International marketing serials: a retrospective

Michael R. Hyman, Zhilin Yang

The Authors

Michael R. Hyman, Department of Marketing, College of Business Administration and Economics, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

Zhilin Yang, Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong


The content of selected international marketing serials, published from 1985 to 1998, is examined. Results show that the authors published in these serials tend to be affiliated with marketing departments, senior professors, male, and work with a single co-author. Articles often focus on export and import, promotion, consumer behavior, and country of origin. Empirical studies - often survey research based on one-country convenience samples - are typically drawn from the USA, UK, Japan, Korea, PRC, Canada, and Hong Kong; South America and Africa are less studied regions. Statistical analysis is often limited to univariate and bivariate methods.

Article type: Literature review.

Keywords: Literature, Sociology, Science.

Content Indicators: Research Implications*** Practice Implications** Originality** Readability**

International Marketing Review
Volume 18 Number 6 2001 pp. 667-718
Copyright MCB University Press ISSN 0265-1335


During the last 15 years, growing academician and practitioner interest in international marketing prompted several academic publishers to launch related English-language serials (i.e. double-blind, peer-reviewed scholarly journals) (Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993; Javalgi et al., 1997). To assess the cumulative content of these serials, which continue to provide valuable insights into international marketing theory and practice, a systematic retrospective is required. Such retrospectives generally reveal how serials evolve, remind editorial review boards and researchers of lacunas between practice and theory, and inform knowledge development efforts (Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993; Inkpen and Beamish, 1994). Clearly, international marketing serials (IMS) published since the mid-1980s contain a substantial body of conceptual and empirical work worthy of a comprehensive retrospective.

This retrospective focuses on contributing authors and their institutional affiliations, editorial review board memberships, coauthorship patterns, article domains, samples collected, and primary methodologies. By assessing knowledge development in international marketing, it can inform future research and editorial mandates. Relative to earlier international marketing retrospectives (Albaum and Peterson, 1984; Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993; Boddewyn, 1981; Bradley, 1987; Javalgi et al., 1997; Li and Cavusgil, 1991), it offers the most comprehensive and recent overview of IMS.

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Serials surveyed

Research on international marketing has appeared in many academic outlets,such as serials, books, and conference proceedings. Nonetheless, this retrospective only covers a subset of IMS published in English; non-English serials are excluded because they are not "reasonably accessible to both academicians and practitioners" (Albaum and Peterson, 1984, p. 162). Books and conference proceedings are excluded because the review process for serials is more stringent and current serials reflect the current state-of-the-art. The sampling unit is IMS instead of international marketing articles because the lack of accepted criteria for identifying such articles precludes an unbiased sample frame; for example, it is unclear if one-country studies published in foreign serials (e.g. an article about French consumers published in a US-based serial) and methods-centric studies that include tests with foreign data (e.g. anarticle, published in a UK-based serial, that compares conjoint analysis programs with data provided by Korean consumers) qualify (cf. Albaum and Peterson, 1984; Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993; Bradley, 1987). Also, chroniclers less qualmish about sample frame bias report that IMS publish the lion's share ofsuch articles: Javalgi et al. (1997) report that 57 per cent of the 4,641 international marketing articles they found in 22 marketing serials appeared in the five IMS that they identified.

The IMS reviewed here were chosen via a two-stage process (see Appendix for more detail). In stage one, a list of 20 candidate serials was created by pooling data from a recent retrospective (Javalgi et al., 1997), the ABI/Inform on-line database, the MCB University Press On-line Journal Portfolio, and marketing "jump sites" on the Web. In stage two, this list was culled based on serial unavailability, immaturity, excessive industry specificity, and insufficient international marketing orientation (as revealed by close reading of published editorial mandates, and selectively assessing tables of contents forthe propensity of articles that address "influences on and activities involvedinmarketing not only to, but also within foreign countries" (Albaum and Peterson, 1984, p. 162)). Ultimately, five IMS qualified for evaluation: International Marketing Review (IMR, from the UK), Journal of Euro-marketing (JE, from the USA), Journal of Global Marketing (JGM, from the USA), Journal of International Consumer Marketing (JICM, from the USA), and Journal of International Marketing (JIM, from the USA).

The editorial mandates of the five reviewed IMS are to explore:

(1) the latest advances in knowledge and practice in international marketing (IMR);
(2) the strategic planning aspects of marketing management in Europe (JE);
(3) cross-national and cultural marketing issues, at both micro and macro levels, from a global perspective (JGM);
(4) cross-national and cultural marketing issues, including consumer/consumption behavior and organizational purchasing (JICM); and
(5) firm strategy and practice regarding international marketing management (JIM).

Their intended audience includes international business persons, policy makers concerned with international trade, marketing academicians, and researchers. All five serials solicit managerially oriented yet conceptually and methodologically rigorous articles; multidisciplinary work that explores theinterrelationship between marketing and other business functions is encouraged. All but JE call for submissions with a global perspective. More detailed editorial mandates for these serials, derived from their respective Web sites, are:

As knowledge development is the main focus here, only articles were considered; book reviews, dissertation abstracts, and letters to editors were excluded (Hoverstad et al., 1995; Urbancic, 1994, 1995). A total of 669 articles inIMS were surveyed. The number of articles published per issue - x = 5.49, s = 0.36 - was consistent across IMS, which signals the maturity of these serials (Malhotra, 1996). The mean issues per year was 3.1 (see Table I).

