How can cooperation be fostered? The cultural effects of individualism-collectivism

Chao C. Chen, Xiao Ping Chen, James R. Meindl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

478 Scopus citations


Studies of cooperation are abundant in the social sciences, but organizational researchers are calling for integrating the numerous conceptions of cooperation and meeting the new challenges of cultural differences. In this article we develop a culturally contingent model of cooperation. We differentiate various mechanisms from cooperative behaviors and theorize about how culture affects behavioral cooperation through mechanism selection or modification. Delineating cultural effects, we derive patterned differences in the instrumental and expressive motives of individualists and collectivists and propose six culturally contrasting cooperation mechanisms. Finally, we discuss directions for future research and consider implications for practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-304
Number of pages20
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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