe, of East and West Germany, the end of the cold War, and the political agreement between South and North Korea. The process of unification allows for an influx of immigration from one country to another which crosses not only political borders but also cultural borders.

10 9 On the other hand we see the emergence of national forces in East Europe, and the declarations of independence of the Baltic Republics and the three major republics of U.S.S.R.- Russia, Ukraine and Bialo-Russia. The declarations of independence stress the hidden cultural diversity which bursts out in support of the political processes. In both cases, the awareness to the cultural factor increases. All the above changes support the notion that the variance among situations has become as important for understanding work behavior as the variance among individuals. In light of all the above changes it is clear today that the work context has crossed cultural borders, and that there is a growing need to study the cultural factor and its effect on organizational behavior. II) Why does traditional research in I/O Psychology tend to ignore cultural influences on employees' behavior in organizations? Models of organizational behavior and human resource management focus mainly on the individual level of analysis and attempt to explain motivated behaby looking at individdifference characteristics, individual goals, expectancies, self-efficacy, and need satisfaction. Very little research has been done on the impact of the environment and the way it interacts with the individual to affect organizational behavior. For example, a common model of Human Resource Management involve the following functions: external staffing, internal staffing, compensation, labor-relations and the physical work environment (Cascio, 1989). Yet, the function of communication and of team building has been overlooked, and culture has not been taken into consideration as one of the contextual variables which included economic forces, labor markets, laws and regulations, and labor

11 10 union (Cascio,1989). It seems that traditional forces in the field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology inhibited the formation of new research paradigms which should take into consideration the interrelationship between individual difference characteristics and cultural factors. Cappeli and Sherer (1991) argued that the minor role played by contextual factors in I/O Psychology is explained by the following causes: a) The use of "fixed" research paradigms. Psychology is the study of individual difference characateristics, and as such it focuses on the individual level of analysis. Research paradigms of I/O Psychology were developed in line with the individualistic stream in psychology. Paradigms serve as road maps for guiding research, therefore, they seriously limit the number and kind of variables under study (Roberts, Hulin, & Rousseau, 1978). Research paradigms comprise the cognitive schema necessary for sampling, selecting, and interpreting empirical evidence. Information cannot be processed unless it can be recognized and interpreted. It is, therefore, reasonable to argue that existing research paradigms cause biases in information search, and block opportunities for collecting and interpreting data which contradict existing paradigms. The system tends to preserve itself and attenuate opportunities for change. b) The rule of consistency. Theory development is guided by the rule of consistency which proposes that new developments should be consistent with previous developments. This rule attenuates the process of integrating contextual factors into existing models of organizational behavior. c) The individual as the unit of analysis. The focus on the individual as the unit of analysis limits any research on broader units of analysis. From a historical perspective this approach is anchored in the

12 11 dominant stream of the liberal individualist in psychology which views the individual as selfcontained and as one whose identity is defined apart from the world (Sampson, 1989; Cushman, 1990). This approach is self destructive because "the detachment and prioritization of the individual creates an empty, functionally meaningless abstraction incapable of doing much of anything" (Sampson, 1989, p.918). The individualistic paradigm inhibited the study of group and cultural variables in I/O Psychology. Moreover, the neglect of contextual factors often led to falsely attribute contextual effects to individuals (Ross, 1977). The focus of the American psychology on the individual level of analysis is not a coincidence. Rather, individualistic cultures tend to focus on individuals whereas collectivistic cultures focus on context (Boyacigiller & and Adler, 1991; Triandis, in press). In the new era of globalization the individualistic approach is dysfunctional for understanding individual behavior since the self is, in fact, anchored in the social system, and it is shaped by the shared understanding of members of a particular culture of what it is to be human (Sandel, 1982; Cahoone, 1988; Cushman, 1990). A new theory is, therefore, needed for understanding individual behavior in the global era (Sampson, 1989). d) Phenomenalism. The philosophy that perceptions are not identical to objective reality, which is known as phenomenalism, has underemphasized the importance of the external context. "This view faces obvious empirical difficulties when, for example, closing our eyes fails to stop a speeding Buick from hitting us" (Cappeli & Sherer, 1991, p.84). Therefore, Cappeli & Sherer (1991) argued that the gradual rise of the cognitive paradigm coincided with the gradual erosion in the role of context in Organizational Behavior research. This happens because "If individuals construct their