Content measures, coding, and cross-serial comparisons

The content analysis employed 37 different measures. Coded data included indexing information (e.g. serial name, year of publication), author demographics, article domains, samples collected, primary methodologies used, and editorial review board memberships.

Author demographics

Author demographics can provide the following insights:

Thus, articles were coded for each author's name, doctoral-granting institution, listed institutional affiliation (with nationality), listed departmental affiliation (e.g. marketing), academic title or rank, and gender. When an article listed two institutions for one author, the first listed institution was coded.

Editorial review board memberships

Faculty publication record is one of several reputation measures. Because academic institutions are also judged by editorial review board memberships (Boone et al., 1988; Kurtz and Boone, 1988; Urbancic, 1989), university administrators encourage faculty to serve on such boards. Furthermore, often-published authors are asked to serve on review boards because they understand the serial's editorial policies and editor's preferences (Inkpen and Beamish, 1994).

Topics addressed

Periodic assessments of topical trends for serials may spur knowledge development and offer insights into future research directions (Albaum and Peterson, 1984; Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993; Inkpen and Beamish, 1994; Malhotra, 1996; Reisman and Kirschnick, 1994). Nonetheless, the content of published manuscripts is often ignored in serial retrospectives (Javalgi et al., 1997). Because topics covered in IMS mirror current academic interests and current international marketing practice, identifying topical trends can help scholars and practitioners to recognize key research opportunities.

Samples collected

Country analysis has been overlooked in previous retrospectives on international business. External validity depends on the generalizability of the sample (McGrath and Brinberg, 1983); the more countries covered in empirical articles about a given topic, the more generalizable the results (Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993). Furthermore, the relative non-coverage of a country may suggest opportunities for future research.

Methodologies used

Cross-cultural business studies have been criticized for their lack of internal and external validity (Cavusgil and Das, 1997; Sekaran, 1983). An analysis of empirical methods used in IMS can highlight methodological strengths and weaknesses in international marketing research. In this regard, empirical IMS articles were coded for:

Coding method

Although the coding rules were predominantly mechanical and relatively straightforward (e.g. recording multivariate methods used to examine research questions), the coding task was burdensome because it required reviewing entire articles rather than mere abstracts (cf. Javalgi et al., 1997). If coders would be highly consistent, then the coding onus could be eased by assigning one coder per article. Furthermore, if self-fulfilling coding bias is impossible in a descriptive study without hypotheses (i.e. if decisions on borderline cases cannot be influenced by knowing the research goals), then the authors could safely serve as the motivated and conscientious personnel required for this laborious coding task.

To ensure that the authors coded with sufficient consistency, both authors first coded the same 100 articles. For all but one variable - topic covered - the results were practically identical; as a result, for the remaining articles the authors only conferred about the coding of this variable. Thus, the coding burden was eased by having each author code a separate set of articles. (Note: each author also searched for data coded as "missing" by the other author, e.g. author gender.)

Cross-serial comparisons

To provide a richer context for this retrospective of IMS, results were compared - when available - to reviews published in other business-related serials and conference proceedings (e.g. Fields and Swayne, 1988; Grazer and Stiff, 1987; Hoverstad et al., 1995; Marquardt and Murdock, 1983). Furthermore, the last decade of Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), a leading serial on international business (Inkpen and Beamish, 1994; Macmillan, 1994), was also surveyed for comparative purposes. As its title suggests, JIBS is an internationally oriented serial; in addition, 17.5 per cent of articles in the first 25 volumes of JIBS concerned marketing (Inkpen and Beamish, 1994). Thus, JIBS can serve as a meaningful benchmark for IMS.


Authors' demographics

Authors. Table II lists the 19 most prolific authors by weighted authorship scores, a well-established productivity measure (Clark et al., 1987; Clark and Nessim, 1986; Heck et al., 1986; Inkpen and Beamish, 1994; Malhotra, 1996; Morrison and Inkpen, 1991; Wheatley and Wilson, 1987), of 3.0 or more. Under the standard weighting scheme, each author of a two-author article receives one-half of a credit, each author of a three-author article receives one-third of a credit, and so on.

The most prolific author is Aviv Shoham, with 7.5 weighted and 11 unweighted authorships. Of the most published authors, 31.6 per cent (six of 19) are affiliated with institutions outside of the USA. Regarding department affiliation, 13 of these 19 authors work for a marketing department; the remainder work for a management or business department. These 4.8 per cent (19 of 397) of authors are responsible for 10.7 per cent of the weighted authorships (71.75 of 669) in the sampled IMS.

