Purpose - Despite its significance, national culture is often underrepresented in the hospitality industry. Implementing tools such as the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE), while valuable to a considerable extent, might induce false assumptions about of the universality of managerial practices for hotels through purposefully ignoring the in-group variations within each cultural cluster. Because employees’ perceptions are deeply rooted in context-specific value systems, this study challenges the tendency to adopt a globalized approach to leadership and management through investigating potential variations in employees’ perceptions in two countries in the south Asian cluster of the GLOBE.
Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected by using hard-copy and online by convenience-sampling technique from a sample of hotel employees and managers in Iran (392) and India (421). Structural equation modeling using AMOS 22 was adopted to test the hypotheses.
Findings - Both similarities and differences were observed between the Iranian and Indian contexts. The similarities confirm that GLOBE is correct to place them in the same regional cluster but the differences which relate to perceptions of organizational justice are also revealing. While Procedural Justice affects organizational factors that influence employee motivation with the Iranian sample, Distributive Justice has no effect, whereas with the Indian sample these results were the other way around.
Implications – For scholars and practitioners we show that organizational theories and concepts cannot necessarily be transferred from a Western context to other parts of the world without making adjustments for national culture and generalizations cannot even be made within regions of similar culture. For example, this study shows that in Iran organizational justice is perceived differently from how it is perceived in India.
Originality - This study extends the literature about the effect of national culture on the hotel employees’ cognitions and behaviours through shedding light on the divergence between countries within the same regional cluster in the GLOBE classification.