Satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment: How valid are subjective judgements? Presentation Statistische Woche 2011

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  • 1. University of Cologne Center for Evaluation Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences Dr. Christian Bosau Satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment: How valid are subjective judgements?
  • 2. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 2 Background of the study Are we really measuring „true“ satisfation? Job satisfaction (JS) in organizations: § keyword: international employee satisfaction survey § the absolute level of JS often has direct consequences for leaders § intercultural measurement problems often are NOT considered Main question: How can we compare the results of JS across national and cultural borders?
  • 3. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 3 Cross-cultural JS-results 8,4 8,4 8,2 8,1 8,0 7,9 7,9 7,8 7,8 7,7 7,7 7,7 7,7 7,7 7,6 7,6 7,6 7,6 7,6 7,6 7,5 7,5 7,5 7,5 7,3 7,3 7,2 7,1 7,1 7,1 7,1 7,1 7,0 7,0 7,0 6,9 6,9 6,9 6,7 6,7 6,6 6,6 6,6 6,5 6,2 6,1 5,9 5,5 5 6 7 8 9 Switzerland Malta Denmark Norway Canada Iceland Ireland Austria USA Sweden Belgium NorthIreland Mexico Japan Argentina Chile Finland Netherlands Brazil Luxembourg Poland Nigeria Portugal UnitedKingdom Italy Germany-West Slovenia CzechRepublic Hungary SouthAfrica-White Germany-East Spain India China Slovakia France Lithuania Greece Croatia Estonia Rumania Latvia Bulgaria Korea Russia Turkey Ukraine Belarus • results from World-Values-Survey: • very often: deskriptive intercultural results are published (Slocum & Topichak, 1972; Lincoln et al, 1981; Griffeth & Hom, 1987; Near & Rechner, 1993; Chiu & Kosinski, 1999; van de Vliert & Janssen, 2002; Llorente & Macias, 2005) Unclear: Can we really just interpret those descriptive differences of JS directly?
  • 4. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 4 Problems of cross-cultural research response styles and culture: § different cultures show different response styles, e.g. acquiescence (ARS) (Hui & Triandis, 1989; Johnson et al., 1997; Chen et al.; 1995; Takahashi et al., 2002; Harzing, 2006) § different response style should be understood as different communicational behaviour, not just methodological bias (Smith, 2004; Smith & Fischer R., 2006) standardising of measures (see Fischer, R.; 2004): with-in-subject, group centering, grand mean centering problems: § measures are not independent from each other anymore § absolute level of measures is lost § interpretation is possible only in relation to standardising value (group or grand mean, etc.) What can we do about it? Note: Especially problematic if we want to compare absolute measurements, like JS-levels of countries/subsidiaries/etc.!
  • 5. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 5 Examples: - Does well-being increase with higher GDP? - The more interesting a job is, the higher the JS is? - etc. Methodological classificiation level oriented structure orientedvs. Examples: - How high is JS in different countries? - In which countries are people more satisfied with their lives? - Are Americans more extroverted than Germans? - Is the image of my product better in Germany compared to Spain? - etc. construct bias method biasvs. item biasvs. different understanding of construct across cultural boundaries bad item translation or culturally inapropriate wording different response styles
  • 6. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 6 The 3 important constructs What is the relationship looking like between these constructs? response style culture job satisfaction level ? ? ? - individualism acquiescent response style Known: Negative relationship between individualism and acquiescent response style (ARS)
  • 7. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 7 Method - secondary analysis § Data from World-Values-Survey & Eurobarometer § operationalisation of acquiescence response style (see Harzing, 2006) : acquiescence-index 5-point-scale: ALL items, having received 5 or 4 MINUS ALL items, having received 2 or 1 § aggregation to national level § correlation of national means (controlled for soziodemographic differences of nations, i.e. age, gender) Important question: How will the JS-measurement be influenced by response styles?