Institutional affiliations. Of the 25 most prolific academic institutions, Michigan State University, with 19.2 weighted authorships, ranks first (see Table III). Representing 10.6 per cent (25 of 235) of academic institutions with contributing authors, these institutions provided 26.4 per cent (176.4 of 669) of weighted and 26.1 per cent (330 of 1,265) of unweighted authorships; the top ten institutions provided 14.2 per cent (95.25 of 669) of both weighted and (179 of 1,265) unweighted authorships. In contrast, 56.8 per cent of articles in selected marketing serials, published from 1984 to 1993, were from 9.1 per cent of represented institutions (Hoverstad et al., 1995); thus, IMS authorships by institutional affiliation are relatively less concentrated.

Non-US institutions comprised 28.0 per cent (seven of 25) of these top 25 institutions; relative to their 36.6 per cent (435 of 1,190) of unweighted authorships (see Table IV), non-US-based institutions are under-represented. Thus, the most prolific institutions are disproportionately from the USA.

Single and multiple authorships. The sampled IMS publish a diverse set of authors from diverse institutions (see Table V). For authors, 80 per cent appeared once, 12.3 per cent appeared twice, and 7.7 per cent appeared three or more times. The distribution of unweighted authorships for IMS is similar to JIBS, Journal of Marketing (Hoverstad et al., 1995), Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (Hoverstad et al., 1995), and Journal of Business & Entrepreneurship (Hyman and Steiner, 1997).

Regarding institutional affiliations, 41.3 per cent (164 of 397) contributed one unweighted authorship, 22.4 per cent (89 of 397) contributed two unweighted authorships, and 36.3 per cent contributed three or more unweighted authorships. This institutional concentration of authorships is similar to Journal of Business & Entrepreneurship (Hyman and Steiner, 1997), but more than JIBS. As 80 per cent of authors published only once in IMS, and 58.7 per cent of affiliated institutions provide more than one author, then IMS articles are somewhat concentrated by institution.

Doctoral-granting institutions. For 59.1 per cent (499 of 844) of authors, data on doctoral-granting institution were available either from their articles or from The 1998-1999 Prentice Hall Guide to Marketing Faculty (Hasselback, 1999). Although the 25 top academic institutions by weighted authorships were only 10.6 per cent (25 of 235) of academic institutions with contributing authors, they provided 26.9 per cent (179.9 of 669) of weighted and 26.6 per cent (337 of 1,265) of unweighted authorships; furthermore, the top ten institutions provided 16.2 per cent (108.4 of 669) of weighted and 14.6 per cent (195 of 1,265) of unweighted authorships (see Table VI). The top ranked institutions, with 16 or more unweighted authorships, are Michigan State University, Ohio State University, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, and University of Texas. The mean year authors received their doctorates is 1981 (s = 8.9 years) for IMS and 1985 for JIBS (s = 7.2 years ); although this difference seems meaningful, it may be artifactual of the volumes that were surveyed (i.e. pre-1990 volumes of JGM and IMR).

Academic area. Because academicians tend to research topics within their home disciplines (Geistfeld and Key, 1986), articles by marketing scholars should dominate the selected IMS. For unweighted authorships, 68.6 per cent (747 of 1,089) are by scholars in marketing or its related fields, 23.8 per cent (259 of 1,089) are by other business scholars, 5.2 per cent (57 of 1,089) are by non-business scholars, and 3.4 per cent (37 of 1,089) are by non-academicians (see Table VII). In contrast, 55.9 per cent of authors published during the last 25 years in Journal of Advertising are scholars in marketing or its related field (Morrison and Curtin, 1999). Thus, IMS are more dominated by marketing scholars than Journal of Advertising, which may be attributable to the latter's interdisciplinary breadth.

Institutional affiliation. Scholars affiliated with non-US institutions contributed 32.0 per cent (201.2 of 629.3) of weighted and 36.6 per cent (435 of 1,190) of unweighted authorships (see Table IV). The post-1990 totals for JIBS are similar: 31.3 per cent (95.8 of 305.7) of weighted and 33.4 per cent (199 of 596) of unweighted authorships. For JIBS from 1990 to 1994, the percentage of US-affiliated authors - 67 per cent - is also similar (Inkpen and Beamish, 1994). "On a global basis, the United States is arguably not now, nor will be in the future, home to such a high proportion of IB [i.e. international business] scholars writing in the English language as the 67 per cent figure would suggest" (Inkpen and Beamish, 1994, p. 707); thus, editors of IMS may also wish to strive for a more internationally balanced authorship.

Rank. For IMS, the percentages of unweighted authorships by academic rank is 34.2 per cent administrators (e.g. deans) and professors, 24.4 per cent associate professors, 22.1 per cent assistant professors, and 19.3 per cent "others". In contrast, for JIBS and the mean of 13 other serials listed in Table VIII, the percentages are 32.4 per cent and 29.4 per cent administrators and professors, 21.2 per cent and 28.5 per cent associate professors, 31.0 per cent and 30.0 per cent assistant professors, and 15.3 per cent and 12.1 per cent "others". If the unknown ranks for IMS are distributed proportionately, then professors and administrators are disproportionately represented in IMS relative to other serials. Perhaps the ratio of non-empirical to empirical articles - 0.49 for IMS and 0.23 for JIBS - explains this anomaly (see Tables IXa and IXb). If senior faculty with more seasoned perspectives submit more conceptual manuscripts, and if junior faculty with more state-of-the-art quantitative skills submit more empirical manuscripts, then serials that publish more conceptual articles should publish more senior faculty.

