International qualitative research

Date of publication: June 15, 1993


Recent years have seen the increasing multinationalization of companies and their associated marketing activities, as well as the continual broadening and interpenetration of markets. This has led to a great increase in international research projects and particularly in the qualitative fieid. Due to the peculiar nature of qualitative research, without the protective screen of "objective" numerical data, the growing demand for multicountry' research requires us to examine our procedures more closely in order to perfect devices for survey and analysis which are really able to deal with consumer phenomena that are increasingly interrelated and complex. Traditional approaches to these problems may certainly involve various advantages; but we feel that the risk of forced or arbitrary results remains, in the sense that interpretative or idealogical shemes that are idiosyncratic for one culture ( that of the Master-Unit Research Agency ) may prevail over those emerging locally. There is also the risk, where the juxtaposition of single local analyses is rigorously carried out, that everything is processed and presented to the Client in a "neutral" key. guaranteeing the impartiality of the researcher, but leading to results which are not really problem-solving. The most correct approach seems then to be, in our opinion, to set up an integrated team, consisting of TRUE multicultural specialists . each of whom guarantees an accurate probing of the area which s/he represents but at the same time is trained to share with the others a common working style (as regards both techniques used and interpretation ) and thus acquires expertise in the dynamics of other countries by means of constant shared experience in field-work and in analysis. To this specific goal, Research International Qualitative has been set up.

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