11.3.1 Worked Example: Culture in Journal of Intl Business Studies

Let us assume you are interested how research into the role of national culture in the field of business and management has developed over the years. In order to limit the number of irrelevant hits, you limit your search to two mainstream international business journals. The screenshot below shows the search and all papers receiving more than 150 citations.

Journal of International Business

The most cited paper by a large distance is Kogut & Singhs paper on the effect of national culture on the choice of entry mode. This was a seminal paper in that it introduced culture as a variable to be considered in studies on entry modes. Entry modes concern the way multinationals enter foreign countries and could include acquisitions and joint ventures.

Interestingly, most articles citing this paper do not refer to the studys findings at all, but to the way the study operationalizes culture, i.e. by calculating cultural distance based on scores on Hofstedes cultural dimensions. This shows us that methodological articles can often be highly cited. Other highly cited papers are those providing reviews of the field (e.g. Adler, Hofstede, and Leung et al.).

However, the general study of the impact of culture on managerial work values and practices is also popular (Newman & Nollen; Ralston et al.). Further highly cited papers deal with the impact of culture on specific topics such as corruption (Husted), strategy (Hennart & Larimo), entrepreneurship (Thomas & Mueller), compensation practices (Schuler & Rogovsky) and business negotiations (Graham).

When I sort the articles by year, I find that the interest in the role of culture seems to be increasing. There were only six articles published in the 1980s that had culture in their title. This is not surprising as Hofstedes book Cultures Consequences, first published in 1980 and reprinted in 1984, is often seen as the catalyst for the attention to national culture in the field of business and management. Likewise, in the first half of the nineties, only five articles dealt with culture to such an extent that they included the word in their title.

In the latter half of the nineties, the number of articles published on culture increased to nearly a dozen. The first five years of the 21st century produced 18 articles on culture, with the following five years producing 24. Some of these articles, however, dealt with entrepreneurial or industrial cultures rather than national culture. It is clear, however, that culture is a topic that is of sustained interest to international business scholars.