The country placements on the dimensions are a combination of the three data sources below, each of which builds on the previous one:
- Merged data of leading cross-cultural researchers: The country placements on the dimensions were originally derived from the merged data of leading cross-cultural researchers such as Hofstede, Schwartz, McCrae, and Inglehart. They were empirically derived, statistical averages of available country data on the five cultural dimensions as they existed in the research literature.
- GlobeSmart Profile User Data: Since some of the original research used in deriving the country placements on the GS Profile dimensions is now a few decades old, the data from over 700,000 users of the instrument (as of early 2014) — each of whom filled out demographic items before completing the Profile — was also reviewed and combined with the earlier research data to update a number of the country placements in May of 2014.
- Expert Judgment Data: Finally, expert opinions from a dozen Aperian Global trainers and associates living and working in countries around the world was incorporated in May of 2014 to make final adjustments to the country placements. There were three rounds of expert input in this revision process, with each round receiving higher levels of convergence on the placements of countries on the dimensions by the group of experts.
Note: It is important to note that these country placements on the dimensions are not absolutes. When viewing country comparisons on the Profile, a bell curve appears on the display chart. This is a reminder that while the country placements on each dimension are based on the data sets mentioned above, many people from a particular culture will fall to the left or to the right of the country average "plot" that is marked on the chart.
It is also useful to keep in mind that cultures do evolve over time, and typical behaviors along the selected dimensions of culture can change. Because of this, Aperian Global plans to continue to update the country placements in the GS Profile every few years.