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The influence of intra-national cultural heterogeneity on product standardisation and adaptation: A qualitative study

Poulis, Konstantinos and Poulis, Efthimios (2013) 'The influence of intra-national cultural heterogeneity on product standardisation and adaptation: A qualitative study.' International Marketing Review, 30 (4). pp. 357-383. ISSN 0265-1335

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Abstract

Purpose – Challenging assumptions about the uni-nationality of markets, the paper aims to understand the role of intra-national cultural heterogeneity in product standardisation and adaptation strategies of multinational firms in a single-country, multicultural market. Design/methodology/approach – The study is set against the dominant backdrop of deductive reasoning in the field and adopts a qualitative mode of inquiry that promotes empathy with the setting. Through a multiple case study approach among paradigmatic cases, it sheds light on the aforementioned objective. Findings – The paper conceptualises the term “layers of adaptation” and reveals that firms use multi-dimensional standardisation/adaptation configurations. It explicates sub-contextual variations that move beyond assumptions of intra-national sameness and identifies their influence on unnoticed, more agile forms of adaptation. Research limitations/implications – Findings are limited to the analysis of practices in a specific setting. More studies across diverse contexts are necessary in order to expand the boundaries of relevant investigations and enrich the process of theorising. Practical implications – The findings caution that lack of internal sameness in multicultural markets may necessitate a multi-layered standardisation/adaptation logic that considers varying “depths” and “breadths” of relevant marketing strategies. Originality/value – The paper challenges assumptions that have characterised the standardisation and adaptation discourse, conceptualises the term “layers of adaptation” to denote the need for more considerate market responses and highlights the usefulness of qualitative investigations towards theoretical grounding of the field.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adaptation; multicultural; product adaptation; qualitative research; standarization
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2013 09:27
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7048

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