Marketing Home and Away: Perceptions of Managers in Headquarters and Subsidiaries.
The dominant theme of marketing in the new millennium is globalization, with all its promises and its darknesses. Whatever those promises and whatever those darknesses, there is no doubt that what was once the province of the provinces is now the province of the world. Globalization--fueled by the forces of liberalization, deregulation, privatization, free marketism (with the fall of the communist command economy), and, technology -- has transformed national companies into nervously striving international ones . The process of becoming a world player has been undertaken many times and in many ways. From indirect export to foreign direct investment is a path that organizations have traveled as they change from a local player to a multi-local world-girdler. As the company expands its ambit and its orbit, alternatives appear: joint ventures, soft-edged partnerships, strategic alliances, mergers, and a rainbow of other choices.
Underlying them all is the ever-present challenge: How do you draw productive parallels from your experiences "at home" to seek guidance in the fundamental struggle between centralization and decentralization as the world player faces the daunting task of who will control what where, in as many as 200 countries around the world, most far away from the home base. What and where will be the focus of activities and the locus of control? And who-whether at home or away perceives what, as all of this is happening?
The temptation to seize and keep power "at home," and so turn the purported multinational into an archaic empire, is inviting. The love of power turns easily into lust. With this "imperial" mentality, relations between the home office and its branches all around the world become matters not only of rationality (if bounded), but of desperate willfulness as well. The multinational corporation often takes the course of empire, and not true world-girdling enterprise. Why empire? "Because, as the ancients noted, of men we know and of gods we suspect: they rule where they may. Because when you are in Rome, you truly believe that all roads lead to Rome, and you expect everybody to do as the Romans do, whether or not they're Romans, and whether or not they live in Rome" (Chan & Holbert, 1994).
The objectives of this study were to understand the relations between home office marketing departments at MNCs and the marketing department in one MNC subsidiary. The focus was to understand how people in home office and subsidiary marketing departments saw various key issues of flow and operations (see Table 1); who had control over such marketing stages as mission, strategy, and tactics (see Table 2 and 3) and over specific elements in specific activities (see Table 4); and how effectively these activities were implemented (see Table 5).
A REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE
The literature is vast and extensive, with views being expressed even before the decade of the 1980s when the awareness and analysis of globalization and its problems began in earnest to take center stage, perhaps propelled by the seminal 1983 article by Levitt on one potential world for products. A re view of the literature can be grouped under four headings (although, obviously, themes interweave, as is the nature of things in the world of business).
First, Flows of information and knowledge, with the attendant themes of cultures and values, and all the difficulties inherent therewith.
Wiechmann (1974) began to see is sues of cultural and economic diversity decades ago, and urged respect for these issues. Hofstede (1980), a pivotal figure, of course, in thinking about variation in culture in business around the world, pointed out areas where clashes in values can be manifested. Rugman (1980) asked how the tacit knowledge stored in MNCs is used. And Alexander and Swinith (1987) looked at yet an other dimension of culture: working to wards a framework for assessing the broader social impact of the MNC.
Bamberg (1990) explored the global communication knowledge network, while Allen (1990) reminded us that indifferent places you have to worry about different things. Indeed, learning about it all (we speak today quite frequently about the "learning organization") is a theme often heard too. Learning can be from our partners--Hamel (1991); it is surely more evolutionary than ever in our technology-centered age--Blackwell, Ajami, and Stephan (1991); and must extend beyond traditional business concerns to increasingly inescapable matters like ecology and environment--Choucri (1991).
Working in the area of home- and host-country relationships, Selmer and de Leon (1993) discussed how home country ideas pervade the host-country work atmosphere; they found that however practices learned at home may be put to one side consciously, they nonetheless affect the way things work away.
Selmer (1993) found that sometimes expatriate supervisors of local managers did get it right, even better than locals. Still on the issue of flows in home-away relationships, Nohria and Ghoshal (1994) suggest that both a "differential fit" (adjusting a relationship by the home forces to better fit the conditions of subsidiaries) and a "shared value" approach both can be viable in forging more constructive relationships. To help improve relationships, Stephan, Helms, and Haynes (1995) and Abraham and Zikiye (1996) focus on anxiety, acculturation differences, and pre-departure training for upcoming expatriates. Hurn (1996) examined the possibilities of cultural synergies in such predeparture training: what is alike as well as what is different, and constructively utilizing such ideas over seas.
Lehrer and Asakawa (1999) note that American and Japanese MNCs engage in "unbundling" of their European operations: the Americans by delegating tasks to local subsidiaries, and the Japanese by at least reviewing their previously monolithic (basically ethnocentric) approach to their European subsidiaries, especially in research labs. And finally, possible incongruities between two expressions of culture--national and corporate, incongruities inherent in the wake of MNC expansion both successful and unsuccessful--while often explored implicitly in the literature, is the specific focus of a piece by Morden (1995), a piece which returns our thinking to the well-know modes of MNC expansion: ethnocentric, polycentric, geocentric, ecocentric, eccentric, and undoubtedly many more.
Another area of exploration may be termed Operations: getting the home-away relationship to work in an atmosphere (always) of marketing opportunity and change. Doz and Prahalad (1981) and Dymsza (1984) studied strategic change and opportunity, the former opining that a truly global view can only occur through greater head quarters control, which may be opposed by subsidiaries. Ayal and Zif (1979)concerned themselves with adaptation to local markets and found surprising opportunities therein. Lannon (1991) suggests that big trends and target groups do in fact cross borders readily, while other things (like executional elements) do so less easily. Finally, Robinson (1995) notes that American manufacturers in Japan generally leave "downstream" tasks (e.g., sales and after-sales service) to subsidiaries, while "upstream" activities (e.g., R&D and manufacturing) are conducted either at home or jointly. Interdependence is related to training activity focused on the parent firm's core competence, and to assessment activities. Kotabe, Sahey, and Aulakh (1996) discuss the process of linking technology and strategy in the global marketing arena. They found that technology, with its frequent tactical appeal, must be effectively linked to strategic considerations, both longer term and global.
A third stream involves the matter of Control, with its attendant issues of autonomy, centralization, and decentralization of power. Buzzell (1986) explored the notions of centralization, decentralization, integration, and control in MNCs. He wrote about consistency and (themes that would surface later in "think global, act local", "think local, act global", "glocaliation", "globalization," etc.) standardization or adaptation of strategies. Gates and Egelhoff (1986) suggest that degree of centralization seems to center more on company-wide conditions than on the state of subsidiary conditions. The more complex the company's organization, the greater the degree of decentralization. Hite and Fraser (1990) focus on the levels of centralization and decentralization -- strategic, executional, and evaluative -- and their coordination. There is no monolith here; each level must be looked at in its own right to try to get the right balance and the right result. And Kotabe, Sahey, and Aulakh (1996) discuss the process of linking technology and strategy in the global marketing arena. They found that the shorter-run and mechanistic realm of technology must work in concert with the longer-run and humanistic world of strategic management. (This work echoes a paradigm of the planning process from mission to scenarios to strategy to tactics to execution to control to feedback to reappraisal to feedforward, and is useful for decontstructing what is often an emotive monolith.) Boyacigiller (1990) studied the opposition of hierarchy (central authority power, much out of fashion to day, when "empowerment" and "enablement" are the bywords) and socialization (the home office person "on the ground" in the subsidiary acting as intermediary between home and away). He found that what was desired at home could often best (and perhaps only) be complemented by the home office person comfortable in both worlds. And Picard, Boddewyn, and Grosse (1998), in a longitudinal study, report an increase in the relative power of subsidiaries in MNC international marketing decisions. A reason behind this was the increase in subsidiaries' own production: as more is produced in subsidiaries' factories for the markets where they are located, a shift in power to subsidiaries follows quite naturally.
Finally, Conflict among parts of the world-girdler and coordination of its activities, as well as efforts at integration is frequently written about. Hulbert, Brandt, and Richers (1980) focused on who actually writes the subsidiary's marketing plan and who works to coordinate it with world plans. The role of the subsidiary may be more limited in this than it might appear, as what may most matter is often how the home office works to move from often local tactical to worldwide strategic considerations. Boyacigiller (1990) studied the notion of a uniformity of policy for all subsidiaries and local re actions thereto, pointing out that what is conceived in the home office may seem to be (and actually can be) counterproductive when it has to be carried out everywhere. Rudy (1975) warns that lo cal flexibility and response are to be given serious consideration before worldwide policy statements are promulgated.
Inherent in all of this, of course, is the notion of conflict. And indeed interpersonal conflict in business involving cultures open and traditional, cultural adjustments to be made by MNC expatriates, and intercultural transfers of skills, are frequent themes in the literature also.
Elsayed-Elkhouly (1996) ties his thoughts to the five conflict-handling modes of dominating, integrating, compromising, avoiding, and obliging. All must be used, and with care, looking at the nature of the conflict and at the nature of the cultures involved. Kim and Mauborgne (1991) focused on the process of trust building and found that without it no use of technology or strategy or any sort of planning was likely to work.
From a review of the literature, and the previous experiences of the authors, a questionnaire (interested readers may approach the authors for the questionnaire) was devised to study the perceptions of marketing people in the home office and away.
As noted already, we used two inter-locked samples: U.S. companies that had branches in Hong Kong, and those Hong Kong companies with branches in the U.S. The samples were independent--neither home office nor branch knew that we were surveying the other. For ethical reasons, we did not, of course, attempt in any way to identify or "match" home office and branch responses company-by-company, but the linkage provided potent ideas on how the company at home sees what's going on in this home-and-away relationship, and how the branch sees it.
Sources for questions and models came from work by Wiechmann and Pringle (1975), and Picard (1977). In their studies, they sought to ferret out perceptions that exist about home office-subsidiary relationships among marketing managers in the U.S. with headquarters executives, and European or U.S. subsidiary managers.
Issues, such as home office emphasis on short-term results and burdensome reporting, and subsidiaries' perceived lack of emphasis on long-term strategy, were noted by Wiechmann and Pringle. Picard (1977) reported that U.S. subsidiaries of the European companies enjoyed a great deal of autonomy in their marketing operational decisions, and less so in product policy decisions.
Now, decades after these studies and with the emergence of Asia as an economic force and the reemergence of the U.S. from out of the shadow of Japan, we sought to explore home and away relations again--how the marketing process is viewed from home and away.
The methodology adopted in this study was a very direct one. We used the Fortune 500 as our initial frame of reference. Then, we went over the membership list of the Hong Kong American Chamber of Commerce to come up with the list of Fortune 500 companies that had subsidiaries in Hong Kong. We then sent 200 questionnaires both to the parent companies and to the subsidiaries in Hong Kong. We were able to obtain 56 usable responses from headquarters and 66 usable responses from subsidiaries. The profile of responding headquarters people and the profile of responding subsidiary people are obtainable from the authors.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A QUANTITATIVE LOOK
Marketing organizations exist in both a micro and macro context, having to concern themselves with both essentially internal and essentially external issues. There are the internal--micro--issues of the 4Ps of product, price, place, and promotion, and endless other Ps such as package, premise, promise, proposition, positioning, personality, profitability, and so forth, all matters, at least notionally, that are under the control of the organization to do something about them. The macro Cs, like change, competition, crisis, culture, are external.
In the study of home and away in marketing, however, there is a unique third arena of worries (and opportunities). This is the often-ruffled relationship between headquarters and subsidiary.
Perceptions differ significantly on many statements (those 10 listed in Table 1) regarding the broad overall relationship between home and away marketing processes. An analysis suggests that these perceptions fall into two broad categories, those centered on "people" (marked with a PE)--personal interaction issues of a pre-IT sort--and those centered on more "business oriented" matters (marked with a BC for those that may be further subdivided into primarily "cultural" issues; and "operations" matters, marked BO).
Of all the issues, visits from home office people to subsidiaries (Item 1) showed the widest diversity: home office people considered them quite productive, while subsidiary people were less enthusiastic, almost negative. Subsidiary people also were less likely to believe that their ideas were welcomed (Item 5), or that they themselves were understood (Item 6) or involved (Item 10). Moreover, there was concern among subsidiaries that knowledge--home to away or branch (Item 8 and 9)--was being effectively transmitted.
Cultural issues affecting the business (Item 2 and 3) were also sources of divergent perspectives: backgrounds may differ within the subsidiary more than at home, and loyalties may have a different epicenter--loyalty to people, as in traditional cultures-such as in Asia--rather than to the organization per se, as in open cultures--such as in North America and Western Europe. Finally, home offices tend to think that subsidiaries don't focus enough on the long-tem; subsidiaries disagreed (Item 4), and want more flexibility to handle changes in local conditions (Item 7).(Data on items on which there were no significant differences are shown in Table 2.)
As suggested in Table 3, both home office and subsidiary perceive that they have high degrees of autonomy on a broad array of issues presented. Each sees itself as having the most autonomy in tactics, with lesser degrees on such "higher-level" stages as mission and co ordination with worldwide activities. Certainly, then, while there are vast differences in perception about broader issues involving people and the business, when it comes down to the major steps in the planning process (mission to tactics), there appears to be a feeling that each is able to run their shows. Moreover (Table 4), both sides appear to be comfortable with their perceptions.
So, if there is broad agreement about autonomy and satisfaction with the perceived levels thereof when it comes to these major steps in the planning process, what about perceptions and satisfactions when it comes to specific marketing activities? Once again, perceptions about "who runs the show" in specific activities are remarkably similar (Table 5). Each side sees itself as having maximum autonomy in "pro motion" [subsidiaries are especially high on this: 1.95 on our 1 (maximum autonomy) to 5 (minimum) scale]. The only statistically significant difference is in "distribution": subsidiaries see themselves as much more autonomous (2.19); home office much less so (2.61). Certainly an accurate appraisal of such a key activity "on the ground"--getting the product to where it will be sold.
