EIASM Methods and Methodologies in Cross-Cultural Research

Methods and Methodologies in Cross-Cultural Research

Time and place: June 3-7, 2024, University of Vaasa, Finland

Learning goal and objectives:

Due to globalization and higher international trade volumes there is an increasing trend in management research to conduct cross-cultural, cross-national and cross-disciplinary studies. Methods and methodology for comparative studies, however, require special knowledge and special skills. Researchers involved in cross-cultural research projects need to be familiar with the cross-cultural research methods and even be able to create novel methods and techniques in order to increase the validity, reliability, and trustworthiness of cross-cultural research. The empirical design becomes even more complicated, when studies are conducted in transitional and developing economies.

The course provides knowledge in:

  • Designing theory based cross-cultural/ international studies
  • Conducting cross-cultural research
  • Quantitative and qualitative cross-cultural comparative methodology
  • Doing cross-cultural collaborative research
  • Doing research in transitional and developing economies
  • Doing research outside your own home country

After the course the participants are familiar with relevant methodological literature on cross-cultural methods. They are able to use the literature as a guideline for their own methodological choices. The participants will understand the difficulties but also the opportunities of conducting cross-cultural research. The participants will receive knowledge, understanding and preparedness to independently develop skills in conducing empirical cross-cultural research.

Instruction and examination:

In order to pass the course, students are required to

  • Read literature for each session (reading lists provided prior to course, preliminary list shown below)
  • Be active during the sessions
  • Send in for all participants a one-page research proposal with emphasis on methods one week before the start of the course
  • Prepare 3 ppt slides for a brief research proposal presentation in the beginning of the course, including a figure summarizing the project
  • Submit a revised research proposal focusing on cross-cultural methods one month after the course that reflects all the course literature (articles, books, and slides) as well as other information given during the course (c. 15 pages)

Credits: 6 ECTS

Grading: The teachers evaluate the research proposal (c. 15 pages) on a grading scale 1-5.

Prerequisites: Doctoral students and post doctoral researchers who are conducting or are aiming to conduct comparative cross-national/cultural or international research. The participants should be doctoral students or faculty members of universities of KATAJA or cooperation partners of KATAJA.

Admittance: Maximum 25 participants will be accepted to the course. If this course is organized with EIASM as in the past, students apply by registering online 4 months prior to the beginning through EIASM and sending in the following documents:

  • the applicant’s curriculum vitae demonstrating his/her capabilities of doing research
  • a letter of recommendation of his/her local faculty supporting the application
  • a two-page description of his/her doctoral research, indicating the general objectives

Documents will be reviewed by host university and students are notified of acceptance 3 months prior to beginning of course.


  • Professor Hartmut H. Holzmüller, TU Dortmund University, Germany: Culture theory, multi-centric team management, experiences from cross-cultural research, qualitative/ explorative research methodology. Harmut Holzmueller – Academic Website
  • Professor Edwin Nijssen, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands: Research designs, use of borrowed scales, experiences from cross-cultural research. Edwin Nijssen – Academic Website
  • Professor Thomas Salzberger, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria: Measurement theory, emic and etic methodology, quantitative/ confirmative cross-cultural research. Thomas Salzberger – Academic Website

Course coordinator and contact information:

Assistant Professor Tiina Leposky, University of Vaasa, School of Marketing and Communications, tiina.leposky@uwasa.fi

Preliminary Reading List:

Andersen, P.H., Skaates, M.A. (2004). Ensuring Validity in Qualitative International Business Research. Welch, C., Marschan-Piekkari, R. (Eds.) Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods for International Business. Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 464-485.

Briley, D. A., & Aaker, J. L. (2006). When does culture matter? Effects of personal knowledge on the correction of culture-based judgments. Journal of Marketing Research, 43(3), 395-408.

Douglas, S.P., & Craig, C.S. (2006). On Improving the Conceptual Foundations of International Marketing Research, Journal of International Marketing, 14(1), 1-22.

Douglas, S. P., & Nijssen, E. J. (2003). On the use of “borrowed” scales in cross-national research: A cautionary note. International Marketing Review, 20(6), 621-642.

Easterby-Smith, M., Malina, D. (1999). Cross-Cultural Collaborative Research: Toward Reflexivity. Academy of Management Journal, 42(1), 76-86.

Ewing, MT., Salzberger, T., & Sinkovics, R.R. (2005). An Alternate Approach to Assessing Cross-Cultural Measurement Equivalence in Advertising Research. Journal of Advertising, 34 (1), 17–36.

Kostova, T., & Roth, K. (2002). Adoption of an organizational practice by subsidiaries of multinational corporations: Institutional and relational effects. Academy of management journal, 45(1), 215-233.

McGrath, H., & O’Toole, T. (2014). A cross-cultural comparison of the network capability development of entrepreneurial firms. Industrial Marketing Management 43, 897-910.

Punnett, B.J., Ford, D., Galperin, B. L. & Lituchy, T. (2017). The Emic-Etic-Emic Research Cycle. AIB Insights 17(1), 3-6.

