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An investigation of global versus local online branding

Murphy, J. and Scharl, A. (2007) An investigation of global versus local online branding. International Marketing Review, 24 (3). pp. 297-312.

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Draws upon Hofstede's cultural values and Rogers' diffusion of innovations to investigate relationships between search engine popularity and a company's preference for global versus local online branding.

Investigates the global versus local domain name selection strategies and web site popularity of multinational corporations based on their organizational characteristics and Hofstede's cultural values of their host countries.

Organizational size, industry and two cultural values – individualism and masculinity – relate to how companies adopt innovations, in this case selecting and promoting a global or local online identity. For their web presence, most Fortune Global 500 companies use the domain rather than a local country domain. The results also suggest a virtual divide in online visibility, companies over companies using country domains.

Limitations of this study include the lack of a longitudinal perspective and a possible Google bias – towards English content – in its proprietary PageRank metric. Future research could validate the results with other third-party data and enrich the independent variables through automated web content analysis.
In countries with strong cultural values of masculinity and collectivism, international business managers should consider paying homage to local domain names for web site and employee email addresses.

Extending diffusion of innovations and cultural research to domain name selection and search engine popularity, this study underscores the importance of culture in international branding research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: Emerald
Copyright: Emerald
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