Widening the lens: Rethinking distance, diversity, and foreignness in international business research through positive organizational scholarship

Published on Aug 1, 2016in Journal of International Business Studies
· DOI :10.1057/jibs.2016.28
Gönter K. Stahl1
Estimated H-index: 1
(WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business),
Rosalie L. Tung43
Estimated H-index: 43
(SFU: Simon Fraser University)
+ 1 AuthorsMary E. Zellmer-Bruhn18
Estimated H-index: 18
Abstract The point of departure for the special issue is that current theory and research in international business (IB) may have overly emphasized a negative view on foreignness, distance, and differences of all kinds (national, cultural, organizational, and institutional), with an emphasis on liabilities and adverse outcomes associated with such differences. While existing research is certainly valuable, we argue that focusing on mostly negative processes and outcomes has hindered our understanding of the dynamics, processes, and conditions that enable organizations to benefit from diversity in a wide range of IB contexts. The goal of this special issue is to promote research that is in line with a Positive Organizational Scholarship perspective, which encourages scholars to look at commonly considered phenomena in new ways, as well as to explicitly consider positive phenomena in IB research. We then introduce the three articles included in the special issue and highlight how they help IB scholars better understand when and how foreignness, distance, and diversity can enhance organizational effectiveness and performance at multiple levels.
  • References (61)
  • Citations (33)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
4,287 Citations
2,432 Citations
213 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Kim CameronH-Index: 1
Purpose In view of the emphasis in cross-cultural research on negative factors such as cultural misfit, cultural distance, and the liability of foreignness, the purpose of this paper is to offer one explanation for why this is the case and highlight the advantages of giving at least equal emphasis to research on positive factors. Three propositions are offered to guide future cross-cultural research. Design/methodology/approach Summaries of empirical studies on the inherent inclinations of human...
8 CitationsSource
#1Meir Shemla (EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)H-Index: 10
#2Bertolt Meyer (Chemnitz University of Technology)H-Index: 19
Last. Karen A. Jehn (University of Melbourne)H-Index: 41
view all 4 authors...
Summary In this paper, we review the growing literature on perceived diversity in teams. We aim to clarify the construct of perceived diversity and organize the findings in this emergent line of research. To do so, we develop a framework integrating research emerging on perceived diversity from across several different research fields. We propose that the nature of perceived diversity and its effects can be best understood by identifying the focal point of the diversity perceptions being studied...
50 CitationsSource
#1Günter K. Stahl (WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business)H-Index: 27
#2Rosalie L. Tung (SFU: Simon Fraser University)H-Index: 43
The results of a content analysis of 1141 articles published in the Journal of International Business Studies over a 24-year time period (1989–2012) reveal that a pervasive tendency exists in the international business (IB) literature towards emphasizing the adverse outcomes associated with cultural differences more than the positive effects. We argue that this imbalance is not an accurate reflection of the reality of cross-cultural contact in IB and that it has hindered our understanding of the...
139 CitationsSource
#1Jonathan P. DohH-Index: 45
#2Benjamin LittellH-Index: 1
Last. Narda R. QuigleyH-Index: 12
view all 3 authors...
17 CitationsSource
#1Peter Magnusson (FIU: Florida International University)H-Index: 19
#2Anja SchusterH-Index: 3
Last. Vas Taras (UNCG: University of North Carolina at Greensboro)H-Index: 14
view all 3 authors...
Abstract Previous research has found evidence of a counter-intuitive positive relationship between psychic distance and performance, which has been labeled the “psychic distance paradox”. However, there is a dearth of literature explaining the causal mechanisms that elucidates such a positive relationship. Studying the effect of team-level psychic distance on the performance of global virtual teams, we build on the input-process-outcome framework of team research, which allows the integration of...
