Advertisement

Challenges in Conducting International Market Research

  • Andreas Engelen
  • Monika Engelen
  • C. Samuel Craig
Living reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter explains the need to conduct international market research, identifies the main challenges researchers face when conducting marketing research in more than one country and provides approaches for addressing these challenges. The chapter examines the research process from the conceptual design of the research model to the choice of countries for data collection, the data collection process itself, and the data analysis and interpretation. Challenges identified include differentiating between etic and emic concepts, assembling an adequate research unit, ensuring data collection equivalence, and reducing ethnocentrism of the research team. We draw on the extant literature to determine methods that address these challenges, such as an adapted etic or linked emic approach, to define the concept of the culti-unit, and to identify prominent approaches to cultural dimensions and collaborative and iterative translation and statistical methods for testing equivalence. This chapter provides researchers with the methods and tools necessary to derive meaningful and sound conclusions from research designed to guide international marketing activities.

Keywords

International research Cross-cultural research Emic/etic constructs National indicators National culture Data equivalence Culti-unit Ethnocentrism Back-translation 

References

  1. Adler, N. (2002). International dimensions of organizational behavior. Cincinnati: South-Western College Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Appadurai, A. (1990). Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy. Public Culture, 2, 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Auh, S., Menguc, B., Spyropoulou, S., Wang, F. (2015). Service employee burnout and engagement: The moderating role of power distance orientation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 1–20. 10.1007/s11747-015-0463-4.Google Scholar
  4. Bagozzi, R., Yi, Y., & Phillips, L. (1991). Assessing construct validity in organizational research. Administrative Science Quarterly, 36(3), 421–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, T. E. (2005). Potential problems in the statistical control of variables in organizational research: A qualitative analysis with recommendations. Organizational Research Methods, 8(3), 274–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bensaou, M., Coyne, M., & Venkatraman, N. (1999). Testing metric equivalence in cross-national strategy research: An empirical test across the. Strategic Management Journal, 20(7), 671–689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berry, J. (1980). Introduction to methodology. In H. Triandis & J. Berry (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology (pp. 1–28). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  8. Berry, J. (1989). Imposed etics-emics-derived etics: The operationalization of a compelling idea. International Journal of Psychology, 24(6), 721–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Beugelsdijk, S., Maseland, R., & van Hoorn, A. (2015). Are scores on Hofstede’s dimensions of national culture stable over time? A cohort analysis. Global Strategy Journal, 5(3), 223–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Braun, W., & Warner, M. (2002). The “Culture-Free” versus “Culture-Specific” management debate. In M. Warner & P. Joynt (Eds.), Managing across cultures: Issues and perspectives (pp. 13–25). London: Thomson Learning.Google Scholar
  11. Brewer, P., & Venaik, S. (2014). The ecological fallacy in national culture research. Organization Studies, 35(7), 1063–1086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brislin, R. (1980). Translation and content analysis of oral and written materials. In H. Triandis & J. Berry (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology (pp. 389–444). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  13. Burgess, S., & Steenkamp, J.-B. (2006). Marketing renaissance: How research in emerging markets advances marketing science and practice. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 23(4), 337–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cadogan, J. (2010). Comparative, cross-cultural, and cross-national research: A comment on good and bad practice. International Marketing Review, 27(6), 601–605.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chen, F. F. (2008). What happens if we compare chopsticks with forks? The impact of making inappropriate comparisons in cross-cultural research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1005–1018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cheung, G. W., & Chow, I. H.-S. (1999). Subcultures in Greater China: A comparison of managerial values in the People’s Republic of China. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 16(3), 369–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Child, J., & Warner, M. (2003). Culture and management in China. In M. Warner (Ed.), Culture and management in Asia (pp. 24–47). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Clarke III, I. (2001). Extreme response style in cross-cultural research. International Marketing Review, 18(3), 301–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Craig, C. S., & Douglas, S. P. (2005). International marketing research (3rd ed.). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  20. Craig, C. S., & Douglas, S. P. (2006). Beyond national culture: Implications of cultural dynamics for consumer research. International Marketing Review, 23(3), 322–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Demangeot, C., Broderick, A., & Craig, C. S. (2015). Multicultural marketplaces. International Marketing Review, 32(2), 118–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Deshpandé, R., & Farley, J. (2004). Organizational culture, market orientation, innovativeness, and firm performance: An international research odyssey. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 21(1), 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dheer, R. J. S., Lenartowicz, T., & Peterson, M. F. (2015). Mapping India’s regional subcultures: Implications for international management. Journal of International Business Studies, 46(4), 443–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Douglas, S. P., & Craig, C. S. (1997). The changing dynamic of consumer behavior: Implications for cross-cultural research. