مشکلی در استانداردسازی بین المللی تحقیقات بازار: یک مطالعه موردی از خدمات B2B
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23909||2014||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7773 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), Volume 22, Issue 2, May 2014, Pages 84–92
One of the key issues for multinational corporations (MNCs) is whether to standardize their marketing approach across all countries or adapt their practices to fit each country. In order to make this decision, MNCs must determine if their marketing approach is cross-culturally appropriate and equivalent from country to country. Unfortunately, recent research indicates that the vast majority of academic studies do not adequately address the cross-cultural equivalence issue. The primary purpose of this article is to illustrate the problem of using a standardized, global, B2B research approach. The second goal is to show how cross-cultural equivalence can be identified and managed. The firm in this study is a Fortune 100 MNC that provides facilities management services in over 100 countries. This article compares the cross-cultural equivalence of customer satisfaction survey data from the US and from Japan. The results show that about half of the items typically used to measure dimensions of product and service quality as drivers of customer satisfaction lack cross-cultural equivalence. The implication is that the use of a fully standardized approach to global research must be questioned.
Multinational corporations (MNCs) play a significant role in the global economy. The 500 largest MNCs control 70% of all world trade and are vital for economic growth (World Trade Organization, 2011). One of the key issues for an MNC is the extent to which they standardize their operations and business practices globally (Jain, 2007). By standardizing their operations and business practices, an MNC can achieve economies of scale, benefit from organizational learning, and maintain better operational control through the use of standardized metrics. However, others contend that national cultures exert a powerful influence on individuals and organizations (Hofstede, 1997), and, therefore, on customer perceptions and preferences. This implies that MNCs should adapt to fit each culture, “thinking globally but acting locally”. Despite over twenty years of research and debate, the standardization versus adaptation debate is far from over. Our study examined the drivers of customer satisfaction from a US based Fortune 500 MNC that provides B2B services globally. The firm has broadly standardized its customer satisfaction research worldwide, using the same questionnaires and methodologies in all countries. The only research change from country to country was the translation of the questionnaire into the language of the host country. The firm implicitly assumed that business customers were essentially similar worldwide, having the same needs and performance expectations. Thus, the firm used a standardized customer satisfaction questionnaire worldwide to provide managers information about where internal, value creating processes needed to be improved. This study examined the appropriateness of using this standardized research approach for a global customer satisfaction program by examining whether cross-cultural equivalence of questionnaire items existed. While the MNC operates in over 100 countries, two of largest economies in the world were chosen for this cross-cultural comparison. The US was chosen since it is the largest economy in the world, home for the MNC, and the US is where the standardized research program was designed. Japan was chosen as the comparison country for several reasons. First, Japan is the third largest economy in the world. The second reason was pragmatic, large samples in both countries were available. Third, a good deal of research is available comparing these cultures (Hall, 1987 and Hofstede, 1997). These studies have found that the US and Japan differ on many measures of culture. Because of this cultural divergence, differences in response patterns to questions between these two countries should be more apparent in our research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The research presented here bridges the practitioner/academic divide. Specifically, the data came from a very large MNC that operates in well over 100 countries. Because the company was in B2B markets, they explicitly assumed business customers were pretty much the same in all countries. Therefore, the VP in charge of research gave explicit directions to standardize the worldwide research, despite warnings by the market research firm. We suspect that other MNCs have made the same decision. As Hult et al. (2008) also noted, the vast majority of academics apparently make the same assumption, and mistake. Most international research fails to test for cross-cultural equivalence of the questions, categories, and response scales. Failing to test for this can lead to erroneous conclusions from the data. For example, call handling performance is important in the US, but is unimportant in Japan. Using the construct as a driver of customer satisfaction is simply inappropriate in Japan. Our results show that nearly half of the items typically used to measure product and service quality in B2B relationships simply do not travel well cross-culturally.