  • 8. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 8 Nation-level-results - 1 results: § job satisfaction and ARS are indeed correlated: BUT negatively. § i.e., high measures of job satisfaction only occur in countries/cultures with small or no ARS response tendency norms Keeping in mind: in all countries respondents are on average satisfied with their jobs § Note: if ARS exist, respondents do not report dissatisfaction but only lower satisfaction § Fits with the self-construal results of Markus & Kitayama (1991): interdependent/collectivist people – having higher ARS – are restrained in telling their personal feelings. -.13 (14) -.68** (11) -.59*** (16) -.71*** (16) -.68*** (16) Job Satisfaction (nation-level-mean from Eurobarometer)1 -.29 (25)ARS-index from Hofstede (2001) -.47** (23)ARS-index from Harzing (2006) -.38*** (47) ARS-index 3 from WVS (4-point-scale ‚agree/disagree‘-label) -.47*** (42) ARS-index 2 from WVS (5-point-scale ‚important/unimportant‘-label) -.47*** (46) ARS-index 1 from WVS (5-point-scale ‚agree/disagree‘-label) Job Satisfaction (nation-level-mean from World-Values-Survey)1 1 pearson-correlation coefficient; significance: *** p < .01, ** p < .05, * p < .10; in parentheses: number of countries
  • 9. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 9 Nation-level-results - 2 -.13 (14) -.68** (11) -.59*** (16) -.71*** (16) -.68*** (16) Job Satisfaction (nation-level-mean from Eurobarometer)1 -.29 (25)ARS-index from Hofstede (2001) -.47** (23)ARS-index from Harzing (2006) -.38*** (47) ARS-index 3 from WVS (4-point-scale ‚agree/disagree‘-label) -.47*** (42) ARS-index 2 from WVS (5-point-scale ‚important/unimportant‘-label) -.47*** (46) ARS-index 1 from WVS (5-point-scale ‚agree/disagree‘-label) Job Satisfaction (nation-level-mean from World-Values-Survey)1 1 pearson-correlation coefficient; significance: *** p < .01, ** p < .05, * p < .10; in parentheses: number of countries § the correlation is higher in european nations (countries of the EU)! § Note: european nations have – on average – better working conditions, since economic wealth is higher (compared wordwidely) § we know: job satisfaction measurements are certainly influenced by working conditions as well – not only communicational norms
  • 10. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 10 Re-test of WVS-data § Operationalisation working conditions : GDP (gross domestic product) § Median split into good (rich countries) and bad (poor countries) working conditions Rich countries Poor countries Job satisfaction (nation-level-mean from World-Values-Survey) Job satisfaction (nation-level-means from Word-Values-Survey) ARS-index 1 from WVS (5-point-scale ‚agree/disagree‘-label) -.51* (22) -.02 (24) ARS-index 2 from WVS (5-point-scale ‚important/unimportant‘-label) -.51*** (22) -.34 (20) ARS-index 3 from WVS (4-point-scale ‚agree/disagree‘-label) -.37* (23) -.04 (24) ARS-index from Harzing (2006) -.61** (13) .08 (10) ARS-index from Hofstede (2001) -.34 (19) sample to small § result: correlation remains important and significant only in rich countries with good working conditions, almost no correlation within poor countries with bad working conditions § possible interpretation: following communicational norms becomes important only if a sufficient working standard is established 1 pearson-correlation coefficient; significance: *** p < .01, ** p < .05, * p < .10; in parentheses (number of countries)
  • 11. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 11 Re-test of the WVS-data Very robust effect: correlation remains the same by including economic indicators: - HDI - GDP - Quality-of-Life-Index Acquiescent response style World-Values-Survey–jobsatisfactionlevel Group of countries rich countries poor countries rich countries poor countries
  • 12. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 12 - acquiescent response style individualism Negative relationship between acquiescent response style and job satisfaction level (in rich countries) ? ? job satisfaction level Relationship of culture and job satisfaction: JS-Level is higher in individualistic countries (see Bosau, 2008, as well as Hofstede, Judge, etc.) - + New finding The 3 important constructs
  • 13. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 13 + - acquiescent response style individualism ? job satisfaction level - Hypothesis: Relationship of individualism and JS is only a spurious correlation Instead: culture à response style à JS The 3 important constructs
