Health Services Marketing in a Cross-Cultural Environment: Elekta in Hong Kong
Aim: The aim of this research is to explore how the process variables adaptation/standardization, trust and networks are utilized when handling the service characteristics heterogeneity and intangibility when services are introduced in new culture, in this case in Hong Kong.
Method: The method chosen for the study was case study and primary qualitative data collection was made through semi-structured interviews with seven key persons at Elekta.
Result and Conclusions: Results from this work indicate that networks, trust and adaptation/standardization are important variables for handling heterogeneity and intangibility in survives. It also shows that adaptation and standardization needs to be carefully balanced to achieve the optimum effect. The study show that the process model do have a basis for use in identifying how the adaptation/standardization, trust and networks might be utilized to reach a successful balance during service entry in a new culture, partly through the use of Hofstede’s 5 cultural dimensions together with time as a new variable.
Suggestions for future research: For future research service introductions in other cultures need to be studied, both by Elekta as well as other service companies outside the MedTech Area. As a further expansion and for future generalization of the model, reversed studies should also be made where foreign companies entry into Sweden is studied. The possibilities of integrating culture closer into the process model also need to be explored as well as the inclusion of the time dimension in the relationship process.
Contribution of the thesis: The thesis contributes to academic research in that it expands on the current state of theory and integrates Hofstede’s 5 cultural dimensions closer to existing models as well as including the time variable of relationship development. On a managerial perspective it provides the basis for a tool to show how, in practice, managers might act when introducing their business in a new culture. Finally it has a social dimension in that further research into a narrow field, increases the overall understanding of intercultural mechanisms.
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