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Transcript
PR.I.MA.
Socrates
European Commission
Education and Culture
European Postgraduate Programme in
International Marketing
INTERNATIONAL
MARKETING RESEARCH
Marcel van Birgelen
and Alain De Beuckelaer
Nijmegen School of Management,
The Netherlands
This book has been funded by the European Union under the Socrates Programme
(Grant Agreement Number: 29089-IC-1-2004-1-GR-ERASMUS-PRO-1)
PR.I.MA. PARTNERSHIP
Coordinating Institution:
Athens University of Economics & Business, Greece
Project Coordinator: Prof. George J. Avlonitis
Project Manager: Dr. Paulina Papastathopoulou
Project Secretariat: Ms Eirini Mavromara
Participating Institutions & Contact Persons:
Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
Prof. András Bauer
Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Dr. Marcel van Birgelen
University of Leicester, U.K.
Prof. Michael Saren
University of Minho, Portugal
Dr. Ana Maria Santos Costa Soares
External Evaluator
Prof. Gabriele Troilo, Bocconi University, Italy
Critical Reader
Dr. José Carlos Pinho, University of Minho, Portugal
All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a
spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or
otherwise – without the written permission of the PR.I.MA. partnership.
Foreword
Why studying international marketing research?
In general, conducting marketing research is a crucial activity for profit- and
non-profit organizations trying to deal with the uncertainties and rapid changes to be
found in the modern business arena these days. When expanding (business)
operations from the home country toward other countries, the uncertainties become
even more prominent and stronger. This may be due to for instance cultural,
political, and legal differences. Of particular interest may be how such differences in
turn translate into different consumer habits, preferences, and behavior. As a
consequence, international marketing research becomes essential for effective
decision making when organizations start to internationalize toward foreign
markets.
The same differences addressed above make international marketing research
quite different from conducting domestic marketing research. A thorough
understanding of this difference is of utmost importance for marketing researchers as
well as managers. It is such understanding that this textbook, the various articles that
are presented and discussed, as well as the International Marketing Research course
aim to develop. More specifically, this will done by explicitly addressing the specific
issues, opportunities, but certainly also the problems to be associated with
international marketing research. A brief overview of the topics to be discussed
follows next.
Chapter Structure
Chapter 1 further introduces international marketing research as a crucial
activity in modern business practice. Chapter 2 addresses how the international
character of international marketing research influences the design of research to be
conducted. Next, Chapters 3 and 4 focus on the specifics of two types of data to be
collected and used in international marketing research (as in domestic marketing
research): secondary and primary data. Subsequently, Chapter 5 deals with a crucial
issue when conducting research across multiple countries: data comparability, also
referred to as equivalence. In the context of collecting primary data, Chapter 6 then
deals with survey instrument design and sampling issues in international marketing
research. Chapter 7 extends this knowledge by focusing on cross-national scale
development and the use of scales in international marketing research. Chapter 8
provides in-depth insight into another important issue in international business:
cross-national consumer segmentation and how marketing research can be used to
do so effectively. Finally, Chapter 9 discusses the future of international marketing
research by presenting some interesting developments and challenges in the field.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Introducing International Marketing Research _______________________ 1
1.1
The field of international marketing research introduced____________________ 2
1.2
Marketing research in a global environment _______________________________ 3
1.3
International marketing research: Setting the stage _________________________ 6
1.3.1
1.3.2
1.3.3
1.3.4
1.4
Conducting international marketing research in the twenty-first century ____________
“Foreseeing” marketing_______________________________________________________
The myth of global strategy ___________________________________________________
Foreign market entry modes: A sequentially embedded decision approach___________
6
7
7
8
Summary ______________________________________________________________ 8
Questions ____________________________________________________________________ 9
References____________________________________________________________________ 9
Chapter 2: International Marketing Research Design __________________________ 11
2.1
Designing international marketing research activities______________________ 11
2.2
The international marketing research plan________________________________ 12
2.3
Issues in administering international marketing research __________________ 13
2.4
Relevant questions in designing international marketing research __________ 14
2.5
Progress and promise: The last decade of international marketing research___ 14
2.6
Summary _____________________________________________________________ 15
Questions ___________________________________________________________________ 15
References___________________________________________________________________ 16
Chapter 3: Secondary Data in International Marketing Research________________ 17
3.1
Secondary data in international marketing research: Usefulness, advantages, and
disadvantages________________________________________________________________ 18
3.2
External sources of secondary data _______________________________________ 19
3.3
Uses of secondary data _________________________________________________ 20
3.4
International marketing information: UK small and medium-sized enterprises’
perceptions of different sources and types ______________________________________ 21
3.5
Gathering and using information for the selection of trading partners _______ 22
3.6
Summary _____________________________________________________________ 22
Questions ___________________________________________________________________ 23
References___________________________________________________________________ 23
Chapter 4: Collecting Primary Data in International Marketing Research _______ 24
4.1
Structuring primary data collection ______________________________________ 24
4.2
Pros and cons of various survey types ____________________________________ 26
4.3
Assessing the equivalence between online and mail surveys in service research
27
4.4
Mode of data collection can have serious effects on data quality ____________ 28
4.5
What is a survey? ______________________________________________________ 28
4.6
Summary _____________________________________________________________ 29
Questions ___________________________________________________________________ 29
References___________________________________________________________________ 30
Chapter 5: Comparability of Data From Multiple Nations _____________________ 31
5.1
The Emic and Etic perspective___________________________________________ 32
5.2
Concepts, constructs, and causal theory __________________________________ 37
5.3
Improving the conceptual foundations of international marketing research __ 38
5.4
Towards a theory of bias and equivalence ________________________________ 39
5.5
The issue of equivalence _______________________________________________ 40
5.6
Equivalence of survey data: Relevance for international marketing __________ 40
5.7
Assessing measurement invariance in cross-national consumer research _____ 40
5.8
Response biases in marketing research ___________________________________ 41
5.9
Summary _____________________________________________________________ 41
Questions ___________________________________________________________________ 41
References___________________________________________________________________ 42
Chapter 6: Survey Instrument Design and Sampling in International Marketing
Research _________________________________________________________________ 45
6.1
Why it is easy to write bad questions_____________________________________ 46
6.2
Assessing the difficulty of questions used in the ISSP-questionnaires, the clarity
of their wording and the comparability of responses _____________________________ 46
6.3
Sampling and weighting _______________________________________________ 47
6.4
Theoretical justification of sampling choices in international marketing
research: Key issues and guidelines for researchers ______________________________ 47
6.5
Summary _____________________________________________________________ 48
Questions ___________________________________________________________________ 48
References___________________________________________________________________ 48
Chapter 7: Cross-national Scale Development and Use in International Marketing
Research _________________________________________________________________ 50
7.1
Measuring export market orientation: Scale development and cross-cultural
validation ___________________________________________________________________ 50
7.2
Cross-cultural similarities and differences in shopping for food ____________ 51
7.3
Cross-cultural invariance of measures of satisfaction and service quality_____ 51
7.4
Using ‘borrowed’ scales in cross-national research: A cautionary note________ 52
7.5
Summary _____________________________________________________________ 52
Questions ___________________________________________________________________ 52
References___________________________________________________________________ 53
Chapter 8: Cross-national Consumer Segmentation Studies ____________________ 54
8.1
Introducing international consumer segmentation_________________________ 55
8.2
International market segmentation: Issues and perspectives ________________ 55
8.3
International market segmentation based on consumer-product relations ____ 56
8.4
Country and consumer segmentation: Multi-level latent class analysis of
financial product ownership___________________________________________________ 57
8.5
Summary _____________________________________________________________ 57
Questions ___________________________________________________________________ 58
References___________________________________________________________________ 58
Chapter 9: Challenges and Future Directions in International Marketing Research:
Capita Selecta ____________________________________________________________ 59
9.1
Challenges in international marketing research ___________________________ 60
9.2
Future directions in international marketing research ______________________ 61
9.3
Creating local brands in multilingual international markets ________________ 62
9.4
Summary _____________________________________________________________ 62
Questions ___________________________________________________________________ 62
References___________________________________________________________________ 63
Marketing Research For Market Entry Decisions______________________________ 64
A Cross-National Evaluation of Services Marketing Efforts by Conducting
International Marketing Research in Practice ________________________________ 67
LIST OF TABLES
Table 5.1: Major strengths and shortcomings of the Emic and Etic approach__________________ 34
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 5.1: Berry’s five-step process (Berry, 1989) ______________________________________ 36
International Marketing Research
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
1 Introducing International Marketing Research
T
his introductory chapter, combined with the additional literature
presented and the lectures/classroom sessions, provides insight
into the general complexity of international marketing, mainly
caused by the diversity and change of the international environment, and the
importance of conducting research in order to generate information for decisionmaking in an international marketing context. Such information may include
information for international market entry, information for local market planning,
and information for global rationalization. When conducting international marketing
research it is important to acknowledge the complexity of research designs,
difficulties in establishing data comparability and equivalence, coordinate research
and data collection across nations, and to be aware of the intra-functional nature of
international marketing decisions.
Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should:
•
Better understand the complexity of conducting marketing research in
the global environment;
•
Be aware of key issues that the international marketing researcher needs
to deal with.
Keywords
International marketing research defined, differences between domestic and
international marketing research, reasons for conducting international marketing
research, issues and challenges in international marketing research, international
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Chapter 1
marketing research in the twenty-first century, international marketing research and
foreign entry modes
1.1
The field of international marketing research introduced
International marketing research can be defined in several ways. Kumar (2000)
provided two useful definitions:
1.
International marketing research = Market research conducted either
simultaneously or sequentially to facilitate marketing decisions in more than
one nation;
2.
International marketing research = Comparative marketing research, with its
principle focus being the systematic detection, identification, classification,
measurement and interpretation of similarities and differences among entire
national systems.
No matter which of these two definitions is used, international marketing
research is a valid concept insofar as market surveys are carried out that affect
decisions concerning more than one nation.
International marketing research is NOT totally different from domestic
marketing research. All the same principles that apply to domestic marketing
research apply to international marketing research also. The major differences
between international marketing research and domestic marketing (single nation)
research are that:
a) international marketing research involves differences between nations arising
out of political, economic, social, cultural, and legal differences;
b) the problem of comparability of research results arises due to these
differences.
According to Kumar (2000), the main factors that affect the way in which
people (consumers) from different cultures behave are:
•
Cultural differences (e.g. people in Flanders (B) consuming margarine, people
in Wallonia (B) consuming butter; Japanese giving more frequently ‘neutral’
answers)! Also think about national differences on G. Hofstede’s 5 dimensions
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(power distance; individualism/ collectivism; masculinity/ femininity;
uncertainty avoidance; long-term orientation];
•
Racial differences (e.g. hair type);
•
Climatic differences (e.g. the French drink more wine, the British drink more
beer);
•
Economic differences (e.g. low alcohol consumption in Norway due to high
taxes);
•
Religious differences (e.g. alcohol prohibited in Middle Eastern countries);
•
Historical differences (e.g. cricket is popular in England; game of boules in
France);
•
Differences in consumption patterns (e.g. in England one drinks port after a
meal; in Portugal it is consumed before the meal);
•
Differences in marketing conditions (e.g. the Japanese are not keen on being
contacted over the telephone; people in Hong Kong do not allow strangers
into the house);
•
Differences in actual and potential target groups (e.g. people in small villages
cannot be given reached given budget constraints).
In addition, the international marketing researcher will have to deal with
(Kumar, 2000):
1.2
•
Language differences;
•
Differences in the way products or services are used;
•
Differences in the criteria for assessing products or services;
•
Differences in marketing research facilities;
•
Differences in market research capabilities.
Marketing research in a global environment
According to Craig and Douglas (2005), conducting marketing research in a
global environment can occur for a wide variety of different issues. Among others
these include the correct positioning of new products, avoidance of product
formulation errors, assessing sensitivity to geographical differences, understanding
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cultural change, identifying appropriate advertising appeals, assessing translation
errors, etcetera (Craig & Douglas, 2005).
Despite its obvious usefulness, conducting international marketing research
goes not without difficulties, which international marketing researchers need to be
fully aware of. In this respect, Craig and Douglas (2005) also mention the great
diversity of the international environment and the continuous change of the
international market environment. In turn, these developments make conducting
research for international marketing decision-making very important. When
operating in the international arena, firms will be facing different information needs,
especially when moving from one phase of internationalization to another (e.g.
market entry, exporting, local market operations, etc.). The nature of the firm’s
operation in a national market depends on its choice of mode of entry (Kumar, 2000).
A mode of entry is an institutional arrangement chosen by the firm to operate in a
foreign market. Examples are: exporting, licensing, joint ventures, and wholly owned
subsidiaries. This decision is one of the most critical strategic decisions of the firm. It
affects all of the future decisions and operations of the firm in that national market.
Because each mode of entry entails a concomitant level of resource commitment, it is
difficult to change from one entry mode to another without considerable loss of time
and money. Kumar (2000) models the decision process using a model called the
“contingency model of mode of entry decision”. The model consists of five
consecutive steps:
1. Recognition of the need to operate in foreign markets (e.g. true need?)
2. Evaluation of time, resources, and quality of information available
Crucial questions to ask:
- What factors affecting the modes of entry have to be considered?
- Where can information on these factors be obtained?
