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Are Hofstede's and Schwartz's value frameworks congruent?

Siew Imm Ng (Graduate School of Management, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia)
Julie Anne Lee (Graduate School of Management, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia)
Geoffrey N. Soutar (Graduate School of Management, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 24 April 2007

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to propose an alternative basis for calculating cultural distance scores using Schwartz's cultural values.

Design/methodology/approach

Cultural distance scores were calculated for 23 countries, based on the two most common measures of cultural difference (four cultural dimensions and Schwartz's 1994 culture level values), following Kogut and Singh's formula. Correlation analysis was used to assess the congruency between these two bases of cultural distance. In addition, their relationship with international trade figures was assessed, to understand how well each framework predicts the amount of trade between countries.

Findings

Inter‐country distances between 23 countries suggest that the two bases of cultural distance were not congruent. While the correlation between both cultural distance measures and international trade suggested a negative relationship, as expected, only cultural distance based on Schwartz's values was significantly related to international trade (p<0.05). It would appear that, at least in a trade context, Schwartz's values may play a more significant role than do Hofstede's dimensions.

Originality/value

To date, most cultural distance scores have been based on Hofstede's cultural dimensions. This paper provides the first analysis of cultural distance based on Schwartz's country level values. The paper shows that the two measures are not congruent and that, at least in the context of trade, cultural distance measures based on Schwartz's may be superior. Thus, researchers should carefully consider which cultural base is most appropriate for use in their study.

Keywords

Citation

Imm Ng, S., Anne Lee, J. and Soutar, G.N. (2007), "Are Hofstede's and Schwartz's value frameworks congruent?", International Marketing Review, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 164-180. https://doi.org/10.1108/02651330710741802

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited