Cultural Factors In International Marketing Cultural Studies Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In an period of comparatively instantaneous contact sandwiched between organization across dwindling globe, why should one think about enlightening remoteness at all? Simply because culture affects virtually all of human behavior. For example, culture has been defined as ''the software of the mind''. Hofstede's all-embracing follow a line of investigation on culture has helped conceptualize one of the most fashionable theories of cultural types, as evidenced by well over 1000 documents from Cultural cost reported in the Social Science documents since 1980. His come within reach of to culture in the beginning acknowledged four causal value proportions: (1) distinctiveness vs. communalism, (2) large vs. small influence distance, (3) brawny vs. weak improbability prevention, and (4) manliness vs. femininity (a fifth measurement, long- vs. quick-fix point of reference was supplementary later). It was based on 50,000 personal possessions of managers from transnational and intercontinental corporations from over 100 countries. In their come within reach of, cultures differ in the unambiguous solutions they wish to problems. They then classify cultures based on seven essential dimensions. Their come within reach of is similar in some greetings to Hofstede's dimensions. While the above approach are relevant to the enlargement of numerous types of decision-making strategies and diplomacy, this study is disturbed unambiguously with communication issues.

An approach to national culture that was developed by the cultural anthropologist Hall is, thus, appealing in this context. In fact, Hall declared that ''culture is communication''. If a person is to communicate in actual fact with an important person from another culture, he/she must be able to ''decode'' the memorandum appropriately. Without such a code-breaker, two people from poles apart culture may see or hear the same message but may computer screen that message very in a different way by unconsciously ignoring or greater than ever the magnitude of an assortment of parts of the message. In adding together, one may read between the lines the message content differently, ''seeing'' or ''hearing'' the message so that it is consistent with his or her cultural norms. The cultural context (HC vs. LC), consequently, may have an impact on how any communication are sent sandwiched between promotion channel buddies to achieve successful communication (frequency of announcement) as well as the type, or form, of the communication themselves. To determine the fender-bender of cultural distance on communication in international marketing channels, a cram of communication among US exporters and their distributors in foreign countries was undertaken. Since all of the exporters in the study were US-based, by definition they are all LC. on the other hand, to evaluate the effect of cultural distance on communication in the exporter-distributor marketing channel, foreign distributors from a spacious diversity of countries around the globe were required.

Contacts incorporated senior manager and other competent personnel most household with their firm's unfamiliar distributors. In responding to the questionnaire, managers in the sell to other countries firms were asked to consider the message that they have with only one foreign distribution partner and to indicate the country of that foreign distributor. Eighteen nations other than the United States were represented in the study and they included countries on five continents. Communication regularity was assessed by asking the export managers to point toward the regularity of their communication with the foreign dispenser over a era of 4 weeks. They provided in sequence about how commonly they contact the foreign dispenser via telephone, fax, e-mail, and written letters. A five-point Liker balance ranging from incredibly occasionally to very commonly be used to compute respondents' perception of foreign distributors' get in touch with frequency. These respondents also provided in succession about how habitually they were contacted by the foreign vending machine via telephone, fax, e-mail, and written letters using the same five-point Lakers scale ranging from very singularly to very on a regular basis.

Based on Hall's classification.

B. Different aspects of culture

In order to contribute the uppermost level of considerate brilliant for measure respondents' discrimination of how frequently they compulsory to switch over a few words due to educational distance, only the very recurrently grouping is report here. By focusing on the exporters' responses at this very far above the ground level of announcement frequency, the chance of including what might be well thought-out ''normal'' everyday announcement sandwiched between the US exporters and their far-off distributors is minimize. The subsequent section report the findings for communication via fax, cellular phone, E-mail, and written letters.

Fax communication and cultural distance

When communicate with their native distributors, US exporters were much more B. Rosen bloom, T. Larsen / Industrial advertising administration 32 (2003) 309-315 311 to be expected to report both initiate and in receipt of communiqué via fax at the very recurrent level when the educational detachment sandwiched between them and their foreign distributor was large than when it was small. particularly, when the cultural distance was large, 77.1% of the US exporters initiate fax communiqué with their foreign distributors very frequently plus 71.4% of the foreign distributors initiated fax communication with the US exporters very regularly. The parallel percentage for fax communication with their small cultural distance foreign distributors were 29.4% and 41.2%, respectively. Clearly, there was a great deal more faxing back and forth with the foreign distributor when that foreign distributor was from a culturally distant country.

