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Handbook of Research on Asian Business

Edited by Henry Wai-chung Yeung

The rise of Asia as an important region for global business has been widely recognized as one of the most significant economic phenomena in the new millennium. This accessible and comprehensive Handbook brings together state-of-the-art reviews of Asian business in an expansive range of areas including: business organizations; strategic management; marketing; state–business relations; business and development; and business policy issues.
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Chapter 7: Challenges of Marketing to Asian Consumers: Exploring the Influence of Different Cultures, Life Styles and Values on Consumer Behaviour in Asia

Piyush Sharma, Cindy M.Y. Chung and M. Krishna Erramilli


7. Challenges of marketing to Asian consumers: exploring the influence of different cultures, life styles and values on consumer behaviour in Asia Piyush Sharma, Cindy M.Y. Chung, M. Krishna Erramilli and Bharadhwaj Sivakumaran The last quarter of the twentieth century witnessed many monumental events including the splintering of the former Soviet Union into several independent nations, demolition of the Berlin wall, opening up of erstwhile closed economies in Asia, and the emergence of globalization. As a result, the early 1990s was abuzz with the news of the arrival of global consumers who were supposed to share a common set of consumption-related symbols such as product categories, brands and consumption activities (Terpstra and David, 1991). Mass-media programming, flowing primarily from the US, was supposed to have played a major role in the creation, learning and sharing of such consumption symbols (Appadurai, 1990). In the last decade or so, however, companies around the world seem to have faced a reality check. The notion that global thinking would gradually break the wall of economic nationalism and chauvinism seems no longer to be taken for granted (Suh and Kwon, 2002). It is argued that globalization may not be able to obliterate cultural differences and standardize consumer behaviour around the globe (Schütte and Ciarlante, 1998). Rather, consumer behaviour may well become more heterogeneous because of cultural differences. As consumer incomes converge across countries, the manifestation of value differences may become even stronger (de Mooij and Hofstede, 2002). This phenomenon...

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