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Services marketing in a cross cultural environment: the case of Brazil
University of Gävle, Department of Business Administration and Economics.
University of Gävle, Department of Business Administration and Economics.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

  

ABSTRACT

 

Aim: Despite the domestic and international importance of services the research about the internationalization of services it is limited. Compared to products, services differ in nature. They are intangible and heterogeneous, meaning they are usually consumed at the point of purchase and are performed, as well as perceived differently. When a service provider wants to market its offerings in culturally distant country, the local country's culture is an important factor during the process of adaptation/standardization of the service. What is acceptable in one country might not be acceptable in another. Thus, this study aims to identify how adaptation/standardization of a service in a foreign country takes place, how the problems of intangibility and heterogeneity are handled.

 

Method: This study presents the single case of the Swedish medical systems company Elekta and its efforts to market its Gamma Knife Technology, a neurosurgical method, to Brazil. It is based on secondary data, in form of topic related books, scientific articles and internet sources, only. For gathering primary data, an exploratory research design was chosen to conduct a qualitative research. Structured interviews were chosen to acquire data since they are particularly helpful when dealing with complex issues. The interviews were sent in form of email questionnaires to a contact person at Elekta's head quarter in Sweden, as well as the Swedish/Brazilian co-operation. However, both interviewees did not respond contrary to prior agreements.

 

Result & conclusion: The analysis of the findings revealed that, according to Hofstede's  Five Cultural Dimensions both countries differ greatly in culture. Whilst some service characteristics are likely to be fully or mainly standardized, others will have to be adapted in order to fit the local culture. The service itself, as well as the service's process, its people involved and its physical evidence offer great potential for standardization, whereas pricing and promotion tend to be affected strongly by income and language and thus, is likely to require adaptation. Clearly, the local culture plays an important role during the process of adaptation/standardization. Cultural adaption can make service offering more tangible by reducing the gap of misunderstanding. Service providers should standardise service offerings, ideas, values and beliefs connected to the quality of a service and adapt factors related to the market. Standardisation and adaptation can both be implemented successfully in the market. A balanced combination makes services more homogenous and tangible.

Suggestion for further research: There is limited research available concerning the internationalization of services, with special regards to the process of adaptation /standardization. This study is based only on a single case, without primary research. Further research in Trust and Networking is required to complete the model. Furthermore, lacking primary sources from both companies, further research regarding of how both companies are providing services are required.

Contribution of the thesis: This work seeks to make a contribution towards a clearer understanding of international services marketing and the process of adaptation/standardization of services. It emphasizes on the importance of culture during the process of adaptation/standardization with regards to the intangibility and heterogeneity of services. It is based on previous research conduct by Hyder & Fregidou-Malama (2007) focusing on the adaptation/standardization of Elekta's services in Egypt.

Key words: International services marketing, service, adaptation, standardization, culture, intangibility and heterogeneity

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , p. 35
Keywords [en]
international services marketing, adaptation, standardisation
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-4814OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-4814DiVA, id: diva2:224586
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok

Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2009-07-03 Created: 2009-06-18 Last updated: 2009-07-03Bibliographically approved

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