Access the publisher's website Journal of International Business Studies 46 (2015) 1051-1079
Most research on culture in international business either aggregates people within a country into a single, homogeneous, national culture, or examines heterogeneity within countries based on exogenous criteria. In this study, we explore heterogeneity in cultural values within and across countries endogenously through the configurations of values people share in common. We develop a theory of culture archetypes and use a novel methodology that identifies a small number of distinct configurations of values—archetypes—in our data. These data come from the World Values Survey 2005 and Schwartz’s model of culture. We identify four culture archetypes in Japan, USA and China, and six in India. The existence of transnational and subnational archetypes across the four countries suggests the need to recognize culture as a combination of universal—etic—as well as unique—emic—characteristics. Our approach also distinguishes between those individuals represented by our archetypes and those individuals who more closely resemble the average values of a country. By unifying both archetypes and national averages within one theoretical and methodological schema we thus reconcile the conflicting perspectives in the field.