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 14(4), 379–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Douglas, S., & Craig, C. (2006). On improving the conceptual foundations of international marketing research. Journal of International Marketing, 14(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Douglas, S. P., & Craig, C. S. (2007). Collaborative and iterative translation: An alternative approach to back translation. Journal of International Marketing, 15(1), 30–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Douglas, S. P., & Craig, C. S. (2011). The role of context in assessing international marketing opportunities. International Marketing Review, 28, 150–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Engelen, A., & Brettel, M. (2011). Assessing cross-cultural marketing theory and research. Journal of Business Research, 64(5), 516–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Featherstone, M. (1990). Global culture: Nationalism, globalism and modernism. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  30. Geyskens, I., Steenkamp, J., & Kumar, N. (2006). Make, buy, or ally: A transaction cost theory meta-analysis. Academy of Management Journal, 49(3), 519–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ghauri, P., & Cateora, P. (2010). International marketing (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  32. von Glinow, M. A., Shapiro, D. L., & Brett, J. M. (2004). Can we talk, and should we? Managing emotional conflict in multicultural teams. Academy of Management Review, 29(4), 578–592.Google Scholar
  33. Hartog, D. (2004). Assertiveness. In R. House, P. Hanges, M. Javidan, P. Dorfman, & V. Gupta (Eds.), Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies (pp. 395–436). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. He, Y., Merz, M. A., & Alden, D. L. (2008). Diffusion of measurement invariance assessment in cross-national empirical marketing research: perspectives from the literature and a survey of researchers. Journal of International Marketing, 16(2), 64–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  36. Hofstede, G., & Bond, M. (1988). The confucius connection: From cultural roots to economic growth. Organizational Dynamics, 16(4), 5–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hofstede, G., Hofstede, J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations – software of the mind: Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. New York: Mcgraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  38. Hohenberg, S., & Homburg, C. (2016). Motivating sales reps for innovation selling in different cultures. Journal of Marketing, 80(2), 101–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Homburg, C., Cannon, J. P., Krohmer, H., & Kiedaisch, I. (2009). Governance of international business relationships: A cross-cultural study on alternative governance modes. Journal of International Marketing, 17(3), 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. House, R., Javidan, M., & Dorfman, P. (2001). Project GLOBE: An introduction. Applied Psychology. An International Review, 50(4), 489–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hult, T., Ketchen, D., Griffith, D., Finnegan, C., Gonzalez-Padron, T., Harmancioglu, N., et al. (2008). Data equivalence in cross-cultural international business research: Assessment and guidelines. Journal of International Business Studies, 39(6), 1027–1044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Javidan, M., House, R., Dorfman, P., Hanges, P., & Luque, M. d. (2006). Conceptualizing and measuring culture and their consequences: A comparative review of GLOBE’s and Hofstede’s approaches. Journal of International Business Studies, 37, 897–914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. de Jong, M. G., Steenkamp, J.-B. E. M., Fox, J.-P., & Baumgartner, H. (2008). Using item response theory to measure extreme response style in marketing research: A global investigation. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 45(1), 104–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Katsikeas, C. S., Samiee, S., & Theodosiou, M. (2006). Strategy fit and performance consequences of international marketing standardization. Strategic Management Journal, 27(9), 867–890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kirkman, B. L., Chen, G., Farh, J.-L., Chen, Z. X., & Lowe, K. B. (2009). Individual power distance orientation and follower reactions to transformational leaders: A cross-level, cross-cultural examination. Academy of Management Journal, 52(4), 744–764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kluckhohn, C. (1951). The study of culture. In D. Lerner & H. Lasswell (Eds.), The policy standard (pp. 393–404). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Knight, G. A., & Cavusgil, S. T. (2004). Innovation, organizational capabilities, and the born-global firm. Journal of International Business Studies, 35, 124–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lenartowicz, T., & Johnson, J. P. (2002). Comparing managerial values in twelve Latin American countries: An exploratory study. Management International Review (MIR), 42(3), 279–307.Google Scholar
  49. Lenartowicz, T., Johnson, J. P., & White, C. T. (2003). The neglect of intracountry cultural variation in international management research. Journal of Business Research, 56(12), 999–1008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lytle, A., Brett, J., Barsness, Z., Tinsley, C., & Janssens, M. (1995). A paradigm for confirmatory cross-cultural research in organizational behavior. Research in Organizational Behavior, 17, 167–214.Google Scholar
  51. McClelland, D. (1961). The achieving society. Princeton: Van Nostrand Co.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Minkov, M. (2007). What makes us different and similar: A new interpretation of the world values survey and other cross-cultural data. Sofia: Klasika y Stil Publishing.Google Scholar
  53. Minkov, M., & Hofstede, G. (2012). Is national culture a meaningful concept? Cultural values delineate homogeneous national clusters of in-country regions. Cross-Cultural Research, 46, 133–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mullen, M. (1995). Diagnosing measurement equivalence in cross-national research. Journal of International Business Studies, 26(3), 573–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Nakata, C., & Huang, Y. (2005). Progress and promise: The last decade of international marketing research. Journal of Business Research, 58(5), 611–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Naroll, R. (1970). The culture-bearing unit in cross-cultural surveys. In R. Naroll & R. Cohen (Eds.), A handbook of methods in cultural anthropology (pp. 721–765). New York: Natural History Press.Google Scholar
