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.

Cross-Cultural Comparability

Cross-cultural comparability

Quantitative nomothetic comparisons of cultures inevitably bring up the question of whether the compared phenomena are comparable in the first place. If the answer is negative, the whole idea of carrying out a comparative study would be compromised. This chapter discusses the comparability of cultural phenomena from various theoretical and practical perspectives.

6.1. Etic Versus Emic Approaches

The terms “etic” and “emic” are derived from Pike's (1967) work in linguistics. They have become popular in the literature on culture, yet their usage is not strictly defined. “Etic” can refer to an outside perspective, whereas “emic” implies an understanding of a particular culture on its own terms (Morris, Leung, Ames, & Lickel, 1999). But another distinction is also possible: “Etic” can designate universals, whereas ...

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