28 CitationsSource
#1Margaret Spring Schomaker (Laval University)H-Index: 3
#2Srilata Zaheer (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 27
This study proposes a model of the effects of language on knowledge transfer to geographically dispersed operations. Rather than focusing on the distance between two language groups, we look at the commonalities between their languages, introducing the construct of linguistic relatedness as a way to measure the overlap in the structural features of the dominant languages at play between firms and their overseas manufacturing operations. We focus on the structural aspects of language (e.g., gramm...
37 CitationsSource
#1Brady M. Firth (UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)H-Index: 3
#2Gilad Chen (UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)H-Index: 36
Last. Kwanghyun Kim (KU: Korea University)H-Index: 14
view all 4 authors...
Integrating work from the expatriate adjustment and newcomer socialization literatures within a motivational framework, we propose that motivational states and stress cognitions impact expatriates' work adjustment patterns over time, which in turn influence important assignment attitudes. In accordance with our theorizing, analyses of longitudinal data collected from 70 expatriates during their first four months of international assignment indicated that cross-cultural motivation and psychologic...
70 CitationsSource
#1Srilata Zaheer (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 27
#2Margaret Spring Schomaker (Laval University)H-Index: 3
Last. Lilach Nachum (Baruch College)H-Index: 26
view all 3 authors...
In this commentary we build on Shenkar's (2001) award-winning critique of cultural distance, arguing that most distance constructs, in fact, suffer the same flaws because they oversimplify the relationship between countries, overlook their subjective and context-specific nature, and pay insufficient attention to the mechanisms through which distance operates. The idea of distance, however, has intrinsic value. Moreover, its considerable appeal and undeniable effectiveness have made it a well-ent...
213 CitationsSource
#1Leigh Anne Liu (J. Mack Robinson College of Business)H-Index: 9
#2Chei Hwee Chua (USC: University of South Carolina)H-Index: 4
Last. Günter K. Stahl (WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business)H-Index: 27
view all 3 authors...
In an increasingly globalized workplace, the ability to communicate effectively across cultures is critical. We propose that the quality of communication experienced by individuals plays a significant role in the outcomes of intercultural interactions, such as cross-border negotiations. In 4 studies, we developed and validated a multidimensional conceptualization of quality of communication experience (QCE) and examined its consequences in intracultural versus intercultural business negotiations...
53 CitationsSource
#1Günter K. Stahl (WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business)H-Index: 27
#2Kristiina Mäkelä (Hanken School of Economics)H-Index: 18
Last. Martha L. Maznevski (International Institute of Minnesota)H-Index: 20
view all 4 authors...
Summary Current research on multicultural teams tends to exhibit a bias towards studying the negative effects of team diversity more than the positive. This negative bias has limited our understanding of the conditions that promote the benefits of diversity and of the mechanisms that foster these benefits. In this article, we highlight a complementary perspective, namely the idea that cultural diversity and cultural differences can be an asset rather than a liability. This perspective has been p...
118 CitationsSource
Cited By33
#1James B. Abugre (University of Ghana)H-Index: 8
#2Karen Williams (Swansea University)H-Index: 12
Last. Yaw A. Debrah (Swansea University)H-Index: 24
view all 3 authors...
#1Yue Zhao (UALR: University of Arkansas at Little Rock)H-Index: 1
#2Ronaldo Parente (FIU: Florida International University)H-Index: 15
Last. Lucas Wenger (FIU: Florida International University)H-Index: 1
view all 4 authors...
Abstract Real options theory is applied widely to the study of MNEs’ international expansions. This stream of research views the MNE as a network that incorporates a portfolio of options to maximize return in changing environmental conditions (Kogut & Kulatilaka, 1994). In this study, we examine whether and how flexibility benefits of multinationality influence MNEs’ ability to sustain superior performance. From a real options valuation perspective, our findings indicate that the composition of ...
1 CitationsSource
#1Nicholas R. Prince (UW: University of Wyoming)H-Index: 2
#2J. Bruce Prince (College of Business Administration)H-Index: 28
Last. Ruediger Kabst (University of Paderborn)H-Index: 6
view all 3 authors...
