Data equivalence in cross-cultural international business research: assessment and guidelines Academic Article uri icon


  • Data equivalence refers to the extent to which the elements of a research design have the same meaning, and can be applied in the same way, in different cultural contexts. Failure to establish data equivalence in cross-cultural studies may bias empirical results and theoretical inferences. Although several authors have encouraged researchers to ensure high levels of data equivalence, no study has assessed the status of the field in relation to compliance with data equivalence standards. Accordingly, this study examines three aspects of data equivalence (construct equivalence, measurement equivalence, and data collection equivalence) within 167 studies that involve cross-cultural data published in the Journal of International Business Studies, Management International Review, Journal of World Business, Strategic Management Journal and the Academy of Management Journal from 1995 to 2005. The findings indicate that international business researchers report insufficient information in relation to data equivalence issues, thus limiting confidence in the findings of many cross-cultural studies. To enhance future research, a guideline for procedures for researchers to follow and report in establishing data equivalence is offered. © 2008 Academy of International Business.

published proceedings

  • Journal of International Business Studies

author list (cited authors)

  • Hult, G., Ketchen, D. J., Griffith, D. A., Finnegan, C. A., Gonzalez-Padron, T., Harmancioglu, N., ... Cavusgil, S. T.

citation count

  • 251

complete list of authors

  • Hult, G Tomas M||Ketchen, David J||Griffith, David A||Finnegan, Carol A||Gonzalez-Padron, Tracy||Harmancioglu, Nukhet||Huang, Ying||Talay, M Berk||Cavusgil, S Tamer

publication date

  • May 2008