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Hofstede, Schwartz, or managerial perceptions? The effects of different cultural distance measures on establishment mode choices by multinational enterprises

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  • Drogendijk, Rian
  • Slangen, Arjen

Abstract

In recent years, scholars have become increasingly critical of Kogut and Singh's [(1988). The effect of national culture on the choice of entry mode. Journal of International Business Studies, 19(3), 411-432] cultural distance index and of Hofstede's [(1980). Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications] underlying national culture framework. We therefore examine and compare the effects of five cultural distance measures on the choice by multinational enterprises (MNEs) between expanding abroad through greenfield or acquisition. Two of these measures are based on Hofstede (1980), another two on Schwartz [(1994). Beyond individualism/collectivism: New cultural dimensions of values. In U. Kim, H. C. Triandis, C. Kagitcibasi, S. C. Choi, & G. Yoon (Eds.), Individualism and collectivism: Theory, methods, and applications (pp. 85-119). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications; (1999). A theory of cultural values and some implications for work. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 48(1), 12-47], and one on managerial perceptions. Analyzing a sample of foreign expansions by Dutch MNEs and controlling for other factors, we find that high scores on all cultural distance measures significantly increase the likelihood that MNEs choose greenfields, and that the explanatory power of the Hofstede and Schwartz-based measures is comparable, while that of the perceptual one is somewhat lower. We conclude that it may thus be premature to dismiss Hofstede's work as outdated or as inaccurately reflecting national cultures, and to consider Schwartz's framework to be superior.

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  • Drogendijk, Rian & Slangen, Arjen, 2006. "Hofstede, Schwartz, or managerial perceptions? The effects of different cultural distance measures on establishment mode choices by multinational enterprises," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 361-380, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:15:y:2006:i:4:p:361-380
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    References listed on IDEAS

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