The tortuous evolution of the role of culture in IB research: What we know, what we don’t know, and where we are headed

Published on Dec 1, 2018in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
· DOI :10.1057/s41267-018-0184-2
Rosalie L. Tung40
Estimated H-index: 40
(SFU: Simon Fraser University),
Günter K. Stahl28
Estimated H-index: 28
(WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business)
Abstract This paper takes stock of the literature on culture in International Business by looking back in terms of evaluating what we know and what we do not know; and looking forward by identifying emerging trends and outlining avenues for future research. Unresolved issues, gaps and limitations include: (1) narrow conceptualization of culture and fragmented approach to the study of culture; (2) failure to adopt a multilevel approach and insufficient attention to level of analysis; (3) insufficient attention to context and process; (4) failure to adopt a more dynamic view of culture; (5) tendency to equate country with culture and failure to explore other national differentiators; and (6) Western-centric approach to the study of culture. Suggestions on redressing the unresolved issues include: (1) broadening the definition of culture and transcending the values-based approach to include schemas, norms, and “memes”; (2) paying more attention to process/context by exploring the situation-dependent and dynamic nature of culture; and (3) entertaining alternative research designs/methods, such as emic approaches, qualitative methods, experimental designs, neuroscience-based methods, and replication studies. While these may represent a major departure from methodologies popular in our field, their use can hopefully help us overcome the fragmented, discipline-based approach which has contributed to the persistent problems that have plagued the study of culture in IB in the past.
  • References (113)
  • Citations (6)
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Organizational Research Methods6.55
David A. Waldman55
Estimated H-index: 55
(ASU: Arizona State University),
Danni Wang6
Estimated H-index: 6
(RU: Rutgers University),
Virgil Fenters2
Estimated H-index: 2
(ASU: Arizona State University)
Historically, the lack of availability and prohibitive expense of brain imaging technology have limited the application of neuroscience research in organizational settings. However, recent advances in technology have made it possible to use brain imaging in organizational settings at relatively little expense and in a practical manner to further research efforts. In this article, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of neuroscience applications to organizational research. Further, we presen...
Published on Oct 1, 2018in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Mark F. Peterson30
Estimated H-index: 30
(UM: Maastricht University),
Mikael Søndergaard6
Estimated H-index: 6
(AU: Aarhus University),
Aycan Kara3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Indiana University Southeast)
Abstract International business (IB) scholars continue to struggle to theorize the relationship between country and cultural group boundaries. To progress, we first consider functional, institutional, and critical event explanations for cultural characteristics and boundaries. Second, we contrast theories of explicit global structure based on countries with theories based on implicit cultural groups. Third, we consider the implications of explicit country-based and implicit culture group-based t...
Published on Dec 1, 2017in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Peter J. Buckley57
Estimated H-index: 57
(University of Leeds),
Jonathan P. Doh41
Estimated H-index: 41
(Villanova University),
Mirko Hwan Benischke2
Estimated H-index: 2
(EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Abstract In this article, we review critiques of international business (IB) research with a focus on whether IB scholarship tackles “big questions.” We identify three major areas where IB scholars have addressed important global phenomena, but find that they have had little influence outside of IB, and only limited effects on business or government policy. We propose a redirection of IB research towards “grand challenges” in global business and the use of interdisciplinary research methods, mul...
Published on Aug 7, 2017
Michael Minkov19
Estimated H-index: 19
Pinaki Dutt2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 5 AuthorsBen Mudd2
Estimated H-index: 2
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide an updated and authoritative measure of individualism vs collectivism (IDV-COLL) as a dimension of national culture. Design/methodology/approach Rather than focus solely on Hofstede’s classic work, the authors review the main nation-level studies of IDV-COLL and related constructs to identify the salient cultural differences between rich societies and developing nations. The authors conceptualize and operationalize IDV-COLL on the basis of those di...
Published on Jul 1, 2017in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Klaus E. Meyer7
Estimated H-index: 7
(China Europe International Business School),
Witteloostuijn van Arjen33
Estimated H-index: 33
(Tilburg University),
Sjoerd Beugelsdijk28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UG: University of Groningen)
Social science research has recently been subject to considerable criticism regarding the validity and power of empirical tests published in leading journals, and business scholarship is no exception. Transparency and replicability of empirical findings are essential to build a cumulative body of scholarly knowledge. Yet current practices are under increased scrutiny to achieve these objectives. JIBS is therefore discussing and revising its editorial practices to enhance the validity of empirica...
Published on Feb 6, 2017
Hyun-Jung Lee9
Estimated H-index: 9
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to gain some insights from a leading scholar of the cross-cultural cognitive social psychology field on how cultural differences are viewed, understood, and dealt with, and thus to contribute to enrich the way cultural differences are framed in cross-cultural management research. Design/methodology/approach The author conducts a formal, semi-structured interview with Richard Nisbett for a duration of 90 minutes. The author extracts the key message from the in...
Published on Jan 1, 2017in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Timothy M. Devinney39
Estimated H-index: 39
(University of Leeds),
Jan Hohberger7
Estimated H-index: 7
(UTS: University of Technology, Sydney)
Abstract In this article, we examine the theoretical and empirical understanding of culture within the international business discipline post the publication of Kirkman, Lowe, & Gibson, (2006). In their paper, Kirkman et al. (2006) provide a comprehensive retrospective on the impact of Hofstede’s seminal publication, Culture’s Consequences. In addition to looking at what followed on from Hofstede, they laid out a research program they believed was necessary to move the study of culture forward. ...
