This paper aimed at investigating the effects of work-related norm violations (i.e., violations of interpersonal and work regulation norms) and individuals’ general beliefs about the world (i.e., social axioms: reward for application, social cynicism) on feelings of shame and guilt in Turkey and in the Netherlands. An experimental study involving 103 Turkish and 111 Dutch participants showed that work norm violations elicited feelings of guilt and shame differently in Turkey and the Netherlands. Specifically, interpersonal norm violation in Turkey elicited feelings of shame and guilt more strongly than did violation of a work regulation norm, whereas no differential effects were found in the Netherlands. As expected, violation of a work regulation norm elicited feelings of shame and guilt more strongly in the Netherlands than in Turkey, whereas violation of an interpersonal norm elicited feelings of shame and guilt more strongly in Turkey than in the Netherlands. The findings provide further evidence for the moderating effects of social axioms: in both countries, participants high in social cynicism felt less ashamed when they violated a work regulation norm than did those low in social cynicism. Our findings are relevant for understanding the underlying mechanisms of norm violations at work, thereby offering a new avenue for investigating cultural differences in the workplace. The latter may be of particular relevance in times of globalization and diversity in the workplace

Additional Metadata
Keywords The Netherlands, Turkey, guilt, shame, social axiom, work norm violation
Persistent URL,
Journal Asian Journal of Social Psychology
Cem-Ersoy, N, Born, M.Ph, Derous, E, & van der Molen, H.T. (2011). Effects of work-related norm violations and gerenal beliefs about the world on feelings of shame and guilt: A comparison between Turkey and The Netherlands. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 14(1), 50–62. doi:10.1111/j.1467-839X.2010.01329.x