Response styles in cross-national survey research: A 26-country study
Source TitleInternational Journal of Cross Cultural Management
University of Melbourne Author/sHARZING, ANNE-WIL
AffiliationManagement and Marketing
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHarzing, A. W. (2006). Response styles in cross-national survey research: A 26-country study. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 6 (2), pp.243-266. https://doi.org/10.1177/1470595806066332.
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<jats:p> Studies of attitudes across countries generally rely on a comparison of aggregated mean scores to Likert-scale questions. This presupposes that when people complete a questionnaire, their answers are based on the substantive meaning of the items to which they respond. However, people's responses are also influenced by their response style. Hence, the studies we conduct might simply reflect differences in the way people respond to surveys, rather than picking up real differences in management phenomena across countries. Our 26-country study shows that there are major differences in response styles between countries that both confirm and extend earlier research. Country-level characteristics such as power distance, collectivism, uncertainty avoidance and extraversion all significantly influence response styles such as acquiescence and extreme response styles. Further, English-language questionnaires are shown to elicit a higher level of middle responses, while questionnaires in a respondent's native language result in more extreme response styles. Finally, English-language competence is positively related to extreme response styles and negatively related to middle response styles. We close by discussing implications for cross-national research. </jats:p>
KeywordsBusiness and Management
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