Given the increasing globalization of business and the growing interdependencies of nations, there is a growing interest in cross-cultural research in various management fields. Cross-cultural research designs depend on the meaningful measurement and operationalization of culture. Past approaches used countries as proxies, national culture scores or self-collected survey data of individual dimensions of culture. Lately, a new approach has been proposed: the cultural archetype which represents specific configurations of multiple cultural value dimensions which are not bound to nations. The major advantages of the archetype approach are the consideration of a gestalt perspective and interrelationships between different cultural dimensions as well as the nation-independency of cultural values. Albeit these theoretical advantages, the concept is in its infancy: Theoretical frameworks elaborating on the impact of culture as a multi-dimensional concept need to be developed, archetypes identified need to be further analyzed to derive a common understanding of the archetype notion, and studies need to shed further light on cultural archetypes’ applicability in empirical studies.
Our primary aim is to advance our theoretical understanding of the concept of cultural archetypes and therewith our understanding of culture in cross-cultural research. We moreover aim to verify the applicability of the concept for cross-cultural studies with reference to two closely related fields: cultural intelligence and the perception of Human Resource Management (HRM) practices. In light of the accelerated internationalization of firms as well as the growing internationalization of domestic work (e.g., as a consequence of recent immigration flows) this is of value to both cross-cultural research and managers in business practice who look for high cultural intelligence among employees and searching for means to successfully integrate and motivate employees from different cultures.