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IMR 25,2

Country classification and the cultural dimension: a review and evaluation

Johanna Vanderstraeten

Department of Management, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, and


Paul Matthyssens

Department of Management, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium and Department of Marketing Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify, review and evaluate international marketing (IM) studies in the domain of cultural country classification (1985-2006). Design/methodology/approach – First, articles in which an “original” classification is developed are identified. Then, the paper characteristics are summarized using Ronen and Shenkar’s characteristics. Eventually, Hunt’s evaluation criteria are used to evaluate these classifications. Findings – Summarizing and evaluating the selected papers reveals that the authors of the selected papers do not always seem to explicitly consider Ronen and Shenkar’s useful recommendations concerning questionnaire and sample characteristics. Moreover, evaluation seems to indicate that Hunt’s evaluation criteria are not always met. Research limitations/implications – It is recommended that future cultural country classification researchers consider Ronen and Shenkar’s recommendations. Moreover, researchers might explicitly specify the concept of culture and/or incorporating other influencing factors. It is also recommended that researchers develop their own classification scheme to check whether the scheme meets Hunt’s evaluation criteria. Other researchers might try to contribute to a convergence of the cultural country classification domain by empirically testing newly developed typologies; refining studies; assigning other countries; and testing comparatively existing classifications....