On three elements-logo, name, and pricing-subsidiaries are statistically significantly more discontented with their perceived levels of autonomy than are their home office counterparts.
Finally, what are the problems perceived in this business of relationships between home and away, where the marketing job is divided now between headquarters and subsidiary?
We offered five areas (cultural, economic, legal, political, and social) and asked both our home and away respondents that posed problems. The responses are summarized in Table 7 (percents citing problems).
The cultural problems stemmed from differences in perception of each other's ways. All the things that culture involves were involved here: values, customs, prescriptions, and proscriptions, all in the context of language is sues, all adding up to difficulties in accepting marketing programs (see Table 8).
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A QUALITATIVE LOOK
Perceptions of the marketing gulf and marketing bridge between home office and subsidiaries may be further examined by looking at a wealth of open ended responses to questions focusing on these issues.
From the home office respondents came comments focusing on the themes that the center has greater vision and needs to impose this vision on the subsidiaries, while the subsidiary needs to be closer to the market in time and place. The following are some typical responses by home office marketing personnel:
* The home office is more concerned with a "world class" product or image.
* The home office emphasizes the company's position as a mass marketer.
* The home office deals primarily with near-term large programs.
* Subsidiaries often emphasize advertising and sales promotion in marketing.
* Home office marketing focuses on strategies and worldwide initiatives.
* The home office people are strategy makers, conceptualizing based on on-site and off-site surveys and observations.
* The home office likes standardization while the local office seeks specific solutions.
* The home office tends to be thinking so far ahead of what is executed today in the subsidiary that the marketing perspective is often not grounded in an evolutionary and real-world-focused process.
* Subsidiaries tend to have a more parochial view of the marketing needs of the whole company.
* Subsidiaries tend to be closer to clients in longer periods of time than the home office.
* The transition from home-based to international to global marketing is difficult, and requires a learning process.
* A critical aspect of a successful marketing program is knowledge transfer from home office to subsidiaries and vice versa.
* The more global you are, the more local you must be to succeed.
* It takes a lot of coordination and teamwork to get things done.
From the subsidiaries, we heard of the need for understanding of local is sues, with their obvious need for shorter reaction times and cultural sensitivity. Some examples follow:
* Home office people do not understand that cultural differences necessitate alterations in brand presentations.
* The home office tries to reserve the "right" to develop all strategy, and often lacks the details and under standing of local markets.
* The days when subsidiaries were staffed by incompetent locals are long gone.
* The home office tends to be rigid and methodical, emphasizing process and a global approach, while ignoring country-to-country differences.
* The home office focus is on big, multiyear, projects and strategies with dubious relevance to subsidiaries' perceptions of reality.
* Marketing in the head office is highly "consolidatory," that is, it emphasizes "known" or "core" areas.
* Subsidiaries tend to favor products produced in their own country or region rather than looking through out the world.
* Home office people have a supply side mentality: they are driven by technology improvements, competition and their own organizational requirements.
* Home office marketing thinks of products as for big customers, and thus often do not think of the product in detail.
* Corporate headquarters stress "product" marketing, since they are close to the factory and to R&D.
* Home office emphases are on list price and strict terms and conditions, and a consistent approach to all customers.
* Home office marketing people always position themselves as "leader," and create all sorts of marketing activities for the subsidiary to follow.
* There is a general tendency for home office marketing to impose "cookie cutter" strategies around the world in the name of "global marketing".
* Listening and observing with a real open mind can forestall most problems.
* Market strategy and vision should be set at home office with subsidiary input to formulate a common "theme" for a consistent global message.
And just a final citation from a subsidiary marketer, which makes reference to the tumultuous Asian milieu in which he works. Whereas our study has a U.S.-Hong Kong basis, the findings have a universal resonance. Nonetheless, this pungent, geographically specific, reference is instructive of what we deal With in home and away marketing management matters.
Home office marketing has problems grasping the importance of economic and cultural differences affecting Asian markets. Different perceptions of time and urgency underlie most business deals in Asia. Most of our customers are self-made and entrepreneurial types, as opposed to structured public company customers in Europe and the U.S. There are huge differences in this regard, and there is superficial knowledge in home marketing circles of the Asian market in genera:.
The study sought to see to what degree perceptions of the marketing process, by home office people on the one hand and by subsidiary people on the other, were congruent or incongruent.
Overall, it appears as if perceptions regarding who has what degree of autonomy over various stages in the marketing process (from mission to tactics) are more congruent than incongruent. That is, there does not seem to be a major problem in this area, since each side sees itself as having a high level of autonomy over tactics and less over mission and coordination, and each seems comfortable with that.
