Using a contingency perspective, we investigated two complementary topics: (a) the influence of the GLOBE national cultural values and key organisational variables on employee use of flexible work arrangements (FWAs), and (b) the contribution of the level of congruence between cultural values and FWA use on absenteeism and turnover. The results, based on Cranfield Network on Comparative Human Resource Management—a large data set across multiple countries—supported the hypothesised effects of the cultural values on employee use of FWAs and the moderating effects of these cultural values on FWA use and organisational outcomes. Specifically, we found that national cultural values and organisational characteristics were related to outcomes via FWA use; and employees' use of FWAs had the overall effect of reducing absenteeism and turnover, but this effect was weakened when the FWAs were not consistent with cultural values. Theoretically, our results add to our knowledge and understanding of the effects of FWA use on absenteeism and turnover under different degrees of “fit” with cultural context. From a practical perspective, our results suggest that organisations should consider national cultural characteristics before implementing FWAs. A misfit between national culture and FWAs would potentially reduce employee use of FWAs and increase the likelihood of absenteeism and turnover.
- flexible work arrangements
- national culture
- organisational characteristics