Publication Date



Substantial concern has been raised in international business writing that national stereotypes bias perception of employees, customers, and others. That concern is certainly supported by findings in person perception research. But some constraints of that research, such as the provision of incomplete information and uninteresting stimuli may well have caused an overestimation of the impact of stereotypes in business situations. This research shows that the impact of stereotypes is likely less than previously thought. When current diagnostic information is available, that information is used, leading to unbiased assessments. Only when information is limited are stereotype-biased judgments generated. A second experiment further shows that people feel more confident in assessments based on current information than in those where information is limited. These relatively optimistic findings suggest methods that managers can use to overcome national stereotype bias in international business situations.


Suggested Citation
Katz, J. H. (1995). How troublesome are stereotypes in international business? (CAHRS Working Paper #95-03). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.