Cross-Cultural Analysis is the sequel to Culture's Consequences, the classic work published by Geert Hofstede, one of the most influential management thinkers in today's times. Hofstede's original work introduced a new research paradigm in cross-cultural analysis: studying cultural differences through nation-level dimensions (complex variables defined by intercorrelated items). This paradigm has been subsequently used by hundreds of prominent scholars all over the world and has produced solid results.

This new text takes the next step: It critically examines in one comprehensive volume the current, prevalent approaches to cross-cultural analysis at the level of nations that have been developed since Hofstede's work, offering students and researchers the theoretical and practical advantages and potential pitfalls of each method.

The book is structured into four distinct parts. Parts I and II focus on the main theoretical and statistical issues in cross-cultural analysis using Hofstede's approach and the different research methods now associated with it. Part II consists of presentations of all well-known (and some lesser known) large-scale cross-cultural studies since Hofstede's work that have explained cross-cultural variation in terms of dimensional models. Part III summarizes the main conclusions to be drawn from the presentations in Part II and I explains how the proposed models have contributed to our practical understanding of cross-cultural diversity.

Theoretical Versus Empirical Perspectives

Theoretical versus empirical perspectives

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

—Sherlock Holmes (Doyle, 1892/1993, p. 8)

There is a major issue in cross-cultural analysis as in all social sciences: whether to prioritize theory or empiricism. There are divergent views on this matter and the clash of opinions is old. Some 30 years ago, Rohner (1984) stated that the concept of culture was largely unexamined theoretically. He identified a need for a theory of culture. On the other hand, Segall (1984) criticized the devotion of so many “armchair efforts” (p. 161) to determine what culture is or is supposed to be. He believed that researchers ...

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