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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|19776||2013||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||15313 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Research in Marketing, Volume 30, Issue 1, March 2013, Pages 83–97
The typical characteristics of subsistence markets challenge not only the generalizability of marketing theories but also the applicability and validity of the field research methods generally practiced by marketing researchers. This article discusses challenges inherent to field research in subsistence markets that may influence bias and equivalence. Moreover, it illustrates these challenges with a study of the market orientation–performance relationship in pastoralist subsistence markets in Ethiopia. Consistent with the market orientation framework, the study's findings suggest that creating value for customers should be a primary concern in subsistence markets, similar to high-income markets. This study provides practical guidance for future studies testing marketing theories in subsistence contexts.
In the past decade, marketing research has witnessed a growing interest in emerging markets (e.g., Erdem et al., 2006, Johnson and Tellis, 2008, Kwak et al., 2006 and Steenkamp and Burgess, 2002). Researchers have also begun to pay particular attention to subsistence markets within emerging markets: that is, to the four billion people living in subsistence conditions at the base of the income pyramid (Burgess and Steenkamp, 2006 and Prahalad and Hammond, 2002) who account for more than 40% of the gross national income of emerging markets (Schneider, 2004). In addition to their resource scarcity, consumers and (micro-)entrepreneurs in subsistence markets often lack formal institutional support, such that they have developed their own informal networks (Viswanathan, Rosa, & Ruth, 2010). This institutional distance from high-income markets (e.g., Rivera-Santos and Rufin, 2010 and Van den Wayenberg and Hens, 2012) challenges the generalizability of marketing theories that have emerged from high-income economies (Burgess & Steenkamp, 2006) as well as the validity and usefulness of extant research methods that provide a basis for most theory testing (e.g., Gau et al., 2012 and Viswanathan et al., 2008). A few pioneers have conducted marketing research in subsistence settings (Arnould, 1989, Shultz and Shapiro, 2012 and Van Tilburg, 2010), and this research stream has received new impetus from initiatives concerning transformative consumer research (e.g., Mick, Pettigrew, Pechmann, & Ozanne, 2012), international corporate social responsibility research (e.g., Smith, Bhattacharya, Vogel, & Levine, 2010), and consumer literacy investigations (Viswanathan, 2012). Such initiatives have prompted further qualitative research exploring some of the significant contextual differences between high-income and subsistence markets (e.g., Abdelnour and Branzei, 2010, Arnould, 2001, Arnould and Mohr, 2005, Kambewa et al., 2008 and Viswanathan et al., 2010). In turn, the collective qualitative insights from these studies have pushed research on subsistence markets to a more mature stage that supports quantitative research approaches, theory testing, and quantified insights into the mechanisms of subsistence markets. However, some authors recommend taking certain measures when conducting market research in subsistence markets (Krämer and Beltz, 2008, Sridharan and Viswanathan, 2008 and Viswanathan et al., 2008), such as accounting for context-specific measurement issues (e.g., Guesalaga and Marshall, 2008 and Toledo-López et al., 2012) and adapting techniques for experimental studies to the institutional context (Gau et al., 2012, Hounhouigan et al., 2012 and Viswanathan et al., 2008). Burgess and Steenkamp (2006) outline the basic scientific processes that are inherent to studying marketing theories in emerging markets: namely, theory development, the acquisition of meaningful data, data analysis, and learning. We focus on expanding knowledge about the data acquisition and analysis steps by noting the challenges that arise from field research in subsistence markets that potentially impact equivalence and bias. Moreover, we provide guidance on how to address these challenges. Through this approach, we aim to extend the methodological marketing literature to subsistence markets (e.g., Churchill, 1979, Rindfleisch et al., 2008, Rossiter, 2002, Steenkamp and Ter Hofstede, 2002 and Steenkamp and van Trijp, 1991). To illustrate typical challenges that arise when performing fieldwork in subsistence markets and to suggest appropriate responses, we present a study on the market orientation–performance relationship among the subsistence population of pastoralists in East Africa (i.e., Ethiopia). The relationship between market orientation and performance is among the most studied in the marketing literature (Cano et al., 2004 and Kirca et al., 2005). However, because subsistence contexts differ dramatically from the North American and Western European contexts in which market orientation theory was developed, the market orientation and performance constructs and the rationale for their relationships may differ as well. Our empirical application illustrates typical methodological challenges arising in subsistence marketplaces and suggests means of overcoming them. We show how the generalizability of marketing theories can be assessed in this challenging context, which differs remarkably from high-income Western markets in which most marketing theories have been developed. In the next sections, we detail the institutional characteristics of subsistence markets and how they affect field research through their impact on bias and equivalence. After we consider how the characteristics of subsistence markets might influence the market orientation–performance relationship, we offer several hypotheses. These hypotheses are then formally tested in an empirical study. We conclude with a discussion and several implications, including concrete suggestions for further quantitative studies in subsistence contexts.