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Culture and context matter: gender in international business and management

Lorraine Eden (Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Susan Forquer Gupta (Leon Hess Business School, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, USA)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to argue that culture and context (policy and environment) are key factors affecting gender inequalities within and across countries.


This paper applies conceptual and descriptive statistics.


The authors found evidence of increasing gender equality in the workplace, but only for rich countries. Gender inequalities persist in the poorest countries, and the gap between rich and poor countries appears to be widening not narrowing.

Research limitations/implications

This paper demonstrates the need for a comprehensive research program on gender and international business.

Practical implications

The authors provided useful statistics that could possibly be picked up by newspapers. The paper also highlights the need for a more sustained research program on gender and development.

Social implications

This paper demonstrates that the public perception of increasing gender equality applies only in very high development (rich) countries. In fact, gender inequality rises as economic development levels decline across countries, and the gap between very high and low countries has widened over the past 15 years.


The empirical findings with respect to gender inequality across United Nations Development Program country categories over time are, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, novel and original. Relating the gender inequality gap to culture and context highlights the roles that social issues and the environment play in affecting gender inequality across countries and across time.



The authors thank Kathy Lund Dean for extensive, insightful comments on an earlier version of this paper, and Valerie Hudson, Fiona Moore, Amanda Bullough and Rosalie Tung for their helpful advice also. The authors want to especially thank Rosalie Tung, Editor-in-Chief of Cross Cultural and Strategic Management, for her supportive encouragement of the special issue at every step in the process.


Eden, L. and Gupta, S.F. (2017), "Culture and context matter: gender in international business and management", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 194-210.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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