Resource title

Who's helping whom? A comparison of helping behavior among American and Indian software engineers

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This paper describes an in-depth, qualitative exploration of helping behavior among software engineers doing the same type of work in the US and India. Consistent with research describing American culture as more individualist and Indian culture as more collectivist, the authors find that engineers at the American site provide help only to those from whom they expect to need help in the future whereas engineers at the Indian site are more willing to help whoever needs help. However, they further find that the differences are not due to the influence of individualistic or collectivist norms so much as to the ways in which helping is framed in the two contexts. At the American site, the act of helping is framed as an unwanted interruption. In contrast, helping at the Indian site is framed as a desirable opportunity for skill development. In each case, the authors find that engineers help others when doing so helps to achieve their own career goals. These findings have important implications for better understanding helping behavior and the mechanisms through which culture influences behavior.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2001/2001-78.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved