At the Heart of Cross-cultural Research: Challenges in Methodological Design

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Numerous studies have highlighted and acknowledged the difficulties and challenges in undertaking cross-cultural research. The majority of scholars are in agreement that methodological design in cross-cultural studies is problematic, difficult and demanding with most researchers expressing negative opinions. However, just because cross-cultural studies are challenging, complicated and time consuming, researchers cannot abandon and disregard this important area of knowledge. It is today’s globalisation of the market economy that requires cross-cultural expertise in people management and business management in order for organisations to remain successful nationally and internationally in the longer term. Therefore, it is critical that cross-cultural research is undertaken, expanded and continued in spite of the challenges it entails. Furthermore, it is also imperative to acknowledge that the cultural contextual argument is an increasingly important subject that needs to be addressed as a 21st century issue of key importance. This paper draws on the experience of undertaking a cross-cultural research study over a three year period, in two diverse countries. The major areas of concern in the literature in terms of methodological design are discussed, and recommendations for optimal cross-cultural research are made. Four key areas will be examined including instrument development, methods of data collection, issues in sampling and data analysis. It is concluded that despite the difficulties entailed in carrying out cross-cultural research, it is possible to make a significant contribution to the literature in expanded knowledge, and this makes the experience very rewarding.


Keywords: Methodology for Cross-cultural Research
Stream: Identity and Belonging; the Politics of Diversity; Globalisation
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Uma D. Jogulu

PhD Scholar, School of Business, University of Ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Uma D. Jogulu is a PhD student at the University of Ballarat, Australia. Her doctoral research sets out to address whether the Western theories of organisational behaviours and workplace participation are universal and applicable in all cultures, through a cross-cultural comparison of middle managers in Australia and Malaysia.

Dr. Glenice J. Wood

Deputy Head of School, Learning and Teaching, School of Business, University of Ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Glenice J. Wood is a senior lecturer at the University of Ballarat, Australia. Her research is focussing on a longitudinal follow-up study of Australian male and female middle managers in order to examine their career advancement over the past ten years.

Ref: D08P0136