Challenges in Conducting International Market Research

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


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.


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


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Engelen
    • 1
    Email author
  • 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

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