We validate, extend, and empirically and theoretically criticize the cultural dimension of humane orientation of the project GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research Program). Theoretically, humane orientation is not just a one-dimensionally positive concept about being caring, altruistic, and kind to others as discussed by Kabasakal and Bodur (2004), but there is also a certain ambivalence to this concept. We suggest differentiating humane orientation toward in-group members from humane orientation toward out-group members. A multicountry construct validation study used student samples from 25 countries that were either high or low in humane orientation (N = 876) and studied their relation to the traditional GLOBE scale and other cultural-level measures (agreeableness, religiosity, authoritarianism, and welfare state score). Findings revealed a strong correlation between humane orientation and agreeableness, welfare state score, and religiosity. Out-group humane orientation proved to be the more relevant subfacet of the original humane orientation construct, suggesting that future research on humane orientation should make use of this measure instead of the vague original scale. The ambivalent character of out-group humane orientation is displayed in its positive correlation to high authoritarianism. Patriotism was used as a control variable for noncritical acceptance of one's society but did not change the correlations. Our findings are discussed as an example of how rigid expectations and a lack of tolerance for diversity may help explain the ambivalent nature of humane orientation.
- construct validation
- welfare state