Published on Jan 1, 2017in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Sjoerd Beugelsdijk28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UG: University of Groningen),
Tatiana Kostova25
Estimated H-index: 25
(USC: University of South Carolina),
Kendall Roth32
Estimated H-index: 32
(USC: University of South Carolina)
Abstract Kirkman, Lowe, & Gibson’s (2006) JIBS article summarized and critiqued international business research inspired by the most cited book in the field Hofstede’s 1980 Culture’s Consequences: International differences in work-related values (Hofstede [1980]2001). They identified a number of issues in this research and offered several recommendations for improving it in the future, thus laying a strong foundation for Hofstede-related work since 2006. In this commentary, we assess Kirkman et ...
Published on Jan 1, 2017in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Bradley L. Kirkman37
Estimated H-index: 37
(NCSU: North Carolina State University),
Kevin B. Lowe20
Estimated H-index: 20
(University of Auckland),
Cristina B. Gibson36
Estimated H-index: 36
(UWA: University of Western Australia)
Abstract Our 2006 Journal of International Business Studies article, “A Quarter Century of Culture’s Consequences: A Review of the Empirical Research Incorporating Hofstede’s Cultural Values Framework,” provided a comprehensive review of 180 empirical journal articles and edited volume chapters published between 1980 and June 2002 that incorporated Hofstede’s cross-cultural values framework. We examined empirical research that positioned culture as either a main or moderating effect. The review ...
Published on Dec 1, 2016in Academy of Management Journal7.19
Gerard H. Gaynor45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Singapore Management University),
Jennifer Howard-Grenville19
Estimated H-index: 19
(University of Cambridge)
+ 1 AuthorsLaszlo Tihanyi32
Estimated H-index: 32
(A&M: Texas A&M University)
“Grand challenges” are formulations of global problems that can be plausibly addressed through coordinated and collaborative effort. In this Special Research Forum, we showcase management research that examines societal problems that individuals, organizations, communities, and nations face around the world. We develop a framework to guide future research to provide systematic empirical evidence on the formulation, articulation, and implementation of grand challenges. We highlight several factor...
Cited By6
Published on Jul 18, 2019
Gwyneth Edwards , Abdulrahman Chikhouni1
Estimated H-index: 1
Rick Molz6
Estimated H-index: 6
Published on Apr 16, 2019
Chris Baumann13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Macquarie University),
Michael Cherry1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Macquarie University),
Wujin Chu18
Estimated H-index: 18
(SNU: Seoul National University)
The purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of competitiveness. The authors introduce the concept of Competitive Productivity (CP), supplementing shortcomings of traditional understandings of national, organisational and individual productivity which overlook the nature of competitiveness, i.e. outperforming the competition, or at least bettering one’s own performance. The authors offer definitions, components and construct measurements of CP at three levels: macro, meso and micro....
Published on Jul 1, 2019
Daniel J. McCarthy24
Estimated H-index: 24
(NU: Northeastern University),
Sheila M. Puffer28
Estimated H-index: 28
(NU: Northeastern University),
Daniel M. Satinsky1
Estimated H-index: 1
The purpose of this paper is to examine the dramatically changed role of Russia in the global economy since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, as the Soviet institutions collapsed and were either reformed or replaced in a new Russian institutional landscape. The paper presents a fact-based and balanced view of Russia’s evolving role in the global economy, as distinguished from the sometimes one-sided view presented by some Western commentators. The authors establish that the two counte...
Published on May 17, 2019in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Logan L. Watts (The Graduate Center, CUNY), Logan L. Watts (The Graduate Center, CUNY)+ 0 AuthorsDeanne N. Den Hartog44
Estimated H-index: 44
(UvA: University of Amsterdam)
Transformational leadership is commonly assumed to facilitate employee innovation in all cultures. Drawing upon field studies from 17 countries, this meta-analysis revealed that supervisor transformational leadership is positively related to individual- and team-level innovation regardless of national boundaries. However, the relationship trended somewhat more strongly in countries with higher levels of uncertainty avoidance. These findings suggest that employee innovation in most countries can ...
Published on Apr 26, 2019
Michael Minkov (UT: University of Tartu), Pinaki Dutt2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 4 AuthorsVesselin Ivanov Blagoev5
Estimated H-index: 5
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to test the replicability of Hofstede’s value-based dimensions – masculinity–femininity (MAS–FEM) and individualism–collectivism (IDV–COLL) – in the field of consumer behavior, and to compare cultural prioritizations with respect to disposable income budgets across the world. Design/methodology/approach The authors asked 51,529 probabilistically selected respondents in 52 countries (50 nationally representative consumer panels and community samples from anoth...
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Journal of World Business5.79
Florian Wettstein11
Estimated H-index: 11
(HSG: University of St. Gallen),
Elisa Giuliani22
Estimated H-index: 22
(UniPi: University of Pisa)
+ 1 AuthorsGünter K. Stahl28
Estimated H-index: 28
(WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business)
The discussion on business responsibilities for human rights is thriving – although, surprisingly, predominantly outside of the International Business (IB) field. This article introduces business and human rights (BHR) as a research area with great potential for IB scholars. IB scholarship has much to offer when it comes to better understanding the relation between multinational enterprises (MNEs) and human rights. BHR, on the other hand, is a field that can no longer be ignored by IB research i...
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Mark F. Peterson30
Estimated H-index: 30
(AU: Aarhus University),
Tais S Barreto1
Estimated H-index: 1
(NSU: Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract Societal cultural value dimension scholarship can both learn from and inform the family of interrelated approaches to culture research in IB that appear in recent commentaries. It can exchange insights about societal values and meaning systems with neo-institutional and institutional logics research. It can also exchange insights with dual-processing cognition theories that are used to understand individuals in an international context by treating societal culture values and institution...