Cross Cultural Methodologies

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Organizational Research Methods
http://orm.sagepub.com A Review of Cross-Cultural Methodologies for Organizational Research: A Best- Practices Approach Bryan S. Schaffer and Christine M. Riordan Organizational Research Methods 2003; 6; 169 DOI: 10.1177/1094428103251542 The online version of this article can be found at: http://orm.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/6/2/169

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ARTICLE
Schaffer, Riordan / CROSS-CULTURAL METHODOLOGIES ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS 10.1177/1094428103251542

A Review of Cross-Cultural Methodologies for Organizational Research: A BestPractices Approach BRYAN S. SCHAFFER CHRISTINE M. RIORDAN
University of Georgia

Cross-cultural studies that use self-report instruments can present researchers with a variety of challenges. This article reviews the organizational research literature between the years of 1995 and 2001 to identify common practices prevalent in this type of research. Key methodological issues are examined within the context of a three-stage framework: (a) the development of the research question, (b) the alignment of the research contexts, and (c) the validation of the research instruments. This examination serves as a basis for the identification of best-practice recommendations for cross-cultural researchers. Keywords: cross-cultural; organizational studies; methods; best practices

International perspectives are prevalent in today’s study of organizations. As business practices become more global, many theoretical constructs commonly used in domestic research are being applied in new cross-cultural arenas. This trend has prompted researchers to highlight potential methodological issues associated with conducting this type of research (e.g., Cheung & Rensvold, 1999; Riordan & Vandenberg, 1994). Some of these issues include whether the researchers take an emic or etic perspective, whether they treat or define culture appropriately in the development of their research questions, and whether they establish equivalence in their selection of samples, their administration of surveys, and in their operationalization of constructs across different cultural groups. If researchers ignore the methodological issues common to cross-cultural research, they risk interpreting findings that may actually be meaningless, inconclusive, or misguiding. The purposes of this article are threefold. First, we provide a review of the important methodological issues involved in the use of self-report instruments in crosscultural research. Other researchers have suggested how such issues can be threats to validity in a variety of field-research settings (e.g., Campbell & Stanley, 1963; Cook & Campbell, 1979; Cook, Campbell, & Peracchio, 1990). Our goal here is to relate these threats specifically to cross-cultural settings. Organizational Research Methods, Vol. 6 No. 2, April 2003 169-215 DOI: 10.1177/1094428103251542 © 2003 Sage Publications

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ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS

Table 1 Academic Journals Used in Literature Search...
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