The Role Of Culture In International Relationship Marketing

International relationships are increasingly critical to business performance. Yet despite a recent surge in international research on relationship marketing (RM), it is unclear whether or how RM should be adapted across cultures. The authors adopt Hofstede's dimensions of culture to conduct a comprehensive, multivariate, metaregression analysis of 47,864 relationships across 17 studies, 36 countries, and six continents. To guide theory, they propose four tenets that parsimoniously capture the essence of culture's effects on RM. Study 1 affirms these tenets and emphasizes the importance of taking a fine-grained perspective to understand the role of culture in RM because of the high degree of heterogeneity across different cultural dimensions and RM linkages. For example, the magnitude of individualism's effect is 71% greater on RM than other cultural dimensions, whereas masculinity has almost no effect; however, accounting only for individualism ignores significant moderating effects of power distance and uncertainty avoidance dimensions. To guide managers, Study 2 adopts a country-level approach and reveals that RM is much more effective outside the United States such that relationships are 55% more effective, on average, for increasing business performance in Brazil, Russia, India, and China.