As far as specific marketing, actions are concerned, there is somewhat less congruence, but nothing of major proportions. Both sides see themselves as having a high degree of autonomy, especially in promotion, where subsidiaries see themselves as having maximum autonomy. Subsidiaries and home are statistically significantly different only in terms of "distribution"--where, expectedly, subsidiaries see themselves as very much autonomous, home people very much less so. Again, the relative positions of the two sides seem acceptable to each, except for logo, name, and pricing, on which subsidiaries are less satisfied than their home office counterparts.
It is on broader issues that perceptions clash. Conflicts are evident on "people-centered" matters. where reaches for power are both parts of the game and a cause of conflict. Visits to branches by home office people (deemed unprofitable by the former), subsidiaries' beliefs that their ideas are not being listened to, that they are not being understood, and that knowledge is somehow not being passed on to them well enough, either from home or from other branches, are core issues that form the basis of conflict.
Among the broader issues with a more direct business focus, "culture-centered" ones were prominent. Indeed cultural clashes echoed throughout our reading of answers from all managers. Subsidiary managers stated that home office people did not fully appreciate that there could be different patterns of loyalty in branches--perhaps more loyalty to people than to the host organization--and that there could be more cultural diversity in branches that at home. Among "operations-centered" issues, home office people believed that subsidiary personnel were often too short-term oriented, and less engaged with longer-term strategic matters.
The running of the international business--insofar as the views of people at headquarters and people at subsidiaries are concerned--is broadly seen as more smooth than ruffled. Perceptions of people home and away seem both accurate and congruent: seeing themselves as having less autonomy over the higher-level issues, like mission, and more over tactics. On such micro issues as logo, name, and pricing, subsidiary managers were dissatisfied over their level of autonomy. They believe that distribution processes (pricing falls under this rubric) should be in their realm to autonomously run. Certainly that call should be listened to, as well as perhaps-sensitive local issues like logo and name. These would seem to be home-office matters, but without reference to local input, mistakes--quite avoidable--can be made. Note only denotation, but also connotation, can offend as well as please. Compromises must, of course, always be made between the quest for standardization and the appeal of differentiation, but decisions need to be made after serious consideration of what all the voices--home and away--have to say.
The business itself would benefit by constant reference to the consequences of the NIH ("Not Invented Here") Syndrome ("If I didn't think of it first, it can't be any good!"). It is apparent that subsidiary managers do not seek control except in matters like distribution: but do seek to be listened to, to (for example) have their points of view laid out at the home office in advance of home office visits to the subsidiary (visits seen as largely unproductive), and to be enabled to share knowledge from the home office and around the branches. Whatever the reality (and the reality is, probably, that global decisions are made at home, and local ones on the ground), the need to respect the views that come from the home office's breadth of vision and the field's depth of understanding is clear, and useful insights thereon can be gained from our qualitative as well as our quantitative work.
The issues involved with culture are salient. If we think of it (among other possible ways of thinking about it) as what makes "us" "us" and "them" "them", then mutual respect by "us" of "their" culture, and by "them" of "ours" seems a necessary ingredient for business success, when, in fact, "we" are clearly "here," and "they" are clearly "there." The local culture (both in the subsidiary and in the market in which they are located) may indeed orient itself more towards "people" and "relationships," rather than towards "organizations" and "structure," a characteristic of "traditional" culture. Such emphases as more time and more circumspection in business dealings, em phases perhaps somewhat alien to home office people with a more "open", "modern," and "rationalistic" view, may well be the keys to success locally. What must be emphasized, within a catholic perspective, and without be coming parochial about it, are local views and local needs. "Think local" must coexist with "think global".
Further research into multinational companies having to, willy-nilly, deal with views and ways of employees (and customers) coming from both "traditional" and "open" cultural back grounds is called for to seek further to make the increasingly international world of marketing word truly internationally.
Acknowledgment: The authors participated fully jointly in this work; the names are in alphabetical order. Dr. Holbert wishes to acknowledge with thanks the grant to him while he was at The Chinese University of HongKong that helped to underwrite the research.
Chi-fai Chan, Department of Marketing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N. T., Hong Kong [less than]email@example.com[greater than]. Neil Bruce Holbert, Department of Marketing, The American InterContinental University, 110 Marylebone High Street, London, England W1M 3DB, U.K.[less than]NHolbert@AIULONDON.ac.uk[greater than].
(1.) In this study, we specifically sought to avoid a focus on taxonomy, and to explore issues that far overshadow classifications, important as they may be for other types of work. Thus, "home"(and such), is, broadly, the center of the business's universe, where it has its "roots". "Away" (and such) is, simply, away: those offices, branches, or whatever "over there"-whether as subsidiaries, joint ventures, or whatever. Similarly, we recognize that there are (profitably for their purposes) various names for world players, used in various ways for various didactic purposes (including by the present authors). Companies and the world-process may be variously called international, transnational, multinational, imperial, global, world, and so forth. For our purposes here, simply, if company and process transcend national borders, that is the matter at issue by whatever name.
