An empirical test of the trichotomy of values crossvergence theory

  • David A. RalstonEmail author
  • Carolyn P. Egri
  • Irina Naoumova
  • Len J. Treviño
  • Katsuhiko Shimizu
  • Yongjuan Li


In this study, we investigate the nature of values change of business professionals in four powerbroker countries (China, Japan, Russia, United States) over a two-decade period (1992–2011; Young, Ahlstrom, Bruton, & Rubanik, 2011). We revisit the crossvergence argument for values evolution as initially proposed by Ralston, Gustafson, Cheung, and Terpstra (1993) and Ralston, Holt, Terpstra, and Yu (1997) in their cross-sectional studies. However, in this study we use a multi-period perspective that allows us to investigate Ralston’s (2008) further sophistication of crossvergence theory, which includes static-, conforming-, and deviating-crossvergence as the various forms that crossvergence might take over time. Our findings indicate that values orientations across the Chinese, Japanese and American business professionals have been fairly consistent (static) or have become more similar (conforming). Conversely, Russian managerial values have often become significantly more different (deviating) from those in the other three countries. We conclude with a discussion of the implications that this study has for the crossvergence theory of values evolution and the future research opportunities that it identifies.


Crossvergence Conforming-, static- and deviating-crossvergence Multi-period Work values evolution China, Japan, Russia, US 



The authors thank Robert H. Terpstra and Kai-cheng Yu for their early contributions to the development of this research project.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Ralston
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carolyn P. Egri
    • 2
  • Irina Naoumova
    • 3
  • Len J. Treviño
    • 4
  • Katsuhiko Shimizu
    • 5
  • Yongjuan Li
    • 6
  1. 1.University Fellow International Research ConsortiumFort MyersUSA
  2. 2.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.University of HartfordWest HartfordUSA
  4. 4.Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  5. 5.Keio UniversityTokyoJapan
  6. 6.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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