Quotation Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd, Ambos, Björn, Nell, Phillip C. 2018. Conceptualizing and Measuring Distance in International Business Research: Recurring Questions and Best Practice Guidelines. Journal of International Business Studies JIBS. 49 (9), 1113-1137.




Distance is a central concept in international business research, yet there is debate about the construct as well as its operationalization. In this editorial, we address three of the most important recurring questions posed by authors, editors, and reviewers by examining the theory, methods, and data of distance research. We discuss (1) how to theorize on distance, and (2) what method and (3) what data to use when constructing a distance index. We develop practical recommendations grounded in theory, illustrating and supporting them by calculating cross-country distance indices for all available country pairs and two of the most used distance indices: cultural and institutional distance. We show that whereas a specific method to calculate distance may matter to some extent, the choice for a specific cultural or institutional framework to measure cultural or institutional distance has a major impact on country pair distances. Overall, this editorial highlights the importance of matching data and method to the theoretical argument.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of International Business Studies JIBS
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, MAN-A+, STRAT-A, VW-A, WH-A
Language English
Title Conceptualizing and Measuring Distance in International Business Research: Recurring Questions and Best Practice Guidelines
Volume 49
Number 9
Year 2018
Page from 1113
Page to 1137
Reviewed? Y
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41267-018-0182-4
Open Access N


Nell, Phillip C. (Details)
Ambos, Björn (Universität St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
Department of Global Business and Trade DP (Details)
Institute for International Business IN (Details)
Institute for International Business (Nell) (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
2965 Knowledge management (Details)
5234 Administrative science (Details)
5307 Business and management economics (Details)
5324 Organizational research (Details)
5333 Business management (Details)
5915 Economic geography (Details)
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