Abstract This study evaluates national culture’s influence on the incentive practice-firm performance relationship. Hofstede’s work (1993) and institutional theory ( North, 1990 ) suggest national culture will moderate incentive effectiveness, while others suggest it has minimal impact ( Gerhart & Fang, 2005 ). We find performance orientation (PO), in-group collectivism (I-GC) and uncertainty avoidance (UA) dimensions explain strength and direction of incentive-performance relationships. Profit-...
1 CitationsSource
#1Cristina López-Duarte (University of Oviedo)H-Index: 11
#2Marta Suárez (University of Oviedo)H-Index: 16
Last. Belén González Díaz (University of Oviedo)H-Index: 5
view all 3 authors...
AbstractThis is a bibliometric study of reference literature related to the influence of national culture issues on expatriate management. It is based on publications in elite Management, International Business, and Human Resource academic journals between 2000 and 2012. The database comprises 222 articles involving 368 authors and 223 academic institutions. The analysis uses a broad scoring procedure that includes: (I) scholars and institutions’ productivity in terms of number of publications (...
2 CitationsSource
#1József PoórH-Index: 9
#2Allen D. EngleH-Index: 8
Last. Katerina LegnerovaH-Index: 1
view all 15 authors...
We explore the effects of three organizational variables (country of origin of the multinational company (MNC), the timing of entry into the European Union and the mode of establishment of the MNC subsidiary unit) on the human resource management (HRM) practices being pursued by subsidiaries of large MNCs operating in selected countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Former Soviet Union. Furthermore, we examine whether the degree of autonomy afforded to the subsidiary over its prefe...
In cross-cultural communication and adjunct disciplines such as cross-cultural management and international business, there is a negativity bias of seeing cultural differences as a source of potential issues. The emergence of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) questions this problem-focused approach. This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion from neuroscience’s perspectives in several ways. Firstly, it provides a neurological look at this bias. Secondly, it proposes that that the p...
There is a generalized belief that cultural differences can have more negative consequences than benefits within the international business (IB) literature. This study argues that cultural differences are not perceived as constrains in millennial global virtual teams (GVTs). Additionally, using the theory of cooperation and competition and the motivated information processing perspective, the purpose of this paper is to uncover the process by which millennials working in GVTs address various cha...
The purpose of this paper is to focus on consumers’ reactions to cross-border acquisitions (CBA) by exploring the role of consumer perceptions of the psychic distance between the country of the acquirer and that of the target firm when the acquiring corporation has a good or poor reputation.,A 2×2 experimental design which manipulated psychic distance and acquirer’s corporate reputation was conducted in Italy. The study considers an Italian food target firm and compares four foreign acquiring fi...
#1Vas Taras (UNCG: University of North Carolina at Greensboro)H-Index: 14
#2Daniel Baack (DU: University of Denver)H-Index: 15
Last. Peter Magnusson (UA: University of Alabama)H-Index: 19
view all 7 authors...
Abstract Global Virtual Team (GVT) member diversity provides many advantages but also poses many challenges. Diversity comes in different forms that each has different effects on GVT dynamics and performance. Past research typically explored the effect of only one type of diversity at a time. Using multi-source, multi-wave data from 5728 individuals working in 804 consulting project GVTs, the present study is unique in that it explores and compares the effects of different forms of team member d...
5 CitationsSource
#1Gwyneth EdwardsH-Index: 2
Last. Rick MolzH-Index: 7
view all 3 authors...
The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the relative institutional distance of the subsidiary from the multinational enterprise (MNE) headquarters influences job satisfaction in the subsidiary. The authors argue that job satisfaction in the MNE subsidiary will be influenced by the institutional distance between the firm’s home (headquarter) and host (subsidiary) countries, such that the greater the institutional distance, the less satisfied the subsidiary employees. The authors also argu...