IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jbrese/v67y2014i8p1638-1646.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The impact of home–host cultural distance on foreign affiliate sales: The moderating role of cultural variation within host countries

Author

Listed:
  • Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd
  • Slangen, Arjen
  • Maseland, Robbert
  • Onrust, Marjolijn

Abstract

Research on how multinational firms deal with home–host cultural differences argues that cultural differences are minimized and assumes that foreign cultures are homogenous. In this paper we relax the cultural homogeneity assumption. In the presence of cultural variation in host countries the minimization of cultural differences leads existing mean-based indices of cultural differences to overestimate the actual cultural differences these firms have to deal with. We test this argument in a 25-year panel analysis of total US multinationals' foreign sales in 54 host countries. At the sample average of cultural variation, the use of mean cultural difference indices yields a 74% overestimate of the actual cultural difference effect. This suggests that home–host cultural differences are a substantially smaller barrier to multinational sales than hitherto assumed. The assumption of cultural homogeneity leads to conclusions in which a too large role is attributed to cultural differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd & Slangen, Arjen & Maseland, Robbert & Onrust, Marjolijn, 2014. "The impact of home–host cultural distance on foreign affiliate sales: The moderating role of cultural variation within host countries," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(8), pages 1638-1646.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:67:y:2014:i:8:p:1638-1646
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.09.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0148296313003317
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    2. Rosalie L Tung & Alain Verbeke, 2010. "Beyond Hofstede and GLOBE: Improving the quality of cross-cultural research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 41(8), pages 1259-1274, October.
    3. D Sethi & S E Guisinger & S E Phelan & D M Berg, 2003. "Trends in foreign direct investment flows: a theoretical and empirical analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 34(4), pages 315-326, July.
    4. Campos, Nauro F & Kuzeyev, Vitaliy S., 2007. "On the Dynamics of Ethnic Fractionalization," IZA Discussion Papers 2822, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    6. Heather Berry & Mauro F Guillén & Nan Zhou, 2010. "An institutional approach to cross-national distance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 41(9), pages 1460-1480, December.
    7. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, September.
    8. Erin Anderson & Hubert Gatignon, 1986. "Modes of Foreign Entry: A Transaction Cost Analysis and Propositions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 17(3), pages 1-26, September.
    9. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 693-708, June.
    10. Arjen H L Slangen & Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, 2010. "The impact of institutional hazards on foreign multinational activity: A contingency perspective," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 41(6), pages 980-995, August.
    11. Ricardo G Flores & Ruth V Aguilera, 2007. "Globalization and location choice: an analysis of US multinational firms in 1980 and 2000," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(7), pages 1187-1210, December.
    12. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    13. Oded Shenkar, 2012. "Beyond cultural distance: Switching to a friction lens in the study of cultural differences," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 43(1), pages 12-17, January.
    14. Brambor, Thomas & Clark, William Roberts & Golder, Matt, 2006. "Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analyses," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(01), pages 63-82, December.
    15. Oded Shenkar, 2001. "Cultural Distance Revisited: Towards a More Rigorous Conceptualization and Measurement of Cultural Differences," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(3), pages 519-535, September.
    16. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    17. Amanda J Broderick & Gordon E Greenley & Rene Dentiste Mueller, 2007. "The Behavioural Homogeneity Evaluation Framework: multi-level evaluations of consumer involvement in international segmentation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(5), pages 746-763, September.
    18. Saul Estrin & Delia Baghdasaryan & Klaus E. Meyer, 2009. "The Impact of Institutional and Human Resource Distance on International Entry Strategies," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(7), pages 1171-1196, November.
    19. Alan M Rugman & Alain Verbeke, 2004. "A perspective on regional and global strategies of multinational enterprises," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(1), pages 3-18, January.
    20. Engelen, Andreas & Brettel, Malte, 2011. "Assessing cross-cultural marketing theory and research," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(5), pages 516-523, May.
    21. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
    22. Steven Globerman & Daniel Shapiro, 2003. "Governance infrastructure and US foreign direct investment," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 34(1), pages 19-39, January.
    23. Mariassunta Giannetti & Yishay Yafeh, 2012. "Do Cultural Differences Between Contracting Parties Matter? Evidence from Syndicated Bank Loans," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(2), pages 365-383, February.
    24. Beugelsdijk,Sjoerd & Maseland,Robbert, 2014. "Culture in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107684614.
    25. Gabriel Benito, 1997. "Divestment of foreign production operations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(10), pages 1365-1378.
    26. Kevin Y Au, 1999. "Intra-cultural Variation: Evidence and Implications for International Business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 30(4), pages 799-812, December.
    27. David W Loree & Stephen E Guisinger, 1995. "Policy and Non-Policy Determinants of U.S. Equity Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 26(2), pages 281-299, June.
    28. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. Paulo Albuquerque & Bart J. Bronnenberg & Charles J. Corbett, 2007. "A Spatiotemporal Analysis of the Global Diffusion of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Certification," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(3), pages 451-468, March.
    30. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    31. Kahle, Lynn R & Beatty, Sharon E & Homer, Pamela, 1986. " Alternative Measurement Approaches to Consumer Values: The List of Values (LOV) and Values and Life Style (VALS)," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 405-409, December.
    32. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
    33. Jiatao Li & Stephen Guisinger, 1991. "Comparative Business Failures of Foreign-Controlled Firms in the United States," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 22(2), pages 209-224, June.
    34. Taco H Reus & Bruce T Lamont, 2009. "The double-edged sword of cultural distance in international acquisitions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 40(8), pages 1298-1316, October.
    35. Henisz, Witold J, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Multinational Investment," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 334-364, October.
    36. Yaakov Weber & Oded Shenkar & Adi Raveh, 1996. "National and Corporate Cultural Fit in Mergers/Acquisitions: An Exploratory Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(8), pages 1215-1227, August.
    37. Peter J Buckley & L Jeremy Clegg & Adam R Cross & Xin Liu & Hinrich Voss & Ping Zheng, 2007. "The determinants of Chinese outward foreign direct investment," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(4), pages 499-518, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:pal:jintbs:v:48:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1057_s41267-017-0078-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Anne-Wil Harzing & Markus Pudelko, 2016. "Do We Need to Distance Ourselves from the Distance Concept? Why Home and Host Country Context Might Matter More Than (Cultural) Distance," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 1-34, February.
    3. repec:eee:aumajo:v:23:y:2015:i:1:p:86-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:manint:v:57:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s11575-017-0327-x is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lazarova, Mila & Peretz, Hilla & Fried, Yitzhak, 2017. "Locals know best? Subsidiary HR autonomy and subsidiary performance," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 83-96.
    6. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Tatiana Kostova & Kendall Roth, 2017. "An overview of Hofstede-inspired country-level culture research in international business since 2006," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 48(1), pages 30-47, January.
    7. de Jong, Gjalt & van Dut, Vo & Jindra, Björn & Marek, Philipp, 2015. "Does country context distance determine subsidiary decision-making autonomy? Theory and evidence from European transition economies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 874-889.
    8. Beamish, Paul W. & Lupton, Nathaniel C., 2016. "Cooperative strategies in international business and management: Reflections on the past 50 years and future directions," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 163-175.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:67:y:2014:i:8:p:1638-1646. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusres .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.