International business (IB) research has predominantly relied on value constructs to account for the influence of societal culture, notably Hofstede's cultural dimensions. While parsimonious, the value approach's assumptions about the consensus of values within nations, and the generality and stability of cultural patterns of behavior are increasingly challenged. We review two promising alternatives — the constructivist approach centering on schemas and the intersubjectivist approach centering on norms — and the evidence that demonstrates their usefulness in accounting for international differences in the behavior of managers, employees, and consumers. We propose a situated dynamics framework, specifying the role of values, schemas, and norms in accounting for cultural differences, and delineating conditions under which each causal mechanism is operative. Values play a more important role in accounting for cultural differences in weak situations where fewer constraints are perceived; schemas play a more important role when situational cues increase their accessibility and relevance; and norms play a more important role when social evaluation is salient. Directions for future research based on this integrative framework and its implications for the measurement of culture and application in IB are discussed.

K. Leung and Michael Morris
Journal Article
Publication Date
Journal of International Business Studies

Full Citation

Leung, K. and Michael Morris
. “Values, schemas and norms in the culture-behavior nexus: A situated dynamics framework.”
Journal of International Business Studies
, (December 01, 2014):