Challenges of conducting global research

Kwok Leung, Jie Wang, Hong Deng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical and methodological issues confronting cross-cultural and intercultural research. Informative cross-cultural research is based on sound theoretical analysis, and four major theoretical issues have to be tackled: specifying the relevant cultural constructs, theoretical frameworks for explaining the influence of culture, theoretical justifications for the selection of cultures, and construct equivalence. With regard to methodological challenges, a number of issues are important, including comparability of samples, similarity in data collection procedures across cultures, measurement equivalence across cultures, proper statistical analysis, and strategies to strengthen causal claims. In contrast to cross-cultural research, intercultural research is concerned with the interaction of people with different cultural backgrounds. Knowledge about cultural similarities and differences helps us understand how people interact across cultural boundaries, but additional theoretical frameworks are needed for a full analysis. This type of interaction is influenced by individual differences and intergroup dynamics, including in-group favoritism. With regard to methodological concerns, identity issues are important and have to be taken into account, and intercultural interaction may be face-to-face or mediated by media technologies. A variety of research designs, including experiments and longitudinal designs, are feasible for intercultural research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternationalizing the Curriculum in Organizational Psychology
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781461494027
ISBN (Print)9781461494010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-cultural research
  • International research collaboration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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