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Understanding the relevance of national culture in international business research: a quantitative analysis

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Abstract

This review is a comprehensive quantitative analysis of the International Business literature whose focus is on national culture. The analysis relies on a broad range of bibliometric techniques as productivity rankings, citation analysis (individual and cumulative), study of collaborative research patterns, and analysis of the knowledge base. It provides insights on (1) faculty and institutional research productivity and performance; (2) articles, institutions, and scholars’ influence in the contents of the field and its research agenda; and (3) national and international collaborative research trends. The study also explores the body of literature that has exerted the greatest impact on the researched set of selected articles.

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Fig. 1

Source: Authors computations using ISI Web of Knowledge data. Network plotted with Ucinet

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Notes

  1. See LVG (2015) for an exhaustive description of the process and criteria followed to select both the journals and the articles included in the researched dataset. In short, the list of selected journals includes the International Business Review (IBR), International Marketing Review (IMR), Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), Journal of International Management (JIMn), Journal of International Marketing (JIMr), Journal of World Business (JWB), and Management International Review (MIR), as well as the 20-top academic management journals initially classified by Gomez-Mejia and Balkin (1992) and later reviewed by Pisani (2011) and Werner (2002). The dataset of selected studies gathers full length articles that focus on firm-level business activity and management decisions in international contexts and show a specific focus on NC/CD.

  2. See Lahiri and Kumar (2012) for an exhaustive appraisal of the relevance of quantitative reviews on a wide variety of disciplinary areas.

  3. An appendix gathering the 265 articles used in LVG (2015) is available in the on-line version of the article published in the journal’s website.

  4. A slight 3 % of the total amount of authors included in the database showed a multiple affiliation.

  5. The first developemnt of this law was placed by Lotka in 1926 and it states that (1) the number (of authors) making n contributions is about 1/n² of those making one and (2) the proportion of all contributors that makes a single contribution is about 60 %. See Glänzel and Schubert (1985) for an exhaustive review of the law contents and later updates.

  6. Formerly placed by the De Solla in (1963), the square root law states that half of the scientific papers within a field/topic/area are contributed by the top square root of the total number of scientific authors—see Glänzel and Schubert (1985) for a review and updates.

  7. Luo has been identified as the most prolific author in different studies relative to the entire IB field (Lahiri and Kumar, 2012; Xu et al. 2008), as well as studies relative to a particular sub-field or area—e.g.: the study by Quer et al. (2007) relative to business and management in China. Cavusgil, Elllis, Griffith, Shenkar, and Tsang are also among the most prolific authors (adjusted counting) identified in Xu et al. (2008).

  8. They found a slight increase in the weight of non-US institutions when comparing their results with those of a previous study by Morrison and Inkpen (1991).

  9. These studies are not centered in any particular issue or subject within the IB field.

  10. See, among others, Bergstrom (2007), Bergstrom et al. (2008). Colledge et al. (2010), González-Pereira et al. (2010), Guerrero-Bote and Moya-Anegón (2012), Moed et al. (2012), Sicilia et al. (2011) and Waltman et al. (2013).

  11. Up to 9 of our top-50 most productive scholars (JCR) are also among the most productive authors in the entire IB field in the period 1996–2008 as shown in the study by Treviño et al. (2010).

  12. E.g.: Management International Review (2000–2004).

  13. The article by Waldman et al. (2006) has four main authors and 37 additional collaborators. Only the main authors and their respective institutions have been included in this ranking.

  14. Three of these articles (i.e.: Barkema et al. 1996; Kim and Hwang 1992; and Parkhe 1991) and 11 different authors gathered in this list are also included in the ranking of most cited an influential articles/authors in global strategy research published during the 90 s (Peng and Zhou 2006).

  15. The analysis of entry mode strategies is also a major theme addressed by most cited articles in IB research between 1996 and 2006 (Griffith et al. 2008).

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López-Duarte, C., Vidal-Suárez, M.M., González-Díaz, B. et al. Understanding the relevance of national culture in international business research: a quantitative analysis. Scientometrics 108, 1553–1590 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-2044-9

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