3. Selection of a decision strategy
4. Data collection and information processing
5. Selection of a mode of entry
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In general, the international marketing researcher should be clear about the
motives of the company before designing the study (Kumar, 2000). It is crucial to
isolate the main issue that needs to be tackled and decide on the information needed
to solve the problem. The main issue could be, for example, to evaluate whether or
not there is a financially viable market for disposable diapers in India. Many
companies have failed in international marketing research because they have been
sidetracked by small issues and ignored the one main problem. Failure to pin down
the root problem can be very costly in international marketing research!
The information that is required to underpin marketing decisions can be at
three different levels, reflecting three different orientations (Kumar, 2000):
1.
Market orientation (e.g. questions as: Is there a financially viable market for
product X in market Y?);
2.
Strategic orientation (e.g. what mode of entry would be optimal given the
company’s needs?);
3.
Problem orientation (e.g. pricing policy, product positioning, promotions,
production and logistics, etc.)
An illustrative example of which market information may be required for the
main issue of whether or not there will be a market for disposable diapers in India
could results in the following research questions (Kumar, 2000):
•
What is the main alternative to disposable diapers used by parents currently?
•
Are parents familiar with the cost of disposable diapers?
•
Are there any other brands of disposable diapers sold in India currently?
•
What is the estimated market size?
•
What price are consumers willing to pay for a disposable diaper?
Specific issues that need to be addressed in international marketing research
include the complexity of research designs, difficulties in establishing comparability
and equivalence in the information and data obtained internationally, the
coordination of research efforts and data collection across nations, the intrafunctional
character of international marketing decisions, as well as the economics of
international investment and marketing decisions (Craig & Douglas, 2005).
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Kumar (2000) also identifies five main challenges in planning international
marketing research. These include:
•
Understanding similarities across nations so as to define a target market;
•
A lack of accurate secondary information;
•
The high cost of conducting research, especially when primary data is desired;
•
Coordinating research efforts across nations, which involves loosing control of
not only the research process but translations as well;
•
Establishing
comparability
and
equivalence
in
marketing
research
instruments.
1.3
International marketing research: Setting the stage
As a starting point for studying international marketing research various
insights to be obtained from several authors and studies seem worthwhile to
consider (see Section 1.7 for full reference details). These will be shortly presented in
the remainder of this chapter and will be further discussed during the course.
1.3.1
Conducting international marketing research in the twenty-first century
According to Craig and Douglas (2001), as businesses expand further and
further in international markets, the role of timely and accurate marketing research
to guide decision-making becomes increasingly critical. Research to support
international marketing decisions has evolved over the past four decades and must
change even more to support firms in the twenty-first century.
There are four key areas where progress must be made. First, international
marketing research efforts need to be more closely aligned with market growth
opportunities outside the industrialized nations. Second, researchers must develop
the capability to conduct and coordinate research that spans diverse research
environments. Third, international marketing researchers need to develop new
creative approaches to probe the cultural underpinnings of behavior. Finally,
technological advances need to be incorporated into the research process in order to
facilitate and expedite research across the globe.
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1.3.2 “Foreseeing” marketing
Based on a reflection of other authors’ contributions to a special issue of the
Journal of Marketing, Deshpandé (1999) formulates an agenda for increasing
marketing knowledge use in the future. Such agenda will also be of relevance to
international marketing researchers since they will be generating the knowledge to
be used by international marketers in the future.
Specifically, Deshpandé (1999) identifies four main foci. First, marketing
should clearly follow a cross-disciplinary focus. “Marketers [and marketing
researchers as well] must cast their nets wider to consider more disciplines as sources
of rich constructs, models, and technologies.” (p. 166). Second, a cross-cultural focus
in marketing must become more prominent since “many of the most interesting
marketing problems are global, not local.” (p. 166). Third, it should be acknowledged
that “firms increasingly have developed cross-functional processes, decision-making
mechanisms, and organizational structures.” (p. 166). Marketers as well as marketing
researchers need to be quite aware of these. Finally, marketers should become
customercentric or enhance the customercentric focus if already present. As
Desphandé (1999, p. 167) puts it nicely: “Whether marketers [and marketing
researchers as well] are dealing with for-profit or not-for-profit organizations,
examining marketing science or consumer behavior issues, concerned with
companies or competitions, they are, in the final analysis, engaged in a conversation
about the centrality of the customer.” Clearly, all four foci should be reflected when
conducting international marketing research as well.
1.3.3
The myth of global strategy
Rugman (2001) suggests that globalization is a myth and does not exist in
terms of a single world market with free trade. He states that, instead business is
triad-based, with companies operating on a regional level rather than global. The
main conclusion is that due to government regulation of the service sectors, which
limits free market movement, businesses need to think local and act regional and
forget globalization.
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The main take-aways from Rugman’s paper for managers as well as
researchers are:
•
Globalization is misunderstood – it does not, and has never, existed in terms
of a single world market with free trade;
•
Triad-based business is the past, current and future reality;
•
Multinational enterprises operate within triad markets and access other triad
markets; they have regional, not global, strategies;
•
National governments strongly regulate most service sectors, thereby limiting
free market forces; the extent of regulation is not decreasing;
•
Businesses need to think local and act regional; they should forget global.
1.3.4
Foreign market entry modes: A sequentially embedded decision approach
One of the most fundamental questions for organizations which aim at
internationalizing their operations is which foreign market entry mode to use.
Genctürk (2003, p. 149) states that “in order for the research on foreign market entry
choice to progress both in theory development and in attempts to synthesize
disparate research findings, there is a need to understand the context within which
entry mode decision is made, and above all to recognize explicitly the complex
nature of this decision.” The author argues that this decision is a complex
phenomenon that should be addressed in a structured way. Having adequate
information available for doing so seems crucial then. Specifically, a four-level
analytical framework reflecting the sequentially embedded foreign market entry
mode decision is developed. Depending on the level in the framework, different
factors need to be considered by the organization. These include decisions to be
made, dominant theoretical explanations, and, very importantly, key drivers that
should be taken into account. Obviously, the framework provides a useful starting
point for determining which international marketing information may be useful or
even necessary for organizations to effectively base their decision on.
1.4
Summary
Issues that have been discussed in this chapter and corresponding additional
literature include the general complexity of international marketing, mainly caused
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Chapter 1
by the diversity and change of the international environment, and the importance of
conducting research in order to generate information for decision-making in an
international marketing context. Types of information may include information for
international market entry, information for local market planning, and information
for global rationalization. Furthermore, when conducting international marketing
research it is crucial to acknowledge the complexity of research designs, make sure
that the data collected adequately reflects the domestic and global market situation,
coordinate research and data collection across nations, and to be aware of the intrafunctional nature of international marketing decisions.
Questions
1. According to the literature, what are key challenges to be addressed and dealt
with when conducting international marketing research?
2. Why exactly is market research in an international market much more
complex than in a domestic market?
3. What are the specific informational needs of marketing decision-makers in the
following situations:
a) Deciding whether or not to enter international markets through exporting.
b) Planning local operations in one or more foreign nations.
c) Going global with ones business operations.
4. Could you think of any truly global market? Which one? Justify your answer!
References
Craig, C.S., & Douglas, S.P. (2001). Conducting international marketing research in
the twenty-first century. International Marketing Review, 18, 80-90.
Craig, C.S., & Douglas, S.P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.).
Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons: Chapter 1
Deshpande, R. (1999). Foreseeing marketing. Journal of Marketing, 63, 164-167.
Genctürk, F.E. (2003). Foreign market entry modes: A sequentially embedded
decision approach. In S.C. Jain (Ed.), Handbook of research in international
marketing (pp. 148-171). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
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Kumar, V. (2000). International marketing research. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Rugman, A.M. (2001). The myth of global strategy. International Marketing Review,
18, 583-588.
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Chapter 2
Chapter 2
2 International Marketing Research Design
I
ssues that will be discussed in this chapter, as well as the corresponding
additional literature and lectures/classroom sessions include designrelated issues pertaining to the international marketing research plan
and process as well as developments in conducting academic international marketing
research. Specific attention will be paid to determining information requirements, the
selection of sources of information, choosing a general research methodology (e.g.
survey research, observational studies, simulated test markets, etc), the practical
organization and design of international marketing research, and the identification of
the right unit(s) of analysis.
Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should:
•
Better understand issues associated with the design of international marketing
research.
Keywords
Design of international marketing research, international marketing research plan,
academic international marketing research, commercial international marketing
research, the last decade of international marketing research
2.1
Designing international marketing research activities
Craig and Douglas (2005) identify two broad types of international marketing
research: academic research and commercial research. The first “includes research
conducted by individuals at academic institutions with the objective of further
understanding the behavior of consumers and organizations in other nations or in
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relation to their activities in other nations, or testing the applicability of concepts and
theories in a range of nations and cultural contexts. Commercial research, on the
other hand, is conducted for a profit by an organization, and is concerned with
collecting information to aid management in making decisions relative to
international markets.” (Craig & Douglas, 2005, p. 23)
The research purpose, the research questions, as well as the role of theory may
differ between both types of international marketing research. Nevertheless, it is
quite likely that the same problems arise with respect to research design and
organization, as well as the implementation of the international marketing research
plan. The specificities in designing international marketing research will be
presented shortly in the remainder of this chapter.
2.2
The international marketing research plan
In order to be able to effectively conduct international marketing research a
multistage approach is crucial (Craig & Douglas, 2005). First, some preliminary steps
may be necessary, especially when the research involves issues such as a new
product category, new consumption situation, or new market segment. The
preliminary phase may involve conducting desk research using secondary data.
Furthermore, qualitative research using depth interviews, focus groups, or
observational research may be useful as well for determining relevant research
questions. Also organizational and administrative issues should be considered at an
early stage in the international marketing research process. Among others, relevant
questions that need to be answered are whether or not the research can be conducted
in-house or not and against what costs.
When all preliminary considerations have been paid attention to the
international marketing research plan can be designed. This is considered to be a
complex process, certainly when compared against conducting domestic marketing
research. Craig and Douglas (2005) discuss an extensive international marketing
research process (see Figure 2.1 on p. 28 of their textbook). The international
marketing research process involves various steps. First, information requirements
and key research questions need to be determined, which may be different for
commercial versus academic research. For commercial research it is essential to
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determine whether the research problem occurs at the corporate, the regional, or the
local level. Furthermore, one should decide if the problem pertains to a strategic or a
tactical decision. With respect to academic international marketing research one
should decide if the problem involves descriptive research, comparative research or
theory testing.
Second, information or data needs to be collected. This step involves a
multitude of different activities. Existing databanks may be consulted and previous
research findings as well as existing theories may be examined. Furthermore, it may
be worthwhile to collect and analyze secondary data that already has been collected
for other research purposes. When having to collect primary data, the research needs
to be designed very carefully. Issues to consider include the problem formulation, the
variable specifications, the determination of the research technique, and the design of
the research instrument. Furthermore, a sampling plan needs to be developed and
the data analysis procedure needs to be designed. Next, the research administration
procedure should be determined, after which the actual research can be conducted.
Third, when having obtained all necessary data, it should be extensively
analyzed. For this, a variety of different analysis techniques can be used. No matter
what technique is used, it is essential that the information obtained and the
conclusions drawn are used to update existing databanks and are being added to
existing theories and knowledge bases.
2.3
Issues in administering international marketing research
Craig and Douglas (2005) also discuss a number of organizational and
administrative issues that “need to be resolved to carry out the [international
marketing research] plan” (Craig & Douglas, 2005, p. 44). Among others, these issues
involve the organization and coordination of the research, the choice of a research
supplier, as well as the cost of international marketing research.
Concerning the first, firms can make use of a centralized organization for
conducting international marketing research, where management at corporate
headquarters or a global of regional development unit determines the specifics of the
research. The other option will be a decentralized organization, where corporate
headquarters establish research objectives in broad terms, but leave the specifications
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of the research design and the management of the research process to the local
operating units at national level or may even outsource this activity to external
parties.
Next, international marketing research can come from several suppliers. Firms
can make use of global marketing research firms or make use of in-house research
expertise.
Lastly, firms should be aware of the costs involved in conducting international
marketing research, which are “often higher related to expected market size as
compared with the domestic market” (Craig & Douglas, 2005, p. 54).
2.4
Relevant questions in designing international marketing research
In his chapter of ‘The Handbook of Marketing Research’, edited by Grover
and Vriens (2006), Kumar addresses several interesting questions related to design
aspects of international marketing research. These pertain to questions such as:
•
Who is needed in international marketing research? Specialists or generalists?
•
Should international marketing research be conducted in a centralized or
decentralized way?
2.5
•
How to conduct research across nations?
•
How can one reduce cross-cultural response bias?
•
How can one enhance data comparability across nations?
•
How to design scales in cross-national research?
•
What equivalence issues should be addressed in primary data collection?
Progress and promise: The last decade of international marketing
research
In light of the rapid growth of international marketing studies, Nakata and
Huang (2005) thought it was timely to investigate recent patterns and developments
in the literature. The authors performed a content analysis of nearly 600 papers
published from 1990 to 2000 in the leading academic journals. It became clear that
major progress has been made in terms of a broadened research agenda and greater
technical rigor. However, opportunities were identified to address overlooked
research topics, increase cross-national collaboration, strengthen the complexity and
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comprehensiveness of theories, as well as diversify research methods beyond
surveys. Based on these findings, the authors outlined several directions for
advancement of international marketing knowledge.
