Qualitative Methods in International Sales Research: Cross-Cultural Considerations

Javalgi, Rajshekhar (Raj) G.; Granot, Elad; Brashear Alejandro, Thomas G.
March 2011
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Spring2011, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p157
Academic Journal
As the global marketplace continues to change owing to the proliferation of global brands, changing international trade policies, and the rise of consolidated buyer power, the need for cross-cultural sales research continues to increase. International sales research differs from its domestic counterparts because its application to a multitude of cultural environments where comparable, relevant data are oftentimes nonexistent. In a similar vein, the roles, activities, and approaches to sales may vary across markets, which injects bias and confounds the results. Because of this complexity, conducting international sales research requires flexibility and creativity on the part of the researcher. The complexity of the international marketplace, the extreme differences that exist in different countries, and the unfamiliarity of foreign markets demand better information prior to launching costly international marketing and sales strategies. The focus of this paper is to develop a framework and discuss the role of qualitative methods in international sales research. More specifically, the paper focuses on the following key topics: the value of qualitative research, measurement equivalence in cross-cultural sales research, theory testing and building, and cross-cultural issues in conducting international sales research.


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