Skip to main content
More Than Just National Cultural Distance: Testing New Distance Scales on FDI in Slovakia
International Business Review (2010)
  • Douglas Dow
  • Sonia Ferencikova

Over the past decade, numerous calls have been made within the international business literature for a broader conceptualization and measurement of non-geographic forms distance amongst countries. One promising response to this call has been a set of psychic distance stimuli scales put forward by Dow, D., & Karunaratna, A. (2006). Developing a multidimensional instrument to measure psychic distance stimuli. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(5), 575–577. However, to date, these new scales have only been tested in one very limited setting – predicting bi-lateral trade flows. This paper extends the generalizability of the Dow and Karunaratna scales by testing their criterion-related validity with respect to three specific foreign direct investment (FDI) issues: predicting market selection, entry mode choice and performance. The results indicate that the Dow and Karunaratna scales are significantly stronger predictors of market selection and FDI performance than the traditional Kogut and Singh index; and that researchers should go beyond using national cultural distance as their sole measure of distance amongst countries. The results for predicting entry mode choice are more ambiguous; however, the authors argue that the ambiguity may reflect the inadequacies of the classic TCE-based approach to predicting entry mode, rather than shortcomings in the measurement of the distance construct.

Publication Date
Citation Information
Douglas Dow and Sonia Ferencikova. "More Than Just National Cultural Distance: Testing New Distance Scales on FDI in Slovakia" International Business Review Vol. 19 Iss. 1 (2010)
Available at: