Approaches to Scale Development in Chinese Management Research

Cynthia Lee, George Washington University Law School


We classify survey scales or measures currently used in Chinese management research along two dimensions - the source of the scale and expectations about its cultural specificity. Based on these two dimensions, we differentiate four approaches to scale development: translation, adaptation, de-contextualization, and contextualization. We describe the key assumptions, strengths and limitations of each approach and their roles in Chinese management research. We illustrate the four approaches by commenting on the five articles in this special issue.