Multinationality and performance: The role of cultural dissimilarity
The purpose of this research was to examine the influence of cultural dissimilarity on the relationship between multinationality and performance. Both direct and indirect effects were studied. In addition, the form of the multinationality-performance relationship was investigated.
Five indicators of cultural dissimilarity were developed on the basis of Hofstede's cultural dimensions. Performance was measured along two dimensions--financial and operational. Multinationality was operationalized as the ratio of foreign sales to total sales. Secondary data was used for all variables in the study. The sample of firms comprised multinationals based in the United States from four global industries--chemicals, computers and office equipment, electrical and electrical goods, and drugs and pharmaceuticals.
Regression analyses using pooled cross-section/time-series data indicated that the relationship between multinationality and performance is curvilinear. No direct effects of cultural dissimilarity on performance were found. However, the results show a moderating effect of cultural dissimilarity on the multinationality-performance relationship. The direction of this effect was positive for four of the five cultural dissimilarity measures.