In general, international marketing researchers have always been interested in the ever-changing market environments and/or methodological rigor as cherished by their domestic counterparts for research publication purposes. As a result, international marketing researchers have tended to focus their research attention either on topics de jour or on research areas in which a large database can be developed. The first group of international marketing researchers tends to focus on interesting but unstructured topics that are difficult to theorize on or apply existing theory to, and thus engage in exploratory research. Although exploratory research is interesting, it tends to lack transferability of its research framework and findings in explaining other related topics. The second group of international marketing researchers tends to focus on such behavioral research areas as country-of-origin, modes of entry, and trust/power relationships in the marketing channel, in which rigorous research methodology is applied for scholarly publication. Both groups of international marketing researchers face different criticisms. The first group is criticized as conducting atheoretical research, while the second group is criticized as overdoing research in mature areas in which additional contribution to the literature is increasingly very limited.
In conclusion, there remain many important research areas that have eluded serious academic inquiry. The increased technical complexity of marketing issues, particularly the marketing mix strategy, calls for more interdisciplinary work across traditional functional confines than in the past. Collaborative work by a group of researchers across national boundaries also facilitates data collection and promotes cultural sensitivity in conducting marketing research.
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Publication information: Book title: The Oxford Handbook of International Business. Contributors: Alan M. Rugman - Editor, Thomas L. Brewer - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2001. Page number: 489.
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