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Why value surveys struggle to accurately capture culture

Many studies that use value surveys to measure a region’s culture are highly cited in the business and management fields. But do value surveys give an accurate reflection of culture?

Amir Shoham finds that the time in which a respondent answers the survey influences the results. This means that the survey sometimes picks up people’s reactions to the recent socioeconomic environment, and mistakes it as culture.

Instead of surveys, Shoham suggests an alternative measure of culture that relies on language. Language grammar structures reflect long-held, ancestral aspects of culture that do not fluctuate rapidly over time.