Nakata and Huang’s (2005) paper will be further discussed during the course.
The question as presented at the end of this chapter may a useful starting point for
doing so.
2.6
Summary
Issues that have been discussed in this chapter and corresponding additional
literature include design-related issues pertaining to the international marketing
research plan and process as well as developments in conducting academic
international marketing research. Specific attention was paid to determining
information requirements, the selection of sources of information, choosing a general
research methodology (e.g. survey research, observational studies, simulated test
markets, etc), the practical organization and design of international marketing
research, the identification of the right unit(s) of analysis, etc.
Questions
1. In their paper, Nakata and Huang (2005) obviously focus on academic
international marketing research. It is interesting to read the paper with this
chapter’s topic, international marketing research design, in mind. The main
challenge here lies in considering the design-related issues as presented by
Craig and Douglas (2005) and as discussed previously in this chapter in the
light of the opportunities that Nakata and Huang (2005) identify by their
extensive literature review. Among others, some questions that may be
worthwhile to consider include:
a) Which future problem formulation(s) and research question(s) seem(s)
most worthwhile to consider?
b) What information may be needed to address these problems and research
questions?
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c) How to obtain the necessary information? Which research techniques may
be used? From whom should the information/data be collected?
d) What would be appropriate ways to analyze the data collected?
e) How does the knowledge generated through conducting this international
marketing research contribute to existing knowledge in field of international
marketing?
2. Imagine yourself to be the marketing manager of a Dutch company that is
producing packaging material to be used for protecting shipped goods. You
wonder whether or not there are opportunities for your company to
internationalize business operations. How would you go about? Among
others, you may need to consider the following issues:
a) What type(s) of information would you be particularly interested in?
b) Where would this/these type(s) of information be available?
c) What main criteria would you use for selecting sources of information?
d) What would be the unit of analysis in your study?
References
Craig, C.S., & Douglas, S.P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.).
Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons: Chapter 2.
Kumar, V. (2006). International marketing research. In R. Grover & M. Vriens (Eds.),
The handbook of marketing research: Uses, misuses, and future advances (pp.
628-645). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Nakata, C., & Huang, Y. (2005). Progress and promise: The last decade of
international marketing research. Journal of Business Research, 58, 611-618.
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Chapter 3
Chapter 3
3 Secondary Data in International Marketing
Research
T
his chapter, combined with the corresponding additional literature
and lectures/classroom sessions, focuses on locating the appropriate
secondary
information,
commercial
and
non-commercial
information sources, information quality (e.g. reliability, validity, and timeliness),
comparability of secondary data (across nations), and the requirements with respect
to different types of secondary information given specific modes of operation in a
given nation. Various types of secondary data are typically used when selecting
foreign markets for market entry (e.g. estimating market risk and potential
profitability of foreign markets) and making an assessment of the interconnectedness
between the home-market and a number of foreign markets.
Learning objectives
After reading this chapter, you should:
•
Identify the various sources and types of secondary data that exist and that
can be used by international marketing decision-makers;
•
Better understand the potential use (and perhaps misuse) of secondary data in
international marketing research.
Keywords
Secondary data in international marketing research, utilization of secondary data,
advantages and disadvantages of secondary data, sources of secondary data
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3.1
Chapter 3
Secondary data in international marketing research: Usefulness,
advantages, and disadvantages
Secondary data are data collected by persons or agencies for purposes other
than solving the problem at hand (Kumar, 2000). The three major uses of secondary
data in international marketing research can be summarized as follows:
•
Selecting nations or markets that merit in-depth investigation
•
Making an initial estimate of demand potential in the target market
•
Monitoring environmental change
Secondary data may be useful as (Kumar, 2000):
•
A valuable source of new ideas that can be explored later through primary
research
•
To help define the core problem and formulate hypotheses about its solution
•
To help setting up new research (how did others tackle similar research
problems?)
•
To help define a (target) population, and define parameters in primary
research
•
To act as a reference base against which to compare the validity or accuracy of
primary data
There are some big advantages of working with secondary data (Kumar, 2000):
•
It saves costs
•
It saves time as secondary data are easily accessible (e.g. via Internet!)
•
It may tell you that the project is not feasible before any significant
investments are made
•
It may be the only source of consumer behavior in the past
•
Governmental data sources may be more reliable than information obtained
from competitors
There are also some problems associated with the use of secondary data:
•
The data can be outdated
•
The data can be inaccurate (or not accurate enough, given the problem)
•
The data may not be comparable across nations
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•
The data is most often incomplete (given the information needs)
•
The data may simply be not available (e.g. third world countries)
•
There is a lot of variation in data collection methods, and sampling frames
used in various nations
3.2
External sources of secondary data
With respect to external - that is, publicly available - secondary data sources,
several considerations seem important (Craig & Douglas, 2005). First, secondary data
may come in various formats, which all have their specific advantages and
disadvantages. The most common formats include print forms, CD-ROMs, and via
the Internet. Second, a crucial issue refers to where the secondary data can be
obtained from. In this respect, “the increasing volume of information available in
different regions, nations and markets throughout the world has led to the
establishment of data locators.” (Craig & Douglas, 2005, p. 65). Most of time, these
are available via the Internet. Examples of some global data locators include:
•
The MSU-CIBER Web Site (ciber.msu.edu)
•
The University of Kansas International Business Resource Center Web Site
(www.ibrc.business.ku.edu)
•
VIBES: Virtual International Business and Economics Sources Web Site
(www.libweb.uncc.edu/ref-bus/vibehome.htm)
•
Business Information in the Internet (www.rba.co.uk/sources/index.htm)
•
UNSTAT (data locator of the United Nations)
•
Stat-USA
Other useful sources of secondary (often macroeconomic) data are:
•
United Nations (www.un.org)
•
World Bank (www.worldbank.org)
•
OECD (www.oecd.org)
•
The European Commission (www.europa.eu.int)
•
Nation-level government sources (e.g. www.cbs.nl/en for the Netherlands)
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The examples mentioned above mainly pertain to non-commercially available
data. However, one may also retrieve secondary data from commercial sources
(Craig & Douglas, 2005). Examples are:
•
The Economist Intelligence Unit (www.eiu.com)
•
Euromonitor (www.euromonitor.com)
•
National and regional guides
•
Periodicals, newsletters, indexing and abstracting services
No matter where secondary data is obtained from, two crucial issues that need
to be taken into consideration are data accuracy and data equivalence (Craig &
Douglas, 2005). Data discrepancies in terms of accuracy or equivalence may have
their origin in things such as the way a measurement unit is defined, the frequency
with which data is updated, the level of national industrialization, taxation
structures, etc.
Craig and Douglas (2005) identify and discuss four main types of information
requirements that may be relevant in international marketing decision-making:
•
Political, financial, and legal data (e.g. political factors, financial and foreign
exchange data, legal and regulatory data)
•
General
market
data
(e.g.
demographic
characteristics,
economic
characteristics, geographical characteristics, technological characteristics,
sociocultural characteristics)
•
Infrastructure data (e.g. physical transportation structure, retail distribution
network, communication infrastructure, availability of physical, human, and
capital resources)
•
3.3
Product-specific data (e.g. industrial products, commodity products, services)
Uses of secondary data
According to Craig and Douglas (2005), secondary data may be used for three
key decision-making areas:
•
Selecting different markets to evaluate for initial entry
•
Estimating demand for a company’s products or services in international
markets
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•
Chapter 3
Assessing market interconnectedness to guide resource deployment across
national markets or between and within regions
Concerning the first type of usage, secondary data “can be used to develop
general procedures to categorize nations based on overall attractiveness or risk to
suggest which nations should be eliminated from further consideration, and which
should be investigated in more depth. Alternatively, secondary data can be
incorporated into customized screening procedures that are geared to company
objectives and specific industries.” (Craig & Douglas, 2005, p. 110)
With respect to demand estimation, the first step is to identify appropriate
nations and markets for a more in-depth investigation. After that demand estimation
can take place. Secondary data may be used in several ways for doing so. Possible
techniques include lead-lag analysis, shift-share analysis, surrogate indicators,
barometric analysis, analytical models, or a combination of several methods (Craig &
Douglas, 2005).
Finally, in order to assess market interconnectedness it is essential to use
secondary data for evaluating macroeconomic linkages, product-market linkages,
macroeconomic similarity, and product-market similarity (Craig & Douglas, 2005).
3.4
International marketing information: UK small and medium-sized
enterprises’ perceptions of different sources and types
Studies have shown that lack of information can provide an obstacle in firms’
endeavour to be competitive in overseas markets. A study conducted by Crick (2005)
provides empirical data that examines how managers of internationalizing UK firms
perceive the usefulness of overseas market information sources, their level of
utilization, plus perceptions of the types of data required. Findings are primarily
based on a postal survey of 446 firms. Also reported are selected findings from 20 indepth interviews.
Results establish that a high percentage of firms actively utilize internal staff,
agents, social contacts and the Internet in comparison with other data sources in
finding various types of information. Furthermore, the interviews found that firms’
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own websites provide reference points for other businesses and this has resulted in
many enquiries and orders for a relatively large percentage of firms.
3.5
Gathering and using information for the selection of trading partners
Nijssen, Douglas, and Calis (1999) examine the nature of the search process
used by international firms in identifying trading partners in emerging markets, and
to what extent systematic information collection on potential partners is likely to
enhance the choice of satisfactory partners. The results, based on 46 Dutch
companies, suggest that only a few companies have formal procedures to find
trading partners and that they tend to depend on informal and personal contacts for
information.
A company’s involvement in export/import activities and entry strategy was
found to have a positive influence on the actual selection of satisfactory partners.
This was also true for formalization of the search process, company size, a more
extensive partner-evaluation and prior research experience with finding trading
partners. Proactiveness/breadth of search was not found to have a significant
positive effect, and depth of search even happened to be negatively correlated with
successful partner selection. Finally, the results did not support modeling searching
for importing and exporting relationships separately.
3.6
Summary
In this chapter and the corresponding literature, particular attention has been
paid to locating the appropriate secondary information, commercial and noncommercial information sources, information quality (e.g. reliability, validity, and
timeliness), comparability of secondary data (across nations), and the requirements
with respect to different types of secondary information given specific modes of
operation in a given nation. Various types of secondary data are typically used when
selecting foreign markets for market entry (e.g. estimating market risk and potential
profitability of foreign markets) and assessing the interconnectedness between the
home-market and a number of foreign markets.
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Chapter 3
Questions
1. For the following decision-making problems, briefly illustrate how secondary
data can be of use to a marketing decision-maker:
a) Deciding whether or not to enter a foreign market.
b) Estimating the potential demand for an existing product in a foreign
market.
c) Assessing the interconnectedness between the home-market and a foreign
market.
2. What are the major advantages and disadvantages of secondary data when
compared to primary data?
3. On what quality criteria should secondary data be judged?
4. Collect data on beer and wine consumption in your country for the latest
available year (and previous years, if available). Calculate per capita
consumption for your country and compare it with other countries where data
is available. What accounts for possible differences? What national markets
seem to be ‘beer markets’? What markets are wine markets? Could you also
say something about the relative market position of beer versus wine over
time?
References
Craig, C.S., & Douglas, S.P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.).
Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons: Chapters 3 and 4.
Crick, D. (2005). International marketing information: UK small and medium-sized
enterprises’ perceptions of different sources and types. Business Information
Review, 22, 114-122.
Kumar, V. (2000). International marketing research. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Nijssen, E.J., Douglas, S.P., & Calis, G. (1999). Gathering and using information for
the selection of trading partners. European Journal of Marketing, 33, 143-162.
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Chapter 4
Chapter 4
4 Collecting Primary Data in International Marketing
Research
C
rucial issues in collecting primary survey data in international
marketing research that will be presented in this chapter, as well
the additional literature and lectures/classroom sessions include:
the definition and selection of the units of analysis, structuring the survey-based
research design so that the impact of different sociocultural settings and economic
contexts
is
identified
and
contamination
of
findings
avoided,
and
the
acknowledgement of possible culturally-determined biases in survey-based research
design, communication, and interpretation. Furthermore, attention will be paid to
possible biases when collecting primary data due to differences in data collections
modes.
Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should:
•
Better understand the conceptual foundations for primary data collection
(mainly through surveys) in international marketing research.
Keywords
Primary data collection, unit of analysis, research design structure, surveys, cultural
bias in international marketing research, data collection modes
4.1
Structuring primary data collection
When collecting primary data in international marketing research, “a first
priority in the research design is to define the unit of analysis” (Craig & Douglas,
2005, p. 154). For instance, the basic unit of analysis may be the country. In this case,
when selecting the unit of analysis, it is important to explicitly consider the relevance
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as a unit, the independence of the unit, the comparability of countries, and the
heterogeneity within countries. After having selected the basic unit of analysis, it
may be necessary to further refine it.
In general, when defining the unit of analysis, three components should be
paid attention to:
•
What is the geographical scope?
•
What are the membership criteria?
•
What is the situational context?
After having defined the unit of analysis, the relevant units need to be
selected. According to Craig and Douglas (2005, p. 161), “an important consideration
in selecting units of analysis is that they should be purposively selected relevant to
the characteristics or variables, and at the same time be comparable relative to other
factors. The range of units selected should therefore reflect variation on the factor of
interest.” Furthermore, selected units should be independent and free from
contamination by other factors possibly influencing the behavior of interest.
