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The mixture of network marketing types in emerging markets: ­the case of Swedish MNCs in China
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
2016 (English)In: Marketing challenges in a turbulent business environment: proceedings of the 2014 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) World Marketing Congress / [ed] Mark D. Groza & Charles B. Ragland, Springer, 2016, p. 389-390Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

With the major role taken in the global economy by emerging markets, a key issue in contemporary marketing research is the relevance of Western marketing ideas, both from a theoretical and practical perspective. This paper researches this issue for China, being the fastest growing emerging market in the world and therefore becoming a role model for marketing in such markets. The purpose is to specify a network marketing theory relevant for Western MNCs in emerging markets. In order to do so, an integrative framework was developed based on network marketing theory and institutional network marketing theory. From the latter four basic rules are pinpointed and thereafter applied to European and Chinese business networks respectively. The thought styles are based on symbols such as words, signs and gestures. Norms and values influence how business marketers think and act. Enforcement mechanisms concern how to construct the sanction and incentive system in order to reward or punish individuals and groups within the firm together with establishing surveillance and assessment system to control the enforcement of marketing practice.

Based on the framework of the basic rules, a measurement instrument was developed and tested in a pilot study in spring 2013. For the standardized questionnaire the four theoretical basic rules were broken down into 15 sub-concepts and thereafter derived into 45 items. Altogether these constitute a basis of a comparative marketing framework. The items are formulated as statements on a six-point interval scale about Chinese and Western marketing. For the purpose of this paper, 24 items were selected to constitute the basis for analysis as they focus particularly on network marketing. A low number (1) expresses a wholly European perspective on network marketing and a high number (6) a wholly Chinese perspective. Two to five is a mix of these marketing types, where 3–4 represents the most even mixture of network marketing types in the emerging market. In the pilot study nine Swedish MNCs were visited at their subsidiaries in the Shanghai area. The primary data was collected through structured face-to-face interviews with two managers—one of Swedish and one of Chinese origin—per case interviewed separately, so in total 18 interviews were conducted. The interviews were undertaken in English, sitting side by side with the managers, discussing their answers while they were filling out the questionnaire. It was followed by an interview with the respondent based on a semi-structured interview guide in order to have as good control as possible of primarily the reliability, but also the validity, of the questionnaire.

The results and analysis show that in subsidiaries of Swedish MNCs in China, the European network marketing type still prevails. Some adaptations have been made though, as also a mixture between European and Chinese network marketing types can be seen. A limited number of adaptations into a Chinese network marketing type were identified, even if the managers themselves perceive that they have made adaptations when working in Swedish subsidiaries in China. When comparing European versus Chinese manager groups, the European managers tend to perceive the firm to hold a view closer to a Chinese network marketing type more often than the Chinese managers do. This indicates that the European managers regard that the Swedish subsidiaries have adapted more to the Chinese market than the Chinese mangers regard them to have done.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016. p. 389-390
Series
Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS), ISSN 2363-6165, E-ISSN 2363-6173
Keywords [en]
Basic Rule, Integrative Framework, Chinese Manager, Practical Perspective, Marketing Practice
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-44993DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-19428-8_104ISBN: 9783319194288 (electronic)ISBN: 9783319194271 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-44993DiVA, id: diva2:825075
Conference
17th Biennial World Marketing Congress, August 5-8, at ESAN, Lima, Peru, 2014
Available from: 2015-06-23 Created: 2015-06-23 Last updated: 2018-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Jansson, HansSandberg, Susanne

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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