Samaha, S. A., Beck, J. T., & Palmatier, R. W. (2014). The Role of Culture in International Relationship Marketing. Journal of Marketing, 78(September), 78-98.

Salmi, A. (2011). International research teams and collective case studies: an abductive approach,  Piekkari, R. ,  Welch C. (Eds.) Rethinking the case study in international business and management research, Edwards Elgar Publishing, p. 431-451.

Salzberger, T., & Koller, M. (2013): Towards a new paradigm of measurement in marketing. Journal of Business Research, 66 (2013) 1307–1317.

Salzberger, T., Newton, F.J., & Ewing, M.T. (2014). Detecting gender item bias and differential manifest response behavior: A Rasch-based solution. Journal of Business Research, 67 (2014) 598–607.

Schaffer, B. S., & Riordan, C. M. (2003). A review of cross-cultural methodologies for organizational research: A best-practices approach. Organizational Research Methods, 6(2), 169-215.

Sinkovics, R.R., Penz, E., Ghauri, P.N. (2008). Enhancing the Trustworthiness of Qualitative Research in International Business. MIR, 48(6), 689-714.

Steenkamp, Jan-Benedict, and Hans Baumgartner (1998), “Assessing Measurement Invariance in Cross-National Consumer Research,” Journal of Consumer Research, 25 (1), 78–90.

Steenkamp, J. B. E., Hofstede, F. T., & Wedel, M. (1999). A cross-national investigation into the individual and national cultural antecedents of consumer innovativeness. The Journal of Marketing, 55-69.

Taras, V., Kirkman, B. L., & Steel, P. (2010). Examining the impact of Culture’s consequences: A three-decade, multilevel, meta-analytic review of Hofstede’s cultural value dimensions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(3), 405.

Taras, V., Rowney, J., Steel, P. (2009). Half a century of measuring culture: Review of approaches, challenges, and limitations based on the analysis of 121 instruments for quantifying culture. Journal of International Management, 15, 357-373.

Teagarden et al. (1995). Toward a theory of comparative management research: An idiographic case study of the best international human resources management project. Academy of Management Journal, 38(5), 1261-1287.

Watkins, L. (2010). The cross-cultural appropriateness of survey-based value(s) research. International Marketing Review, 27(6), 694-716.

Welch et al. (2011). Theorising from case studies: Towards a pluralist future for international business research. Journal of International Business Studies, 42, 740-762.

Wulf, K. D., Odekerken-Schröder, G., & Iacobucci, D. (2001). Investments in consumer relationships: a cross-country and cross-industry exploration. Journal of marketing, 65(4), 33-50.

Yaprak, A. (2008). Culture study in international marketing: a critical review and suggestions for future research. International Marketing Review, 25(2), 215-229.



Preliminary Syllabus

Preliminary Programme
Day Time Room Subject Readings Learning objectives/ tasks Instructor

Jun 3













Welcoming words

Brief round of introduction (instructors and participants) – Poster Session


Starting lecture: Defining cross cultural research

a.        Introduction to the international /cultural domain

b.       Explanation of the course structure and topics


Slot A: Short presentations of participant projects – Beginners (max. 3 ppt slides, e.g. Background

 +gap/RQ; Theory/perspective; Method/ Empirical steps; Cultural challenge you face)

Research proposals Creating cultural awareness/ sensitivity




Holzmueller, Nijssen, Salzberger


Jun 4







First step: Specification of international focus

a.        Culture,

b.       Perennial problems,

c.        8 steps framework to solid cross-cultural research


Slot B: Short presentations of participant projects – Advanced students (max. 3 ppt slides, e.g.

 Background +gap/RQ; Theory/perspective; Method/ Empirical steps; Cultural challenge you face)

Singh, Nijssen, and Holzmüller (2006);

Taras, Rowney, and Steel (2009)


Create awareness for culture, and providing a process framework of cross-cultural research Holzmueller
Tea and coffee
11.00-12.15 Second step:  Conceptualization/ Operationalization of international domain, typology  of  culture related research


Wulf, Odekerken-Schröder, and Iacobucci (2001); Steenkamp, ter Hofstede and Wedel (1999);

Samaha, Beck, and Palmatier (2014)

Create awareness for the difference between cross-national versus cross-cultural research Nijssen
13.00-14.30 Slot C: Short presentations of participant projects – Advanced students (max. 3 ppt slides, e.g.

 Background +gap/RQ; Theory/perspective; Method/ Empirical steps; Cultural challenge you face)


Tea and coffee


Third and fourth step: Modeling of international & substantive mechanism/ Inclusion of competing explanations & effects

a.        Multicultural minds experiments

b.       Institutional theory

Yaprak (2008);

Briley and Aaker (2006); Kostova and Roth (2002)


When does culture matter?

Familiarize participants with alternative approaches to comparative research in the international arena.