Telephone communication and cultural distance

When examining phone communication, similar results were observed some 40% of the US exporters initiated phone communication with their foreign distributors from culturally distant countries very frequently, while their foreign distributors from culturally distant countries initiated communication by phone 34.4% of the time very frequently. US exporters only initiated phone communication with their small cultural distance foreign distributors very frequently 11.8% of the time, and those foreign distributors initiated phone communication very frequently only 17.6% of the time. Once again, US exporters engaged in very frequent communication back and forth with culturally distant foreign distributors much more so than with culturally close foreign distributors.

E-mail communication and cultural distance

E-mail communiqué frequency accessible a very dissimilar picture. occurrence was much higher in the minute cultural detachment circumstance than in the fat cultural distance context. Over 23% of US exporters initiated e-mail communiqué with small enlightening detachment foreign distributors very normally, but less than 6% did so with their large cultural reserve counterparts. In addition, 41.2% of small educational remoteness overseas distributors initiated e-mail get in stroke with at the incredibly habitually level as different to only 17.1% of great cultural detachment distributors responsibility so. This apparently differing result for e-mail compare with the conclusion for communication regularity via fax and handset probably reflect the natural history of e-mail as an intrinsically LC mode of announcement. The very abrupt and abridged style characteristic of e-mail announcement allows little room for enlightenment or nuance. Thus, in the container of large cultural remoteness, unlike fax or cellular phone, email is according to the grapevine not view as an successful medium for augmenting the flow of announcement in HC intercontinental advertising channels.

Written communication and cultural distance

Written letters were not used exceedingly often by US exports or their unfamiliar distributors, apart from of the artistic lack of involvement disentanglement the two parties. Written letters come into observation to be to some amount out of date when compare with the other mode of announcement. Only 5.7% of US exporters very regularly initiate communication with their ethnically isolated foreign distributors and only 5.9% with their ethnically put up the shutters to strange distributors. unknown distributors similarly did not commence written communication very commonly with the US exporters. on the other hand, the percentage initiating written communication from culturally close nations was almost twice that of those from culturally distant nations.


Much of the promise of B2B e-commerce on a global scale is dependent upon the efficiency that can theoretically be gained by electronically linked channel participants. Thus, instead of intensive communications between people at all levels of the marketing channel contacting each other to make sure that the right products are moving through international channels at the right place and time, Internet based e-commerce would replace all of these people-centered communication processes. In short, communication among channel participants would be computer-to-computer not person-to-person in the international B2B e-commerce scenario. Once such electronic networks are in place, with the appropriate electronic marketplace architecture and B2B software, smooth and continuous flows of products from any given country to another would occur ''automatically'' based on virtually perfect flows of communication through the electronic networks. In such a world, good communication is dependent solely on having the right technology in place to traverse the distances separating channel participants in different countries. Variations among nations, and their peoples stemming from different cultures would be irrelevant in such a scenario. Cultural distance, if it exists, would be erased by the awesome power of the Internet.

Our exploratory study of communication in international marketing channels suggests that such a scenario may be overly optimistic and naive if substantial ''cultural distance'' exists among international channel participants. Indeed, when the exporters from the LC US culture dealt with foreign distributors from HC cultures, ''old fashioned'' fax and telephone communication took place much more frequently than when the US exporters dealt with foreign distributors from LC cultures. Moreover, the more ''modern'' e-mail communications between US exporters and foreign distributors took place more frequently when both exporter and foreign distributor were from LC cultures, reflecting the limitations of the terse style of e-mail to fill in the gaps in communication between channel members from different cultural contexts. Of course, in this study, the US exporters and their foreign distributors were not yet part of an Internet-based electronic network. They were linked only in the sense of having established trading relationships in conventional channels of distribution. Thus, one might argue that if these same firms were to become part of a B2B e-commerce network their communication patterns would automatically change. Exporters and foreign distributors frequently reaching for the phone or constantly turning to the fax machine to clarify communications when cultural distance is high would, therefore, quickly cease. Frankly, it is doubtful that such would be the case. Indeed, the need to augment the totally impersonal electronic communications flowing over the Internet via ''old fashioned'' but more comfortable modes of communications might be greater than ever in the new electronic marketing channels. The need to ask questions, get clarifications, and reassurances so as to achieve a acceptable comfort level will not suddenly disappear for channel members from HC cultures simply because they are electronically linked to a network.