A next issue for international marketing researchers collecting primary data
pertains to the structuring of the research design. Craig and Douglas (2005) discuss
four types of research design structures:
•
Single-site study: Study conducted at a single site or foreign location
•
Multiple-site study: A static comparison of units located at different
geographical sites and different situational or macro contexts
•
External influence study: Investigating the impact of exposure to direct or
indirect influences from other cultures on attitudes or behavior patterns
associated with a given culture or subculture
•
Transitional study: Examination of how attitudes, interest and behavior
change as a respondent or group moves from one culture to another
When designing international marketing research, the composition of the
research team should be considered as well (Craig & Douglas, 2005). The most
important objective of doing so is minimizing the cultural bias. In particular, when
researchers and/or units of analysis from different cultural backgrounds interact
with each other, cultural bias in research design, communication and interpretation
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may arise. In this respect, Craig and Douglas (2005) refer to the so-called self-referent
cultural bias and possible ways to deal with it. The self-referent cultural bias is the
“tendency for a researcher to perceive and interpret phenomena or behavior
observed in other countries and cultures in terms of his or her own cultural
referents” (Craig & Douglas, 2005, p. 170).
4.2
Pros and cons of various survey types
In the context of primary data collection, Kumar (2000) discusses the
advantages and disadvantages of various data collection techniques and survey
types. Specifically, he differentiates between personal interviewing, telephone
interviewing, mail surveys, and e-surveys.
Personal interview:
PROs:
- Very high response rate
- Most flexible
- Clarification of questions on the spot
- More control on data quality
- Most effective method in developing countries
CONs:
- Expensive
- Interviewer bias (gender issue, misinterpretation, …)
Telephone interview:
PROs:
- Reduced cost
- High response rate
- Possibility to call back
CONs:
- Not for long interviews
- Interviewer bias
- Only very simple questions
- No visual aids
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- Often only upper echelons of the society (non-representativity)
Mail survey:
PROs:
- Very cheap (no fieldwork costs), but cost per survey may still be high (due to nonresponse)
CONs:
- Very low response rate
E-survey:
PROs:
- Time to respond is short
- Relatively cheap (but considerable start-up costs)
- Visual aids may be used; higher degree of sophistication (e.g. response format)
- Increased flexibility (e.g. randomizing questions and/or questionnaires)
- Reduction of errors (especially coding [i.e., human] errors)
- Higher quality of response (compared to mail)
CONs:
- Representativity may be low (e.g. coverage error)
- Sampling error (if not all members of the population are invited to participate)
- Increased likelihood of nonresponse bias
4.3
Assessing the equivalence between online and mail surveys in service
research
Deutskens, de Ruyter, and Wetzels (2006) investigate whether online and mail
surveys produce similar (i.e., convergent) results in the context of B-to-B service
quality studies. First of all, they provide a very nice overview on the
(methodological) literature comparing mail and online surveys. Next, they use
empirical data to assess whether substantial differences are obtained using online
and mail surveys. To make such an assessment they use an advanced statistical
analysis approach, namely mean- and covariance structure modeling (see Chapter 5
of this textbook). Apart from a few minor differences (see paper) no substantial
differences were obtained. This result is promising as it may provide an indication
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that in mixed-mode surveys (in particular: surveys which combine online and mail
surveys) no mode-related bias is to be expected.
The next paper shows, however, that mode of data collection should still be
considered to be an important (potential) source of (method) bias.
4.4
Mode of data collection can have serious effects on data quality
The paper by Bowling (2005) is very interesting as it provides a systematic
overview of the specific strengths and weaknesses of: (1) face-to-face interviews; (2)
telephone interviews; (3) self-administered (postal) interview; and (4) selfadministered, programmed, electronic interview. Bowling argues that: (1) the degree
of impersonality of the mode of data collection; (2) the cognitive burden imposed by
that mode under study; (3) the legitimacy of the study; (4) the degree of control over
the questionnaire; (5) rapport between between respondent and interviewer [if
present!]; and (6) communication style may lead to differential results across modes
of data collection.
4.5
What is a survey?
In his booklet ‘What is a survey?’, Scheuren (2004) discusses briefly all
essential aspects concerning the design and conduct of surveys, which can be of great
help for persons who plan to conduct some international marketing research. In
particular, valuable information is provided concerning:
•
What is a survey?
•
How to plan a survey?
•
How to collect survey data?
•
How to judge the quality of a survey?
•
What are focus groups?
•
How to design a questionnaire?
•
How to conduct pretesting?
•
What is a margin of error?
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4.6
Chapter 4
Summary
Crucial issues in collecting primary survey data in international marketing
research that have been presented in this chapter include: the definition and selection
of the units of analysis, the pros and cons of alternative data collection techniques,
structuring the survey-based research design taking into account differences in
sociocultural settings and economic contexts, and the acknowledgement of possible
culturally-determined biases in survey-based research design, communication, and
interpretation.
Questions
1. ‘Kölsch’ is a local beer speciality brewed in and around the city of Cologne
(Germany). Please consult Wikepedia (free encyclopedia on Internet) to learn
more about Kölsch and the many Kölsch brands available on the local beer
market. The great majority of Kölsch manufacturers run pubs and restaurants
in the city of Cologne. One of the Kölsch brands, Päffchen Kölsch, has
experienced a decline in direct and indirect sales in the last couple of years.
Direct sales are sales in manufacturer-owned pubs and restaurants, whereas
indirect sales are sales to independent pub owners. The management of
Päffgen (http://www.max-paeffgen.de/) would like you to assist in finding
out what factors contribute to the decline in sales. For this purpose you are
expected to design a survey (in English; they will help you later on with the
translation!). When designing a survey make sure you answer the following
questions:
a) Who should answer the survey questions?
b) What questions will you ask?
c) What mode of data collection would be most appropriate for this study?
(face-to-face, telephone, web-based)?
d) What factors may potentially threaten the reliability and validity of your
research outcomes?
e) What can you do to avoid getting unreliable and/or invalid research
outcomes?
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References
Bowling, A. (2005). Mode of questionnaire administration can have serious effects on
data quality. Journal of Public Health, 27, 3, 281-291.
Craig, C.S., & Douglas, S.P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.).
Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons: Chapter 5.
Deutskens, E., de Ruyter, K., & Wetzels, M. (2006). An assessment of equivalence
between online and mail surveys. Journal of Service Research, 8(4), 346-355.
Kumar, V. (2000). International marketing research. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Scheuren, F. (2004). What is a survey? (Chapters 2-7; pp. 15-51; Chapter 10; pp. 63-67;
booklet downloadable from Internet: http://www.whatisasurvey.info)
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Chapter 5
Chapter 5
5 Comparability of Data From Multiple Nations
S
pecific issues that will be dealt with in this chapter, the additional
literature, and the lectures/classroom sessions include the ‘emic’ and
‘etic’ perspective on comparative (cross-national) research, different
forms of biases (e.g. construct, method, and item bias) and equivalence (e.g.
construct, measurement unit and scalar equivalence). In addition, various methods to
identify non-equivalent survey questions (across nations) will be introduced and
demonstrated (e.g. logistic regression, exploratory and confirmatory factor-analytical
approaches, etc.).
Learning objectives
After reading this chapter, you should:
•
Be aware of alternative frameworks for conducting cross-national studies (e.g.
etic, emic, imposed etic, adapted etic, linked emic);
•
Better understand different forms of (data) equivalence in cross-national
marketing research;
•
Better understand the adequacy of different research procedures designed to
avoid, diagnose (and repair) violations of the various forms of data
equivalence across nations, whenever possible. As such, the reliability and
validity of cross-national comparisons may be enhanced.
Keywords
Etic, emic, imposed etic, adapted etic and linked emic, equivalence and bias,
construct / measurement unit / scalar equivalence, construct / method / item bias,
statistical approaches to measurement equivalence testing (e.g. MACS modeling;
IRT/DIF analysis; logistic regression; multimethod approach; etc.)
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5.1
Chapter 5
The Emic and Etic perspective
This section deals with the purpose of cross-national research, alternative
approaches that can be taken, and recognized requirements from the literature for
carrying such studies.
Purpose
The fundamental purpose of cross-national marketing/consumer research is
to test whether the marketing/consumer theories and concepts developed in one or
some nations are applicable to other nations as well. Furthermore, if differences exist
between nations cross-national marketing/consumer research will be focused at
offering scientific interpretations and explanations for these differences.
Etic and emic approach to cross-national marketing/consumer research
Cross-national
marketing/consumer
research
faces
the
problem
of
comparability of data across nations. It is common that each nation is unique (at least
to some extent), and people show high variations in terms of the dimensions of
(national) culture. Diversity between (and also within) nations may form a serious
threat to making cross-national comparisons both in terms of chosen research
methodologies as well as in terms of data obtained. The specific characteristics of
each individual nation may require different research methodologies, which may
limit the comparability of data across nations (Kumar, 2000).
There are two major ‘schools of thought’ when it comes to cross-national
research methodology (Hulin, 1987; Triandis & Marin, 1983). The first school,
referred to as ‘emic’, believes in the uniqueness of each nation and emphasizes the
importance of studying the peculiarities of each nation, identifying and
understanding its uniqueness. The study is typically nation-specific and inferences
are made about cross-national similarities and differences in a subjective manner.
The emic school attempts to reconstruct the experiential world of the individual
through his/her reports and explanations. A proponent of the emic school of thought
is H.C. Triandis (Triandis et al., 1980, 1981, 1985) along with many cultural
anthropologists.
The other school, named ‘etic’, is primarily concerned with identifying
similarities in terms of dimensions of national culture, and aims at developing
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nation-fair measures. According to this school, the marketing/consumer models (i.e.,
including measurement models) derived in one nation may be expected to be
universal and applicable to other nations. If this assumption is legitimate, such
measures make comparisons across nations feasible and objective. Proponents of this
school of thought are G. Hofstede, M. Rokeach, L.R. Kahle, S.H. Schwartz, and many
psychologists and marketing professionals (see Craig & Douglas, 2000; Kumar, 2000).
The terms ‘etic’ and ‘emic’ were introduced into anthropology in the 1960s by
the linguist Kenneth Pike (1954, 1971). They were extrapolated from the distinction in
linguistics between phonetic and phonemic.1 Pike (1971) argued that the emic and
the etic approach should not be perceived as opposite approaches. According to Pike,
they describe the problem of cross-national comparability from two different
standpoints, which lead to results, which shade into one another.
The major strengths and shortcomings of both the emic and the etic approach
are summarized in Table 5.1.
The study of phonemics involves the examination of the sounds used in a particular language, while phonetics attempts to
generalise from phonemic studies in individual languages to a universal science covering all languages. By analogy, emics
apply only in a particular society, while etics are nation-free or universal aspects of the world (Berry, 1969).
1
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Table 5.1: Major strengths and shortcomings of the Emic and Etic approach
Emic approach
Strengths
It permits an understanding of the way in
which a specific nation/culture is constructed.
It helps one to understand how individuals
behave, and why exactly they behave the way
they do (e.g. what the impact is of
cultural/national influences).
According to some proponents of the emic
approach (e.g. Pike, 1971) only the emic
approach provides a basis upon which a
predictive science of behavior can be expected
to make progress, since even statistical
predictive studies will in many instances prove
invalid (see Pike, 1971).
Etic approach
Strengths
It provides a broad perspective about different
events around the world, so that differences
and similarities (in terms of the cultural
components) can be recognised.
Techniques for recording differing phenomena
can be acquired.
The etic approach is the only point of entry,
since there is no other way to begin an analysis
than by starting with a rough, tentative etic
description of it (Pike, 1971).
Weaknesses
Emic research is subject to systematic
bias. Systematic bias occurs when
individuals represent or misinterpret
their own behavior (Helfrich, 1999).
Emic research is subject to arbitrariness.
Arbitrariness refers to the subjective
status of scientific knowledge (Helfrich,
1999).
Weaknesses
It is easy to overlook the differential
aspects of cultural impact.
It is easy to overlook that nation/culture
does not represent an independent
variable in the usual sense* (Helfrich,
1999).
The definition of the phenomena being
studied (e.g. variables) may itself be
culture-bound.
An etic comparison of selected cultures may
allow the researcher to meet practical
demands, such as financial or time limitations.
Note .*Culture is not an independent variable in the sense of an experimentally controlled variable.
The assignment of individuals to different groups can, at best, be based on a selection according to
their natural membership in that group (i.e. a ‘quasi-experimental’ research design) (Helfrich, 1999).
Several authors have suggested to combine the emic and the etic approach
(Przeworski & Teune, 1970; Triandis, 1972; Davidson, Jaccard, Triandis, Morales, &
Diaz-Guerrero, 1976; Triandis & Marin, 1983; De Vera, 1985). Triandis (1972), for
example, claimed that, in general, etic measures are needed to compare cultures and
emic measures to fully understand them.
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In the 1980s and 1990s a couple of authors (e.g. Berry, 1989; Helfrich, 1999)
proposed alternative approaches which build on the strengths of both the etic and
emic approach while minimizing their weaknesses. Berry (1989), for instance,
proposed a five-step process that may provide a basis for an integrated approach to
studying cultural differences. The steps in the process are:
Step 1: Examine a research problem in one’s own culture (emic A) and
develop a conceptual framework and a set of relevant instruments.
Step 2: Transport this conceptualisation and measurement to examine the
same issues in a similar manner in another culture (i.e. ‘imposed etic’).
Step 3: Enrich the imposed etic framework with unique aspects of the second
culture (emic B).
Step 4: Examine the two sets of findings for comparability.
Step 5: If these findings are not comparable, the two conceptualisations will be
considered to be independent. But, if they are comparable, then the common
set, the ‘derived etic’, will form the basis of a unified etic framework.
Berry’s approach is referred to as Berry’s ‘derived etic’ (1989). The approach is
graphically depicted in Figure 5.1.
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Figure 5.1: Berry’s five-step process (Berry, 1989)
STEP & RESEARCH ACTIVITY
1. BEGIN RESEARCH IN OWN CULTURE
EMIC A
IMPOSED
ETIC
2. TRANSPORT TO OTHER CULTURE
3. DISCOVER OTHER CULTURE
EMIC B
4. COMPARE TWO CULTURES
EMIC A
EMIC B
5-1 COMPARISON NOT POSSIBLE
EMIC A
EMIC B
5-2 COMPARISON POSSIBLE
EMIC A
EMIC B
DERIVED ETIC
Berry’s five-step process provides a guideline for cross-national research at the
operational level (Helfrich, 1999). It offers, at least in principle, an attractive
alternative to researchers in the field of international marketing. Given that the
conceptualization and measurement can be interchanged from one nation to another
(i.e. ‘imposed etic’), researchers can –at least- make a start investigating certain
phenomena in other nations. By repeating Berry’s five-step process in new nations, a
universal framework can be developed to explain the phenomena under study
(Maheswaran & Shavitt, 2000). Several researchers in the field of international
marketing/management have adopted an ‘imposed etic’ approach (e.g. Ryan, Chan,
Ployhart, & Slade, 1999; Ployhart, Wiechmann, Schmitt, Sacco, & Rogg, 2003). In such
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studies, an emic approach would not be feasible as the research process would
become too complex. Different variables would need to be collected in each nation,
and separate validation studies would be required (Ployhart et al., 2003).
Most
conceptualizations
regarding
the
phenomena
under
study
in
international marketing are defined and operationalized in a Western nation
(typically the United States). In some cases, it may well be that the conceptual
domain and/or the measurement may not be totally transferable to other nations
(Yaprak, 2003). Nevis (1983), for instance, has shown that Maslow’s hierarchy of
needs does not apply in Chinese societies. Taking this into account, it is clear that the
enrichment of the imposed etic framework (i.e. step 3 in Berry’s five-step process) is a
crucial research step. In international marketing, however, it is very likely that this
particular research step in the process will not be executed. Time- and budget
constraints often lie at the basis of skipping this research step. Such practical
limitations may form a serious threat to the validity of comparisons made between
nations.
5.2
Concepts, constructs, and causal theory
Prior to examining equivalence issues (e.g. construct equivalence) in cross-
national research, the terms ‘concepts’, ‘constructs’, ‘theory’, and ‘causal theory’ will
be discussed in detail.
A ‘construct’ can be generally defined as: “a conceptual term used to describe a
phenomenon of theoretical interest” (Cronbach & Meehl, 1955; Nunnally, 1978; Schwab,
1980). The notions of ‘constructs’ and ‘concepts’ (i.e. conceptual terms) are similar,
but they are not the same. Kerlinger (1986, p. 26) defines a concept as “an abstraction
formed by generalization from particulars”. ‘Corruption’, for instance, can be seen as a
concept because people in our society are aware of certain behaviors of individuals
(i.e. the particulars) which may be classified as ‘corruption’ (i.e. the generalization).
A ‘construct’ is defined as a “concept with added meaning” (Kerlinger, 1986, p.
26). According to Kerlinger, meaning is added because a deliberate and conscious
attempt has been made to define, specify, and operationalize the concept for the
purpose of scientific study. A construct makes it possible for the researcher to judge
whether a particular instance is or is not a member of the category. The notion of
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‘corruption’ can be considered a construct once it is defined as “lack of integrity or
honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain”.
Other examples of constructs are general intelligence (in psychological research),
national identity (in political research), employee satisfaction (in research in HR
management), and consumer innovation adoption (in consumer research). These
constructs are typically operationalised by means of a set of ‘variables’. A variable is
“a construct that has been defined so that instances of it can be assigned value and counted”
(Kerlinger, 1986). Variables are expected to change either from one time to another or
from one person (or unit) to another.
With two (or more) constructs, it is possible to form a ‘theory’. A theory is
defined as a “set of interrelated constructs, definitions, and propositions that present a
systematic overview of phenomena specifying relations among variables, with the purpose of
explaining and predicting the phenomena [under study]” (Kerlinger, 1986, p. 9). A theory
may be considered a ‘causal’ theory if hypotheses are made about ‘causes’ and
‘consequences’. A very simple causal theory may state that corruption leads to a
decrease in economic growth. According to this theory, the construct ‘corruption’ is
expected to exert a (causal) influence on the construct ‘economic growth’. A causal
diagram may be drawn to depict such a theory:
corruption (decrease in) economic growth.
5.3
Improving the conceptual foundations of international marketing
research
Douglas and Craig (2006) carefully examine the conceptual underpinnings of
marketing/consumer research needed to guide expansion of global markets. Key
issues discussed include: (1) the adequacy of the conceptual framework used; (2) the
unit of analysis; and (3) construct measurement. In the paper, the importance of
decentralizing the research perspective (e.g. getting local management involved in
the research effort) is strongly emphasized. The authors propose two new (iterative)
approaches to enhance the cross-national comparability of marketing/consumer data
without ignoring emic elements. The two approaches are the adapted etic model and
the linked emic model (for details see paper).
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5.4
Chapter 5
Towards a theory of bias and equivalence
As argued before, comparability of data and research procedures (e.g. data
collection procedures, statistical analyses, etc.) as applied across nations is key in
comparative cross-national marketing/consumer research. As indicated by Johnson
(1998), ensuring comparability across nations implies the establishment of many
different types of ‘equivalencies’.
Van de Vijver (1998) distinguishes between three major forms of
equivalencies: construct equivalence (i.e., the identity of constructs across
nations/same construct is measured in each cultural group; comparing nomological
networks across cultures as well as factor analysis are commonly used for testing
construct equivalence); measurement unit equivalence (i.e., the identity of
measurement unit across nations/same scale (measurement unit) with different
origins in each cultural group); and scalar equivalence (i.e., the identity of
measurement unit and scale origin across nations/same scale with same origin in
each cultural group). Subsequent forms of equivalence imply the establishment of
earlier forms of equivalence (e.g. scalar equivalence implies the establishment of both
construct and measurement unit equivalence). The most stringent form of
equivalence, scalar equivalence, is required whenever the researcher aims at
comparing (estimated) construct means across nations (i.e., absolute level
comparisons). However, if causal relationships are to be tested in multiple nations
(i.e.,
structure-level comparisons),
the
establishment
of
measurement
unit
equivalence is sufficient. By establishing these levels of equivalence cross-national
bias can be avoided.
Bias refers to the presence of nuisance factors in cross-national research, and
forms a threat to the reliability and validity of cross-national comparative research.
In the paper by van de Vijver (1998), three forms of bias are distinguished: construct
bias (i.e., dissimilar constructs across nations), method bias (e.g. sample, instrument
and/or administration bias across nations), and item bias (i.e., anomalies at item
level in particular nations). The influences of the different types of biases on the level
of equivalence established (e.g. construct, measurement unit, and scalar) are
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discussed. In addition, many strategies for enhancing equivalence in cross-national
(i.e.., multi-lingual) studies are discussed in the paper as well.
5.5
The issue of equivalence
Partially based on the work by Van de Vijver, Fontaine (2005) also provides an
overview of the concepts of equivalence and bias in cross-national research. Next, he
discusses the major forms of equivalence and the factors that can (potentially) bias
cross-national measurement. In addition, he also provides a general overview of
data-analytic strategies/models that are used to justify cross-national equivalence or
to detect cross-national bias. Among the data-analytical strategies/methods
presented are: assessment of the nomological network; studying the domain of
investigation [in a rather open and unstructured way]; techniques based on the
analysis of variance; exploratory factor analysis; confirmatory factor analysis
augmented with mean structures (i.e.., mean- and covariance structure modeling);
logistic regression; IRT/ DIF-based approaches; the multimethod approach; etcetera.
5.6
Equivalence of survey data: Relevance for international marketing
Van Herk, Poortinga, and Verhallen (2005) provide a framework for
establishing equivalence (and identifying sources of non-equivalence) in subsequent
stages of the international marketing/consumer research process. The stages
included in the framework are: 1. problem definition; 2. research design; 3. sample
selection; 4. data collection; 5. data editing and coding; and 6. analyzing and
interpreting data. The framework may certainly help marketing managers to find out
to which extent consumer perceptions can be considered equal across nations.
5.7
Assessing measurement invariance in cross-national consumer
research
In their very well-cited paper, Steenkamp and Baumgartner (1998)
demonstrate how cross-national equivalence (i.e., construct, measurement unit and
scalar equivalence) of multi-item survey instruments can be tested using mean- and
covariance structure (MACS) modeling. The test procedure proposed (see paper page
83) consists of evaluating a series of increasingly stringent measurement equivalence
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models. The paper also includes an empirical examination of the equivalence of the
consumer ethnocentrism scale in three European nations.
5.8
Response biases in marketing research
In their book chapter, Baumgartner and Steenkamp (2006) discuss the
potential (cross-national) bias caused by differences in respondents’ response styles.
In particular, the impact of social desirability responding, acquiescence response
style and extreme response style are examined in detail. The authors provide a stateof-the-art overview of known sociodemographic correlates of these response styles,
and argue that such response styles should be controlled for in order to ensure the
cross-national comparability of marketing/consumer data. In addition, the paper
discusses several strategies to (statistically) control for these response styles.
5.9
Summary
Specific issues that have been dealt with in this chapter include the ‘emic’ and
‘etic’ perspective on comparative (cross-national) research, different forms of biases
(e.g. construct, method, and item bias) and equivalence (e.g. construct, measurement
unit and scalar equivalence). In addition, various methods to identify non-equivalent
survey questions (across nations) have been introduced (e.g. logistic regression,
exploratory and confirmatory factor-analytical approaches, etc.) and demonstrated
by the instructor.
Questions
1. What is the crucial difference between an ‘etic’ and an ‘emic’ view on crossnational research? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both points
of view? Can these two opposite views be reconciled? If so, how?
2. How is bias and equivalence defined? Are these two concepts related? In what
sense?
3. What major types of bias are distinguished by F. van de Vijver?
4. What factors may (potentially) threaten the cross-national equivalence of
survey data? Discuss!
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5. What statistical methods can be used to detect cross-nationally biased survey
questions? What are the advantages and disadvantages of these methods?
6. What major types of response styles are discussed by Baumgartner &
Steenkamp (2006)? What individual is more likely to exhibit these response
styles? How can one adequately control for each of these response styles?
References
Baumgartner, H., & Steenkamp, J.-B.E.M. (2006). Response biases in marketing
research. In R. Grover, & M. Vriens (Eds.). The handbook of marketing research:
Uses, misuses, and future advances (pp. 95-109). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Berry, J.W. (1969). On cross-cultural comparability. International Journal of
Psychology, 4(2), 119-128.
Berry, J.W. (1989). Imposed etics – emics - derived etics: The operationalisation of a
compelling idea. International Journal of Psychology, 24, 721-735.
Craig, C.S, & Douglas, S.P. (2000). International marketing research. New York, NY:
Wiley.
Craig, C.S., & Douglas, S.P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.).
Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons: Chapter 6.
Cronbach, L.J., & Meehl, P.E. (1955). Construct validity in psychological tests.
Psychological Bulletin, 52, 281-302.
Davidson, A. R., Jaccard, J. J., Triandis, H. C., Morales, M.L., & Diaz-Guerrero, R.
(1976). Cross-cultural model testing: Toward a solution of the etic-emic
dilemma. International Journal of Psychology, 11(1), 1-13.
De Vera, M. V. (1985). Establishing cultural relevance and measurement equivalence
using emic and etic items. Unpublished dissertation. Urbana, IL: University of
Illinois.
Douglas, S. P., & Craig, C. S. (2006). On improving the conceptual foundations of
international marketing research. Journal of International Marketing, 14, 1-22.
Fontaine, J. R. J. (2005). Equivalence. In Encyclopedia of social measurement, Volume
1. Elsevier.
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Helfrich, H. (1999). Beyond the dillema of cross-cultural psychology: Resolving the
tension between etic and emic approach. Culture and Psychology, 5(2), 131-153.
Hulin, C.L. (1987). A psychometric theory of evaluations of item and scale
translations: Fidelity across languages. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology,
18, 115-142.
Kerlinger, F.N. (1986). Foundations of behavioral research. New York, NY: Hold,
Rinehart, and Winston.
Kumar, V. (2000). International marketing research. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Prentice-Hall.
Maheswaran, D., & Shavitt, S. (2000). Issues and new directions in global consumer
psychology. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 9(2), 59-66.
