Qualitative methods for cross-national research


Type Research Project

Duration March 1, 1998 - Oct. 31, 1998

  • Marketing AE (Former organization)
  • Advertisitng and Market Research AE (Former organization)

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  • Holzm├╝ller, Hartmut (Details) Project Head
  • Sinkovics, Rudolf (Former researcher)
 

Abstract (English)

Establishing results that are comparable across national entities is the core objective in cross-national marketing research. Different measurement methods and instruments are needed in different countries in order to grasp unique aspects and account for national idiosyncracies. This may hamper the cross-national comparability of respective results. Two schools of thought have emerged which address the dilemma of comparability versus specificity. The 'emic' school of thought, which states that attitudinal and behavioural phenomena are unique to a culture and the 'etic' approach, which is basically concerned with the identification and assessment of universal, 'culture-free' measures. This research tries to illustrate potential shortcomings of the traditional, purely quantitative approach. A questionnaire comprising qualitative and quantitative sections was designed to identify possible differences in the understanding of the 'materialism' measure. Following the 'etic' school of analysis, the materialism measure was used in 4 convenience subsamples from graduate university programmes. Factor analysis, reliability analysis and validation procedures were applied, in order to check whether the comparison of materialism scores across nations was feasible and whether the underlying construct served the same function in all nations under scrutiny. The exploratory factor analysis results clearly showed that the materialism scale could not be used for cross-national comparisons. The internal structure of the measurement instrument was completely different in the two analysed samples. Using the summated ratings of the scale for cross-national comparisons would have led to wrong and highly misleading results. In order to identify explanations for the differences in the factor structures, a formalized procedure for text-analysis was applied. The paper suggests the use of comparative text analysis as a tool to overcome the emic-etic duality in cross-national research settings.

Publications

Classification

Expertise

  • marketing research