Editorial review board memberships. Of 200 current and previous IMS editorial review board members, 39.5 per cent (79 of 200) (co)authored one or more articles in these serials. In contrast, the percentage of serial-related authors (i.e. referees and editors) for 12 educational psychology serials ranged from 1.3per cent to 26.1 per cent (x =11.8 per cent) (Campanario, 1996). The mean unweighted authorships per board member is 2.2 (173 articles published in IMSby 79 board members), which exceeds the grand mean of 1.5 for the serials summarized in Table V; IMS board members constitute 13.7 per cent of unweighted (173 of 1,265) and 9.4 per cent (79 of 844) of weighted authorships.

Furthermore, only 37.0 per cent (74 of 200) of these scholars serve(d) on morethan one review board; eight scholars serve(d) on four review boards (i.e. T. Erem, D.A. Ricks, A.C. Samli, J.N. Sheth, K. Simmonds, H.B. Thorelli, L.S. Welch, and I. Wilkinson), 13 scholars serve(d) on three review boards, and 53 scholars serve(d) on two review boards. This overlap in board memberships suggests that the reviewing burden is spread unevenly.

Finally, if Michigan State University is excluded, then weighted authorship and review board membership for the top 25 institutional affiliations are unrelated (see Table III). Thus, IMS are typical in their propensity to publish the work of review board members. (Note: Michigan State University provides the most board members and ranks first by weighted authorship. As home to much international marketing research and a recent editor-in-chief of JIM and IMR, it plays an inordinate role in IMS.)

Coauthorship. Business serials exhibit similar coauthorship patterns (see Table X). For IMS, 63.7 per cent (426 of 669) of articles are co-authored, with a mean number of authors per article of 1.89. The numbers for JIBS are similar: 67.0 per cent and 1.94 respectively. Consistent with the conclusions of other serial retrospectives (Durden and Perri, 1995; Hyman and Steiner, 1997; Urbancic, 1992), the percentage of co-authored articles is increasing in IMS. This trend also holds for other serials; for example, the proportion of single-authored articles in JIBS has decreased from 64.3 per cent (from 1970 to 1979) to 37.0 per cent (from 1990 to 1994) to 33.0 per cent (from 1995 to 1998). For all but one serial listed in Table X, dual authorship was the most prevalent.

Authors affiliated with Indiana University, Georgetown University, University of Strathclyde, Israel Institute of Technology, and Chinese University of Hong Kong, had the fewest co-authors (1.17, 1.33, 1.45, 1.47, and 1.52 respectively); authors affiliated with Cleveland State University, University of Georgia, University of Alabama, University of Hawaii, and University of North Texas, had the most co-authors (2.95, 2.45, 2.40, 2.34, and 2.26 respectively) (see Table III).

By gender. Female authors comprised 16.1 per cent (167 of 1,039) of unweighted (see Table VIII) and 14.6 per cent (78.45 of 539) of weighted authorships. Like economists, do IMS authors tend to choose coauthors of the same gender (McDowell and Smith, 1992)? Assuming the obverse, and given the 539 IMS articles for which authors' gender was identified, and a roughly 6-to-1 ratio of male-to-female authors (see Table VIII), then IMS should contain roughly 8.2 per cent ([1/7 237 single-authored articles] + [(1/7)2 206 two-authored articles] + [(1/7)3 82 three-authored articles] + [(1/7)4 14 four-authored articles], or 44 of 539) female-exclusive articles, 74.2 per cent (400 of 539) male-exclusive articles, and 17.6 per cent (95 of 539) mixed-gender articles (see Table XI). In fact, 6.5 per cent (35 of 539) were written solely by female authors, 76.1 per cent (410 of 539) were written solely by male authors, and 17.4 per cent (94 of 539) were written by authors of mixed genders; thus, IMS authors do not tend to choose coauthors of the same gender. The percentages for JIBS are comparable.

By country, institution, and department. For IMS articles, 25.0 per cent (167 of 669) involved at least one non-US author and 13.0 per cent (87 of 669) involved non-US co-authors from different countries (see Table XII). Regarding institutional affiliations, 59.1 per cent (247 of 418) of articles involved authors from at least two institutions (59.0 per cent and 59.3 per cent for US and non-US coauthorships respectively). For departmental affiliations, 25.1 per cent (101 of 402) of articles involved co-authors from different academic departments (e.g. marketing). Finally, only 4.7 per cent (19 of 402) of articles were written by a mix of academicians and professionals. These results suggest that editors of IMS could broaden the perspective of their serials by encouraging more multi-country, interdisciplinary, and joint academician-professional submissions (Daniels, 1991).

