Conceptualizing and measuring distance in international business research: Recurring questions and best practice guidelines

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract

Distance is a central concept in international business research, yet there is debate about the construct as well as its operationalization. In this editorial, we address three of the most important recurring questions posed by authors, editors, and reviewers by examining the theory, methods, and data of distance research. We discuss (1) how to theorize on distance, and (2) what method and (3) what data to use when constructing a distance index. We develop practical recommendations grounded in theory, illustrating and supporting them by calculating cross-country distance indices for all available country pairs and two of the most used distance indices: cultural and institutional. We show that, whereas a specific method to calculate distance may matter to some extent, the choice for a specific cultural or institutional framework to measure cultural or institutional distance has a major impact on country–pair distances. Overall, this editorial highlights the importance of matching data and method to the theoretical argument.

Authors Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd; Ambos, Björn & Nell, Phillip C.
Journal or Publication Title Journal of International Business Studies
Language English
Keywords distance, cultural distance, institutional distance, Euclidean, Mahalanobis, Kogut–Singh index
Subjects business studies
Refereed Yes
Date 15 October 2018
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Volume 49
Number 9
Page Range 1113-1137
ISSN 0047-2506
Publisher DOI 10.1057/s41267-018-0182-4
Depositing User Prof. Ph.D Björn Ambos
Date Deposited 07 Jan 2019 09:53
Last Modified 28 Sep 2021 00:24
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/256231

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Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd; Ambos, Björn & Nell, Phillip C. (2018) Conceptualizing and measuring distance in international business research: Recurring questions and best practice guidelines. Journal of International Business Studies, 49 (9). 1113-1137. ISSN 0047-2506

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/256231
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