Leveling Differences and Reinforcing Similarities: The Interaction between Information and Communication Technologies and National Culture

Jan-Oddvar Soernes, Keri Stephens, Alf Steinar Saetre, Larry Browning
InSITE 2003  •  Volume 3  •  2003
This study compares how workers in Norway and the United States use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Our data—72 in-depth interviews of advanced ICT users - was coded and analyzed using a grounded-theory methodology. As our organizing structure of comparing the two countries, we use Hofstede’s four-dimensional framework of national culture. Our results show that ICTs have a homogenizing effect on cultural differences—but also a reinforcing effect on existing similarities. We hypothesize possible explanations for these findings, including tracing them to our focus on an expert-user subculture and external triggering events.
Culture, Information and Communication Technologies, Cross-cultural studies, Organizational Communication
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