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Conceptual Equivalence
Conceptual equivalence
Introduction

Cross-national comparisons are possible only if concepts (or constructs) have identical meaning in the different countries/cultures surveyed. A lack of conceptual equivalence across national/cultural contexts may translate into discrepancies in the reliability and validity of research instruments. Conceptual equivalence is based not only on identical definitions of a construct but also on similarity in the way it is understood in particular national contexts. A concept like ‘worker participation’, although apparently identical cross-nationally, may be understood in a different manner in Germany, where it is embedded in institutionalized practices, and in the United States, where labor is kept at a distance from managerial decision making. Issues of conceptual equivalence need to be addressed before cross-national data collection, while equivalence assessment is only possible after ...

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