Toward epistemological identification of the four major mindscapes


Michael A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship and Hospitality

Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose: Japanese American philosopher Magoroh Maruyama (1969) proposed the Mindscape theory, a macro model of cultural differences identification. The theory suggests inter-and intra-cultural heterogeneity and four major Mindscapes of H, I, S and G. He and his colleagues designed 64 graphic geometric patterns based on redundant and non-redundant complexity to recognize the Mindscapes in cultures. However, there is no method of identifying each Mindscape individually/separately. In other words, specificity is missing in this theory. Without such identification, the applicability of the Mindscape theory in international business is limited. This study aims to provide the needed specificity. Design/methodology/approach: The present study applies Harvey’s (1966) four epistemological systems to identify each of the four Mindscapes. According to Maruyama and Harvey, three of Harvey’s four systems are identical to the three Mindscapes of H, I and G. If the authors can match the three Mindscapes with the three Harvey’s systems, what remains the authors assume to be the fourth Mindscape. Findings: The current study determined various graphic and geometric patterns associated with each of the four Mindscapes. In doing so, the study expanded the applicability of the theory in international business. Research limitations/implications: Harvey (1966) administered nine psychological tests (instruments) to many subjects over nearly two decades to determine the four systems. Using nine major instruments is very challenging, demanding and time-consuming. For ease of application and saving time, the authors used one of these instruments as an example. Ideally, the authors should use all. Originality/value: Mindscape theory suggests that each of the four salient Mindscapes is more relevant to a specific situation, such as human resource management, motivation, leadership, conflict resolution and others. By identifying each Mindscape, this study expands the use of Mindscape theory.

Journal Title

Review of International Business and Strategy

Journal ISSN


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)