Organizational Psychology in Cross Cultural Perspective

343 pages

January, 2005

ISBN: 9780814740064



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Colin P. Silverthorne is Professor of Psychology at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of several books, including Common Sense Statistics.

All books by Colin P. Silverthorne

The last two decades have seen an explosive increase in the ethnic diversity of the workforce, growth in international business, and the emergence of many more multinational companies.

The potential for problems as companies operate across borders and managers manage in countries which have different values, norms and cultural behaviors is great. By looking at organizational psychology in a cross-cultural context, we can gain an understanding of the challenges facing organizations and business today.

This text breaks new ground in introducing organizational psychology from a cross cultural perspective. It provides a foundational overview of the current major theories in organizational psychology, and illuminates the impact of cultural differences on organizational dynamics. It also makes available specific research concerning our current understandings of how these dynamics play out in particular regions and countries, such as autocratic versus democratic leadership styles in Africa and Europe or conflict management in Asia. The volume offers a welcome introduction to the topic to those in industrial/organizational psychology, international relations and management, and international business/MBA programs focusing on international issues.


  • “Presents a cogent argument for adopting a cross-cultural perspective, specifically in organizations involved in global enterprise.”


  • “A tour de force. A highly readable, thorough and comprehensive review of the field, it will be used in undergraduate courses because it is so clearly written and well organized. This volume will be used in graduate courses because of the exhaustive scope of the research on which it is based. In addition to being a first-rate organizational psychology text, the book also provides much needed information about how the theories and practices of Western organizational psychology does and does not fit the reality of other countries around the globe. Written by a man from two cultures (the UK and the US) who is a master teacher, a former dean, a well-published scientist and a practicing organizational consultant, wisdom, compassion and creativity ooze from every page of this book. Although all the major topics of organizational psychology are well covered (leadership, work motivation, managerial skills, job satisfaction, conflict and power, communication and negotiation, personnel issues, etc.) what is unique about this volume is the wide-ranging view of its author. Throughout the book, Silverthorne reflects on issues of justice, demographic change, gender and mini-cultures within single states. It is a notable achievement.”

    —Maureen O’Sullivan, Ph.D., Professor of psychology, University of San Francisco

  • “A rich and fascinating read. . . . Silverthorne has performed the equally daunting and important tasks of bridging the chasms that exist between cultures and bridging disciplinary and methodological perspectives regarding organizations and cultures. I was particularly impressed by the text's exceptional scope. Silverthorne has mapped an entire terrain-ranging from leadership to motivation and from problem-solving to the management of stress. I will be strongly recommending this book to my consulting and coaching colleagues who cross national and cultural boundaries.”

    —William Bergquist, author of Creating the Appreciative Organization and The Postmodern Organization