This mixed-methodology study investigates the degree to which dominant organization culture and cultural values influence a manager's willingness to differentiate employee performance for the purpose of making meaningful talent decisions. Data were collected from 26 companies and a total of 45 individual participants. The findings suggest that specific values play a significant role in influencing a manager's willingness to differentiate employee performance regardless of dominant culture. All organizations have high and low performers, yet being willing to make tough performance calls for greater talent decision effectiveness may require embodying values that are considered countercultural. We argue that these values may need to be translated in the dominant culture for greater acceptance and assimilation, and recognize that companywide performance management programs may best be viewed as a collection of individual decisions that carry with them great tensions. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Research projects (MSOD); Performance standards; Corporate culture; Personnel management

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Feyerherm, Ann;