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Journal of Business Research 64 (2011) 516–523

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Journal of Business Research

Assessing cross-cultural marketing theory and research
Andreas Engelen ⁎, Malte Brettel
RWTH Aachen University, Templergraben 64, 52062 Aachen, Germany

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 1 May 2009
Received in revised form 1 March 2010
Accepted 1 April 2010
Available online 21 May 2010
Keywords:
Cross-cultural research
Cross-cultural marketing
Cultural dimensions
Literature review
Content analysis

a b s t r a c t
A content analysis of 99 articles focuses on the comparative cross-cultural marketing research in 14 leading marketing and business journals from 1990 to 2008. The content analysis indicates strong growth in crosscultural studies, especially in terms of studies on consumer attitudes and behavior and on promotion-related topics. This study classifies articles according to a series of conceptual (e.g., cultural dimensions employed in the study) and methodological (e.g., use of analytical technique) criteria. Although researchers have advanced in both conceptual and methodological respects, the studies still focus strongly on the dimensions from Hofstede (2001); methodologically, the dominance of two-country studies is problematic. Further, survey data from North America and Europe and researchers based and trained in North America and Europe are still dominant in the research field.

© 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Marketing research ascribes a major role to the construct of national culture (Douglas & Craig, 2006) primarily because cultural values are powerful forces that shape perceptions and behaviors (Triandis, 2000). In addition, comparative cross-cultural studies in marketing show that the cultural predispositions of US researchers who have dominated the field in the last few decades (Burgess & Steenkamp, 2006, Steenkamp, 2005) shape traditional academic marketing knowledge. Further, national cultures are a powerful means by which to examine the generalizability of marketing theories and to reveal their boundary conditions (Clark, 1990, Triandis, 1994). Overall, then, studies that incorporate the national culture construct in theoretical frameworks substantially advance marketing as an academic discipline (Steenkamp, 2005).

Because of the strong relevance of these comparative studies to the advancement of marketing science, the purpose of the present study is to provide a detailed content analysis of cross-cultural studies in marketing. A content analysis is important because, given the understanding of national culture as a force that impacts individual behavior, cross-cultural marketing's numerous publication outlets are all likely to disseminate research reports, and this broad sourcing makes getting a basic overview difficult and time-consuming for researchers.

This article reports a study that identifies and classifies 99 crosscultural studies in the major marketing and business journals from 1990 to 2008 according to their publication outlets, authorship,

⁎ Corresponding author.
E-mail address: engelen@win.rwth-aachen.de (A. Engelen).
0148-2963/$ – see front matter © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2010.04.008

research streams, and major conceptual and methodological issues. Building upon this literature review, the present study addresses two research questions: how has the field of cross-cultural marketing developed during the last two decades? How should it develop in the future in order to exploit its full potential for marketing science? In the remainder of the study, Section 2 presents the methodology of the literature review. Section 3 lays out the development of the research in terms of published articles per journal and the pattern of authorship. Section 4 classifies cross-cultural studies according to a set of conceptual criteria (e.g., use of cultural dimensions). Section...
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