  57. Petersen, J. A., Kushwaha, T., & Kumar, V. (2015). Marketing communication strategies and consumer financial decision making: The role of national culture. Journal of Marketing, 79(1), 44–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Petruzzellis, L., & Craig, C. S. (2016). Separate but together: Mediterranean identity in three countries. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 33(1), 9–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pike, K. (1967). Language in relation to a unified theory of the structure of human behavior. The Hague: Mouton & Co.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Podsakoff, P., MacKenzie, C., Lee, J., & Podsakoff, N. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ralston, D. A., Holt, D. H., Terpstra, R. H., & Yu, K.-C. (1997). The impact of national culture and economic ideology on managerial work values: A study of the United States, Russia, Japan, and China. Journal of International Business Studies, 28(1), 177–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Riordan, C. M., & Vandenberg, R. J. (1994). A central question in cross-cultural research: Do employees of different cultures interpret work-related measures in an equivalent manner? Journal of Management, 20(3), 643–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Saeed, S., Yousafzai, S. Y., & Engelen, A. (2014). On cultural and macroeconomic contingencies of the entrepreneurial orientation–performance relationship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(2), 255–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Samaha, S. A., Beck, J. T., & Palmatier, R. W. (2014). The role of culture in international relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing, 78(5), 78–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sarros, J., & Woodman, D. (1993). Leadership in Australia and its organizational outcomes. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 14, 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Schaffer, B. S., & Riordan, C. M. (2003). A review of cross-cultural methodologies for organizations research: A best-practices approach. Organizational Research Methods, 6(2), 169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Schwartz, S. (1994). Beyond individualism/collectivism: New cultural dimensions of values. In U. Kim, H. Triandis, C. Kagitcibasi, S. Choi, & G. Yoon (Eds.), Individualism and collectivism: Theory, methods and applications (pp. 85–119). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  68. Sheng, S., Zhou, K. Z., & Li, J. J. (2011). The effects of business and political ties on firm performance: Evidence from China. Journal of Marketing, 75(1), 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Siew Imm, N., Lee, J. A., & Soutar, G. N. (2007). Are Hofstede’s and Schwartz’s value frameworks congruent? International Marketing Review, 24(2), 164–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sivakumar, K., & Nakata, C. (2001). The stampede toward Hofstede’s framework: Avoiding the sample design pit in cross-cultural research. Journal of International Business Studies, 32(3), 555–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Soares, A., Farhangmehr, M., & Shoham, A. (2007). Hofstede’s dimensions of culture in international marketing studies. Journal of Business Research, 60, 277–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sondergaard, M. (1994). Research note: Hofstede’s consequences: A study of reviews, citations and replications. Organization Studies, 15(3), 447–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Steenkamp, J. (2001). The role of national culture in international marketing research. International Marketing Review, 18(1), 30–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Steenkamp, J. (2005). Moving out of the U.S. Silo: A call to arms for conducting international marketing research. Journal of Marketing, 69(4), 6–8.Google Scholar
  75. Steenkamp, J.-B., & Baumgartner, H. (1998). Assessing measurement invariance in cross-national consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 25, 78–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Steenkamp, J., Hofstede, F., & Wedel, M. (1999). A cross-national investigation into the individual and national cultural antecedents of consumer innovativeness. Journal of Marketing, 63(2), 55–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Tan, J. (2002). Culture, nation, and entrepreneurial strategic orientations: Implications for an emerging economy. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 26(4), 95–111.Google Scholar
  78. Taras, V., Steel, P., & Kirkman, B. L. (2012). Improving national cultural indices using a longitudinal meta-analysis of Hofstede’s dimensions. Journal of World Business, 47(3), 329–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tellis, G. J., Prabhu, J. C., & Chandy, R. K. (2009). Radical innovation across nations: The preeminence of corporate culture. Journal of Marketing, 73(1), 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Triandis, H. (1972). The analysis of subjective culture. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  81. Triandis, H. (1994). Culture and social behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  82. Tsui, A. S., Nifadkar, S. S., & Ou, A. Y. (2007). Cross-national, cross-cultural organizational behavior research: Advances, gaps, and recommendations. Journal of Management, 33(3), 426–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Vida, I., Obadia, C., & Kunz, M. (2007). The effects of background music on consumer responses in a high-end supermarket. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 17(5), 469–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. van Vijver, F., & Leung, K. (1997). Methods and data analysis for cross-cultural research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  85. Waldman, D. A., de Luque, M. S., Washburn, N., House, R. J., Adetoun, B., Barrasa, A., et al. (2006). Cultural and leadership predictors of corporate social responsibility values of top management: A GLOBE study of 15 countries. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(6), 823–837.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Wong, N., Rindfleisch, A., & Burroughs, J. (2003). Do reverse-worded items confound measures in cross-cultural consumer research?: The case of the material values scale. Journal of Consumer Research, 30(1), 72–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Zhou, K. Z., Su, C., & Bao, Y. (2002). A paradox of price-quality and market efficiency: A comparative study of the US and China markets. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 19(4), 349–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Engelen
    • 1
  • Monika Engelen
    • 2
  • C. Samuel Craig
    • 3
  1. 1.TU Dortmund UniversityDortmundGermany
  2. 2.TH Köln, Cologne University of Applied ScienceKölnGermany
  3. 3.New York University, Stern School of BusinessNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations