مفهوم سازی و جداسازی تفاوت های فرهنگی در عملکرد داده ها در فن آوری بالا در بازار بین المللی صنعتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22812||2001||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7296 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 30, Issue 1, January 2001, Pages 23–35
In high-technology industrial markets, a shift can be observed from the mere delivery of industrial products to a total-product-offering, including both products and accompanying services. Because of the heterogeneity in buyers' demands, the measurement of an organization's performance on such total-product-offerings becomes quite difficult. This problem gets even more serious when one is trying to compare the relative performance of international subsidiaries, since factors such as cultural differences and their influence on how customers report on performance have to be taken into account. This article attempts to conceptualize cultural differences and uses these for establishing international equivalence in customer survey data on the performance on a high-tech total-product-offering. The results of an empirical study reveal that cultural differences indeed influence international performance measurement. After correction for these differences, conclusions can be drawn on the relative performance of different subsidiaries. Furthermore, it is shown that intangible service elements in a high-tech total-product-offering have the strongest influence on customer satis-faction.
Organizations operating in high-technology markets frequently face high levels of uncertainty and perceived risk . On the one hand, sellers must attempt to overcome hesitancies towards new technological products and services that their customers may have, while dealing with the continuous threat of competitors developing new technologies 2, 3 and 4. From a buyer perspective, it can be seen that buyers are confronted with high switching costs and asymmetrically dependent relationships, once they have adopted a technology from one specific seller 5, 6 and 7. To cope with the risks and uncertainties associated with high-technology industrial markets, sellers are attempting to find more effective ways of marketing their product offerings. In addition to providing buyers with quality products, sales persons' expertise, after-sales services, and effective communication are crucial factors for a supplier's success rate 8, 9, 10 and 11. In other words, buyers of high-technology products are searching for more than just a good product. They also demand additional services and support in case some problem arises and, therefore, they are looking for a total-product-offering. The demand for such a total-product-offering posits a number of challenges, both for marketing practitioners and marketing researchers. While both core product technology and a portion of accompanying services might be subject to a certain degree of standardization (e.g., delivery of additional supplies), it often remains difficult to achieve or guarantee uniformity in service levels. As customers are important participants in the service delivery process and no two customers are precisely equal, the service component of the total-product-offering (e.g., repair visit by a service engineer) may be heterogeneous . This nonstandardization issue makes it difficult for practitioners and marketing researchers to assess, control, and measure both performance on service quality and buyers' satisfaction with these services. This problem becomes even more serious when trying to study and compare customer evaluative judgements in international markets. To evaluate the relative performance of subsidiaries located in different countries, a multinational high-technology company inevitably has to take the cultural background of a country into account. To be able to make reliable inferences on the performance of international subsidiaries, it is necessary to separate or filter real subsidiary performance from cultural influences that might affect the way in which customers report on this perceived performance. In other words, international customer survey data on total-product-offering performance has to be made as much internationally equivalent as possible. In this article, we try to conceptualize and isolate cultural differences when studying the performance on a total-product-offering and its influence on overall customer satisfaction in an international high-tech business-to-business setting. Only after isolation and correction for these differences, comparative conclusions on relative subsidiary performance can be drawn and used for managerial purposes. The article is structured as follows. First, we provide a brief conceptualization of the total-product-offering in high-tech industrial markets. Subsequently, some general issues in international marketing research and the role of culture in international marketing (research) activities are discussed. After conceptualizing and operationalizing culture, we will report on the results of an empirical study designed to isolate and correct customer survey data for cultural differences to obtain international equivalent data on subsidiary performance. We conclude the article with a discussion of a number of theoretical and managerial implications for researchers and decision makers.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
International marketing research gives rise to several problems : basic problems like the researcher's self-reference and the interaction between culture and research methodology, and more specific problems throughout the various steps of the research process. In this article, we paid attention to the influence of a country's cultural characteristics on the reported performance on a total-product-offering in a high-tech industrial market. By taking cultural differences between countries into account and adjusting cross-national customer data for these differences, equivalent data is obtained that can be used for further analysis on the relative performance of different subsidiaries. Culture can be described along the four dimensions found by Hofstede . Our results suggest that there indeed exist culturally determined differences in the way respondents in different countries report on subsidiaries' total-product-offering performance and overall satisfaction. Culture seemed to have the highest impact in Austria, followed by the United Kingdom, and The Netherlands. In Norway the impact is the lowest, the performance scores on the four steps of the total-product-offering and overall customer satisfaction are not strongly influenced by the cultural characteristics of the country. Once cross-national equivalence in the customer data has been established, they can be used to study general relationships between total-product-offering performance and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, comparisons can be made between the relative performance of a multinational's subsidiaries that are located in different countries. In this study, we found the strongest significant relationships between performance on service elements, the service call and the service visit, and overall satisfaction. This result supports the previous conclusion of Shaw et al.  that in high-tech industrial markets high importance should be attributed to intangible attributes for companies to be successful. Customers attach importance to aspects like accessibility, responsiveness, competence, and understanding of the call handling staff and service technicians. The copier itself turned out to be the most important tangible element of the total-product-offering for the establishment of customer satisfaction. Additional supplies play a limited, although still significant, role for achieving satisfaction. Finally, when looking at subsidiaries' relative performance on the total-product-offering it can be concluded that the United Kingdom does a significantly worse job in getting customers satisfied. The performance is the best for the subsidiary in the Netherlands, followed by Norway and Austria. However, the difference between these last three countries is not significant.