Several different organizational forms for a multinational manufacturing company are examined, and the implications of these different structures for the nature of the marketing research function: in particular the degree of centralization or decentralization. As an example of a matrix organization with a centralized marketing research department, Braun AG of West Germany is discussed. The nature of this company's approach to international marketing and research is examined, as are the operational advantages and disadvantages of centralized vs. decentralized market research. The optimal balance for this kind of operation is concluded to be a high degree of central control, coupled with flexibility and sensitivity in the way the research is conducted.
Author: David Hawkins
June 15, 1992
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