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Perceptions of Various Issues Relating to Marketing in Subsidiaries and Home Office Where There are Significant Differences in Perceptions[*]
[Choices: (1) agree very much; (2) agree somewhat; (3) disagree somewhat; (4) disagree very much]
As the As the Home Subsidiary Office Sees It Sees It Mean SD Mean SD 1. Visits from Home Office 2.28 0.76 1.70 0.54 people to Subsidiaries are usually productive. (PE) 2. Problems come up frequently 1.91 0.80 2.57 0.81 becausc Home Office marketing people don't understand the variety of opinions that can exist at a Subsidiary, because of more widely differing backgrounds there than at the Home Office. (BC) 3. Problems come up frequently 2.00 0.78 2.49 0.79 because Home Office marketing people don't understand that in some subsidiaries' culture there may be different patterns of loyalty (say to people rather than the organization, or vice-versa) than at the Home Office. (BC) 4. There is not enough emphasis 2.52 0.97 2.02 0.85 at Subsidiaries on strategic thinking and long-term planning. (BO) 5. Subsidiaries are encouraged 1.83 0.74 1.48 0.54 to suggest innovations to the Home Office. (PE) 6. The Home Office generally 2.33 0.92 2.79 0.85 tries to change Subsidiaries' ways, rather than trying to understand and perhaps adapt to them. (PE) 7. Subsidiaries have enough 1.91 0.80 1.54 0.69 flexibility to cope effectively with changing local conditions. (BO) 8. Knowledge is transmitted 2.27 0.97 1.88 0.74 freely from the Home Office to Subsidiaries. (PE) 9. There is a lack of carryover 2.11 0.83 1.77 0.79 of marketing knowledge form one Subsidiary to another. (PE) 10. Home Office marketing 2.39 0.82 2.09 0.77 management tries to meaningfully involve Subsidiaries' marketing people in the making of decisions. (PE) t- p- value value 1. Visits from Home Office -4.90 0.00 [*] people to Subsidiaries are usually productive. (PE) 2. Problems come up frequently 4.55 0.00 [*] becausc Home Office marketing people don't understand the variety of opinions that can exist at a Subsidiary, because of more widely differing backgrounds there than at the Home Office. (BC) 3. Problems come up frequently 3.41 0.00 [*] because Home Office marketing people don't understand that in some subsidiaries' culture there may be different patterns of loyalty (say to people rather than the organization, or vice-versa) than at the Home Office. (BC) 4. There is not enough emphasis -3.01 0.00 [*] at Subsidiaries on strategic thinking and long-term planning. (BO) 5. Subsidiaries are encouraged -2.96 0.00 [*] to suggest innovations to the Home Office. (PE) 6. The Home Office generally 2.81 0.01 [*] tries to change Subsidiaries' ways, rather than trying to understand and perhaps adapt to them. (PE) 7. Subsidiaries have enough -2.74 0.01 [*] flexibility to cope effectively with changing local conditions. (BO) 8. Knowledge is transmitted -2.57 0.01 [*] freely from the Home Office to Subsidiaries. (PE) 9. There is a lack of carryover -2.30 0.02 [*] of marketing knowledge form one Subsidiary to another. (PE) 10. Home Office marketing -2.10 0.04 [*] management tries to meaningfully involve Subsidiaries' marketing people in the making of decisions. (PE) (*.)p [less than or equal to] .05, two-tailed.
