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Research

The research of the chair focuses on three major issues: cross-cultural management, cross-cultural marketing, and (international) service recovery management.

Cross-cultural management

Starting with Hofstede's (1980) seminal work on cultural values, cross-cultural management has become a major issue in the international management literature. Since then, ample empirical research has addressed the question of how culture may affect international management, such as managerial decision-making, business ethics, strategic orientation, leadership style, or market entry modes. In 2004, House and colleagues introduced the GLOBE project that comprises both cultural values (how a society should be) and cultural practices (how a society is) thus sparking an ongoing debate on what measurement concept is appropriate to explain real-life phenomena in international management.

We deal with the following research questions:

1) Why do the GLOBE practices and values diverge?
2) Do conflict styles differ across cultures?
3) Do negotiation styles differ across cultures?
4) Does national culture affect corruption?
5) What are the antecedents and consequences of cross-cultural adjustment of expatriates?
6) Does the cultural distance to the home country affect expatriate success?

Cross-cultural marketing

Cross-cultural misunderstandings are a major pitfall in international marketing. Therefore, the international marketing literature seeks to explore systematic differences in communication and consumer behavior across cultures. Such research findings help to find out which components of the marketing-mix need to be differentiated in order to meet culture-specific needs. However, some consumer needs may be "cultural universals†, that is, they are common to all societies. Hence, researchers also seek to identify components of the marketing-mix that can be standardized, thus leveraging on economies of scales (standardization-differentiation debate).

We address the following research questions:

1) Does the effectiveness of advertising differ across cultures? Are there advertising appeals that can be standardized across some cultures? Hereby, we focus on fear appeals, humor in advertising, and absurdity in advertising.
2) How does the acceptance of self-service technologies (SSTs) differ across cultures?
3) Does the use of self-service technologies (SSTs) differ across cultures?
4) Do consumer emotions differ across cultures? Focal emotions are anger, frustration, envy, pride, and embarrassment.
5) Does culture influence the relationships between self-other price comparison and price fairness?

(International) service recovery management

Service failures are inevitable, but complaints also offer a second chance for the focal organization. Research findings show that an excellent service recovery can create more satisfaction than if a service had been failure-free in the first place. This phenomenon is known as the service recovery paradox. Given this paradox, organizations need to learn how to foster complaints after a service failure and how to adequately respond to complaints. This knowledge will help them to recover from service failures and to restore satisfaction and loyalty. These issues are particularly interesting to international marketers because complaint behavior is subject to culture. For instance, complainants in collectivistic cultures often put more focus on a friendly treatment than complainants from individualistic cultures do. Hence, international organizations need to learn how to adapt organizational responses to a service failure across cultures.

We deal with the following research questions:

1) Which factors determine whether consumers voice their complaints or not? How do these factors differ across cultures?
2) How can complaints be facilitated?
3) What is the optimum compensation level following a complaint?
4) How does the fairness perception of organizational responses to a complaint differ across cultures?
5) How do emotions that follow a service failure differ across cultures? Are emotions expressed differently across cultures? How can organizations mitigate negative emotions following a service failure?
6) Do the distribution principles, which complainants use to evaluate the outcome fairness of a recovery effort, differ across cultures?