Nevis, E.C. (1983). Cultural assumptions and productivity. Sloan Management
Review, Spring, 11-29.
Nunnally, J.C. (1978). Psychometric theory (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Pike, K.L. (1954). Emic and etic standpoints for the description of behavior. In K.L.
Pike (Ed.), Language in relation to a unified theory of the structure of human
behavior (pp. 8-28). Glendale, IL: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Pike, K.L. (1971). Language in relation to a unified theory of the structure of human
behavior. The Hague, The Netherlands: Mouton.
Ployhart, R.E., Wiechmann, D., Schmitt, N., Sacco, J.M., & Rogg, K. (2003). The crosscultural equivalence of job performance ratings. Human Performance, 16(1), 4979.
Przeworski, A., & Teune, H. (1970). The logic of comparative social inquiry. New
York, NY: Wiley.
Ryan, A.M., Chan, D., Ployhart, R.E., & Slade, A.L. (1999). Employee attitude surveys
in a multinational organization: Considering language and culture in assessing
measurement equivalence. Personnel Psychology, 52, 37-58.
Schwab, D.P. (1980). Construct validity in organizational behavior. In L.L.
Cummings, & B.M. Staw (Eds.), Research in organizational behaviour, Vol. 2
(pp. 3-43). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
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Steenkamp, J.-B.E.M., & Baumgartner, H. (1998). Assessing measurement invariance
in cross-national consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 25, 78-90.
Triandis, H.C. (1972). The analysis of subjective culture. New York, NY: Wiley.
Triandis, H.C., Berry, J.W., Bristin, R.W., Draguns, J.G., Heron, A., Lambert, &
Lonner, W. (Eds.) (1980, 1981, 1985). Handbook of cross-cultural psychology
(Six volumes). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Triandis, H.C., & Marin, G. (1983). Etic plus emic versus pseudoetic: A test of the
basic assumption of contemporary cross-cultural psychology. Journal of CrossCultural Psychology, 14, 489-500.
Van de Vijver, F., (1998). Towards a theory of bias and equivalence. ZUMA
Nachrichten Spezial, January, 41-65.
Van Herk, H., Poortinga, Y.H., & Verhallen, T.M.M. (2005). Equivalence of survey
data: Relevance for international marketing. European Journal of Marketing,
39(3/4), 351-364.
Yaprak, A. (2003). Measurement problems in cross-national consumer research: The
state-of-the-art and future research directions. In S.C. Jain (Ed.), Handbook of
research in international marketing. Edward Elgar Publishing.
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Chapter 6
Chapter 6
6 Survey Instrument Design and Sampling in
International Marketing Research
I
n
this
chapter,
the
additional
material
discussed,
and
the
lectures/classroom sessions, specific attention will be paid to
methodological problems concerning question/item formulation in an
international research context (e.g. using items which require too much cognitive
effort). Strategies will be presented which could help repairing or avoiding such
problems. In addition, considerable attention will be given to the adequacy of
sampling procedures as applied in international marketing/consumer research. It
will be argued that the use of such procedures should be justified on a theoretical
basis.
Learning objectives
After reading this chapter, you should:
•
Have gained more insight into survey instrument design-related issues, e.g.
the formulation of adequate survey questions, the use of survey pretesting
methods, etc.;
•
Be aware of problems in sampling procedures and various data collection
procedures that can be used for international marketing/consumer research.
Keywords
Quality of survey questions/items, survey pretesting, international comparability of
survey questions/items, probabilistic and nonprobabilistic sampling, hypothesis
testing using (complex) survey data, theoretical justification of sampling procedures
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6.1
Chapter 6
Why it is easy to write bad questions
Fowler (2001) discusses eight important quality criteria to consider when
designing high quality survey questions. The quality criteria comprise: (1) contentrelated aspects; (2) cognitive aspects; (3) interpersonal standards related to the
interaction between interviewer and interviewee; (4) psychometric quality criteria;
(5) usability aspects (e.g. easiness of use); (6) multi-mode capability; (7) multilanguage capability; and (8) cost-effective use of survey time. Depending on the type
of study conducted different (types of) quality criteria may be essential to meet. As
such, the reader will find out that survey researchers have a difficult job in trying to
find the right balance between (sometimes conflicting) quality standards.
The applied marketing/consumer researcher will also greatly benefit from
Fowler’s assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of different methods to pretest
surveys. He demonstrates that, in ideal circumstances, the application of multiple
pretest methods is necessary to meet all quality criteria mentioned above. So, in
practice, a well-considered choice has to be made between alternative and
complementary survey pretest methods.
6.2
Assessing the difficulty of questions used in the ISSP-questionnaires,
the clarity of their wording and the comparability of responses
Van der Zouwen (2000) introduces a conceptual model describing the major
factors affecting response quality in surveys. Special attention is given to the clarity
(or lack of clarity) and difficulty of survey questions. Specific problems with the
clarity and difficulty of survey questions are discussed using numerous examples
taken from a wide range of surveys conducted within the International Social Survey
Program (ISSP). Additionally, survey questions exhibiting cross-national bias are
identified, and suggestions are given to avoid such problems. The paper provides
thus many examples of what may go wrong when developing survey items for
international research.
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6.3
Chapter 6
Sampling and weighting
In his book chapter, Mallett (2006) provides a non-technical introduction to the
methodological literature on sampling. It discusses the terms ‘sampling bias’ and
‘sampling error’; different forms of probabilistic sampling (e.g. simple random
sampling,
stratified
sampling,
and
cluster
sampling);
different
forms
of
nonprobabilistic sampling (e.g. judgment sampling, convenience, and quota
sampling); the principle of ‘design weighting’ to compensate for unequal selection
probabilities and the principle of ‘poststratification’ to support projections for many
subgroups of the sample which are typically of interest to the marketing researcher
(e.g. specific consumer segments). This book chapter provides an excellent overview
of essential terms and concepts related to statistical sampling.
6.4
Theoretical justification of sampling choices in international
marketing research: Key issues and guidelines for researchers
Reynolds, Simintiras, and Diamantopoulos (2003) argue in their paper that
most international marketing/consumer research studies have failed to provide
theoretical justification for the choice of sampling approach. One major theoretical
dilemma in international marketing/consumer research concerns the difficulty to
achieve both within-nation representativeness (as required [for instance] in
descriptive international studies) and between-nation comparability (as required [for
instance] in comparative and theoretical international studies). Reynolds et al.
present a theoretical framework (see Tables 1 and 2 in the paper) that helps
researchers to justify international sampling choices in relation to the main
objective(s) of the research study.
The paper is an eye-opener as it does succeed in dispelling some common
myths. For instance, the reader will learn that a probability sample is not always
necessary or desirable. In comparative and theoretical international studies, a
nonprobability sample will often be ‘good enough’!
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6.5
Chapter 6
Summary
In this chapter, specific attention has been paid to methodological problems
concerning question/item formulation in an international research context (e.g. using
items which require too much cognitive effort). Strategies were presented which
could help repairing or avoiding such problems. In addition, considerable attention
was given to the adequacy of sampling procedures as applied in international
marketing/consumer research. It has been argued that the use of such procedures
should be justified on a theoretical basis.
Questions
1. Why could one argue that even the best survey researchers may fail to write
high quality survey questions?
2. The International Social Survey Program (ISSP) aims at high quality standards
and has a tradition in implementing rigorous (pre)tests on the quality of the
survey items (to be) used. How could one explain that ISSP questionnaires still
contain quite some problematical items?
3. Compared to random sampling, convenience sampling is regarded as an
inferior sampling method. Could you think of any research situation in which
convenience sampling may be considered good enough?
4. Suppose you were to consult an international marketer on important issues to
be considered when deciding on the sampling strategy. What practical
recommendations would you give on the basis of the paper by Reynolds et al.
(2003)?
References
Craig, C.S., & Douglas, S.P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.).
Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons: Chapters 8 and 9.
Fowler, F.J. Jr. (2001). Why it is easy to write bad questions. ZUMA Nachrichten, 48,
49-66.
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Mallett, D. (2006). Sampling and weighting. In R. Grover, & M. Vriens (Eds.), The
handbook of marketing research: Uses, misuses, and future advances (pp. 159177). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Reynolds, N.L., Simintiras, A.C., & Diamantopoulos, A. (2003). Theoretical
justification of sampling choices in international marketing research: Key issues
and guidelines for researchers. Journal of International Business Studies, 34, 8089.
Scheuren, F. (2004). What is a survey? (Chapters 2-7; pp. 15-51; Chapter 10; pp. 63-67;
booklet downloadable from Internet: http://www.whatisasurvey.info)
Van der Zouwen, J. (2000). An assessment of the difficulty of questions used in the
ISSP-questionnaires, the clarity of their wording and the comparability of
responses. ZA-Information, 46, 96-114
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Chapter 7
Chapter 7
7 Cross-national Scale Development and Use in
International Marketing Research
M
easuring relevant constructs oftentimes occurs through the use
of
scales.
In
this
chapter
and
the
corresponding
lectures/classroom sessions some marketing-related papers
dealing with the development of consumer/marketing scales and/or the crossnational applicability of such scales are presented. The papers illustrate research
procedures which have been discussed in earlier chapters, and illustrate the practical
problems one may encounter when developing and using marketing/consumer
scales in cross-national settings.
Learning objectives
After reading this chapter, you should:
•
Be aware of issues regarding the development and use of scales to measure
constructs in an international marketing research context.
Keywords
Scale development, reliability and validity assessment, cross-national equivalence of
multi-item scales
7.1
Measuring export market orientation: Scale development and cross-
cultural validation
The paper by Cadogan, Diamantopoulos, and De Mortanges (1999) has been
selected as it clearly illustrates how the psychometric (i.e., measurement) quality of
multi-item scales may be assessed. Based on the Export Market Orientation (EMO)
concept the following phases in the research process are further examined: (1)
Conceptual underpinnings of the concept under study; (2) Item generation; (3)
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Instrument pretesting; (4) Data collection; (4) Psychometric assessment of the quality
of the scale (i.e., including reliability and validity assessment). In addition, the crossnational applicability of the EMO scale is assessed using survey data from the U.K.
and The Netherlands.
7.2
Cross-cultural similarities and differences in shopping for food
In this short paper, Brunso and Grunert (1998) introduce a 69-item (survey)
measurement instrument which has been designed to adequately measure the
concept of ‘food-related lifestyle’ (FRL). The concept FRL is defined as: “a system of
cognitive categories, scripts, and their associations, which relate a set of products to a set of
[consumer] values” (see paper page 146). The concept is based on theoretical
assumptions about what motivates and directs actual consumer behavior (e.g.
product purchase). As such, the FRL instrument may be of real use for actual
consumer research. In the paper, Brunso and Grunert examine the cross-national
validity of the instrument across four European nations (i.e., Denmark, Great Britain,
France and Germany). Using an advanced statistical modeling approach (i.e., meanand covariance structure models) they demonstrate that the cross-national
comparability of some of the items may still be enhanced. In their concluding
comments, they further elaborate on the trade-off between accounting for crossnational differences in FRL in an optimal way (i.e., the ‘depth’ of the FRL
instrument), and the requirement to establish measurement instruments which are to
a large extent cross-nationally valid in cross-national comparative research.
7.3
Cross-cultural invariance of measures of satisfaction and service
quality
Ueltschy, Laroche, Tamilia, and Yannopoulos (2004) assess to what extent a
measure of consumer satisfaction and (perceived) service quality exhibit
measurement equivalence across respondents from the US, English-speaking
Canadians (i.e., English questionnaire) and French-Canadian subjects (i.e., French
questionnaire). In their analyses, they distinguish invariant from non-invariant
measures, and test some interesting hypotheses concerning cross-group differences
in terms of satisfaction and (perceived) service quality.
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7.4
Chapter 7
Using ‘borrowed’ scales in cross-national research: A cautionary note
One fundamental problem with the direct application of marketing/consumer
scales as developed in one nation (i.e., the original context) in an international
context has to do with the assumed equivalence in meaning of the construct and the
universality of the theory underlying construct operationalization (i.e., in contexts
other than the original context). As shown in the paper by Douglas and Nijssen
(2003), this assumption may simply be unrealistic, making the direct application of
marketing/consumer developed in one nation meaningless. Douglas and Nijssen
support their argument using survey data on consumer ethnocentrism (i.e.,
CETSCALE) as collected in The Netherlands. They argue that the CETSCALE may be
meaningfully applied in large industrialized nations such as the U.S., France,
Germany and Japan, where similar feelings of patriotism, national superiority, and a
belief that domestic products are superior and of better quality have been identified.
In small market economies with open borders and a high proportion of foreign trade
such as The Netherlands such feelings may be less salient, implying that the theory
underlying construct operationalization (i.e., perceived superiority of domestic
products) may turn out to be invalid.
7.5
Summary
When using (multi-item) scales in international marketing research, it is of key
importance to assess their psychometric (i.e., measurement) quality. As shown in this
chapter, several research steps need to be taken as part of a psychometric quality
assessment. In a cross-national context, one is also required to ensure the crossnational validity of the scales used. As illustrated in several studies, this is not a
trivial task.
Questions
1. What major research steps are typically applied when assessing the
psychometric (i.e., measurement) quality of multi-item scales?
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2. What exactly is meant by the dimensionality of a multi-item scale? What
statistical method would you use to assess the dimensionality of a multi-item
scale?
3a. What is the difference between the following notions ‘reliability of a scale’
and ‘validity of a scale’?
3b. How can one adequately assess the reliability and validity of scales?
4. One could argue that researchers are paying a high price for having to
establish cross-nationally valid scales. Discuss!
5. What major issues are encountered when scales which are developed in one
cultural setting are directly applied in another cultural setting? Are these
issues relevant for the field of international marketing?
References
Brunso, K., & Grunert, K. G. (1998). Cross-cultural similarities and differences in
shopping for food. Journal of Business Research, 42, 145-150.
Cadogan, J. W., Diamantopoulos, A., & Mortanges, C. P. de (1999). A measure of
export market orientation: Scale development and cross-cultural validation.
Journal of International Business Studies, 30, 689-707.
Craig, C. S., & Douglas, S. P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.).
Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons: Chapter 10.
Douglas, S. P., & Nijssen, E. J. (2003). On the use of ‘borrowed’ scales in crossnational research: A cautionary note. International Marketing Review, 20, 621642.
Netemeyer, R.G., Bearden, W.O., & Sharma, S. (2003). Scaling procedures. Issues and
Applications. Thousand Oaks: Sage (pp. 18-85).
Ueltschy, L.C., Laroche, M., Tamilia, R.D., & Yannopoulos, P. (2004). Cross-cultural
invariance of measures of satisfaction and service quality. Journal of Business
Research, 57, 901-912.
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Chapter 8
Chapter 8
8 Cross-national Consumer Segmentation Studies
I
n this chapter and the corresponding lectures/classroom sessions a
series
of
published
papers
dealing
with
international
marketing/consumer segmentation research will be presented and
discussed. Special emphasis will be put on major (design) issues in international
consumer segmentation. As consumer segmentation is more applied at the crossnational level, consumer segmentation efforts are becoming increasingly complex
both in terms of the design of the study and the statistical analysis techniques used
(e.g. multi-level approaches). As consumers from multiple nations are jointly
segmented in global consumer segments, considerable attention should be given to
the danger of possible cross-national biases. The use of a multi-level framework (e.g.
to separate between-nation variation from within-nation variation) and the ability of
advanced statistical models to correct for certain response styles (i.e., mainly
acquiescence response style) comprise important methodological contributions to the
field of international marketing (research).
Learning objectives
After reading this chapter, you should:
•
Better understand the issue of cross-national consumer segmentation based on
a critical review of some examples of segmentation studies using consumer
data from multiple nations.
Keywords
International consumer segmentation, segmentation basis; segmentation approaches,
Means- End Theory, Means- End Chains, Means-End Data, multilevel modeling,
mixture modeling
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8.1
Chapter 8
Introducing international consumer segmentation
Consumer segmentation concerns the subdividing of the market into
increasingly homogeneous subgroups of consumers where any subgroup can be
selected as a target market to be met with a distinct marketing mix. In fact, consumer
segmentation is a compromise between mass marketing which assumes everyone can
be treated the same, and the assumption that every consumer needs a dedicated
marketing effort (i.e., micro marketing). International consumer segmentation differs
from domestic consumer segmentation in that consumers from different nations are
jointly segmented into global consumer segments. This chapter will only deal with
aspects of international consumer segmentation. As such, segmentation of products
or brands in international markets is not considered.
In marketing practice, consumer segmentation is often the first step in a threestep process. After the consumer segmentation is completed, market targeting and
market positioning will follow. Market targeting involves evaluating each market
(read: consumer) segment’s attractiveness (as well as for with the company’s vision
and core business activities), and selecting one or more of the market segments to
enter. Next, market positioning involves efforts to set the competitive positioning for
the product and creating a detailed marketing mix.
As mentioned before, a couple of papers will be discussed in this chapter.
Whereas the first paper is more theoretical discussing key issues in international
consumer segmentation, all other papers introduce interesting applications of
international consumer segmentation. Apart from their scientific relevance, all
papers discussed are relevant for management/marketing practice as well.
8.2
International market segmentation: Issues and perspectives
A more theoretical paper by Steenkamp and Ter Hofstede (2002) discusses key
issues in the field of international consumer segmentation. As a starting point, the
authors provide a literature overview of different empirical studies dealing with
international consumer segmentation. Based on this literature overview key
conceptual and methodological issues are identified, which deserve further attention in
future international segmentation studies. The conceptual issues comprise: (1) the
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level of (data) aggregation (e.g. individuals, nations, regions); (2) choice of
segmentation bases (i.e., variables used for the actual segmentation) given the
necessity to derive high-quality consumer segments; and (3) construct equivalence.
Methodological issues concern: (1) measure equivalence; (2) sampling equivalence;
(3) choice of segmentation method; and (4) considerations regarding sample size. The
authors strongly recommend: (1) the use of a two-stage segmentation approach (i.e.,
first decide on what nations to focus on and then segment all consumers across
nations); (2) the application of model-based segmentation approaches (see Ter
Hofstede et al., 1999; discussed later on); (3) to correct the data for cross-national
differences in response styles; (4) to apply sampling weights (when sample sizes are
disproportional to population sizes). Some of these issues have been discussed in
earlier chapters but are nicely integrated in a framework which is specifically
designed for international segmentation studies.
8.3
International market segmentation based on consumer-product
relations
Ter Hofstede, Steenkamp, and Wedel (1999) introduce a model-based
approach to segment consumers (from multiple nations) based on dichotomous
variables representing consumers’ perceived links between product attributes and
derived consumer benefits (i.e., AC links), as well perceived links between derived
consumer benefits and different human values that may guides people’s life (i.e., CV
links). Such kind of individual-level data is referred to as consumer Means-End data
(i.e., data linking product features with certain goals related to their consumption
[i.e., consumer benefits or the achievement of certain values in life]) in the marketing
literature. The international segmentation approach is based on the estimation of the
extent to which individuals are likely to indicate the different (AC and CV) links as
existent as opposed to non-existent. Advanced statistical methods (i.e., finite-mixture
models) are used to segment consumers in the international market. An attractive
feature of their modeling approach is the ability to correct for cross-national
differences in response style (i.e., mainly acquiescence response style). The new
segmentation approach is illustrated using Means-End data from a survey in 11
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European nations. As a result, global consumer segments are identified and assessed
with respect to their market potential.
8.4
Country and consumer segmentation: Multi-level latent class analysis
of financial product ownership
Bijmolt, Paas, and Vermunt (2004) present another interesting application of
international consumer segmentation in the financial market. Based on ownership
data of eight financial products consumers from 15 European nations are segmented
into global consumer segments. The authors use a two-level multi-level latent class
framework for this purpose. The two levels are ‘country’ and (nested within nation)
‘consumer’. The relative sizes of the consumer segments (i.e.., latent classes) are
considered to be nation-specific by the latent class model. The global segmentation
effort resulted in seven nation segments and 14 consumer segments which were
present in all nations. The global consumer segmentation is of great practical value as
it turned out that the ‘profile’ of the 14 consumer segments differed in terms of key
demographic variables (e.g. age, income, marital status, and type of community). As
such, the global consumer segments are actionable for international marketing
management.
8.5
Summary
In this chapter, special emphasis has been put on major (design) issues in
international consumer segmentation. As consumer segmentation is more applied at
the cross-national level, consumer segmentation efforts are becoming increasingly
complex both in terms of the design of the study and the statistical analysis
techniques used (e.g. multi-level approaches). As consumers from multiple nations
are jointly segmented in global consumer segments, considerable attention should be
given to the danger of possible cross-national biases. The use of a multi-level
framework (e.g. to separate between-nation variation from within-nation variation)
and the ability of advanced statistical models to correct for certain response styles
(i.e., mainly acquiescence response style) comprise important methodological
contributions to the field of international marketing (research).
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Questions
1. From a practitioner’s point of view what advantages does international
consumer segmentation offer over domestic consumer segmentation?
2. What
methodological
problems
complicate
international
consumer
segmentation efforts?
3. Ter Hofstede, Steenkamp, and Wedel (1999) use Means-End Data to segment
consumers in the international market? Why do they use such kind of data?
Suppose they would not have such data, what other kind of data would be
most interesting to segment consumers on (see also Steenkamp & Ter
Hofstede, 2002).
4. As demonstrated in Bijmolt, Paas, and Vermunt (2004), latent class
segmentation approaches offer a powerful analysis tool to segment consumers
in international markets. How do they manage to establish a link between key
demographical variables and the likelihood of belonging to particular
consumer segments? Explain!
References
Bijmolt, T.H.A., Paas, L.J., & Vermunt, J.K. (2004). Country and consumer
segmentation: Multi-level latent class analysis of financial product ownership.
International Journal of Research in Marketing, 21, 323-340.
Craig, C.S., & Douglas, S.P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.).
Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons: Chapters 11 and 12
Steenkamp, J.-B.E.M., & Ter Hofstede, F. (2002). International market segmentation:
Issues and Perspectives. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 19, 185213.
Ter Hofstede, F., Steenkamp, J.-B.E.M., & Wedel, M. (1999). International market
segmentation based on consumer-product relations. Journal of Marketing
Research, 36, 1-17.
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Chapter 9
Chapter 9
9 Challenges and Future Directions in International
Marketing Research: Capita Selecta
A
s conclusion, this final chapter, combined with the additional
literature and the lectures/classroom sessions, examines some
key challenges and future directions pertaining to conducting
international marketing research. As such, it sets the stage for the future of
international marketing research. Several of the themes addressed previously will be
brought together and insights provided into the challenges that researchers face as
markets become increasingly integrated and diverse at the same time. Technological
advances, new analytical techniques, ethical issues, as well as special challenges
pertaining to conducting research in emerging markets will be presented. In
addition, future developments will be discussed that concern cross-national data
comparability and equivalence, developing the research design, improving crosscultural data analysis, and the growth of internet research.
Learning objectives
After reading this chapter, you should:
•
Be aware of some key challenges and future directions pertaining to
conducting international marketing research.
Keywords
Challenges in international marketing research (Change, Complexity, Competition,
Conscience), future of international marketing research (Comparability and
equivalence, The research design, Analysis of cross-cultural data, Internet research)
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9.1
Chapter 9
Challenges in international marketing research
With the growing internationalization of business activities, the international
marketing research arena will be facing numerous challenges for the future.
According to Craig and Douglas (2005, p. 444), “firms attempting to compete
effectively in global markets are faced with four interrelated challenges, the
challenges of change, complexity, competition and conscience.” These challenges are
also relevant for marketing research firms.
Indeed, the general market place is rapidly changing. Developments in
marketing practices, mass communications technology, global en regional media, the
worldwide expansion of retailers, and improvements of the basic infrastructures
within countries affect both marketers and consumers and create new opportunities
for conducting international marketing research. Specific technological changes that
are of interest are computerized modes of data capture, using the Internet for data
access and collection, and the linking of information via Intranets.
On the other hand, the increase in the amount of research that is conducted
cross-nationally and specifically in emerging markets “adds to the complexity of
conducting marketing research as the range of research contexts becomes
increasingly heterogeneous” (Craig & Douglas, 2005, p. 444). Specifically, conducting
research in emerging international markets can be considered complex. This is
mainly due to contextual differences, difficulty of achieving comparable results, and
the dramatic variability in the cost of conducting marketing research in emerging
markets.
Furthermore, the international competitive environment in which research
companies have to operate in order to serve clients is becoming more and more
intense, making the ability to readily respond crucial. Indeed, “research firms must
be able to meet the changing needs of these [multinational] firms [that are their
clients] as they expand globally (Craig & Douglas, 2005, p. 455). When expanding the
geographical scope of their operations, research firms need to thoroughly consider
market presence and access, market knowledge, and local capability.
Finally, the issue of conscience can be considered an overarching challenge,
which pertains to the requirement that research firms should conduct marketing
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Chapter 9
research in a socially responsible way and on the highest ethical plane (Craig &
Douglas, 2005). By doing so, more trustworthy information can be generated for
managers to base their decisions on. Since they all have a specific role in the research
process and a different stake in the outcome, ethical considerations in international
marketing research specifically pertain to the four main parties involved in the
research process: (1) the respondent; (2) the interviewer; (3) the research supplier;
and (4) the client (Craig & Douglas, 2005).
9.2
Future directions in international marketing research
Craig and Douglas (2005) identify several interesting directions in the subject
area of international marketing research. They refer to these as “more fundamental
issues relating to the design and comparability of information collected in multiple
and diverse environments” (Craig & Douglas, 2005, p. 465). Four specific areas of
interest include:
•
The revisiting of comparability and equivalence
o Decentering theories and constructs
o Examining construct equivalence
o Greater reliance on unstructured approaches
•
Developing the research design
o Extending the range of contexts
o Establishing geospatial boundaries
o Isolating confounding influences
o Extending the time dimension
•
Improving the analysis of cross-cultural data
o Developing more rigorous and better calibrated measures
o Triangulation
o Fitting analytical methods
•
The growth of Internet research.
Below, several interesting articles pertaining to some challenges and the future
of conducting international marketing research are presented and briefly discussed.
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9.3
Chapter 9
Creating local brands in multilingual international markets
In light of the growing internationalization by companies, Zhang and Schmitt
(2001) discuss an interesting topic related to the future of international marketing
(research): the creation of local brands in multilingual international markets. Despite
the importance of decisions regarding international brand names, research in brand
naming has focused primarily on English name creation. The authors conceptualize
the local brand-name creation process in a multilingual international market. They
present a framework that incorporates (1) a linguistic analysis of three translation
methods – phonetic (i.e., by sound), semantic (i.e., by meaning), and phonosemantic
(i.e., by sound plus meaning) – and (2) a cognitive analysis focusing on the impact of
primes and expectations on consumer name evaluations. Using dual English-andChinese brand names, the authors show that the effectiveness of the translation
depends on the emphasis of the original English name (versus the Chinese name)
and the method of translation used previously for brand names within the same
category.
9.4
Summary
This chapter has brought together several of the themes addressed throughout
this textbook/course and provided insights into the challenges that researchers face
as markets become increasingly integrated and diverse at the same time.
Technological advances, new analytical techniques, ethical issues, as well as special
challenges pertaining to conducting research in emerging markets have been
presented. In addition, future developments have been discussed that concern crossnational data comparability and equivalence, developing the research design,
improving cross-cultural data analysis, and the growth of internet research.
Questions
1. Suppose you are a market researcher at beer brewery XYZ. Already for several
years, the brewery successfully brews ‘Cherry Ale’, a cherry-flavored beer, for
the local Dutch market. Research, however, has indicated that may also be a
potential demand for such beer in China. The product manager of ‘Cherry
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Ale’ asks you to investigate the brand name possibilities that may exist for
‘Cherry Ale’ in China. Given this request, you remember the article by Zhang
and Schmitt (2001) that you have once read during a course on International
Marketing Research. Based on the findings of the article, how would you go
about in order to create a possible brand name for ‘Cherry Ale’ in the Chinese
market?
2. If you were to formulate the most critical learning points concerning the use
and the conduct of international marketing research, what points would you
come up with, both from an academic and a managerial perspective?
3. Realizing now that international marketing research is rather complex, what
(possible) future developments would lead to a substantial reduction in this
complexity and why?
References
Craig, C. S., & Douglas, S. P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.).
Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons: Chapters 14 and 15.
Zhang, S., & Schmitt, B. H. (2001). Creating local brands in multilingual international
markets. Journal of Marketing Research, 38, 313-325.
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Marketing Research for Market Entry Decisions
MARKETING RESEARCH FOR
MARKET ENTRY DECISIONS
This case investigation was prepared by Marcel van Birgelen and Alain De Beuckelaer, Nijmegen School of
Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands as the basis for class discussion rather than to
illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. The investigation makes use of a
‘Note on the global beer industry’ prepared by David Wesley from Richard Ivey School of Business and obtained
from the European Case Clearing House.
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Marketing Research for Market Entry Decisions
Case investigation topic
Market research for international market selection for market entry
Case investigation description
To enter or not to enter, that’s the question…
Brewery Haacht is the largest Belgian brewery under 100% Belgian ownership.
It is the number 3 in Belgium considering market share and is named after the town
of Haacht in which proximity the brewery is located. For more information on the
brewery you may want to visit www.haacht.com.
The management of Haacht is wondering whether or not there will be a
market outside Belgium for their recently developed beer named Mystic. Mystic is a
refreshing lemon-flavoured white beer with a light ticklish sensation from citrus
fruits and a pleasant sweetness (www.mystic.be). Always having had an open mind
towards international expansion, the brewery is now highly interested in
opportunities for internationalizing Mystic to foreign markets as well.
According the brewery’s management, relevant questions that need to be
investigated are the following:
− What does the international beer market look like at the moment?
− What submarkets (e.g. in terms of product clusters) can be distinguished
internationally?
− What are the main players in the international beer market?
− What products and/or brands have been very successful internationally in
recent years? What factors have contributed to their success?
− How likely is it that foreign beer consumers will appreciate the specific taste
of Mystic? In other words, what are the chances of a favourable attitude
towards Mystic abroad?
− Is there already any competition in foreign markets for a beer with such
specific taste?
− Are there any non-consumer-related forces (e.g. political, legal) that may a
play role in determining the international chances of such a new beer?
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Marketing Research for Market Entry Decisions
− What would the international market potential for Mystic be? In which
market(s)?
− How should the foreign operation be designed (e.g. exporting, cooperating
with local partners)? Why?
The management turns to you and your research team to find an answer to
these questions…
Obviously, the collection and use of secondary data will be very important in
this respect. Crucial issues to consider are: (1) Where can the necessary information
be found to answer the questions raised?, and (2) How good would this information
be in terms of its quality? The ‘Note on the global beer industry’, which accompanies
this case investigation description and was prepared by David Wesley from Richard
Ivey School of Business, may be a good starting point for the case investigation.
The end-product of your investigation will be a research report to be prepared
by a team of course participants. The report should consist of 1 title page with the
names of the team members, 1 page with table of contents, 5 pages of main text
including an introduction, analysis, and conclusion (approximately 2500 words), and
1 page with references. The report will be presented by the team to fellow course
participants and the course instructors during a 15 minutes’ presentation.
The final grade for the assignment will be based on the presentation (25%) as
well as the content of the report (75%). In principle, the grade will be the same for all
team members. The grade for this assignment will count for 40% in the participant’s
final grade for the team assignments.
References
Wesley, D. (2003). Note on the global beer industry. Richard Ivey School of Business,
College of Business Administration, Northeastern University.
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A Cross-National Evaluation of Services Marketing
Efforts by Conducting International Marketing
Research in Practice
A CROSS-NATIONAL EVALUATION OF
SERVICES MARKETING EFFORTS BY
CONDUCTING INTERNATIONAL
MARKETING RESEARCH IN PRACTICE
This case investigation was prepared by Marcel van Birgelen and Alain De Beuckelaer, Nijmegen School of
Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands as the basis for class discussion rather than to
illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation.
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A Cross-National Evaluation of Services Marketing
Efforts by Conducting International Marketing
Research in Practice
Case investigation topic
Evaluating chances for effectively initiating, customizing, and/or harmonizing
services marketing efforts across a set of countries
Case investigation description
Managing service relations in a global context
Customers may engage in long-term relationships with companies for various
reasons. Customer relational benefits have been identified as a driving motivation to
do so. Establishing long-lasting relationships with customers from the company’s
country-of-origin already is a challenging task. However, doing so in a global
economy may even be more challenging.
In their paper “Managing service relationships in a global economy: Exploring
the impact of national culture on the relevance of customer relational benefits for
gaining loyal customers”, Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Gremler, and Paul (2005)
explore the impact of culture on the relevance of relational benefits for establishing
customer loyalty. Based on an extensive review of the literature, the authors develop
several propositions on the moderating role of national culture for the impact of
relational benefits on loyalty.
Hennig-Thurau et al. (2005) summarize their investigation as follows:
“Customer relational benefits have been identified as a driving motivation for consumers to
engage in long-term relationships with service providers. Such benefits can be expected to
play a crucial role in the success of service firms when extending their business into other
countries and cultures. Most of the previous discussion of relational benefits has been
conducted almost exclusively in North-American contexts and has not addressed the impact a
nation’s culture may have on the relevance of relational benefits for gaining relationship
outcomes such as customer loyalty. The aim of this paper is to deepen our understanding of
the role of relational benefits in developing long-term relationships with consumers in a crosscultural context. Specifically, propositions focusing on the moderating role of power distance,
individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, and uncertainty avoidance for the
benefits-outcomes relationship are developed. The paper concludes with a discussion of
potential implications for service firms and researchers.”
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International Marketing Research
A Cross-National Evaluation of Services Marketing
Efforts by Conducting International Marketing
Research in Practice
Unfortunately, the propositions developed by Hennig-Thurau et al. (2005)
have never been tested using empirical data. Using all the relevant knowledge and
insights you have obtained during the International Marketing Research course, it is
your task to fill in this gap by (as a team) conducting a real international marketing
research among real-life customers using a survey.
In order to do so effectively, you need to start by thoroughly reading the paper
by Hennig-Thurau et al. (2005). Furthermore, a thorough understanding of how to
conduct a survey-based research in an international marketing context is crucial. For
this, we (of course) refer to the insights you have obtained during the earlier sessions
of this course. In addition, consulting basic marketing research books may be useful
as well, such as:
• Malhotra, N.K., & Birks, D.F. (2006). Marketing research: An applied
approach. Harlow, etc.: Financial Times/Prentice Hall. Specifically, chapters
10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 25, and 26.
AND
•
Scheuren,
F.
(2004).
What
is
a
survey?
Downloadable
from:
http://client.norc.org/whatisasurvey/download.htm
With your team you are entirely free to select the specific service setting you
would like to focus on in your survey. However, it is important that you are able to
test the propositions in the paper by Hennig-Thurau et al. (2005) using the data you
are going to collect. You are requested to test as many proposition as possible taking
into account your samples’ specific (cultural) characteristics, as identified by
Hofstede, one of the leading academics in cross-cultural research.
In order to do so, it is obviously important to bring in some variation in your
sample with respect to respondents’ country of origin/cultural background. You can
do so, for instance, by comparing a Dutch sample with several non-Dutch samples
(e.g. German, French, your own country of origin, …., etc.). Besides a sample with
respondents from the country in which you currently reside and study, you are
expected to collect data from at least two other countries, with a minimum of 50
valid respondents per country. For a better understanding of the cultural
EU Grant Agreement Number: 29089-IC-1-2004-1-GR-ERASMUS-PRO-1
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International Marketing Research
A Cross-National Evaluation of Services Marketing
Efforts by Conducting International Marketing
Research in Practice
dimensions on which countries differ and country-level scores on these dimensions
we refer to:
•
Hofstede, G. (2001), Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors,
institutions, and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills, Sage.
AND/OR
•
Hofstede, G. (1991), Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind.
London: McGraw-Hill.
In order to complete this case investigation successfully the following steps
are crucial:
1. ‘Translate’ the propositions (or better, the variables that are central in these)
into survey items;
2. Make a thorough a-priori assessment of the cross-country usability and
equivalence of these items in terms of language, use of wording, meaning of
words, scaling procedures used, etc., etc.;
3. Put these items in a questionnaire. Do not forget to include relevant
background variables as well, such as gender, age, education,…, etc.;
4. Define your population and draw at least three samples (one Dutch, two nonDutch) keeping in mind the sampling-related issues when conducting
international marketing research;
5. Collect data from your samples by administering the questionnaire;
6. Enter the data in a statistical package, preferably SPSS;
7. Analyze the data and draw conclusions with respect to the propositions you
chose to test;
8. Last, but certainly not least: (with an open mind) discuss the results of your
research and draw implications from these, both academic as well managerial.
Particular attention should be paid to the cross-cultural usefulness of your
findings for a service provider that may be seeking international expansion. In
this respect, you should think in terms of customer perceptions, their effect on
outcomes such as customer satisfaction and loyalty, the cross-national
(in)equality of these effects, and the strategic consequences of all this for
services marketing strategy (e.g. the design of the service marketed, how it is
EU Grant Agreement Number: 29089-IC-1-2004-1-GR-ERASMUS-PRO-1
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International Marketing Research
A Cross-National Evaluation of Services Marketing
Efforts by Conducting International Marketing
Research in Practice
to be promoted, advertised and branded, how it will be delivered and by
whom, etc.)
The end-product of your research will be a research report. The report should
consist of 1 title page with the names of the team members, 1 page with table of
contents, 10 pages of main text including an introduction, analysis, and conclusion
(approximately 5000 words), and 1 page with references. Furthermore, the
questionnaire as well as the SPSS-output of your analysis should be put in an
appendix. In the report, it is important to provide a thorough justification of the
propositions under consideration given the cultural characteristics of your sample,
and to discuss how you developed the questionnaire, how you ensured its crosscountry usability/comparability/equivalence, how you collected the data, how you
analyzed the data, what the results of the data analysis are, and of course what the
implications of your results for marketing practice and academia are.
The report will be presented by the team to fellow course participants and the
course instructors during a 15 minutes’ presentation. The final grade for the team
assignment will be based on the presentation (25%) as well as the content of the
report (75%). In principle, the grade will be the same for all team members. The
grade for this assignment will count for 60% in the participant’s final grade for the
team assignments.
References
Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K.P., Gremler, D.D., & Paul, M. (2005). Managing
service relationships in a global economy: Exploring the impact of national
culture on the relevance of customer relational benefits for gaining loyal
customers. In P. Pauwels, & K. de Ruyter (Eds.), Advances in international
marketing; Vol. 15: Research on international service marketing, A state of the
art (pp. 11-31). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier.
Hofstede, G. (1991), Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. London:
McGraw-Hill.
Hofstede, G. (2001), Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors,
institutions, and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills: Sage.
EU Grant Agreement Number: 29089-IC-1-2004-1-GR-ERASMUS-PRO-1
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International Marketing Research
A Cross-National Evaluation of Services Marketing
Efforts by Conducting International Marketing
Research in Practice
Malhotra, N.K. & Birks, D.F. (2006). Marketing research: An applied approach.
Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice Hall. (specifically: Chapters 10, 12, 13, 14, 16,
17, 18, 25, and 26).
Scheuren,
F.
(2004).
What
is
a
survey?
Downloadable
from:
http://client.norc.org/whatisasurvey/download.htm
EU Grant Agreement Number: 29089-IC-1-2004-1-GR-ERASMUS-PRO-1
72