Perceptions of Various Issues Relating to Marketing in Subsidiaries and Home Office Where There are no Significant Differences in Perceptions[*]
[Choices: (1) agree very much; (2) agree somewhat; (3) disagree somewhat; (4) disagree very much]
As the As the Home Subsidiary Office See Sees It It It Mean SD Mean SD 1. Visits from Subsidiaries' 1.88 0.69 1.66 0.58 people to the Home Office are usually productive. 2. There is a lack of 3.09 0.82 2.83 0.84 marketing competence at the subsidiary level. 3. Subsidiaries tend to 2.74 0.85 2.52 0.69 resist suggestions or offers of assistance by the Home Office. 4. There is a substantial 2.27 0.71 2.11 0.68 level of uncertainty at Subsidiaries as to what marketing at the Home Office is doing. 5. Subsidiaries report 1.97 0.80 2.13 0.81 changes in local conditions immediately to the Home Office. 6. There is too much emphasis 2.09 0.96 2.27 0.96 in the Home Office on short-term results. 7. There is a lack of 2.38 0.82 2.48 0.91 carryover of marketing knowledge from the Home Office to Subsidiaries. 8. There is a substantial 2.33 0.83 2.43 0.99 level of uncertainty at the Home Office as to what marketing a Subsidiaries is doing. 9. Career paths back at the 2.81 0.80 2.88 0.73 Home Office are made clear to marketing people going out to work at Subsidiaries. 10. There is difficulty in 2.53 0.88 2.60 0.77 getting good Subsidiary people to go to work in marketing at the Home Office. 11. There is too much emphasis 2.34 0.76 2.29 0.76 in Subsidiaries on short- term results. 12. Knowledge is transmitted 2.03 0.76 2.07 0.68 freely from Subsidiaries to the Home Office. 13. There is a lack of 2.38 0.82 2.43 0.95 marketing co-ordination between the Home Office and Subsidiaries. 14. There is difficult getting 2.61 0.95 2.58 0.92 good Home Office people to go to work in marketing at Subsidiaries. 15. There is a lack of 2.41 0.78 2.39 0.99 carryover of marketing knowledge from Subsidiaries to the Home Office. t- p- value value 1. Visits from Subsidiaries' -1.87 NS people to the Home Office are usually productive. 2. There is a lack of -1.69 NS marketing competence at the subsidiary level. 3. Subsidiaries tend to -1.59 NS resist suggestions or offers of assistance by the Home Office. 4. There is a substantial -1.31 NS level of uncertainty at Subsidiaries as to what marketing at the Home Office is doing. 5. Subsidiaries report 1.06 NS changes in local conditions immediately to the Home Office. 6. There is too much emphasis 1.00 NS in the Home Office on short-term results. 7. There is a lack of 0.66 NS carryover of marketing knowledge from the Home Office to Subsidiaries. 8. There is a substantial 0.58 NS level of uncertainty at the Home Office as to what marketing a Subsidiaries is doing. 9. Career paths back at the 0.52 NS Home Office are made clear to marketing people going out to work at Subsidiaries. 10. There is difficulty in 0.41 NS getting good Subsidiary people to go to work in marketing at the Home Office. 11. There is too much emphasis -0.34 NS in Subsidiaries on short- term results. 12. Knowledge is transmitted 0.31 NS freely from Subsidiaries to the Home Office. 13. There is a lack of 0.31 NS marketing co-ordination between the Home Office and Subsidiaries. 14. There is difficult getting -0.19 NS good Home Office people to go to work in marketing at Subsidiaries. 15. There is a lack of -0.10 NS carryover of marketing knowledge from Subsidiaries to the Home Office. (*.)p[less than or equal to].05, two-tailed.
2) a high degree of tually no autonomy]
As the As the Home Subsidiary Office Sees Sees It It Mean SD Mean SD 1. Marketing "Tactics" 2.02 1.02 1.91 0.64 2. The Subsidiary's Marketing Plan 2.15 0.97 2.21 0.80 3. Marketing "Strategy" 2.58 1.04 2.70 0.89 4. Marketing "Mission" 2.83 1.11 3.00 1.01 5. Co-ordination with Worldwide Marketing Activities 2.94 1.19 2.98 0.94 t- p- value value 1. Marketing "Tactics" -0.69 NS 2. The Subsidiary's Marketing Plan 0.37 NS 3. Marketing "Strategy" 0.67 NS 4. Marketing "Mission" 0.87 NS 5. Co-ordination with Worldwide Marketing Activities 0.23 NS (*.)p [less than or equal to] .05, two-tailed.
Satisfaction with Perceived Levels of Subsidiaries' Autonomy as Shown in Table 3[How well does this work?: (1) pretty well; (2) fairly well; (3) not at all well]
AS the As the Home Subsidiary Office Sees Sees It It Mean SD Mean SD 1. Marketing "Tactics" 1.46 0.62 1.50 0.60 2. The Subsidiary's Marketing Plan 1.59 0.66 1.69 0.64 3. Marketing "Mission" 1.72 0.68 1.61 0.59 4. Marketing "Strategy" 1.75 0.76 1.63 0.65 5. Co-ordination with Worldwide 2.03 0.76 1.96 0.72 Marketing Activities t- p- value value 1. Marketing "Tactics" 0.35 NS 2. The Subsidiary's Marketing Plan 0.86 NS 3. Marketing "Mission" -0.95 NS 4. Marketing "Strategy" -0.93 NS 5. Co-ordination with Worldwide -0.50 NS Marketing Activities (*.)p [less than or equal to] .05, two-tailed.
