The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which managers’ perceptions of cultural distance – one of the most important explanatory factors in the field of international business – are congruent with objective reality.
By subjecting a sample of 242 export ventures to correlation and confirmatory factor analyses, managers’ perceptions of the cultural distance (i.e. perceived cultural distance) between 29 international markets and Sweden (the home market) were compared, with “objective” cultural distance gauged using Hofstede's (1980) scores for dimensions of national culture.
A statistically significant correlation was found between managers’ perceptions of cultural distance and “objective” cultural distance.
Despite the importance of perceptual data in many theoretical and practical domains, few studies analyze the validity of such data. The present findings validate the congruence of perceptual data regarding cultural distance with “objective” cultural distance.
The author would like to thank Professor Bo Öhlmer and Dr Helena Hansson for their valuable comments throughout the study, as well as two anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback. The Sifo survey was funded by “Stiftelsen Olle Hakelius Stipendiefond.”
Azar, G. (2014), "How congruent are managers’ perceptions of cultural distance with objective reality?", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 400-421. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCM-03-2013-0041Download as .RIS
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