Most cross-national research examines employees from two or more countries, who are assumed to differ on psychological dimensions in ways that influence their work attitudes or behaviors. However, the psychological dimensions assumed to influence employees' attitudes or behaviors sometimes have not been operationalized (i.e. measured or manipulated) in previous research. Moreover, even when the relevant psychological dimensions have been operationalized, their role in mediating the relationships between people's country and their work attitudes and behaviors have not been fully examined. By operationalizing (and appropriately examining the mediating role of) these psychological dimensions, cross-national researchers may make a variety of conceptual contributions, including: (a) accounting for both between- and within-country differences in work attitudes and behaviors; (b) providing greater clarity in accounting for unexpected null effects of country; and (c) providing insight into the basic theoretical processes underlying the relationships between people's country and their work attitudes and behaviors. Future research opportunities based on operationalizing the psychological dimensions hypothesized to account for country effects also are discussed.
Brockner, Joel. "Unpacking country effects: On the need to operationalize the psychological determinants of cross-national differences." In Research in Organizational Behavior, vol. 25, 333-367. Oxford: Elsevier, 2003.
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