13 12 own images of the environment which vary across individuals, then why bother with the objective environment?" (Cappelli & Sherer,1991:82). However, an in-depth examination of the nature of cognitive models may lead to a counterargument. Cognitive models may help to incorporate cultural factors into behavioral models of I/O Psychology. It is argued that cultural and contextual factors have hardly been taken into consideration because there was no available cognitive theory for understanding how stimuli from the work environment are selected, processed and interpreted by the individual employee. The lack of cognitive models of information processing in I/O Psychology was admitted by Katzell and Thompson (1990). However, they did not recognize the need for such models. Rather, they contend that although endogenous theories, which deal with cognitive mediating processes, help explain what is going on in motivation, it is the exogenous theories which provide the "action lever" that can be employed to change work motivation. Therefore, they emphasize the need to improve the technology of work motivation concerning methods of incentive plans, goal-setting, and job-design, rather than developing the cognitive mediating models. Cognitive models of human information processing provide the theoretical foundation for understanding persons as processors of information and as allocators of cognitive resources. Metacognitive approaches recognize that individuals not only process information but they also have knowledge about their cognitive processes. This knowledge serves as a source of influence on behavior (R. Kanfer, 1990). Individuals are capable of self-regulating their behavior towards goalattainment by taking the following steps: self-monitoring, which pertains to the attention people pay to their own behavior; self-evaluation, which takes place by personal judgement of the discrepancies

14 13 between a person behavior and the goals and standards for behavior and; self-reaction, achieved by creating incentives for one's own actions, and by responding evaluatively to one's behavior (Bandura, 1986). Models of cognitive information processing within the social domain are known as models of social cognition. Such models enable us to understand how information from the social environment, as well as from internal cues is sampled, processed, interpreted, and stored in cognitive schemas. Information that fits in with the cognitive schema is more likely to be accepted than conflicting information (Wyer & Srull, 1989). It is proposed that such models can be used as a conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between culture and work motivation. In cognitive terms culture is viewed as a set of shared meaning, transmitted by a set of mental programs that control individual responses in a given context (Hofstede, 1980; Shweder & LeVine, 1984). As such it serves as a criterion for evaluating the meaning of various managerial techniques, and the valences of their behavioral outcomes. Culture shapes the cognitive schemas which ascribe meaning and values to motivational variables and guide our choices, commitments, and standards of behavior. Therefore, I would like to argue that cognitive models facilitate rather than inhibit the integration of macro-level cultural variables into models of organizational behavior. e) The difficulty in bridging between the micro-level of individual behavior and the macro-level of contextual factors. Cappelli and Sherer argue that "there is no way to relate macro theories with their focus on the environment, to micro behavior or visa versa (Cappeli & Sherer, 1991 p.87). Their solution to the problem was to focus the organizational level oanalysis as a midpoint on the macromicro continuum. They argued that the organizational context can more easily be related to

