Culture’s Implications on Support as a Moderator of the Job Stressor–Outcome Relationship

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This study set out to examine whether cultural context plays a role in the extent to which supervisor social support and organizational support each moderate the relationship between job stressors and positive organizational outcomes by testing the interactions across nine cultural regions (United States/Canada, Latin Europe, Nordic Europe, Germanic Europe, Latin America, Southern Asia, Confucian Asia, Australia/New Zealand, and Anglo Europe) composed of 25 countries. Archival survey data (N = 1,796) from a multinational human resources consulting firm were analyzed for the present study. As expected, supervisor social support buffered the relationship between job stressors and positive organizational outcomes in the United States/Canada region, but the interaction was small. In Germanic Europe, opposing the hypothesis, a reverse buffering effect was found such that as job stressors increased, positive organizational outcomes decreased more sharply with high (vs. low) supervisor and organizational support. In Latin Europe, consistent with the hypothesis, supervisor social support had a reverse buffering effect on the job stressor–positive organizational outcomes relationship. Moderating effects were not found in any of the other regions. These findings have implications on how companies do business overseas, particularly in terms of preparing to work with people from different national and regional cultures.

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