Assigning Credit to Organizational Leaders: How Japanese and Americans Differ

Yuriko Zemba*, Maia J. Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Prior research has shown that Japanese blame organizational leaders more harshly than Americans: Americans blame organizational leaders based on the behavior of individual leaders, whereas Japanese blame leaders based both on the behavior of individual leaders and that of the organization. This finding can be explained by a cultural difference in cognitive orientation to focus on the causal influence of groups but also by a cultural difference in value to subordinate individual goals to group goals. By asking Japanese and American respondents to make credit judgments for positive organizational incidents, the current work tests these two rival explanations. Results support the view that group-based crediting occurs because of perceivers' cognitive orientation to perceive group causality. Implications of this cultural difference and the judgmental processes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-914
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug


  • credit assignment
  • cultural difference
  • responsibility attribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


Dive into the research topics of 'Assigning Credit to Organizational Leaders: How Japanese and Americans Differ'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this