Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
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Edited by Larry Dwyer, Alison Gill and Neelu Seetaram
20 Cross-cultural approaches Carla Almeida Santos and Changsup Shim NATURE OF THE CROSS-CULTURAL APPROACH AND ITS EVOLUTION Traditionally utilized in psychology, the emphasis of cross-cultural research is on the comparative examination of individuals from different countries or ethnic groups. Largely, such research approaches culture as an underlying influence that collectively directs individuals’ beliefs, norms, values, customs, and ideological perspectives; all of which serve to govern individuals’ behavior. Accordingly, such a view of culture assumes a collective framework of experiences and beliefs that serve to construct a common consensus of not only what to expect, but also how to behave in any given setting (Hofstede, 2001; Kim et al., 2002). Culture, therefore, has largely been thought of as a standardized, causal, and constant system of meanings shared by and amongst its group members. The result has been a considerable body of cross-cultural research that serves to categorize national cultures along a set of standard cultural dimensions (Hofstede, 2001). Such work has significantly contributed and furthered our knowledge and understanding of consumer behavior and marketing. Indeed, the study of cross-cultural difference reveals its importance and centrality largely for its ability to account for consumer behavior, as well as suggest effective and efficient marketing strategies and tools aimed at a variety of targeted markets (Hsieh and Tsai, 2009). In particular, and as it relates to the focus of this book, such understanding has proven central in travel and tourism research given the proposed role of cultural and national uniqueness in shaping tourist demand...
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