Overview This chapter addresses the topic of global market research and questions the conventional understanding of market research techniques as managerial devices used to improve marketing decisions. Instead, this chapter considers market research as a cultural practice. This means that market research is no longer understood as a straightforward process of designing the study, collecting the data, interpreting the information and disseminating it throughout the organization in order to enhance decision-making and ultimately organizational profi tability. Alternatively, a cultural perspective upon market research addresses the question of how the type of insights generated about consumers/markets is structured by the choice of market research method. Based upon an ethnographic study of a global market research technique within the context of advertising, this chapter demonstrates how divergent practices and orientations of market research frame the kind of knowledge generated about consumers, markets, products and brands in global markets. The implications of such a reconceptualization of market research concern the refl exivity of managers upon their own marketplace embeddedness and the strategies involved in mobilizing such refl exivity in order to distinguish between various ways of engaging with market information.
Marketing Management: A Cultural Perspective, 2012, p. 231-245