Are country and cultural values interchangeable? A case example using occupational stress and coping

Sukanlaya Sawang, Yong Wah Goh, Tian Oei

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41 Citations (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)


Cross-cultural research in occupational stress and coping has produced a wealth of knowledge. Although advancement has been made, there are still problems to be solved. One of these problems is the confusion generated in the literature by researchers claiming nation or country as representing cultural values, and the use of the two terms interchangeably. It remains unclear whether this practice is correct. The present paper reported on this by using 511 full time employees from Australia, Singapore and Sri Lanka to study occupational stress and coping. Results revealed that cultural value paradigm (i.e., Individualism-Collectivism) was distributed across the three nations, such that over 60% of participants across the three nations were either high or low in both I-C paradigms. The findings also indicated that the relationship between cultural value paradigm and country impacted on stress and coping differently. The study shows that significant differences exist within country, as well as between countries, such that any attempt to equate `culture' with `country' becomes problematic. Therefore, these findings establish that country or nation was not the same as culture values and could not be used interchangeably.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-219
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Cross Cultural Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006


  • Occupational Stress
  • Collectivism
  • Individualism
  • Transactional Model of Coping


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