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Social and Cultural Environments

In: Business and Management

Submitted By someh14
Words 7481
Pages 30
CHAPTER 4
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENTS

SUMMARY

Culture, a society’s “programming of the mind,” has both a pervasive and changing influence on each national market environment. Global marketers must recognize the influence of culture and be prepared to either respond to it or change it. Human behavior is a function of a person’s own unique personality and that person’s interaction with the collective forces of the particular society and culture in which he or she has lived. In particular, attitudes, values, and beliefs can vary significantly from country to country.

Also, differences pertaining to religion, aesthetics, dietary customs, and language and communication can affect local reaction to brands or products as well as the ability of company personnel to function effectively in different cultures. A number of concepts and theoretical frameworks provide insights into these and other cultural issues.

Cultures can be classified as high- or low-context; communication and negotiation styles can differ from country to country. Hofstede’s social value typology sheds light on national cultures in terms of power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long- versus short-term orientation. By understanding the self-reference criterion, global marketers can overcome the unconscious tendency for perceptual blockage and distortion.

Rogers’ classic study on the diffusion of innovations helps explain how products are adopted over time by different adopter categories. The adoption process that consumer go through can be divided into multi-stage hierarchy of effects. Rogers’ findings concerning the characteristics of innovations can also help marketers successfully launch new products in global markets. Recent research has suggested that Asian adopter categories differ from the Western model. An...

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