Peter J. Buckley, Jeremy L. Clegg, Adam R. Cross, Mark Rhodes, Ping Zheng and Heinrich Voss
A Linguistic and Philosophical Analysis of Emic and Etic and their Use in International Business Research
Networked Multinational Enterprises in the Modern Global Economy
Peter J. Buckley, Malcolm Chapman, Jeremy Clegg and Hanna Gajewska-De Mattos
The purpose of this paper is to examine ways in which cross-cultural research in international business can use emic-etic approaches more effectively. The majority of research conducted in the field has been etic, while the cross-cultural data used by the researchers have been emic in nature. This resulted in producing ethnocentric results which are biased towards Western perspectives. We call for a re-evaluation of the importance of in-depth qualitative analysis in international business research. We go back to the origins of emic and etic in linguistics and conduct a linguistic and philosophical analysis of these termes to demonstrate that the emic-etic distinction is not helpful for adequately studying cross-cultural data.