Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief introduction to the topic of cultural research approaches that are applicable for investigating the interdependence of culture and labour. The "Introduction" notes two main constraints and four main research approaches that refer to this field of scientific exploration. The authors then outline and summarize the ten studies included in the International Journal of Manpower Special Issue, as well as acknowledge the main value added provided by each of them. Design/methodology/approach: The Special Issue used a double-blind review process, employing one external referee and one cross-referee for each of the ten selected papers. The papers themselves represent a wide variety of designs, methodologies, and analytical strategies used to study culture and labour. Findings: The findings of the studies included in this Special Issue touch on culture and diversity and cultural impact on migration, as well as on culture in the workplace and willingness to work. Practical implications: Each article also draws attention to practical implications with regard to cultural impact for the particular country and/or regions examined in the study. Originality/value: Together, the papers in this Special Issue help to make a clear distinction in macro- and micro-cultural economic research by shedding innovative light on the study of culture and labour from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.