The research involved samples drawn from students taking introductory business courses in the two countries. They used matching laboratory experiments to match the reluctance to give bad reports to people from the two cultures. To operationalize face saving in a manner that is sensitive to culture, a blame shifting opportunity was put into operation. To obtain the results, the data was pooled to form a two by two factorial design, the independent variables being national culture and blame shifting opportunity. The reluctance to report bad news was used as the dependent variable.
Findings: The results of the study showed that the blame shifting opportunity present (treatment) group had a tendency of believing that personal blame could be avoided for problems that were related to software development. The control group which were presented with no opportunity to shift blames shared not this belief.
Research Limitations/Implications: Since the studies were conducted in only two countries each with its distinct culture, it may not be fully assumed that the results apply to other countries and cultures such as African countries.
Practical implications: Different cultures perceive face-saving, blame and bad news differently. While some cultures encourage blame shifting, others do not. Depending on whether a culture is biased towards lian or mianzi, managers should learn to treat their tendencies towards face –saving differently.
Value to Reader: The reader gets to appreciate the fact that different cultures have different perceptions on face saving when delivering bad news or failure. In the organizational set-up, this information helps when dealing with one kind of failure or another as people from diverse cultures will either accept blame or shift blame depending on their cultural biases. It was learnt that in cultures where lian is dominated by the mianzi aspect, negative reporting revolves around personal protection