Influences of Culture, Geography and Infrastructure on Website Localization Decisions
Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 19, Issue: 3, pp.352 – 374
31 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2012
Date Written: 2012
Purpose – The paper examines the role played by culture, geography and infrastructure on European airline’s decision to launch market-specific websites.
Design/methodology/approach – Logistic regression analysis based on 440 observations of home-target country dyads collected from websites of nine European airlines, and supplemented by additional sources of macro level indicators. The unit of analysis is the country dyad.
Findings – Cultural distance between home and target country, geographical distance between home and target country, website traffic volumes originating from target country, demand conditions in target country, and competition intensity in target country all influence the decision to launch local sites. The cultural dimensions of individualism, masculinity, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance, as well as the legal, commercial and IT infrastructures in target countries don’t impact the same decision.
Research limitations/implications – The study’s findings are limited contextually to B2C e-service models, the airline industry and the European origin. Other industries, business models or regional origin of firms may exhibit different patterns.
Originality/value – The study shifts the research focus from what constitutes website localization into what dictates localization efforts’ implementation. Surprising findings suggest that counter to earlier suggestions infrastructural conditions and cultural dimensions’ levels in target markets do not predict the launch of local sites, and that geographical distance impact decisions related to the geography neutral medium of the Internet.
Keywords: Website, Localization, Culture, Cultural Distance, Electronic Commerce, Electronic Marketing
JEL Classification: M3, M31, M39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation