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National cultural values and the purpose of businesses


  • Harris, Simon
  • Carr, Chris


We need measures and tests of the effects of national values if we are not to over- or under-attribute management behaviour differences to them, but complex institutional and industrial influences make this difficult. Here, we examine international differences in the purposes of firms as expressed by CEOs, which subject to institutional and industrial factors as well as national values. Having explored these purposes in investment decisions of large public companies, we adopted a 'quasi-experimental' approach to measure and test national values' influence in owner-managed firms in different cultures. We found national values influencing business aims, but not time frames or stakeholders, where other forces were acting. So they are important, but we can only reliably attribute behaviour to them on the rare occasions where other forces are not at play. Good measures of values' effects may themselves aid understanding of the background to international business negotiations and partnerships.

Suggested Citation

  • Harris, Simon & Carr, Chris, 2008. "National cultural values and the purpose of businesses," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 103-117, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:17:y:2008:i:1:p:103-117

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. White, George O. & Hadjimarcou, John & Fainshmidt, Stav & Posthuma, Richard A., 2013. "MNE home country cultural norms and conflict strategy fit in transnational business contract disputes," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 554-567.
    3. Roth, Kendall & Kostova, Tatiana & Dakhli, Mourad, 2011. "Exploring cultural misfit: Causes and consequences," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 15-26, February.
    4. Blocker, Christopher P., 2011. "Modeling customer value perceptions in cross-cultural business markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(5), pages 533-540, May.
    5. Buck, Trevor & Liu, Xiaohui & Ott, Ursula, 2010. "Long-term orientation and international joint venture strategies in modern China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 223-234, June.
    6. Raj Aggarwal & Joanne Goodell & John Goodell, 2014. "Culture, Gender, and GMAT Scores: Implications for Corporate Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 125-143, August.
    7. Joshua D. SHACKMAN, 2018. "Measurement Of National Culture: A Multiple Source Latent Variable Approach," CrossCultural Management Journal, Fundația Română pentru Inteligența Afacerii, Editorial Department, issue 2, pages 73-83, December.
    8. Pablo Cardona & Ivan Malbašić & Carlos Rey, 2018. "Institutions, paradoxes, and compensation logics: evidence from corporate values of the largest Chinese and US companies," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(5), pages 602-619, October.

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