Overt Employment Discrimination in MNC Affiliates: Home-country Cultural and Institutional Effects


Wu, C., J. J. Lawler and X. Yi. 2008. “Overt Employment Discrimination in MNC Affiliates: Home-country Cultural and Institutional Effects.” Journal of International Business Studies 39 (5): 772-794.

Authors: C. Wu, J. J. Lawler, X. Yi


Using job announcements posted by MNC subsidiaries in Taiwan and Thailand, we investigated the effects of MNC home-country cultural and institutional forces on the use of employment gender and age discriminatory criteria in host countries where anti-discrimination legislation was absent. We examined the cultural effects with composite measures taken from the work of Hofstede and Schwartz. The effects of the existence of anti-age and anti-gender discrimination employment legislation in an MNC home country were also assessed to control for institutional factors. Logit analysis shows that MNC home-country culture and institutional environment can have a strong impact on the use of discriminatory criteria by MNCs in host countries, at least those lacking protective legislation. Specifically, MNCs based in countries that have existing and effective age and gender discrimination laws, and have more individualist and less masculine cultures, are less likely to engage in at least overt gender-based and age-based discrimination.
Keywords: MNC; employment discrimination; age; gender; national culture; institutional forces


Analyzed recruitment ads in Thailand and Taiwan (no regulations in either country at the time of the study), overt gender and age discrimination; Asian-Pacific, North American and European-based companies

Existence of a home-country cultural impact on the likelihood of these types of discrimination by MNC subsidiaries even after controlling for key home-country institutional influences

Topics: Age, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Governance, Multi-National Corporations Regions: Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Taiwan, Thailand

Year: 2008

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.