Quotation Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd, Ambos, Björn, Nell, Phillip C. 2019. Conceptualizing and measuring distance in international business research: Recurring questions and best practice guidelines. In: Research Methods in International Business, Hrsg. Lorraine Eden, Bo Bernhard Nielsen, Alain Verbeke, 449-498. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.




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. 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 Chapter in edited volume
Language English
Title Conceptualizing and measuring distance in international business research: Recurring questions and best practice guidelines
Title of whole publication Research Methods in International Business
Editor Lorraine Eden, Bo Bernhard Nielsen, Alain Verbeke
Page from 449
Page to 498
Location Switzerland
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Year 2019
URL https://link.springer.com/article/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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