When we talk about managing across cultures, we tend to think of the words “culture” and “country” interchangeably. For example, it is a widely accepted notion that in Eastern countries like China and Japan, cultural norms dictate that group harmony takes precedence over individual recognition and achievement in the workplace, while in Western countries like the US and Germany, stronger emphasis is placed on individual accomplishment and performance at work. So, managers refer to “Japanese culture” or the “American way” of doing things when referencing work-related beliefs, norms, values, behaviors, and practices. The assumption that “country equals culture” results in expat managers trying to do things the Japanese way in Japan, the Brazilian way in Brazil, and so on.
"Research: The Biggest Culture Gaps Are within Countries, Not between Them" is from hbr.org, published on May 18, 2016