This paper examines coworker networks in the American, Chinese, German, and Spanish divisions of a global retail bank. Because the bank has standardized structure and policies across countries, it is possible to examine how norms rooted in national culture impact on various features of informal ties. We propose that cultures vary in the models on which coworker interaction norms are based, with market, family, law, and friendship relations serving as alternative templates. In elucidating these templates, we generate hypotheses about how each culture's norms influence the content and structure of employees' interactions with coworkers. Results from an egocentric network survey largely support the hypotheses. We discuss implications for organizational behavior research on culture as well as practical implications for multinational firms.
Morris, Michael, Joel Podolny, and B. Sullivan. "Culture and coworker relations: Interpersonal patterns in American, Chinese, German, and Spanish divisions of a global retail bank." Organization Science 19, no. 4 (2008): 517-532.
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