Article domains

Classifying articles by topic addressed is difficult because articles often focuson multiple, non-mutually exclusive topics (Jones, 1992). Articles were classified via a three-step procedure. First, the underlying theoretical framework, the advanced technique or process, and the substantive issue, were identified. Then, the resulting topics were grouped by business discipline, subdiscipline, and special topics. Finally, preliminary groupings of themes were conjoined (for more detail, see Hyman and Steiner (1997)). Following this procedure, 47 categories emerged for IMS and 37 categories for JIBS; in total, 49categories were identified. Each article was assigned to its primary topic category.

Topics covered. Articles published in IMS address a diverse set of topics. The five most commonly addressed topics are exporting and importing (9.7 per cent), promotion (6.7 per cent; with a heavy focus on advertising), consumer and consumer behavior (6.6 per cent), joint ventures and strategic alliances (5.5per cent), and country-of-origin (5.2 per cent) (see Table IX). Results are similar for empirical articles only, except for the abundant promotion studies inIMS. (Note: although different classification schemes make a complete comparison impossible, percentages for "promotion" and "consumer and consumer behavior" are similar to Aulakh and Kotabe (1993).)

IMS and JIBS cover similar topics, but with different propensities: IMS publish a greater percentage of articles on export and import, promotion, consumer behavior, country of origin, channels, and sales management; JIBS publishes a greater percentage of articles on management/strategy and finance. Both serials publish many articles on joint venture, strategy, business/marketing research, and firm performance. Given the marketing focus of IMS, this difference in topical mix is unsurprising. Nevertheless, timely topics, such as managing high technology, market segmentation, green marketing, pricing, consumerism, and the Internet, are seldom covered in IMS. These neglected areas suggest opportunities for future research.

Topic trends. Table XIII shows the annual percentage of IMS articles per topic for the 14 most-addressed topics since 1990. Special issues caused occasional marked increases within a given year (e.g. 13 of 17 articles on tourism appeared during 1994; 22.4 per cent of articles published during 1991 concerned joint ventures and strategic alliances). Nonetheless, the only clear trend is an increase in articles on consumers and consumer behavior, which may be partially due to the evermore critical role of consumers to marketing practice and the recent increase in consumer behavior researchers (Wang, 1996).

Samples collected

Empirical and non-empirical articles. Empirical articles comprised 67.3 per cent (450 of 669) of IMS articles, which is similar to the 66 per cent published in Journal of Economic Psychology (from 1981 to 1986), the 63.5 per cent published in Journal of Business & Entrepreneurship (from 1989 to1996) (Hyman and Steiner, 1997), and the 59.7 per cent published in six leading marketing and advertising serials (from 1980 to 1986) (Waheeduzzaman and Krampf, 1992), but less than the 80.6 per cent published in JIBS (from 1990 to1998) (see Table XIV). However, it is more than the 37.5 per cent of international marketing articles published in the 21 journals reviewed by Aulakh and Kotabe (1993); this markedly lower percentage is likely attributable to the high proportion of managerially-oriented serials (e.g. Business Horizons, Harvard Business Review) surveyed.

For IMS, the mean authors per empirical article (x = 2.02) differs from the mean authors per non-empirical article (x = 1.63). The same is true of JIBS, with means of 2.06 and 1.48 respectively. If a more diverse set of skills is required of empirical articles, then the greater mean authors per such articles is reasonable.

Finally, the ratio of empirical-to-non-empirical articles in IMS has increased from 1985-1993 to 1994-1998. Because this ratio was already high for JIBS from 1990 to 1994, it did not undergo the same shift from 1994 to 1998.

By country and continent. Although overlooked in previous IMS and JIBS retrospectives (e.g. Javalgi et al., 1997; Inkpen and Beamish, 1994), a country-of-sample analysis indicates which populations provide the most data for model and hypothesis testing. Because cultural factors are instrumental to societies in general and businesses in particular (Hofstede, 1980), country-of-sample influences the generalizability and applicability of research results. A country-of-sample analysis allows us to assess whether or not the models and hypotheses posited in IMS are tested over adequately diverse populations.

Unfortunately, the distribution of sampled countries is skewed in IMS. The ten countries researched in at least 2.0 per cent of empirical studies are the USA (27.7 per cent), UK (6.2 per cent), Japan (5.7 per cent), Korea (3.6 per cent), PRC (3.5 per cent), Canada (3.3 per cent), Hong Kong (2.9 per cent), Australia (2.7 per cent), India (2.1 per cent), and Turkey (2.1 per cent) (see Table XV). Because researchers often draw samples from their current country of residence, and researchers who study international marketing are concentrated in only a few countries, the distribution of sampled countries is skewed. Hence, the greater frequency of samples from the USA, UK, China, Hong Kong, and Australia is unsurprising (see Table IV for institutional affiliation by country). Ironically, since 1982 the proportion of studies involving the USA as a market area has increased from 31 per cent (Albaum and Peterson, 1984) to 40.8 per cent (184 of450).

Even at the continent/regional level, the distribution of sampled countries is skewed. North America and Europe, relative to their market potential, have been overstudied (see Table XVI). In contrast, Africa, Central America, and South America have been understudied. Although Africa's less developed economies and data collection barriers may explain the dearth of African studies, proximity to many researchers and extensive investments by multinational firms should have boosted the proportion of Central and South American studies.

By number of countries. The reasons for sampling only a few countries include the expense of surveying populations from multiple countries and the lack of international cooperation among researchers (Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993). Of the empirical studies in IMS, 73.4 per cent (317 of 432) are limited to one-country samples, 15.5 per cent (67 of 432) are limited to two-country samples, and 11.1 per cent involve three-or-more-country samples (see Table XVII). Also, the mean number of countries studied per empirical article is 1.55 (s = 0.52) in IMS, which is lower than JIBS (x =3.05 and s = 4.43 respectively). Due to the greater propensity of financial studies, which often rely on published multinational data sets, JIBS contains a lower percentage of one-country studies (59.7 per cent) (see Table XVIII). (Note: for this purpose, country is defined as "nations, specific areas, or regions". For example, the UK, Hong Kong, and Puerto Rico are each coded as one country. The few cases of researcher-identified regions, such as General Europe or Middle Asia, also were coded as one country.)

By research topic. Empirical research that tends to sample from at least twocountries concerns organizational buying behavior (x = 3.0), national innovativeness (x = 2.7), pricing (x = 2.7), business/marketing failures (x = 2.5), franchising (x = 2.25), macroeconomics (x = 2.2), consumers/consumer behavior (x = 2.18), cross-cultural differences (x = 2.0), and legal issues (x = 2.0) (see Table XIX). For empirical studies, only 22.2 per cent (ten of 45) of research topics in IMS and 42.9 per cent of research topics (13 of 31) in JIBS analyze samples drawn from an average of two or more countries. Clearly, overly narrow samples have been drawn to study topics such as green marketing, sourcing, segmentation, the global marketing environment, and products. Researchers may wish to address this shortcoming in their future studies.

By population. The mean countries studied per empirical article, by primary population sampled, are as follows: financial data (x = 2.8), advertisements (x = 2.4), students (x = 2.1), government data (x = 1.9), serial articles (x = 1.6), newspaper articles (x = 1.5), general population (x = 1.5), and managers (x = 1.3) (see Table XX). Studies of managers cover fewer countries than studies of ads, the general population, or students. Moreover, studies of students involve more countries than studies of general populations.

As financial data, advertising data, and government data are more readily available and typically less expensive than survey data drawn from a probability sample of respondents, their position at the top of this list is unsurprising. Also, student samples, convenience or otherwise, are more readily available and less expensive. In contrast to JIBS, studies in IMS cover fewer countries when they concern ads, government data, and managers.

Methodologies used

Sample types. For the 65.0 per cent (435 of 669) of IMS articles involving sample data, 26.0 per cent (113 of 435) rely on convenience samples and 31.3 per cent (84 of 435) rely on lists supplied by outside organizations or agencies (see TableXVIII). Only 19.3 per cent of these articles rely on probability samples, with a mean sample size of 367 (appreciably higher than the 184.8 reported in Aulakh and Kotabe (1993)) and mean response rate is 40.0 per cent (similar to the 40.5 per cent reported in Aulakh and Kotabe (1993)). JIBS authors, especially those in finance-related areas, used more archival data. Future contributors to IMS should consider such archival data because, relative to survey data, they are longitudinal, cover more countries, and cost less.

Concerning its international scope of study, the high mean response rates - greater than 40.0 per cent for IMS and 31.0 per cent for JIBS - are encouraging yet surprising. Possible reasons for this high rate include use of carefully select sample frames (e.g. commercial lists), prompt survey follow-ups, and personally managed questionnaire collection.

Method types of study. Relative to JIBS, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (JAMS), Journal of Marketing (JM), Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), and Journal of Consumer Research (JCR), empirical articles in IMS are more likely to rely on survey data and less likely to depend on experimental data (see Table XXI). The relative frequency of experimental studies in IMS issimiliar to JIBS and Journal of Business & Entrepreneurship, but less thanJAMS, JM, JMR, and JCR. More mature serials - such as JM, JMR, and JCR - contain relatively more articles that rely on secondary data and experimentation. International marketing scholars tend to rely on survey dataand overlook longitudinal databases and experimental designs, perhaps due to a lack of available databases and established theories and measures (Hyman and Steiner, 1997). As international marketing practice and research continues to mature, the dominance of survey-based studies in IMS should decline.

The mix of methods, sample types, and populations. Mail surveys, predominantly of managers and CEOs, often rely on sample frames provided by organizations (e.g. London Times, US Department of Commerce, Korean Foreign Trade Association). Administered questionnaires often rely on college - especially business - students and the general population. Personal interviews are most used for non-probability (i.e. convenience or judgment) samples of managers. Database studies tend to use government and financial data. Content analyses often rely on judgment samples of ads and journal articles. To maximize convenience and minimize costs, experiments often analyze convenience samples of students; unfortunately, results derived from such samples have limited external validity because background variables "might affect the behavior of interest" (Lynch, 1982, p. 229). Case studies, basedon authors' judgment, often rely on information from managers in organizations. Intercept methods are most used for convenience samples of consumers and the like. Other useful methods, such as Delphi or panels, are rarely used by IMS authors (see Table XXII).

