Edited by Subhash C. Jain and David A. Griffith
Chapter 10: The Standardization Construct in International Marketing: Earlier Conceptualization and Suggestions for Further Development
Attila Yaprak, Shichun Xu and S. Tamer Cavusgil INTRODUCTION As fields of study evolve, they are framed by defining constructs that guide their pathways of inquiry. The fields’ scholars conceptualize these constructs in light of the contexts that help define them, raise questions about them within sets of underlying assumptions and theoretical drivers that help frame them, and examine them through various research methods typical of the field and the context of the time. Their findings help accumulate knowledge on the construct in question for that time, and lead to future avenues of discovery in the future. Such a defining construct in international marketing’s development as a field of study and practice has been the standardization/adaptation construct. Study of this construct has centered initially on answering the question of whether and the extent to which elements of a marketing program, or the firm’s marketing strategy in its entirety, could be standardized across markets, and the benefits to be gained from such an approach gauged against the costs that might be incurred in doing so. Following in the light of these earlier studies, the field’s scholars have probed, in more recent years, the performance implications of standardization to provide guidelines for managers and to raise new questions about this construct. This research, as in other fields of study, was inspired in each phase by the current developments in international marketing’s sphere of theory and practice in that time period. The confluence of rapid advances in technology and the forces of globalization...
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