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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Special Review Article: Beyond Culture or Beyond Control? Reviewing the use of Hall's high-/low-context concept
Author(s): Kittler, Markus
Rygl, David
Mackinnon, Alex
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Keywords: communication
national culture
Issue Date: Apr-2011
Citation: Kittler M, Rygl D & Mackinnon A (2011) Special Review Article: Beyond Culture or Beyond Control? Reviewing the use of Hall's high-/low-context concept, International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 11 (1), pp. 63-82.
Abstract: This paper reviews Edward T. Hall’s influential concept of high-/low-context communication and its use in cross-cultural research. Hall’s concept suggests that individuals combine preprogrammed culture specific context and information to create meaning. The use of context is argued to vary across cultures and country classifications have been attached to Hall’s concept. These country rankings have evolved over time classifying (national) cultures as ‘high-context’ (HC) and ‘low-context’ (LC). Since future studies employing Hall’s context idea as an underlying framework in cross-cultural research need to rely on a valid and reliable country classification, our study analyses literature related to Hall’s HC/LC concept. Based on a systematic review, we particularly question whether the country classification attached to Hall’s concept is built on rigorous and substantiated findings. Our study shows that most previous research that utilized HC/LC country classifications is based on seemingly less-than-adequate evidence. Mixed and often contradictory findings reveal inconsistencies in the conventional country classifications and show that they are flawed or, at best, very limited.
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