16.15-17.15 Workshop: Conceptualization of culture and identification of a theoretical basis for participant projects and doctoral work

Please, discuss and prepare in teams a revision of your research proposal which reflects the input of the prior sessions of the day (steps 1 to 3)

Applicability to my own research All
19.00 Course dinner (On your own cost)

Jun 5

8.30-10.00 Fifth step: Implementation of cultural sensitivity and fighting hidden bias/ Research paradigms in cross-cultural research

a.        Emic, etic; anthropology/ethnography vs. management/market oriented ethnography

b.       Combined emic-etic

c.        Pseudo etic (borrowed scales)


Taras, Kirkman, and Steel (2010);

Schaffer and Riordan (2003);

Douglas and Nijssen (2003)

Increase emic sensitivity and sensibility Nijssen
Tea and coffee
10.30-11.00 Sixth step: Handling substantive differences and idiosyncrasies/  Multinational collaborate research Easterby-Smith & Malina (1999); Teagarden et al. (1995), Salmi (2011)

Bagire and Punnett (2017)

Create awareness for challenges and pitfalls in international research teams. Holzmueller
11.00-12.00 Seventh step: Qualitative field work and data collection (Basics) Watkins (2010);

Welch et al. (2010);

McGrath & O’Toole (2014)

Create understanding of weaknesses and strengths in doing research in alien cultures Holzmueller
12.45-14.15 Seventh step:  Quantitative  field work and data collection execution (Basics)  Douglas and Craig (2006); Hult et al. (2008);

Salzberger et al. (2009);

McKenna et al. (2013)

Track B: Create basic understanding of  equivalence concepts and the resulting complexity of doing quantitative research cross-culturally  Salzberger
Tea and coffee


Seventh step:  Cross-cultural field work and data collection execution (Advanced issues)  – Qualitative paradigm  (Track A) Eighth step: The role of culture in quantitative data analysis I: Assessment of measurement equivalence (Traditional test theory, Factor Analysis) (Track B) Track A: Watkins (2010);

Welch et al. (2010);

McGrath & O’Toole (2014)

Belk, Ger, and Askegaard (1997)

Track A: Create an advanced understanding of weaknesses and strengths in doing research in alien cultures A: Holzmueller
Track B: Schaffer and Riordan (2003); Steenkamp and Baumgartner (1998); Salzberger and Sinkovics (2006) Track B: Create basic understanding of the concept of measurement equivalence and the standard method to assess comparability B: Salzberger
16.30-17.30 Workshop: Re-thinking research designs for participants’ projects / doctoral work Applicability to my own research All

Jun 6

08.30-10.00 Eighth step: Equivalence assessment and data analyses after data collection – Qualitative

(Track A)

Eighth step: The role of culture in quantitative data analysis II: Assessment of measurement equivalence (Modern test theory Theory)

(Track B)


Track A : Sinkovics, Penz, and Ghauri (2008); Andersen and Skaates (2004) Track A: Create understanding of and preparedness for comparability and potential of qualitative data in cross-cultural research A: Holzmueller
Track B: Salzberger and Sinkovics (2006); Ewing, Salzberger and Sinkovics (2005); Singh (2004); Baumgartner and  Steenkamp (2001), Salzberger and Koller (2013) Track B: Create basic understanding of alternative methods to assess comparability


Learn how culture can be incorporated in quantitative analysis

B. Salzberger
Tea and coffee
10.30-12.00 Workshop: Review and assessment of good practice studies in explorative cross-cultural research (Track A) Eighth step: The role of culture in quantitative data analysis III:  Actual consideration of equivalence in empirical research. Modeling culture in a structural model;

Addressing measurement equivalence in the course participants’ projects (Track B)



Track A:  Punnett, Ford, Galperin and Lituchy 2017, McGrath & O’Toole (2014)


Track A: Develop skills which allow identifying strength and weaknesses of published work. A: Holzmueller


Track B: He, Merz, and Alden (2008); Track B: Applicability to course participants’ projects B. Salzberger
12.45-14.15 Group discussion/ Workshop I:  Revision of individual research proposals which reflect the insights gained through the lectures and discussions in Track A

Please, discuss and prepare in teams a further advanced version of your research proposal. Present and discuss it with the peer group.

Eighth step: Workshop: Applicability to your own research project, Assessment of measurement equivalence using a data set from an empirical study (Track B)





Track A: Use peers and the whole group of participants to further advance research designs of doctoral work A: Holzmueller
Track B: Practice assessment of measurement equivalence B: Salzberger
Tea and coffee
14.45-16.15 Group discussion/ Workshop II:  Revision of individual research proposals which reflect the insights gained through the lectures and discussions in Track A Workshop: Review and assessment of good practice studies in confirmative cross-cultural research (Track B) Track A: Use peers and the whole group of participants to further advance research designs of doctoral work A: Holzmueller



Track B: Develop skills which allow identifying strength and weaknesses of published work B. Salzberger

Jun 7

08.30-09.45 Future steps: Emerging themes in cross-cultural marketing research Create awareness for new concepts and research trends with regard  to cultural research (Heterogeneity, individual multi-culturalism, cultural constructivism) Holzmueller
Tea and coffee



Workshop in small groups in 3×45 minutes carrousel format, allowing student to discuss take-home aspects for their PhD proposals


Closing the course

Holzmueller, Nijssen, Salzberger,