In this particular article, the authors focus on the measurement of culture utilizing theoretical methodologies. Contrary to the simplistic measurement of culture which mainly categorizes individuals as simply associated with a single culture, the authors seek to use theory based view of culture to illustrate that man is not simply a subject of one culture but rather a subsequent of many cultures and sub-cultures. Information Systems (IS) limited attention spans on how culture affects information technology (IT) has affected research on the cultural effects on technology. Such limitations have prompted the authors of the article to unearth new ways of measuring and conceptualizing culture through a theory-based view, helped by SIT (social identity theory).(Karen Loch & Robert Evaristo, 2002)
The authors initially focus on the definition of culture, defining culture in based on the layman’s terms, based on shared values and based on problem solving. According to the definitions based on shared value, proponents maintain that manifestation of core values is the make-up of culture. On the other hand, problem solving forms the basis of the definition based on goal-orientation. The authors propose implementing an individual theory based conceptualization due to the irreducible nature of culture. As such, despite other research methodologies anddefinitions of culture being able to explain the macro-level influences of culture, they lack the ability to explain individual cultural affiliations and influences. The authors propose using the SIT (Social Identity Theory) as the basis theory due to its ability to identify groups, especially “ingroup” which have a significant influence on an individual’s cultural associations. The theory-based measurement approach is appropriate since it recognizes the individual levels of culture that an individual can be influenced by. By identifying the closeness individuals have to each other, SIT can identify the cultural layers and measure how they influence the individual.(Karen Loch & Robert Evaristo, 2002)
The authors also note the implications of installing this measurement methodology. Some of the implications include the challenge of measuring culture. To navigate this challenge, the authors propose dealing with an individual specifically through queries rather than assuming. Specific queries will assist the comparing and contrasting the individual’s characteristics with those of a specific group. In addition, this will assist the group in identifying the individual with a particular social setting.(Karen Loch & Robert Evaristo, 2002)
Karen Loch & Robert Evaristo. (2002). Toward a Theory-Based Measurement of Culture. Journal of Global Information Management, 13-23.