Regarding the correlation between data collection method and sample type:

This method-sample relationship suggests that researchers consider available sample types before designing their studies.

Analysis statistic techniques. For empirical articles, univariate and bivariate statistical methods are popular in both IMS (68.9 per cent) and JIBS (62.6 per cent) (see Table XXIII; percentage similar to 73.3 per cent reported in Aulakh and Kotabe (1993)). To test hypotheses, mean difference tests and ANOVA are the two most common statistical methods.

The most-used multivariate methods in IMS are regression (in 17.6 per cent of articles), factor analysis (in 12.4 per cent of articles), and MANOVA/ANCOVA (in 7.1 per cent of articles). Path or structural analysis has become popular and is used in comparable propensity to other journals (5.1 per cent inIMS, 9.1 per cent in JIBS, and 9.7 per cent in Journal of Macromarketing.) Methods such as cluster analysis, conjoint analysis, correspondence analysis, and canonical correlation, seldom appear in IMS or other serials. For IMS, 97.1 per cent (437 of 450) of empirical articles used at least one statistical method, 82.9 per cent (373 of 450) used one or two methods, and 14.2 per cent (54 of 450) used more than two methods. Relative to JIBS, IMS contain fewer articles with multivariate statistical methods. These propensities, which are similar to JIBS, show that

Perhaps the practitioner sub-audience for IMS motivate the lower incidence of these methods (Hyman and Steiner, 1997).

Most prolific academic institutions. Authors affiliated with the 20 most prolific institutions tended to publish empirical studies (76.2 per cent, or 221 of 290, which exceeds the overall 67.0 per cent). Authors affiliated with different institutions focused on different topics; for example, authors at Chinese University of Hong Kong often studied advertising, firm performance, and joint venture, but authors at Michigan State University often studied globalization, exporting, marketing strategy, and marketing channels (see Tables XXIVa, XXIVb and XXIVc). The only pattern in the countries they studied: an unsurprising tendency to include a local subsample (e.g. authors affiliated with Chinese University of Hong Kong often included a Hong Kong subsample). Although mail and then administered surveys generally prevailed regardless of affiliation, case studies prevailed at Michigan State University, content analysis prevailed at Cleveland State University, database analyses were popular at University of Texas-Austin and University of Georgia, and experiments were popular at Georgia State University.

Most prolific doctoral-granting institutions. Authors affiliated with the 21 most prolific doctoral-granting institutions also tended to publish empirical studies (79.9 per cent, or 239 of 299, which exceeds the overall 67.0 per cent). Authors awarded degrees from different institutions focused on different topics; for example, graduates of Michigan State University and Ohio State University often studied export and import issues, but graduates of Northwestern University and University of Oregon often conducted consumer research (see Tables XXVa, XXVb and XXVc). Regarding the countries studied:

Again, mail surveys generally prevailed regardless of an author's degree-granting institution.

Comparisons among the IMS. The IMS focused on different research domains (see Table XXVI). Specifically, the preponderance of articles published in each serial concerned the following topics:

The mix of articles is generally consistent with the editorial mandates of the IMS. For example, IMR covered the broadest range of topics, JICM focused on consumer-related topics, and JIM focused on marketing strategy rather than consumer behavior.

Other noteworthy inter-serial differences include the following (see Table XXVII):

Implications and limitations

The implications of this retrospective, which provides a macro view of IMS, arefivefold. First, practitioners account for only 2.9 per cent (37 of 1,265) of unweighted authorships; thus, articles may not adequately mirror current marketing practice. Perhaps this lack of practitioner representation is mitigated by the frequent study of managers and employees, who served as subjects in 52.0 per cent (218 of 419) of empirical studies. Regardless, marketing academicians and practitioners would benefit from increased contributions from practitioners.

Second, non-US-based authors have much to contribute to international marketing research; nonetheless, they constitute only 30.3 per cent of unweighted authorships in IMS. The cultural and educational background of US-based authors may narrow the prevailing view and reduce the generalizability of research results (Hofstede, 1980). Two ways to overcome such ethnocentrism in IMS are editor-encouraged cooperation among researchers from different countries (Albaum and Peterson, 1984) and serial-provided translators (e.g. to translate Spanish manuscripts into English).

Third, more multi-country studies, especially if they include countries from under-researched regions, would enhance the generalizability of international marketing theories. Despite recent and massive corporate investments, empirical studies of South America have been minimal; furthermore, Africa has been long neglected. Perhaps language is a barrier; more than 80 per cent of authors are from English-speaking countries. One way to overcome this language barrier is to ask international students studying in the USA to collect data whenever they return home or via personal networks in their home countries.

Fourth, some topics, such as the effect of e-commerce on international marketing, have been understudied. As a result, the application of new marketing theories to emerging domains (e.g. high technology, especially information technology) and consumer interests (e.g. consumerism, green marketing, marketing segmentation) continues to lag current marketing practice. Greater efforts in these understudied arenas can both enhance the generalizability of marketing theory and help practitioners to make better decisions.

