Cross‐cultural Differences in Personnel Psychology

Peter B. Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Personnel Psychology

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199234738
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577093 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Cross‐cultural Differences in Personnel Psychology

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  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour


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In recent decades, substantial advances have been made in the creation of systematic procedures for the conduct of policies relevant to an organization's human resources. These developments present challenges to the validity of personnel practices that have been honed in monocultural settings. Put rather too crudely, companies must either modify their practices to accommodate the increasing diversity of their workforces, or they must find ways to create sufficiently uniform organizational cultures to permit the retention of the procedures developed earlier. An early indication of the difficulties inherent in the second of these options was provided by Hofstede's survey of IBM employees. This article discusses the conceptual framework provided by Hofstede's project. It then considers some of the major ways in which cultural variations may affect organizational behavior. The article draws on both nation-level and individual-level concepts in detailing a cultural perspective on several key issues relevant to personnel psychology.

Keywords: policies; human resources; Hofstede's survey; IBM employees; personnel psychology

Article.  9451 words. 

Subjects: Human Resource Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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