On the misuse of national culture dimensions

On the misuse of national culture dimensions Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the ongoing misapplication of the Hofstede and GLOBE national culture dimensions at the individual level of analysis in both research and teaching. It provides suggestions as to how these national level constructs might be used in analysis and the challenges such use presents to researchers. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology used by Hofstede and GLOBE in their calculation of national culture dimensions is discussed together with the implications. Findings – The consequences of the national nature of the Hofstede and GLOBE national culture dimensions are that the dimensions do not exist at the individual level. The paper explains why, in spite of this, the dimensions continue to be misapplied to individuals. Practical implications – There are important implications for practitioners. The cultural assumptions often made about individuals in different countries based on the Hofstede and GLOBE dimension scores are invalid. Practitioners should not use national culture dimension scores in individual‐level culture related decision making. Originality/value – The paper is the first that is focused on the invalid projection of national culture dimensions onto individuals and which highlights the origins and the ongoing nature of this problem. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Marketing Review Emerald Publishing

On the misuse of national culture dimensions

International Marketing Review, Volume 29 (6): 11 – Oct 26, 2012

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0265-1335
D.O.I.
10.1108/02651331211277991
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the ongoing misapplication of the Hofstede and GLOBE national culture dimensions at the individual level of analysis in both research and teaching. It provides suggestions as to how these national level constructs might be used in analysis and the challenges such use presents to researchers. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology used by Hofstede and GLOBE in their calculation of national culture dimensions is discussed together with the implications. Findings – The consequences of the national nature of the Hofstede and GLOBE national culture dimensions are that the dimensions do not exist at the individual level. The paper explains why, in spite of this, the dimensions continue to be misapplied to individuals. Practical implications – There are important implications for practitioners. The cultural assumptions often made about individuals in different countries based on the Hofstede and GLOBE dimension scores are invalid. Practitioners should not use national culture dimension scores in individual‐level culture related decision making. Originality/value – The paper is the first that is focused on the invalid projection of national culture dimensions onto individuals and which highlights the origins and the ongoing nature of this problem.

Journal

International Marketing ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 26, 2012

Keywords: Hofstede; GLOBE; National cultures; Culture levels of analysis; Research

References

  • Agitation over aggregation: clarifying the development of and the nature of the GLOBE scales
    Hanges, P.J.; Dickson, M.
  • Cross‐cultural examination of the relationships among firm reputation, e‐satisfaction, e‐trust, and e‐loyalty
    Jin, B.; Park, J.; Kim, J.
  • The evolution of Hofstede's doctrine
    Minkov, M.; Hofstede, G.
  • The ecological fallacy
    Piantadosi, S.; Byar, D.; Green, S.
  • The role of national culture in international marketing research
    Steenkamp, J.

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