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AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF MEASUREMENT EQUIVALENCE WITH THE INDCOL MEASURE OF INDIVIDUALISM AND COLLECTIVISM: IMPLICATIONS FOR VALID CROSS-CULTURAL INFERENCE

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  • An earlier version of this article was presented at the 18th annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Orlando, FL, April 11–13, 2003. Collection of some of the data analyzed in this article was supported by NSF grant SBR-9210536 to Peter J. Carnevale and Harry C. Triandis, and was used with their permission. We thank the Singapore Ministry of Education and the Singapore Armed Forces for their assistance, as well as Uichol Kim and Kibum Kim for data collection in Korea associated with the Carnevale and Triandis grant. We also thank Daniel Turban, Amanda Rose, Adam Hafdahl, and Fritz Drasgow for their technical advice and comments on earlier drafts of this article.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Christopher Robert, 329 Cornell Hall, Columbia, MO 65211; robertc@Missouri.edu.

Abstract

The INDCOL measure of individualism and collectivism (Singelis et al., 1995) has been used increasingly to test complex cross-cultural hypotheses. However, sample differences in translation, culture, organization, and response context might threaten the validity of cross-cultural inferences. We systematically explored the robustness of the INDCOL, for various statistical uses, in the face of those 4 threats. An analysis of measurement equivalence using multigroup mean and covariance structure analysis compared samples of INDCOL data from the United States, Singapore, and Korea. The INDCOL was robust with regard to the interpretability of correlations, whereas differences in culture and translation pose an important potential threat to the interpretability of mean-level analyses. Recommendations regarding the interpretation of the INDCOL and issues in the analysis of measurement equivalence in cross-cultural research are discussed.

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