GBE2-Self – Reference Criterion: An Obstacle

The key to successful international marketing is adaptation to the environmental differences from one market to another. Adaptation is a conscious effort on the part of the international marketer to anticipate the influences of both the foreign and domestic uncontrollable environments on a marketing mix, and then to adjust the marketing mix to minimize the effects. The primary obstacle to success in international marketing is a person’s self-reference criterion (SRC) in making decisions, that is, an unconscious reference to one’s own cultural values, experiences, and knowledge as a basis for decisions. The SRC impedes the ability to assess a foreign market in its true light. When confronted with a set of facts, we react spontaneously on the basis of knowledge assimilated over a lifetime: knowledge that is a product of the history of our culture. We seldom stop to think about a reaction, we react. Thus, when faced with a problem in another culture, the tendency is to react instinctively and refer to our SRC for a solution. Our reaction, however, is based on meanings, values, symbols, and behavior relevant to our own culture and usually different from those of the foreign culture. Such decisions are often not valid.

To illustrate the impact of the SRC, consider misunderstandings that can occur about personal space between people of different cultures. In the Unites States, in related individuals keep a certain physical distance between themselves and others when talking or in groups. We do not consciously think about that distance: we just know what feels right without thinking. When some one is too close to correct the distance – we are relying on our SRC. In some cultures the acceptable distance between individuals is substantially less than the comfortable distance, are approached too closely by someone from another culture, they unconsciously reface by backing away to restore the proper distance and confusion results for both parties. The SRC can prevent you from being aware that there are cultural differences or from recognizing the importance of those differences.
GBE2-Self – Reference Criterion: An Obstacle Reviewed by 1000sourcecodes on 21:36 Rating: 5
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