This study explores the effects of national culture differences on the behavioral consequences of imposing performance evaluation and reward systems (PERS). It postulates that two cultural dimensions — individualism/collectivism and power distance — can modify employees' decisions under, as well as satisfaction with, imposed performance evaluation and rewards aimed at modifying their work-related behavior. In a laboratory experiment that focused on a teamwork setting, these cultural attributes were operationalized via a comparison of US vs. Chinese nationals in Taiwan (CNT). On the whole, the results were consistent with US nationals significantly changing the team orientation of their decisions in response to imposed performance measures and rewards, but a similar impact was not found for the CNT subjects. And, consistent with culture-based predictions, US nationals had significantly lower satisfaction under imposed, rather than self-selected, performance evaluation and reward structures, while their CNT counterparts did not have a similar adverse reaction. These results are consistent with prior Anglo-American-based research that the PERS significantly affects employee behavior. But they also suggest that this finding may not be directly generalizable to employees whose national cultures differ from those of Anglo-Americans.
The International Journal of Accounting,36,291-309