HCBE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship


Michael Bendixen

Committee Member

Maria Petrescu

Committee Member

Regina Greenwood


Cross-cultural factors affect the cognitive processes engaged in by subjects to respond to rating scales. By using a sequential explanatory strategy of mixed-method research design, this study investigates four cultural groups in the software industry (n=92) - Israelis, Latinos, Romanians, and Americans - to investigate cultural effects on the thought processes used by respondents performing selected verbal (ordinal) and numeric (interval) scales. Cluster analysis of the qualitative data identified four main response styles used by subjects – Extremes, Midpoint, Range, and Refiners. While the clusters did not differ in their demographics, when evaluating their cognitive processes against the theory of Tourangeau, Rips, and Rasinski (2000), clusters used different cognitive processes. Specifically, Refiners and Midpoint were more likely to adjust their responses during the Judgment stage before responding. The findings of this research identified that values as acquired through life experience (i.e., leadership position) and demographics (i.e., gender, age, and educational level) rather than basic culture play a key role in the cognitive processes used by subjects to respond to scales. These factors affected scale preference, response style, cognitive processes, and even generated sentiments and emotions. Focusing on cultural values rather than cultural practices is a key need to yield valid survey results. While some of the subjects are oblivious to the cultural effects discussed in this study, those effects have theoretical and practical implications for surveys conducted by multi-national organizations and business leaders. Furthermore, identifying and handling cross-cultural differences described in this study can be used to train leaders in cross-cultural environments.

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