Error orientation describes one's attitude and behavior toward dealing with, communicating about, and learning from errors. Error orientation has been related to organizations’ safety and quality culture. The present study examined country-level differences in error orientation and its relation to cultural values and personality dimensions. The sample consisted of employees (N = 464) working for an international enterprise. The employees were located in eight different countries: China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, USA, and Vietnam. Significant country-level differences in mean error orientation were found, e.g. USA reported the highest mean level, Japan the lowest. All cultural values, but uncertainty avoidance, had a significant relationship with error orientation: employees high in collectivism and long-term orientation had a significantly higher score on error orientation, while employees high in power distance and masculinity showed a significantly lower score. Error orientation also related to personality: employees high in extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness had a significantly higher score on error orientation while employees high in neuroticism showed a significantly lower score. However, both culture and personality could not fully explain the differences in error orientation between countries.

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Keywords Cross-cultural differences, Cultural values, Error management, Error orientation, Personality dimensions
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Journal Safety Science
Zotzmann, Y, van der Linden, D, & Wyrwa, K. (Knut). (2019). The relation between country differences, cultural values, personality dimensions, and error orientation: An approach across three continents – Asia, Europe, and North America. Safety Science, 120, 185–193. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2019.06.013