Unbundling the differences between psychic and cultural distance: An empirical examination of the existing measures

Anthi Avloniti, Fragkiskos Filippaios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The diversity between the country-scores of Hofstede, Schwartz, GLOBE, Hr akanson and Ambos and Dow and Karunaratna is the main focus of this study. To investigate the correlation between the country-scores of these CD (Cultural Distance), pPD (perceived Psychic Distance) and PDs (Psychic Distance stimuli) instruments we apply the Mantel test, a test predominantly used in anthropology and genetics, which can be particularly insightful when examining ?distance? data. The matrix correlation findings provide evidence supporting the high diversity between these measures and their lack of consistent results for the same countries. Therefore, despite the similarity between the way of conceptualizing and operationalizing CD that Hofstede, Schwartz and GLOBE share, these CD measures do not report consistent findings. Consistently, the lack of correlation, between the PDs measure of Dow Karunaratna and pPD of Hr akanson Ambos, indicates the diversity between PD stimuli measures and perceived PD measures. At the same time, while the two Psychic Distance (PD) measures indicate high correlation in some cases, overall they are highly diverse from the CD measures. We argue, therefore, that identical studies could reach significantly different conclusions by simply using different measures of CD,pPDPDs which then denotes significant implications for the reliability of research findings. Additionally, we point out potential weaknesses of these measures when examining culturally proximate countries and multicultural nations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-674
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number3
Early online date19 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

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