What's in a Name? Employment Relations Constructs and Labels for International Business Research
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-06, 02:53 authored by Seen, Andrew, Liesch, Peter, Baker, Megan
With the increased internationalisation of enterprises and the proliferation of international business literatures, labels attached to constructs used in international business research must be appropriate in the cross-national context. There is a tendency for researchers examining the employment context [industrial, employee and employment relations] to use codified constructs which can be readily operationalised [such as legal standards]. However, for constructs to be successfully applied to international business, they should be broad enough to encompass phenomena that underlie the overt, often codified, manifestation of the concept under investigation. This paper examines the terms used to describe the interactions of parties within the employment context to determine their suitability for use in cross-national research and business. To overcome the challenges facing cross-national researchers, it is suggested that 'etic' constructs be identified and operationalised as 'emic' constructs to ensure valid comparisons.