Perceived Levels of Subsidiaries' Autonomy: Specific Marketing Activities [Subsidiary has: (1) complete or virtually complete autonomy; (2) a high degree of autonomy; (3) some autonomy; (4) little autonomy; (5) no or virtually no autonomy]
As the As the Home Subsidiary Office Sees Sees It It Mean SD Mean SD 1. "Promotion" (sales promotion, public relations, etc.) 1.95 0.86 2.22 1.00 2. Forecasting 2.13 1.02 2.20 0.10 3. Distribution 2.19 1.04 2.61 1.15 4. Marketing research 2.21 1.10 2.35 0.89 5. Advertising: Finalizing the "Execution" 2.32 1.23 2.57 1.27 6. Advertising: Selecting the "Theme" 2.62 1.28 2.89 1.12 7. Pricing 2.62 1.18 2.76 1.16 8. Advertising: Choosing the Advertising Agency 2.66 1.51 2.89 1.42 9. New product development 3.55 1.35 3.55 0.97 10. The product itself 3.60 1.30 3.65 1.12 11. The package 3.63 1.26 3.56 1.20 12. The name 4.10 1.24 4.31 0.92 13. The logo 4.24 1.21 4.60 0.66 t- p- value value 1. "Promotion" (sales promotion, public relations, etc.) 1.57 NS 2. Forecasting 0.40 NS 3. Distribution 2.02 0.05 [*] 4. Marketing research 0.74 NS 5. Advertising: Finalizing the "Execution" 1.10 NS 6. Advertising: Selecting the "Theme" 1.16 NS 7. Pricing 0.64 NS 8. Advertising: Choosing the Advertising Agency 0.83 NS 9. New product development 0.00 NS 10. The product itself 0.22 NS 11. The package -0.29 NS 12. The name 1.05 NS 13. The logo 1.98 0.05 [*] (*.)p [less than or equal to] .05, two-tailed.
Satisfaction with Perceived Levels of Subsidiaries' Autonomy as Shown in Table 5
[How well does this work?: (1) pretty well; (2) fairly well; (3) not at all well]
As the As the Home Subsidiary Office See Sees It It Mean SD Mean SD 1. "Promotion" (sales promotion, 1.50 0.70 1.46 0.58 public relations, etc.) 2. Distribution 1.58 0.66 1.38 0.53 3. The logo 1.60 0.62 1.35 0.52 4. The name 1.63 0.65 1.38 0.53 5. Advertising: Finalizing the 1.70 0.71 1.58 0.61 "Execution" 6. Pricing 1.71 0.68 1.47 0.54 7. Advertising: Selecting the 1.73 0.69 1.70 0.58 "Theme" 8. The package 1.75 0.68 1.60 0.62 9. Marketing research 1.75 0.67 1.62 0.63 10. Forecasting 1.79 0.68 1.58 0.61 11. The product itself 1.81 0.74 1.59 0.61 12. Advertising: Choosing the 1.83 0.72 1.51 0.61 Advertising Agency 13. New product development 2.00 0.71 1.73 0.73 t- p- value value 1. "Promotion" (sales promotion, -0.31 NS public relations, etc.) 2. Distribution -1.68 NS 3. The logo -2.24 0.03 [*] 4. The name -2.19 0.03 [*] 5. Advertising: Finalizing the -0.99 NS "Execution" 6. Pricing -2.00 0.05 [*] 7. Advertising: Selecting the -0.25 NS "Theme" 8. The package -1.17 NS 9. Marketing research -1.08 NS 10. Forecasting -1.68 NS 11. The product itself -1.65 NS 12. Advertising: Choosing the -2.47 0.02 [*] Advertising Agency 13. New product development -1.90 NS p [less than or equal to] .05, two-tailed. Perceived Cultural, Economic, Legal, Political, and Social Problems Among Among Home Subsidiaries Office Overall Cultural 38% 41% 39% Economic 31% 37% 33% Legal 19% 18% 19% Political 6% 4% 5% Social 7% 0% 4% Cultural Problems in Marketing Efforts in Subsidiaries' Countries (from Subsidiary respondents, total number of respondents = 27) Frequency * Different in perception, 16 understanding, language: cause miscommunication and affect the degree of acceptance of marketing programs * Lack of knowledge and 1 comprehension of local practices and structures * Price constraint 1 * Lack of local language manuals: 1 need to translate * Mostly U.S. based offices with 1 a provincial view of Asian affairs, cultural sensitivities and local concerns (from Home Office respondents, total number of respondents = 21) * Different in perception, 13 understanding, language: cause miscommunication and affect the degree of acceptance of marketing programs * Different philosophy: don't 1 know what they really feel * Home and subsidiaries' offices: 1 different in the target marketing ideas * Lack of knowledge and 1 comprehension of local practices and strictures * Restrictions in the beliefs 1 about how marketing can be used to be effective and a willingness to try "new" marketing techniques in varieties countries * Home office: lack of 1 understanding of customers needs, poor product fit and low performance
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|Author:||Chi-fai Chan; Neil Bruce Holbert|
|Publication:||Journal of World Business|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2001|
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