Chapter 8: Measurement Problems in Cross-National Consumer Research: The State-of-the-Art and Future Research Directions
Attila Yaprak INTRODUCTION Comparative study of behavior across cultures has become a fascinating scholarly pursuit in the social sciences. Along this journey, researchers have come across a wide variety of problems they have had to contend with in drawing meaning from their comparisons. For example, they have had to cope with inequalities in the meanings of phenomena across cultural groups, the sometimes inappropriateness of the measurement instruments used across cultures, diﬃculties in generalizing ﬁndings to national or cultural populations of interest, and so forth. Importantly, they have had to learn that their research has to be able to navigate through these barriers while exploring, explaining, and interpreting cross-national similarities and diﬀerences in behavior (Craig and Douglas 2000; Mullen 1995; Steenkamp and Baumgartner 1998; Van de Vjver and Leung 1997). Scholars of international marketing, for their part, have discovered that a better understanding of their concepts and constructs, and hence, the advancement of their ﬁeld as an academic ﬁeld of inquiry, required that their models and measures had to be psychometrically sound across countries and cultures (Bagozzi and Baumgartner 1994; Steenkamp and Baumgartner 1998). These scholars have had to address, for example, the question of whether the behavioral similarities and diﬀerences they were observing in their research across cultures were in fact real. If their observed ﬁndings were diﬀerent than expected (statistical signiﬁcance was not achieved or the reliability coeﬃcients were low for example), they learned to question whether measurement problems had attenuated their ﬁndings;...
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