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Seo, Eun-Kyung

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  • Paper Title: The Impact of Cultural Values on Employees’ Perceptions of Workplace Equity
  • Department Affiliation: Marketing and Management
  • Supervisor's Names:
    • Principal Supervisor: Doctor Alison Barnes                                                    
    • Associate Supervisor: Associate Professor Cynthia Webster 


The purpose of this research is to examine the impact of employees’ cultural values and their perceptions of workplace equity on their job satisfaction, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB).


This research examines the extent to which perceptions of workplace equity act as a mediator between the independent variables of cultural values, equity sensitivity, and demographics (age and gender) and the dependent variables of job satisfaction, organizational commitment and OCB by attempting to use a partial least square (PLS) to test a mediation effect.

Key literature/theoretical perspective:

Previous studies (Kirkman 2006; Gerhart 2008; Thomas 2008; Gahan and Abesekera 2009) have shown that higher levels of perceived equity in the workplace result in positive employee attitudes and behaviours. What is not known is the extents to which employees’ cultural values influence their perceptions of equity (Fisher 2004; Kirkman 2006; Bolino 2008; Thomas 2008; Sparrow et al. 2010). It is this omission in the literature that this thesis hopes to fill.


This research uses an online survey. For this study an online survey is the most viable option for allowing employees from organizations across Australia to participate. Three stages of analysis will be carried out: 1) descriptive statistics, 2) correlations for all study variables and 3) PLS will be conducted to examine the overall conceptual model.


It is hoped that the findings will assist managers and human resource management practitioners in understanding the extent to which employees from different cultural backgrounds perceive equity in the workplace and how culture and perceptions of equity influence job satisfaction, commitment and OCB.

Research limitations/implications:

This study results may be affected by factors other than culture in organizations which are beyond the control of the researcher. Further, this research is limited to the experiences of employees in Australian organizations employing more than 100 people. It may be necessary to expand this current study to different countries for future study.

Practical and social implications:

The main contribution of this research is its focus on the role that national culture, equity sensitivity and demographic factors play in determining employee attitudes and behaviours in the workplace. It is expected that this knowledge will be of value to organizations attempting to manage culturally diversity. Therefore, it is hoped that this will help raises awareness of the importance of cultural values and encourage organisations to put in place policies that ensure diversity in the workplace is recognised and respected.


Equity Theory, Equity Sensitivity Theory, Cultural Values, Work Outcomes.