Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 799–812 | Cite as

Intra-cultural Variation: Evidence and Implications for International Business

  • Kevin Y. Au


This paper discusses the methodological and theoretical significance of intra-cultural variation (ICV)—the population distribution of a characteristic within a culture. A Monte Carlo study shows that ICV has substantial influence on the statistical power of cross-cultural tests. Therefore, studying ICV is methodologically important if we are to understand inconsistent findings and design cross-cultural studies with enough statistical power.

Moreover, an examination of the cultural means and ICVs of 42 cultures shows that ICV is as large as the variation of cultural means across cultures and its relationship to cultural means is not definite. A model based on multiple disciplines is proposed to cast ICV in a nomological net and to illuminate several avenues for future research. Practical implications are also discussed.


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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Y. Au
    • 1
  1. 1.Chinese University of Hong Kong

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