Theories and Models on cultural differences

At Emergence we have an extensive library of intercultural models and theories that have been published since the mid 20th century. Starting with the theories of Hall and Kluckhohn, we worked our way up to today and tried to give a chronological enumeration as well as a qualitative review on the merits of each theory / model.

On this website, at “Scientific theories” and “Empirical and Anecdotal models” you will find a short explanation of each theory, literature sources and a critical overview of the scientific value and practical implications of each theory / model. For more detailed overview reports you can contact us.

Use and uselessness of models

Scientists use models to make a very complicated reality understandable. A model is a simplified representation of reality and in this way one can understand other cultures in practice and give them the tools to deal with people from other cultures. Therefore, models are not the reality – and don’t aspire to be- but they a helpful tool to understand reality.

Why distinguish between scientific and empirical models?

Scientific models reference existing and commonly accepted knowledge and theories to make a particular part of the real world easier to understand. Empirical models are created only by observation (or experiment).

Critical reviews

Every author on cultural differences has a different point of view. We try to discover the contrasts and similarities; changes over time;  impact of the cultural group of the author him/herself; and other factors, trying to understand better which determinants of culture are universal.