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This is a book that breaks new ground and reflects original thinking applied to the dilemmas of marketing across cultures. It is a thoroughly researched and well documented approach that provides practical initiatives for immediate application.
The authors contend that 'culture' in today's market place is not simply a factor to be added in to the marketing equation, but a fundamental construct that pervades the whole of the marketing paradigm. Thus, this book is not a list of to do's and taboo's but rather it offers a new conceptual framework to provide a way of thinking that can be generalized across cultures within a practical framework.
This marketing paradigm hinges on the three R's of recognition, respect, and reconciliation. The first two, of course, are fundamentals from years of cross-cultural and inter-cultural interactions but the third R of reconciliation is the key factor in the effective marketing across cultures.
Thinking in dilemmas allows us to recognize that a dilemma is the apparent conflict of two propositions, where one has to choose between two good or desirable options such as the opposition of flexibility to consistency and the tension that is created by conflicting demands.
When faced with a dilemma, one can ignore the other options, abandon one's own position, compromise, or try reconciliation. To reconcile is to use an approach where the two opposing views can come to fuse or blend - where the strength of one extreme is extended by considering and accommodating the other.
The book goes on to discuss marketing across cultures including the value dimensions, marketing research, branding and franchising, ethnic boundaries, E-marketing dilemmas, strategic marketing and the all important chapter on developing one's capacity to reconcile dilemmas.
It is a powerful book replete with case studies, examples, and solid information. It reflects considerable research in the topic itself and in its intercultural applications. The authors have produced an admirable work that is both informative and practical.
David C. Wigglesworth, Ph.D. an interculturalist is a management and organization development consultant and president of D.C.W. Research Associates International, 2606 Parkdale Drive, Kingwood, Texas 77339-2476, Email:dcwigg@earthlink.net
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