In this study, the authors investigated how salespeople within an interdependent-based culture (the Philippines) and an independent-based culture (the Netherlands) experience and self-regulate shame. Filipino and Dutch employees were found to experience shame as a consequence of customer actions in largely similar ways (i.e., for both, shame is a painful self-conscious emotion with unique physiological/ behavioral urges, self-focused attention, and felt threat to the core self) but have different responses to their felt shame. Specifically, shame is self-regulated dissimilarly in the 2 cultures and leads to opposite effects on performance, namely, enhanced customer relationship building and civic virtue and helping occur for Filipino employees, and diminished sales volume, communication effectiveness, and relationship building transpire for Dutch employees. The positive effects experienced by Filipino employees occur through direct responses to felt shame and as a result of adaptive resource utilization. The negative effects experienced by Dutch employees occur as a result of the dysfunctional (from the firm's point of view) discharge of protective actions.

Netherlands, communication & culture, customer services, interpersonnel relations & culture, sales personnel, shame, stigma (social psychology),
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Journal of Applied Psychology
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Bagozzi, R.P, Verbeke, W.J.M.I, & Gavino, J.C. (2003). Culture Moderates the Self-Regulation of Shame and Its Effects on Performance: The Case of Salespersons in the Netherlands and the Philippines. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(2), 219–233. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.2.219