Fifth, mail and administered surveys dominate the empirical research in international marketing (60.8 per cent or 254 of 418 studies). For many research problems in international marketing, case studies (Paliwoda, 1999), secondary data, and experimental designs may prove more reliable and valid. Archival data, including statistical records and other government or organizational records (such as census data), survey archives (such as the General Social Survey) and written records (such as newspapers), are certainly suitable for longitudinal and multi-country studies (Judd et al., 1991).

Finally, this retrospective is limited in at least three ways. First, the scope was limited to only five IMS. Future retrospectives might include a broader range of international marketing publications, especially those published outside the USA and UK. Second, the three-stage procedure for classifying the topics addressed in articles did not account for multi-topic articles (cf. Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993). Third, several analyses reported in retrospective studies, such as citation analysis (e.g. Clark and Nessim, 1986; Hoffman and Holbrook, 1993; Zinkhan et al., 1992), assessment of measure and sampling equivalence in comparative studies (Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993), and assessment of measure reliability (Aulakh and Kotabe, 1993), were beyond the scope of this retrospective.


Table I. General information about selected serials


Table II. Authorship in IMS, by author


Table III. Authorship in IMS, by academic institution


Table IV. Institutional affiliation of authors, by location


Table V. Single and multiple authorship for IMS, JIBS, and selected serials


Table VI. Authorship in IMS, by doctoral-granting institution


Table VII. Academic area of IMS authors


Table VIII. Rank and gender of authors in IMS, JIBS, and selected serials


Table IXa. Topics covered in IMS and JIBS


Table IXb.


Table X. Number of authors per article for IMS, JIBS, and selected serials


Table XI. Authorship mixes in IMS and JIBS, by gender


Table XII. Author affiliations in IMS


Table XIII. Topical trends in articles published in IMS, by percent


Table XIV. Empirical and non-empirical articles in IMS and JIBS


Table XV. Countries studied in empirical articles


Table XVI. Countries studied in IMS and JIBS, by region


Table XVII. Number of countries studied in IMS and JIBS


Table XVIII. Profile of empirical articles in IMS and JIBS


Table XIX. Number of countries studied per article in IMS and JIBS, by topics


Table XX. Mean number of countries sampled, by type of data


Table XXI. Type of empirical study for IMS, JIBS, and selected serials


Table XXII. Primary methods used in IMS, by sample types and subjects


Table XXIII. Statistical methods used in IMS and selected serials


Table XXIVa. Article profile for most prolific academic institutions


Table XXIVb.


Table XXIVc.


Table XXVa. Article profile for most prolific doctoral-granting institutions


Table XXVb.


Table XXVc.


Table XXVI. Main topics by IMS


Table XXVII. Selective comparisons among IMS

Appendix. Journal selection process

The reviewed IMS were chosen via a two-stage process. In stage one, the list of candidate serials was generated. The four sources for this list were a recent retrospective, the ABI/Inform on-line database, the MCB University Press On-line Journal Portfolio, and marketing "jump sites" on the Web.

The recent retrospective (Javalgi et al., 1997) suggested seven serials that were identified as high in international marketing orientation:

(1) European Journal of Marketing (EJM, from the UK);
(2) International Journal of Advertising (IJA, from the UK);
(3) International Marketing Review (IMR, from the UK);
(4) Journal of Euro-marketing (JE, from the USA);
(5) Journal of Global Marketing (JGM, from the USA);
(6) Journal of International Consumer Marketing (JICM, from the USA); and
(7) Journal of International Marketing (JIM, from the USA).

The current (i.e, 1997 to 1999) ABI/Inform on-line database, scanned for serial titles that contained the keywords {marketing} and {`international' or `global'} , suggested two serials:

(1) International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM, from The Netherlands); and
(2) Journal of International Marketing and Marketing Research (JIMMR, from the UK).

The MCB University Press On-line Journal Portfolio suggested two serials:

(1) International Journal of Bank Marketing (IJBM, from the UK); and
(2) International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management (IJRDM, from the UK).

(Because MCB University Press claims to be "the leading specialist publisher of academic and professional management titles in the English" (,), itspublications were considered.) Finally, several marketing "jump sites" on the Web (e.g.; suggested these nine serials:

(1) Asia Pacific International Journal of Marketing and Logistics (APIJML);
(2) Asian Journal of Marketing (AJM, from Singapore);
(3) Australasian Marketing Journal (AAMJ, from Australia);
(4) International Journal of Electronic Commerce (IJEC, from the USA);
(5) International Journal of Retailing (IJR);
(6) International Journal of Wine Marketing (IJWM);
(7) International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research (IRRDCR, from the UK);
(8) Journal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing (JIFAM, from the USA); and
(9) Journal of International Marketing and Exporting (JIME, from Australia).

In stage two, this list was culled based on general availability, maturity, degree of industry specificity, and degree of international marketing orientation. Serials were excluded for the following reasons.

Thus, the five IMS surveyed in this retrospective are IMR, JE, JGM, JICM, and JIM.


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