Handbook of Research in International Marketing, Second Edition
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Handbook of Research in International Marketing, Second Edition

Edited by Subhash C. Jain and David A. Griffith

The global expansion of business has generated a tremendous interest among scholars, but there remains a strong need for theoretical insights into conducting marketing operations abroad. This thoroughly revised edition addresses this lack in the extant literature. The book consists of insights from leading scholars in international marketing, working not only to advance the theoretical underpinnings of today’s most important international marketing issues, but also to provide insights for how the field of scholarship and practice of international marketing might develop in the future.
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Chapter 4: Relevance and Rigor in International Marketing Research: Developments in Product and Brand Origin Line of Inquiry

Saeed Samiee and Leonidas C. Leonidou


Saeed Samiee and Leonidas C. Leonidou INTRODUCTION Country of origin (CO) effects on buyer behavior has been an issue of major concern for both academics and practitioners since the early 1960s, when the first writings appeared on the subject. In fact, this topic is one of the most widely researched phenomena in the international business, marketing and consumer behavior fields, with more than 1000 publications produced since its inception (Heslop et al., 2008). Notably, CO research continues to grow at an accelerated pace and interest in the topic appears to be as strong as ever. CO studies have repeatedly confirmed that both consumer and business buyers tend to react either positively or negatively toward countries and, consequently, products (design, engineering, manufacturing, and/or assembly) originating from there. With the proliferation of the CO research, some scholars have raised serious questions about the rigor and relevance of CO studies. Usunier (2006), for example, states that: The consensus about relevance [of CO research] lingered despite the increasing globalization of manufacturing and marketing operations and growing consumer acceptance of products irrespective of origin. Reasons for marketing researchers to stick to CO research, despite its decreasing relevance, were that its significance is backed by a strong legitimizing narrative and data can easily be generated from surveys. Empirical approaches, based on data collection and statistical analysis, provide research with academic credibility. It is our contention that research feasibility has dominated over positive description of the research objects. Relevance has been sacrificed for the sake of convenience....

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