Title Participative decision-making amongst employees in a cross-cultural employment setting: evidence from 31 European countries
External publication No
Means Eur. J. Train. Dev.
Scope Article
Nature Científica
SJR Quartile 2
Area International
Publication date 01/01/2020
ISI 000546072500001
DOI 10.1108/EJTD-10-2019-0184
Abstract Purpose There is a growing consensus among human resources researchers and professionals that a participative environment can enhance job satisfaction, commitment, employee motivation and productivity. Moreover, globalization has caused that organizations operate in a huge number of culturally diverse countries. Studies suggest that understanding national culture as a prerequisite to implementing management initiatives such as employee participation in decision-making (PDM) acquires special interest. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of cultural values on PDM in European organisations. The fulfilment of this purpose entails the following specific objectives: to measure the level of PDM in each European country; to examine the relationship between the six cultural dimensions proposed by Hofstede in 2010 (power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/feminity, long term/short term and indulgence) and the PDM level of the organisations studied; and to define the national cultural profile of organisations that promote PDM the most and those that do the least. Design/methodology/approach One factor analysis were applied to test the proposed hypotheses on a sample of almost 25,000 workers in 31 European countries (from the 6th European Working Conditions Survey) to identify direct employee PDM corresponding to each organisation included in the sample. Multiple linear regression was performed to test the hypotheses about the relationship between PDM and Hofstede culture values. Previously, a correlation analysis was performed between the independent variables of the regression model to examine the possibility of bias in coefficient significance tests because of multicollinearity. Finally, it presented a ranking of the analysed countries according to their PDM, including the value of their cultural dimensions. This information could be used to define the cultural profile of European participative countries. Findings The findings advance our understanding of how culture influencing on employee PDM in European organisations. Indulgence and masculinity are the most influent cultural dimensions. Moreover, results provide the cultural profile of those European countries that promote PDM the most and the least. Research limitations/implications The research is based only on the perceptions of workers about their PDM but does not consider the managers' opinion. Moreover, the document analyses the national culture as a single value shared by all the inhabitants of a country without considering the subcultures existing in it. Furthermore, future research should be conducted to analyse the influence of other conditions (such as activity sector, company size and owner public or private) on PDM-culture relationship. Practical implications This study can be aid to managers in understanding the cultural profile of the country where their companies operate and the cultural differences between their employees. In this manner, they could implement the appropriate practices to promote the direct participation of employees in decision-making. Originality/value To broaden the knowledge, this is the first study investigating PDM across six cultural dimensions. The globalized and international business environment generates new challenges to multinational organizations that could pursue to increase direct PDM to get its benefits (a higher efficiency, performance, motivation, commitment and loyalty by the employee) in culturally diverse societies. The cultural values of the countries where organizations are located affect direct employee PDM. In particular, in this study, this occurs primarily with the variables masculinity, long-term orientation and indulgence. Moreover, this is a finding of high relevance because there is no empirical evidence in the effect of indulgence and long-term orientation on PDM because they were added later to Hofstede's values.
Keywords PDM; Hofstede; Cultural values; European organisations; Cross-cultural; Direct participation; Participation
Universidad Loyola members