Uniformity and diversity in research operations in the USA and Europe

Date of publication: March 1, 1979

Author: Norman L. Webb


An American research buyer operating in Europe has his problems which are not unique to his situation but which are paralleled by any European buyer operating outside his own country, whether elsewhere in Europe, in the United States, or other countries. Despite the links of language, Britain and the USA have as much capacity for misunderstanding as the French and the Germans for instance. The obvious problem of language is not very important in itself due to the fact that reasonably good translations between European languages are not difficult to do or to obtain. The problems are more real in areas of cultural diversity, social systems, and national styles as far as market research is concerned. Seven general areas of diversity have been selected (there are probably more), and are illustrated by surveys commissioned on an international scale, particularly omnibus surveys. The seven are: language, more general concepts, sampling methods, populations studied, social systems, the media, and finally costs and commercial structures.

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