„An investigation of the cross-national determinants of customer satisfaction”, by Forrest V. Morgeson III, Sunil Mithas, Timothy L. Keiningham andLerzan Aksoy. Published by Academy of Marketing Science, oct. 2010. Retrieved from Springer Link, nov. 2010
Original Abstract of the Thesis
Many multinational corporations have implemented cross-national satisfaction measurement programs for tracking and benchmarking the satisfaction of their customers across their various markets. These companies measure satisfaction with the goal of maximizing customer loyalty and the financial benefits associated with loyalty.
However, existing research comparing consumer satisfaction across nations is limited, with the few existing studies examining only a small number of countries or predictors of satisfaction, or a small group of consumers within a particular economic sector. To expand our knowledge of the determinants of cross-national variation in customer satisfaction, we study three sets of factors: cultural, socioeconomic and political-economic. We utilize a unique sample of cross-industry satisfaction data from 19 nations, including nearly 257,000 interviews of consumers. Consistent with our hypotheses, we find that consumers in traditional societies have higher levels of satisfaction than those in secular-rational societies. Likewise, consumers in self-expressive societies have higher levels of customer satisfaction than those in societies with survival values. We also find that literacy rate, trade freedom, and business freedom have a positive effect on customer satisfaction while per capita gross domestic product has a negative effect on customer satisfaction. We discuss the implications of these findings for policymakers, multinational corporations, and researchers.
Summary by Ştefan Alexandrescu
48 % of the revenues of S&P 500 Companies in 2008 came from abroad. The share of international profits has risen from 5 % during the ’60s to over 25 % in 2008. The purpose of this paper is to analyze national-level predictors, correlated to cross-national variation in satisfaction. Its purpose is to find out which are the differences which make the difference for the transnational companies in local markets.
Consumers in traditional societies have higher levels of satisfaction than those in secular-rational societies. Consumers in self-expressive societies have higher levels of customer satisfaction than those in societies with survival values. Each of the last two pairs is dichotomous. As the survivalistic societies evolve into self-expressive ones, they will experience greater satisfaction with the products and services.
Literacy rate, trade freedom, and business freedom have a positive effect on customer satisfaction while per capita gross domestic product has a negative effect on customer satisfaction.
Consumers in societies with fewer barriers to free trade and international commerce will express greater satisfaction with the goods and services they have experienced. Consumers in societies with fewer barriers to internal business development will express greater satisfaction with the goods they have experienced.
It is believed that more satisfied consumers will be more loyal to the brand and therefore, generate higher incomes and higher profits.
To cover all the indexes necessary for the research, the author has used for the cultural and socioeconomics variables WVS (World Values Survey), for the different industries across borders the NAICS, for the gross domestic product per capita, CIA World Factbook and the Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation.
The results were then analyzed through a multiple-level bootstrap, once by countries and once by NAICS index. The data confirms all hypothesis are correct. All the parameters measured have been proved significant as predictors. Directions of further study are the distinction between satisfaction provided by private sector and satisfaction provided by the public sector; particular studies on a certain product.
Impressions and opinions
The research is a good example of how to create a pilot-instrument of research, for further use to the corporations. Through the directions in research in the final part, the authors suggest they have been keeping an eye open for practical companies.
The research is complex, and the macroeconomic perspective it offers provides reliable data in decision making. The methodology is impressive and the reporting of data inspiring.