Businesses are coordinated organizations, and cooperation among employees reduces overall organizational costs. Understanding how important cooperation is among different cultures is important, as business becomes increasingly global. However, cross-cultural literature on cooperation deals with firm alliances, joint ventures, and other firm interrelationships, but not on societal differences in cooperation. Is cooperation similar across cultures? Using proxies, this study sought to operationalize cooperation and examine its underpinnings in countries, using the cultural dimensions of individualism and power distance. Although the initial hypotheses stated that cooperation would look different across these dimensions, the international set of 6452 respondents showed that the overwhelming majority had a similar view of cooperation. The study adds to our understanding of cooperation in different societies and contexts, and suggests that there may be a universal view of cooperation across cultures.

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International Journal of Intercultural Relations
Sprott School of Business

Leonard, K.M. (Karen Moustafa), Cosans, C. (Christopher), Pakdil, F. (Fatma), Brew, F. (Fran), Tanure, B. (Betania), Coutina-Hill, V. (Vilma), … Soler, O. (Olga). (2012). Cooperation across cultures: An examination of the concept in 16 countries. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36(2), 238–247. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.03.006