  • 14. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 14 § statistical analysis: mediation analysis (Baron & Kenney, 1986) Test of mediation model analysis by rich countries of WVS (N=21) § interpretation: relationship of culture and JS can be (almost completely) mediated by ARS; thus: culture à response tendency à JS-level total effect Individualism (Hofstede) job satisfaction β = .39* (p=.08) mediation model job satisfaction β = .20 (p=.39) β = -.49** (p=.03) β = -.39 (p=.11) Individualism (Hofstede) ARS § same analysis with poor countries showed no total and no mediation effect § using several indicators for Individualism, ARS and job satisfaction in 8 different mediation models we always get the same pattern of results
  • 15. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 15 § statistical analysis: stepwise multilevel analysis with HLM 6 (Bryk & Raudenbush) Multi-Level analysis analysis by rich countries of WVS (N=21) ARS individualindividual level national level ARS norm JS .072-1.43*Step 2: ARS norm 5.31** (1) Step 3: ARS individual .07 .078 4.31** (1) Step 4: ARS individual – random slope 70.60** (1) § result: negative relationship with national ARS norm remains significant; on individual level no clear relationship of ARS and JS § same analysis with poor countries showed no effects at all Step 1: Basic Model, controlled for age & gender unstand. beta SE increase in model fit Chi-Square (df) Step 5: ARS norm x ARS individual -.04 .889 0.002 (1)
  • 16. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 16 JS and ARS on the individual level 7.10 7.56 8.03 8.50 8.96 Arbeitszufriedenheit -1.25 -0.75 -0.25 0.25 0.75 Zustimmungstendenz ARS individual JSindividual
  • 17. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 17 Conclusion Results: § indeed: JS-measurements are influenced by response styles (ARS) § consequence: measurements from different cultures cannot be compared directly § national level: negative relationship, i.e. the higher the norm to agree, the more moderate the JS-measurement § individual level: no clear relationship, i.e. in some countries negative and in some countries positive § individualism-JS-relationship can be understood as a spurious correlation § instead: cultural values and their socialization leeds to a specific communication style that in turn influences the JS-measurements In conclusion: Cross-culturally, we are not measuring „true“ satisfaction. To a great extent we are getting results that are an expression of culturally socialized communication norms!
  • 18. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 18 Life satisfaction All countries together: N-ARS 5-point-scale ‚agree/disagree‘-label WVS 1 Subjective Well-Being (Diener et al., 1995) -.52*** (40) Life Satisfaction (Diener et al., 2000) -.36** (30) Life Satisfaction (Suh & Oishi, 2002) -.50*** (29) Happiness (Inglehart & Klingemann, 2000) -.42*** (51) Life Satisfaction (Inglehart & Klingemann, 2000) -.54*** (51) Ideal Life Satisfaction (Suh & Oishi, 2002) -.29 (29) N-ARS 5-point-scale ‚agree/disagree‘-label WVS 1 - Poor countries - N-ARS 5-point-scale ‚agree/disagree‘-label WVS 1 - Rich countries - Subjective Well-Being (Diener et al., 1995) -.08 (11) -.58*** (21) Life Satisfaction (Diener et al., 2000) -.02 (11) -.20 (11) Life Satisfaction (Suh & Oishi, 2002) -.05 (11) -.53* (12) Happiness (Inglehart & Klingemann, 2000) -.02 (22) -.57*** (21) Life Satisfaction (Inglehart & Klingemann, 2000) -.19 (22) -.61*** (21) Ideal Life Satisfaction (Suh & Oishi, 2002) -.03 (11) .02 (12) Split into poor and rich countries: 1 pearson-correlation coefficient; signifikance: *** p < .01, ** p < .05, *p < .10; in parentheses: number of countries 1 pearson-correlation coefficient; signifikance: *** p < .01, ** p < .05, *p < .10; in parentheses: number of countries
  • 19. Bosau – satisfaction measurements in a cross-cultural environment 19. – 22.09.2011 – Statistische Woche – Leipzig Seite 19 contact details: Dr. Christian Bosau Dipl.-Psych. & Master of HRM & IR Center for Evaluation Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences University of Cologne Herbert-Lewin-Str.2 50931 Cologne/Germany Tel. +49 (0)221 470-4120 christian.bosau@uni-koeln.de Thanks for your attention