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The Heart of Darkness: Advice on Navigating Cross-Cultural Research

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image of International Negotiation

When navigating through cross cultural research designs, one can get lost in the jungle of several methodological dichotomies: positivist versus interpretive epistemologies, etic versus emic perspectives, and inductive versus deductive processes. To move towards either end of these dichotomies risks compromising the rigor and validity of one's study. Thus, cross-cultural research is an endeavor devoted to managing the tensions created by these dichotomies; they represent competing interests or paradigms, which are valid concerns, but need to be addressed with perspective. When embarking on a cross-cultural research project, one is always striking a balance between competing interests, and continuously trying to find the middle road. This article discusses this middle road strategy.


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