Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 499–524 | Cite as

Multiculturalism within individuals: A review, critique, and agenda for future research

  • Davina VoraEmail author
  • Lee Martin
  • Stacey R. Fitzsimmons
  • Andre A. Pekerti
  • C. Lakshman
  • Salma Raheem
Review Article


In a globally connected world, it is increasingly common for individuals to belong to and be influenced by more than one culture. Based on a critique of conceptualizations from psychology, management, marketing, anthropology, and sociology, we bring clarity and consistency to conceptualizing and measuring multiculturalism at the individual level. We propose that individual-level multiculturalism is the degree to which someone has knowledge of, identification with, and internalization of more than one societal culture, and recommend methods to measure each dimension. Finally, we suggest how individual-level multiculturalism influences, and is influenced by, social networks and power dynamics in international organizations.


multiculturalism biculturalism interdisciplinary review international business research agenda construct development and evaluation cross-cultural management 


Dans un monde connecté à l’échelle mondiale, il est de plus en plus courant pour les individus d'appartenir à plus d'une culture et d'être influencés par elles. À partir d'une critique des conceptualisations proposées en psychologie, en management, en marketing, en anthropologie et en sociologie, nous apportons clarté et cohérence à la conceptualisation et à la mesure du multiculturalisme à l'échelle individuelle. Nous proposons que le multiculturalisme au niveau individuel est le degré de connaissance, d'identification et d'internalisation de plus d'une culture sociétale, et nous recommandons des méthodes pour mesurer chaque dimension. Enfin, nous suggérons comment le multiculturalisme au niveau individuel influence et est influencé par les réseaux sociaux et la dynamique du pouvoir dans les organisations internationales.


En un mundo conectado globalmente, es cada vez más común que los individuos pertenezcan a una cultura y sean influenciados por más de una cultura. Sobre la base de una crítica de las conceptualizaciones de la psicología, la gestión, el marketing, la antropología y la sociología, aportamos claridad y consistencia a la conceptualización y medición del multiculturalismo a nivel individual. Proponemos que el multiculturalismo a nivel individual es el grado en que alguien tiene conocimiento, identificación e internalización de más de una cultura social, y recomendamos métodos para medir cada dimensión. Por último, sugerimos cómo el multiculturalismo a nivel individual influye y es influenciado por las redes sociales y las dinámicas de poder en las organizaciones internacionales.


Em um mundo globalmente conectado, é cada vez mais comum os indivíduos pertencerem e serem influenciados por mais de uma cultura. Com base em uma crítica às conceituações da psicologia, administração, marketing, antropologia e sociologia, trazemos clareza e consistência para conceituar e medir multiculturalismo no nível individual. Propomos que o multiculturalismo em nível individual é o grau em que alguém tem conhecimento, identificação e internalização de mais de uma cultura social, e recomendamos métodos para medir cada dimensão. Finalmente, sugerimos como o multiculturalismo de nível individual influencia e é influenciado pelas redes sociais e dinâmicas de poder nas organizações internacionais.


在全球互联的世界中, 个人越来越普遍地属于多种文化并受它们的影响。基于对来自心理学, 管理学, 市场营销学, 人类学和社会学的概念化的批评, 我们对个人层面上的多元文化主义的概念化和测量提供了清晰性和一致性。我们提出, 个人层面上的多元文化主义指的是某人对一种以上的社会文化有所了解, 认同和内化的程度, 并建议测量每个维度的方法。最后, 我们指出个人层面上的多元文化主义如何影响国际组织中的社会网络和权力动态性以及如何被它们所影响。



Our heartfelt thanks go to Wayne Cascio, Dave Thomas, and three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions. Your efforts helped us improve this paper and its contributions.

Supplementary material

41267_2018_191_MOESM1_ESM.docx (110 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 111 kb)


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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davina Vora
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lee Martin
    • 2
  • Stacey R. Fitzsimmons
    • 3
  • Andre A. Pekerti
    • 4
  • C. Lakshman
    • 5
  • Salma Raheem
    • 6
  1. 1.School of BusinessState University of New York at New PaltzNew PaltzUSA
  2. 2.Deakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  3. 3.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  4. 4.The University Queensland, UQ Business SchoolSt LuciaAustralia
  5. 5.University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyBrownsvilleUSA
  6. 6.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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