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International services marketing: What can be learnt from a medical case?
University of Gävle, Department of Business Administration and Economics, Ämnesavdelningen för företagsekonomi. (ICM)
University of Gävle, Department of Business Administration and Economics, Ämnesavdelningen för företagsekonomi. (ICM)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9080-2629
2006 (English)In: ILTG conference in Graz, Austria, 6-7 April 2006.: 2nd International Conference on Intercultural Communication Competence, 2006Conference paper, Published paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

The international market of services is growing at a faster rate. Despite the importance of the service sector in both domestic and world markets, the amount of empirical research addressing the internationalization of services remains relatively low. Nature and characteristic of services have made service marketing and study related to it difficult. If the service is set for international market, question around intangibility, quality, and the demand for simultaneous production and consumption is likely to aggravate the situation. As people across the borders are different from a cultural viewpoint, the same service element can be perceived differently making the service internationalization process further difficult. This paper deals with a case of Swedish medical service marketing process in Egypt and offers a profound insight on the complex issue of international services marketing by addressing the following research questions:

The data collection was a rigorous process and mainly took place in the form of direct interviews. Eight people including the managing director and the major owner of the Swedish-Egyptian firm were interviewed. Further three local consultants were interviewed and two seminars were held in Egypt to have an idea on general business practice in the host country. The conceptual framework is based on three variables, i.e. cultural adaptation, trust and network. Selling service internationally requires that the service provider is aware of the local taste, preference and habit. To be successful in internationalization, it is usually necessary that some cultural adaptation takes place, probably from both sides. The intangible characteristic of the services requires that trust is built and maintained throughout if the internationalization process has to be successful. Network represents a critical point of investigation in understanding internationalization. Network development is very important where the uncertainty is high due to physical and cultural distance, communication gap and service characteristics themselves which make the offerings heterogeneous, perishable and difficult to readily display. This study shows that cultural adaptation has taken place in respect to timing, building trust in the local environment, handling bureaucratic issues, local traditions and offering services to the clients. Problem of intangibility, heterogeneity and quality has been solved by providing consistent services and establishing links with the medical colleges and other institutions. This research work offers several opportunities for learning. First, it is important to recognize cultural differences and local traditions to design the service concept. Second, there is a need to develop sufficient local contacts and trust to make the service offerings tangible. Finally, the adaptation needs to take place from both sides, otherwise promising factors and strength may be kept outside the final business concept offered to the clients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006.
National Category
Social Sciences Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-2720OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-2720DiVA, id: diva2:119382
Conference
Implications for Learning and Teaching in a Globalized World (ILTG), Graz, Austria, 6-7 April 2006
Available from: 2007-10-12 Created: 2007-10-12 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Hyder, AkmalFregidou-Malama, Maria

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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