Considerable evidence from cultural psychology indicates that East Asians tend to reason holistically whereas Westerners tend to think analytically. We propose that this important difference in cognition can explain divergences in the perceived effectiveness of, and preference for, controls between the two cultures. We experimentally test our predictions by studying American and Chinese employees' perceptions of the Code of Conduct used by companies in both the U.S. and China. Overall, the results are consistent with our predictions and provide evidence of the role of cognition in influencing perceived control effectiveness. We contribute to efforts at a systematic understanding of cross-cultural differences in preferences for controls, and add to research that is important for furthering theory building.
Data Availability: Data used in the study are available from the authors.