Research World (April 2005)

Date of publication: April 1, 2005

Catalogue: Research World 2005

Author: ESOMAR B.V.

Abstract:

MR too has become increasingly international. The process of adapting the organisation, the concentration and the growth of international research has been client-driven. But just how well does the industry handle diversity in 2005? For several years now we have been taking ‘snapshots’ of the MR situation in various countries. These ‘country profiles’ provide us with evidence of a rich diversity with major differences determined by local circumstances. A very interesting typology could be drawn up for each development phase, based on, for example, sales turnover, ways of working, the presence of and compliance with quality standards and possibly other professional characteristics. Global vs local remains a difficult challenge to operating successfully in the different markets. But the concept of diversity is a key condition. Respect for differences in values is essential. The extent to which we succeed in developing this concept is also a question of skills and competences. Are MR managers who operate on an international basis really capable of implementing an inclusive, cross-cultural approach to products and services? In other words, are there actually enough true internationalists? It is time that learning to handle diversity was given a more prominent place in MR training programmes. It’s true indeed that if a country is different, the market is also different. Once we clearly recognise this, we can decide what can be integrated and which values bring us together.

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