National Culture and International Business: A Path Forward

Journal of International Business Studies 2020

Posted: 1 Dec 2021

See all articles by Oded Shenkar

Oded Shenkar

Ohio State University (OSU) - Human Resource Research

Stephen B Tallman

University of Richmond

Hao Wang

Independent

Jie Wu

Chair Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship; Associate Editor, Asian Business & Management ; Area Editor, Technovation

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

The anniversary of Kogut and Singh’s construct of ‘‘cultural distance’’ is a good time to reflect on this immensely popular but flawed construct, assess the efficacy of the remedies offered for its reform and refinement, and chart an alternative approach that represents a departure from distance as the dominant paradigm with which to view and analyze the impact of national culture on cross-border business. The proposed alternative, a contact-based framework shifts attention from what sets cultures apart towards the actual cultural interface that firms and their executives experience when participating in an international transaction. With this lens, the cultural exchange is regarded as an evolving interactional process of engagement, which commences prior to a transaction and proceeds through the life of the inter-party arrangement and beyond, and whose potential to yield negative – or positive – outcome is subject to specific contingencies. Implications for theory, methodology, and practice are delineated.

Keywords: cultural distance, cultural friction, paradigm shift, contact-based framework, national culture

Suggested Citation

Shenkar, Oded and Tallman, Stephen B and Wang, Hao and Wu, Jie, National Culture and International Business: A Path Forward (2020). Journal of International Business Studies 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3930908

Oded Shenkar

Ohio State University (OSU) - Human Resource Research ( email )

700 Fisher Hall
2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

Stephen B Tallman

University of Richmond ( email )

28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
United States

Hao Wang

Independent

Jie Wu (Contact Author)

Chair Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship ( email )

United Kingdom

Associate Editor, Asian Business & Management ( email )

Area Editor, Technovation ( email )

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