15 14 employees' behavior than the macro-level of societal factors. Among the organizational variables that were found to affect individual behavior are demographical (Pfeiffer, 1983), structural (Hickson, Pugh, & Pheysey, 1969), and technological characteristics (Hulin & Rosnowski, 1985). Yet, the mere relationship between various organizational variables and employees' behavior does not contribute to our understanding of the intervening factors (Hulin & Roznowski, 1985). It seems that Cappelli and Sherer (1991) became victims of their own paradigm that cognitive models downplay the role of contextual factors. They overlooked the capacity of cognitive models to explain how contextual stimuli are sampled, processed, and interpreted, and how they influence subsequent behavior. Rather, it is proposed that cognitive models could serve as the infrastructure for developing a model of cross-cultural I/O psychology, as will be further presented. III) Is it possible to develop a theoretical model of cross-cultural I/O Psychology which integrates cultural factors into models of employee work behavior? New models are developed in response to identified weaknesses in past models of individual behavior. Models and theories are being tested under changing conditions and their boundary conditions are identified along the dynamic process of theory development. Four steps can be identified in the developmental process of theories of I/O Psychology: a) Traditional research in I/O Psychology has focused mainly on the effects of various managerial practices and motivational techniques on employee behavior. For example, individual jobenrichment was found to have positive effects on employees' intrinsic motivation (Hackman & Oldham, 1980); The setting of specific and difficult goals was positively related to employee performance (Locke & Latham, 1990); The use of incentive plans as reinforcement of employee

16 15 performance (Lawler, 1986); The implementation of participation in decision-making when decision problems are ambiguous and employee consent is uncertain (Vroom & Yetton, 1973), etc. All of the above models were commonly examined within American culture, overlooking the potential moderating effect of culture. b) The process of globalization in the eighties has opened up opportunities for transferring managerial techniques across cultures. Attempts to implement Japanese management techniques in U.S. companies were driven by the crisis in the American auto industry which lost part of the market in the competition with the Japanese. Following the common wisdom that if you cannot beat them join them, Japanese management techniques were transferred to the United States with only a limited amount of success. In particular, attempts to implement quality circles in the United States were far less successful than their counterpart in Japan (Lawler, 1986). These failures have brought into focus the potential moderating effect of culture on work behavior. Similarly, in the field of consumer behavior, the recognition of cultural diversity has led companies to develop different advertisements for their products in different cultures (Business Week, August, 1989). Thus, culture is becoming a significant moderator of the effectiveness of various managerial and marketing techniques. c) The recognition of culture as a moderator has stimulated the third phase of development which centers on the identification of cultural dimensions, and on the similarities and differences in values across cultures. Among the typologies are ones developed by Elizur (1984), England (England & Lee, 1974), Hofstede (1980), Ronen (Ronen & Shenkar, 1985), Schwartz (1990), and Triandis (Triandis, Bontempo, Vilareal, Masaaki, & Lucca (1988).

17 16 The typologies vary in the cultural dimensions they measure, and in the methodology they use for assessing cultural differences. Hofstede (1980) developed the most popular typology to date consisting of four major dimensions of work values: collectivism vs. individualism, power distance, tolerance of ambiguity, and masculinity/femininity. He used the typology to differentiate among fourty I.B.M subsidiaries across fourty countries. Cultural typologies contribute to our knowledge and understanding of cross-cultural differences, but they do not help us understand the moderating effect of culture. The question still remains how the three factors - culture, managerial techniques and individual work behavior are interrelated. d) The development of a new model of Cross-Cultural I/O Psychology. A development of a new theory is not an end for itself. Rather, better theory is a means to an end. Therefore, a theoretical model should generate a series of steps in a problem diagnosis/solution generation process (Campbell, 1990). Campbell (1990) proposed that the improvement of conceptual models could be reached in three ways: It can be derived analytically; it could stem from evaluations of experts in the field of study; it is evaluated empirically. All three ways have led to the formulation of the present model of cross-cultural I/O psychology: On the empirical level, the generalizability of present theories of I/O psychology was valid mainly in the U.S.A. Yet, the theories failed to explain the variance in research findings across cultures (Adler, 1986; Amir & Sharon, 1987). Empirical confrontation is essential for testing the meaning and validity of scientific hypotheses. What happens to a theory when it is not supported by

