May the Angry Man Win? A Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Relationship between Anger, Guilt, and Promotion Decisions

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Conference Paper

Publication Date



We examine the influence of employee anger and guilt on promotion decisions, focusing on cross-cultural differences. We hypothesized that in an individualistic culture (Israel) employee anger (rather than guilt) would be associated with a promotion, while the reverse would be found in a collectivistic culture (Singapore). Predictions were confirmed in the collectivistic but not the individualistic culture. A second study was conducted in order to uncover the reason underlying the unexpected results in the individualistic culture. In the second study, participants were asked about others’ promotion decisions, in contrast to the first study in which they were asked about their own decisions. In the second study, all the hypotheses were confirmed. Consequently, the two studies identify a critical moderating variable in the relationship between emotions and promotion decisions in individualistic cultures - the promotion decision source, demonstrating that participants’ personal decisions differ from the perceptions of others’ decisions. An additional moderating variable uncovered in the second study is culture. The two studies offer insights on the relationship between culture, emotions and promotion decisions.



Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources


4th Conference on Emotions and Organizational Life, London, June 2004

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