Intercultural Survey Research: Challenges & Solutions

Ever since my PhD research I have been interested in the challenges of doing international research and have built up a research program on the international research process. As part of that I published a review article on the challenges of international survey research in European Journal of International Management.

A condensed and updated version of this article is now scheduled to be published in a major new research handbook on intercultural research, which will come out early in 2020. It will include around 30 chapters with a wide spread of countries and contexts outside the West and “the Triads”. There will be chapters about digital field-research, and several chapters from both South American and African countries, in addition to a few from the Middle East and Thailand contexts.

  • Harzing, A.W.; Reiche B.S.; Pudelko, M. (2020) Intercultural Survey Research: Challenges and Suggested Solutions, in: Guttormsen, D.S.A., Lauring, J., & Chapman, M.K. Field Guide to Intercultural Research. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Available online... - Related blog post


When conducting inter- and cross-cultural research projects, scholars face a myriad of challenges that reach beyond those encountered in domestic research. In this chapter, we describe the challenges related to doing international survey research and provide possible solutions, thus putting forward suggestions for improving the quality of international survey research.

Whereas intercultural investigation is not limited to survey research and includes a range of other quantitative and also qualitative methods of data collection (see Marschan-Piekkari and Welch, 2004 for a good overview), we focus our discussion on the collection of intercultural data through questionnaires. We will structure our discussion along the various stages of a research project, referring to study population and data access, survey development, data collection, data analysis, and finally publication of the results.

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Further resources

Journal of International Business Studies articles on methodological issues [From the AIB SIG Research Methods website:]