Services Marketing in a Cross-Cultural Environment – The Case of Elekta in Russia

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för ekonomi; Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för ekonomi

Abstract: ABSTRACT Title: Services Marketing in a Cross-Cultural Environment – The Case of Elekta in Russia Level: Final assignment for Master Degree in Business Administration Authors: Alena Bazyleva and Maria Zaytseva Supervisor: Dr. Maria Fregidou-Malama Aim: The aim of this research is to investigate how the products and services of the Swedish company Elekta are marketed in Russia, a country with cultural environment different from Sweden. For this purpose such aspects of marketing strategy as adaptation/standardization, trust and network development, which help to decrease the influence of intangibility and heterogeneity of services, are examined. Method: In present research explanatory applied type of study was used to describe services marketing process. Combination of induction and deduction methods, and qualitative methods of research were used. Case study of Swedish company Elekta was chosen as the research area. Primary data was collected through survey by means of semi-structured interviews and open questionnaires. Secondary data was collected from sources such as relevant books, scientific articles, company brochure, and websites of company and its clients. Results and conclusion: The research reveals that trust, network building, balance of adaptation and standardization strategies, employed by Elekta company, help to overcome heterogeneity and intangibility of its services in Russian market. It has also been found that the image of Sweden as a country of origin plays an important role in trust establishment in Russia, but in a sense that it is a foreign country, not Sweden in particular. Moreover, it is suggested, that organizational structure of international company, matrix structure in this particular case study, favours the development and effectiveness of the discussed variables. In spite of such characteristics of Russian market as high bureaucracy, corruption, “blat” network, unstable laws, etc., this market is considered to be a promising emerging market for international business. Russian national culture displays large power distance, high uncertainty avoidance, collectivist and feminine values, which influence the whole society and the business sphere as well. Suggestions for future research: It would be beneficial for future research to expand the range of complementing studies, examining the cases of Elekta in different countries and emerging markets in particular. In addition, in order to develop international services marketing theory, it is necessary to include other services industries in the scope of research. Furthermore, getting feedback from the patients, who experienced treatment on Elekta equipment, can contribute to the future research. Contribution of the thesis: The modification and adaptation of the theoretical framework of Fregidou-Malama and Hyder (2011) made by authors of this study contributes to the theory of international services marketing process. In addition, as there is lack of research in this area for health care sector, this study can be valuable addition to this research area. Research of the case of Elekta in Russia complements the range of studies on international services marketing process in health care sector with the cases of Elekta company in different countries: Egypt, China, the Philippines, Brazil, Hong Kong. Besides, current research has certain practical value: it is beneficial for international companies expanding into emerging markets in general and in Russian market in particular. This research may help to increase awareness about Elekta treatment solutions. Key words: Elekta, Gamma Knife, Russia, Services Marketing, Services characteristics, Network, Trust, Adaptation, Standardization, Culture, Organizational structure.

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