Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effects of Culture on Referent Selection: A Comparative Study of American and Vietnamese Employees
by Dao, Ralph, Ph.D., American International College, 2012, 148; 3586286
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of cultural differences on how employees select referent others. This study utilized survey research (a non-experimental field study design). The current study consists of a population of hospitality industry employees from USA and Vietnam. Using questionnaires, 405 American hospitality industry employees and 419 Vietnamese hospitality industry employees were surveyed. A convenience sampling method was applied to select and recruit research participants. Subjects were asked about their perceptions, beliefs, and feelings regarding individualism/collectivism, power distance, system referent, selfreferent, and other referent. In addition, research participants were asked about their age, gender, job status, length of employment, birth place, length of stay in a country (America/Vietnam), culture, and industry. Overall results show that i) system referent is positively related to power distance and birth place and negatively related to individualism, ii) self-referent is negatively related to power distance and birth place and positively related to individualism, and iii) other referent is positively related to power distance and birth place and negatively related to individualism. The findings of this study show that i) Vietnamese hospitality industry employees are more likely to select “the system” as a performance referent, ii) American hospitality industry employees are less likely to select “the system” as a performance referent, iii) Vietnamese employees scored lower in individualism and higher in power distance, and iv) American employees scored higher in individualism and lower in power distance. The results also show that i) American employees with higher work status (fulltime job status) are more likely to select “the system” as a performance referent, ii) employees from American culture are less likely to select “the system” as a performance referent, iii) older American employees and employees from an American culture are more likely to select themselves as a performance referent, iv) older Vietnamese employees and employees who stayed longer in Vietnam are less likely to select themselves as a performance referent, v) employees from Vietnamese culture are more likely to select themselves as a performance referent and employee gender influences on the selection of self-referent in Vietnam, vi) employees who were born in America are more likely to select others as a performance referent and employee gender influences on the selection of other referent, vii) employees from an American culture are less likely to select others as a performance referent, and the employee selection of other referent differs between hotel and restaurant industries, and viii) Vietnamese employees who work fulltime are more likely to select others as a performance referent; this behavior differs between hotel and restaurant industries. Thus, the findings show that results differ dependent upon culture; that is, hospitality industry employees have different behaviors based on American and Vietnamese culture. The findings of this study may help investors, managers, and human resource executives create effective tools for dealing with cross-cultural employees.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gill, Amarjit S.
Commitee:
School: American International College
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Asian American Studies, Management, Organizational behavior
Keywords: American employees, Culture effects, Referent selection, Vietnamese employees
Publication Number: 3586286
ISBN: 9781303816505
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