Are societal-level values still relevant measures in the twenty-first century businessworld? A 39-society analysis

David A. Ralston, Craig J. Russell, Jane Terpstra-Tong, Len J. Trevino, Prem Ramburuth, Malika Richards, Tania Casado, María Teresa de la Garza Carranza, Irina Naoumova, Yongjuan Li, Narasimhan Srinivasan, Tomasz Lenartowicz, Olivier Furrer, Ping Ping Fu, Andre Pekerti, Marina Dabic, Ian Palmer, Maria Kangasniemi, Erna Szabo, Jaime Ruiz GutiérrezEmmanuelle Reynaud, Fidel León Darder, Ana Maria Rossi, Florian von Wangenheim, Mario Molteni, Arunas Starkus, Audra Mockaitis, Arif Butt, Ilya Girson, Ajantha S. Dharmasiri, Min Hsun Kuo, Tevfik Dalgic, Hung Vu Thanh, Yong Lin Moon, Philip Hallinger, Vojko V. Potocan, Joel Nicholson, Laurie Milton, Mark Weber, Chay Hoon Lee, Mahfooz Ansari, Jose Pla-Barber, Jorge C. Jesuino, Ruth Alas, Wade Danis, Ho Beng Chia, Yongqing Fang, Detelin Elenkov, David M. Brock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Since the days of Hofstede (1980), cross-cultural comparisons of countries based on societal-level work values have been a norm. This approach has been represented more recently in Ronen and Shenkar’s (2013) 11 clusters of country cultures. However, more contemporary research found within-country heterogeneity of values/behaviors is substantial and growing exponentially across today’s twenty-first century businessworld. We investigated, across a sample of 39 societies, whether work values variance within societies was greater than work values variance across societies, and whether individual work values differences contributed more to predictions of behavioral performance criteria than the society in which the individuals lived. Both sets of analyses addressed how work values conceived at societal-levels are relevant in understanding the twenty-first century businessworld. Our findings revealed first that there was substantial within-society values heterogeneity, which resulted in the failure to replicate Ronen and Shanker’s (2013) societal cluster aggregations. Second, we found individual-level values contributed significantly to the prediction of employees’ behaviors, while societal-level values contributed substantially less. These findings strongly suggest that cross-cultural studies of work values predictive power are most relevant when conducted at the individual-level. Finally, we also make available for future investigators a 51-society database containing 11,780 individual-level records.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-44
Number of pages44
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Business values dimensions (BVD)
  • Cluster analysis
  • Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM)
  • Individual-level analysis
  • Societal-level analysis
  • Subordinate influence ethics (SIE) behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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