Measurement equivalence in the conduct of a global organizational survey across countries in six cultural regions


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Alain De Beuckelaer, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, Thomas van Aquinostraat 1, Nijmegen, 6500 HK, The Netherlands (e-mail:


This study examined the measurement equivalence of a global organizational survey measuring six work climate factors as administered across 25 countries (N = 31,315) in all regions of the world (West Europe, East Europe, North America, Latin America, South America, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific). Across all countries, the survey instrument exhibited ‘form equivalence’ and ‘metric equivalence’, suggesting that respondents completed the survey using the same frame-of-reference and interpreted the rating scale intervals similarly. Schwartz's (1994, 1999, 2004) cultural value theory was then used for grouping the countries in cultural regions, and to anticipate measurement equivalence of the data from the survey within and between these regions. Results showed partial support for Schwartz's theory. The English-speaking region was the only region where empirical evidence for ‘scalar equivalence’ was found. No support was found for the prediction that measurement equivalence would be higher among countries that are part of cultural regions with a small cultural distance than among countries that are part of cultural regions with a large cultural distance. However, the use of a common language in a particular cultural region reduced the bias present in the cross-country comparison within that region.