National Culture and Prosocial Behaviors: Results From 66 Countries

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Numerous studies have attempted to explain prosocial behaviors. Most of these studies focus on individual and contextual factors. Although existing data on the national level have demonstrated significant differences between countries in the frequency of prosocial behaviors, the reasons for these differences have rarely been explored. We hypothesize that Hofstede’s national culture perspective can explain this variance. We applied five societal culture structures to explaining cross-national variations: individualism (IND)–collectivism, power distance (PD), uncertainty avoidance (UA), masculinity, and future orientation (FO). Analysis of data from 66 countries supported our hypotheses: IND correlated positively and PD correlated negatively with prosocial behaviors. Contrary to our hypothesis, UA and FO correlated negatively with prosocial behaviors. Furthermore, PD and UA interact with IND in prediction of prosocial behaviors. We further explored the effect of the cultural dimensions on specific prosocial behaviors separately and found which of them are related to the cultural dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1065
Number of pages25
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number5
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © The Author(s) 2014.


  • individualism
  • national culture
  • power distance
  • prosocial behavior
  • uncertainty avoidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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