Measuring Cultural Diversity: Methodological Approach and Practical Implications; Assessment in Latvian

By Iveta Ludviga.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Cultural differences are investigated a great deal in cross cultural marketing in order to tailor strategies to adapt to diverse cultural environments. Existing research views cultural diversity and national identities of different localities as obstacles for business. The author of this paper believes that diverse cultures should be viewed as opportunities for business, as resource, capital and ‘set of tools’. They can be used as unique source of competitive advantage by companies in today’s globalised world. Thus diverse cultures can serve as source of value and differentiation for business community.
In order to use national culture as business tool, it is necessary to explore, understand and measure it and split in applicable components. In this paper existing theories about culture, national identity are reviewed and possible measures of Latvian cultural and national identity are proposed. Cultural distance index developed by Kogut and Singh (1998) based on deviation from Hofstede (1980, 2001) cultural dimensions between Latvia and neighbouring countries is calculated. National identity measure, NATID developed by Keillor and Hult (1999) is applied to Latvia and compared with countries from Keillor and Hult study. Possibility to use the above mentioned measures in order to develop theory about culture as ‘set of tools’ for a business organisation is discussed. In the global marketplace products are losing their identity because of their similarity in the function; designing local features into a product appear to be more and more important and can create competitive advantage through differentiation. Tool for business people to put in use in this process will be of great value.

Keywords: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Distance, National Identity

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp.73-86. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.164MB).

Dr. Iveta Ludviga

Programme Director, Programme "European Business Studies", Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration, Riga, Latvia

I am doctoral student in RISEBA and also working in RISEAA. Previously I was entrepreneur for many years, thus my research interests are directly connected with entrepreneurship, strategy and search of new opportunities for business. My business was in cultural sector of economy and therefore I believe that culture is much more than ‘non for profit’ activity as it is viewed in Latvia still. My previous research paper was about globalisation’s on culture and it was conclude that globalisation promote diverse cultures instead of cultural homogenisation. The survey, which was conducted among Latvian entrepreneurs, showed that majority of them has never thought about possibility to exploit cultural features of Latvia in their product design. Hence my current research interests are connected with cultural identities and their use for country branding and creation of competitive advantage of companies.

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