||Organizations increasingly employ people from different cultures. Individuals from different cultural backgrounds have dissimilar levels of self- and other-awareness. In team settings, gaps in individuals’ awareness of themselves and others affect how team issues are resolved. Fairness is one such issue. People care about fairness: in outcomes, as well as processes. Thus, fair process is an important factor, shaping team processes and outcomes. However, while notions of fairness are universal, their operationalization depends on the individuals’ cultural backgrounds. Thus, what one person considers as fair process may not be so for others with different levels of self- and other-awareness. Such disparities affect team behavior and outcomes, as also commitment and morale. Most people lack insights on how cultural backgrounds influence actions and perceptions of fair process. Thus, such problems are difficult to diagnose and manage.
This presentation demonstrates how cultural differences shape fair process behavior and outcomes. My analysis utilizes four variables underlying culture models: communication, power, identity, and conflict resolution. I map them with key constructs from fair process models: consistency, transparency, engagement, and representation of affected parties’ views. The analysis yields predictions on circumstances where fair process can be violated, e.g., when different views on hierarchy (power) translate into different expectations regarding transparency. Consequently, both parties may think they are acting fairly, but that the other party is not. Such misperceptions create vicious cycles of dysfunctional interaction, hurting both parties. The proposed framework helps managers to diagnose and act on culture-based violations of fair process.