18 17 empirical findings? The answer to this question is guided by two different approaches. One approach represents the school of logical empiricism which asserts that some theories are right and others are wrong, and that the empirical confrontation is a test of whether a given theory is valid. The second approach represents the position of contextualism which maintains that all theories are right, and that empirical confrontation is a continuing process of discovery of the contexts under which hypotheses are true and those under which hypotheses are false (Mcguire, 1983). According to the constructivist paradigm, "the role of the empirical side of science is not to test which opposite formulations is valid but rather to explore and discover the range of circumstances in which each of the opposite formulations holds" (Mcguire, 1980, p.79). For example, failures to generalize the validity of a motivational technique across cultures would lead to the search of the boundary conditions in which the motivationsl technique is found to be effective. Research models of cross-cultural psychology distinguish between etic and emic rules. The etic rules are universals whereas the emic aspects are cultural specific (Berry, 1979). Fiske (1991) suggests that principles of behavior are generalizable across cultures. However, the implementation rules of principles of behavior in various situations are culturally determined, and they vary from one culture to another. In other words, " differences have to do with when and whether people use a few universal relational models" (Fiske, 1991, p.145). Fiske distinguished between four types of relational models: Communal sharing, which is characterized by the fact that people attend to group membership and have a sense of common identity; Authority ranking, which is a relationship of inequality and a transitive asymmetrical relationship; Market pricing, is a relationship determined by a market system of exchange; The null

19 18 and a social interactions where people act without regard to any social relationship. These four relational systems are universal but they are differently implemented across cultures according to five implementation rules: a)the domain to which each model is applied; b)the persons who are eligible to relate in each way; c)the parameter setting that specify the actual values and categories defining the applied meaning of each model; d)the particular code that people use to mark the existence and quality of any type of socialrelationship; e)the ideologicvariables defining what is real, what is good, and what is possible. Fiske's (1991) model is by and large conceptual, and it has not yet been operationalized for purposes of empirical examination. Thus, on an empirical level the problem of validity generalization of models of I/O psychology across cultures has not yet been solved. The second criterion for evaluating the quality of theoretical models is by expert evaluation. Researchers in the field of cross-cultural psychology admitted that their theoretical models of crosscultural psychology are poorly developed. Although the field of I/O psychology has a longer tradition of theory development than that of cross-cultural psychology, "the state of theory in industrial and organizational psychology is not what it should be and improvement is needed (Campbell, 1990, p.40). In particular, theories of I/O psychology have been criticized for lacking validity generalization across cultures (Boyacigiller & Adler, 1991). The third criterion of theory evaluation is analytic by nature. From an analytic perspective I chose to question three conventions in I/O psychology and to reframe them: a) That mediating processes do not serve as the action lever of boosting up employees' work motivation (Katzell & Thompson, 1990); b) that cognitive information processing inhibited the development of contextual

20 19 models of organizational behavior (Cappelli & Sherer, 1990), and c) that there is at present no way to relate the individual-based explanations of individual behavior in micro research to the environment or context-based explanations of organizations in macro research. A counter approach proposes that cognitive, mediating, self regulatory processes provide the conceptual framework necessary for the development of a model of Cross-Cultural I/O Psychology. Such models help understand how employees process, evaluate, and interpret organizational cues of managerial practices in light of their cultural values and norms. Thus, unlike the first convention, mediating processes of self-regulation relationship may serve as the action level of boosting up employees' motivation. In contrast to the second convention, cognitive processes may improve our understanding of how environmental stimuli are being processed and interpreted by individuals. In contrast to the third convention, cognitive models of self regulation may bridge the gap between the macro-level of culture and managerial practices, and the micro-level of individual behavior. Cognitive models of information processing explain how information from the external environment is selectively recognized, evaluated, and interpreted in terms of its meaning for the individual, and how it affects behavior. Metacognitive models involve self-regulatory processes which are guided by the paradigm that individuals have knowledge about their own cognitive processes and that they can actively influence the monitoring and appraisal processes to enhance perceptions of well-being. Knowledge about one's own cognitive processes is captured by the self. The self is the interpreter of managerial practices and motivational techniques in light of cultural values and norms, and in relation to the fulfillment of self-generated needs. Based on the meta-cognitive framework, Erez and Earley (in press) developed a model of

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