Beyond the descriptive contingencies
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This study pursues parsimony in the contingency theory of accommodation (Cancel et al., 1997) by performing confirmatory factor analysis of the 11 categories of contingency variables that the original theory proposed and build a reliable scale to assess organizations’ degree of accommodation toward external publics. From a cross-cultural survey of the U.S. and South Korean public relations practitioners, the original categorization of the contingency variables were proved to be reliable and valid measures of contingency. Additionally, those quantified scales were also proved to be equivalent across the U.S. and South Korea, therefore the theoretical framework of the contingency theory is generalizable across different cultural settings. The result suggests the way scales are differently correlated and practitioners have different salience in creating willingness to dialogue, but generally, the U.S. practitioners show more willingness to dialogue than South Korean practitioners. The analyses of the relationships between the contingency scales and Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions (1979, 1988) partly explain this cultural difference by demonstrating that various cultural dimensions’ combination is associated with the contingency scales, thereby making unique characteristics of contingency in each culture.