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 16: Theory of the Global Consumer

Stanford A. Westjohn and Peter Magnusson


Stanford A. Westjohn and Peter Magnusson INTRODUCTION International marketing literature has exhibited an increasing amount of research and discussion regarding a so-called global consumer and global consumer culture (e.g. Alden et al., 2006; Cannon and Yaprak, 2002; Nijssen and Douglas, 2008). Driving the increased focus and attention accorded these topics is the continued trend of global interconnectedness among social, political and economic environments (e.g. Levitt, 1983; Özsomer and Simonin, 2004). In particular, the consumer’s growing ability to engage in purchase and consumption activities far beyond their own locale has compelled both marketing practitioners and scholars to understand the behavior and motivations of consumers that reach out beyond their local borders as well as how marketers can satisfy the needs of such consumers (e.g. Cannon and Yaprak, 2002; Riefler and Diamantopoulos, 2009). Additionally, this raises the potential for homogenized global consumer segments (Dawar and Parker, 1994), within a shared global consumer culture (Alden et al., 1999). Thus, international marketing scholars have highlighted the need to build a better understanding of the emerging global consumer (Cavusgil et al., 2005). International marketing researchers have contributed to the knowledge on these topics using a variety of theoretical lenses and have offered some guidance for international marketers on how to market to global consumers in a global consumer culture (e.g. Alden et al., 1999; Holt et al., 2004). However, both the concept of a global consumer and global consumer culture lack widely agreed upon definitions which, combined with their abstract nature, leads to common misunderstandings...

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