Discussion Exercises

Discussion Questions

Chapter 8 Marketing Research and Information System

  1. What are the difficulties in using and comparing secondary data from a number of countries?

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There are several problems. First, countries may employ different data-collection methods. Second, there is a problem with classification differences. Finally, definitional differences are very common and have to be expected.

  1. Why is it difficult to employ probability sampling techniques in developing countries?

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There are several reasons for the difficulty. A map of the country is often not available or out of date. Some cities have no street names, and houses have no numbers. The unavailability of block statistics thus precludes meaningful stratification. Lists of residents may be nonexistent or inaccurate. Poor people may illegally build shacks. Thus utility companies' customer lists may not be accurate or complete.

  1. Distinguish among: back translation, parallel-blind translation, committee approach, random probe, and decentering.

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With back translation, the research question is translated by one translator and then translated back into the source language by another translator to determine any discrepancy.

In a parallel-blind translation, the question is translated by several individuals independently, and their translated statements are then compared.

The committee approach differs from the parallel-blind technique in the sense that the former permits committee members to discuss the research questions with one another during the translation.

A random probe involves placing probes at random locations in both the source and translated question during pretesting in order to ensure that the respondents understand questions in the same way.

In decentering, both the source version and target version are viewed as open to modification.

  1. Distinguish between internal and external validity. What are the implications of external validity for international marketers?

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A study is said to have internal validity when it accurately measures the characteristic or behavior of interest. External validity, in contrast, is concerned with the generalization of research results to other populations.

International marketers must understand that there is a limit on how far research findings can be generalized. Consequently, the findings based on a study conducted in one country, may not be applicable to other groups or populations, other products, other cities, or other countries. American women's leg-shaving habits, for example, are unique. But this kind of behavior (as well as the determinants of the behavior) is not necessarily shared by women elsewhere.

  1. What are the desirable characteristics of the MIS and IMIS?

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The MIS should be: user-oriented, expandable, comprehensive, flexible, integrated, efficient, cost-effective, reliable, timely, controllable, systematic, and self-perpetuating.

Regarding the IMIS, the desirable characteristics include: time independence, location independence, cultural and linguistic compatibility, legal compatibility, standardization/uniformity, flexibility, and integration.