International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Social Exchange in a Swedish Work Environment
Wajda Wikhamn, Angela T. Hall

In this paper, we investigated social exchange theory (SET) and its underlying mechanism of obligation feeling in light of potential context effects. To date, the bulk of the research on SET has been based on North American samples, with little understanding whether the theory transcends cultural contexts in its ability to explain and effectively predict. Thus, in order to expand our knowledge in this area, we examined SET in a Swedish sample. Using 402 professional employees, we tested whether felt obligation mediated the relationships between perceived organizational support and both affective organizational commitment and personal initiative. The results partially confirmed the applicability of SET in a Swedish context. The paper makes a contribution to the literature by extending empirical research on SET and its applications in a non-U.S. environment, and thus, highlighting the increased importance of context in organizational science research today.

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