In Progress Research of Clyde A. Warden

My research emphasizes three main strands: intercultural communication, service, and electronic commerce. These three topics often merge in modern marketing communication campaigns that cross national and cultural boundaries in efforts to expand firms' services through the convenience of the Web.

With a thick experience of Chinese culture (as an inside participant), I have gained enormous insights into the gap between Western and Eastern cultures that marketers in the U.S. often totally overlook (often not purposely, but simply from a lack of any common cultural/social/historical framework). From the very basic aspect of language, to the extremely subtle intricacies of social values, my research is directed at uncovering and describing the actual impact of globalization versus localization. Such issues, often dismissed in the era of the Internet, are actually more important than ever, as the new technologies make it easier for localization, but not without and understanding of what really works and what does not. My goal is to describe these parameters through solid consumer behavior research.

This research effort often involves the use of the Web in online surveys, simulations, and experiments. My capabilities in Web programming, including ASP, PHP, SQL, and Java, help me to have solid research methodology, rather than guessing what the Web is capable of or depending on my students to do my research.

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General Research in Progress

Papers in Progress (take a look and feel free to send me your comments)

Online Shopping's Vital Interface Components and Their Relative Importance in Online Shopping Tasks: A Conjoint Approach

CAT online shopping model

Warden, C. (2002). National Cheng Kung University, Business Administration Department Online shopping's vital interface components and their relative importance in online shopping tasks: A conjoint approach.

See the Flash-based proposal for this dissertation.

Empirical exploration of how online consumers interpret and value the marketing communication embedded in shopping interface components has the potential to advance knowledge of online consumer behavior and to inform design decisions concerning consumer-oriented Web sites. To date, little research has been completed regarding how interface components hinder or aid consumer perceptions of the online marketing message.

This dissertation investigates the relative importance of online shopping interface components for online consumer shopping tasks and the role they play within the context of the Elaboration Likelihood Model’s central and peripheral routes of persuasion. The important and relative issues surrounding online shopping were explored, finding the core components of convenience, access to information, and trust.

These components were then implemented in an online shopping task. Respondents considered thoughtfully (central route) marketing messages that involved issues of minimizing travel, information access, and fraud protection. The specific preference of respondents for each of these components was found to differ depending on three market segments: time savers, information seekers, and general surfers. A descriptive model of Web-based marketing messages, their roles in the central or peripheral route, and their relative importance to the three online consumer segments was developed.

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EFL Learning Motivation: A Marketing Theory Development

NSC Supported Research Grant

Motivation has been an important research topic for over fifty years due to its fundamental importance in understanding why people make certain decisions and how much effort they put into those decision, both before and after the actual choice of action is made. Understanding the motivations of language learners is part of this trend, yet there still is surprisingly little understanding of the motivations of the vast majority of language learners who are studying a foreign language. There are far more non-native English learners than native speakers-the underlying reality that English has become an international language. But in being an international language, the motivations for studying may be quite different in the international context than in the context of a person joining a native English speaking culture, say Australia or America.

Since most of our understanding of language learning motivation is imported from the West, it seems appropriate to question if the motivations are truly the same. This research undertakes an approach that applies the theories of marketing science, Exchange theory, to understanding the motivations of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students in Taiwan. Exchange theory may be an appropriate basis for approaching this question, as it describes the exchanges of value that individuals undertake in order to obtain what they think is a higher value. The mixing of the two long established research fields (both highly related to sociology) can result in overarching theories and explanations that are rich and robust.

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Relationship Marketing In Three Cultures: Determinants, Differences, & Distance

NSC Supported Research Grant

This research investigates the differences in relationship marketing approaches employed by television direct marketing in three different cultures, American, Japanese, and Chinese, and uses these differences as a basis for supporting theories of globalization or localization. Television marketing is a form of direct marketing based on the most advanced technologies deployed in only developed countries where infrastructure of cable television, telephone, and credit institutions is well established. Such global technologies are often asserted as being the basis for an emerging global consumer culture that overrides local traditional cultures. Direct marketing depends on building a relationship with the consumer, in order to overcome the lack of physical contact with the products, or control over the products being viewed. By examining the details of this relationship building in three different countries, this research will test the validity of assertions about convergence of consumer behavior due to similar technologies and global products. Results have vital importance for marketers entering the emerging Chinese market, as a fundamental decisions about localization versus globalization must be addressed.

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Modeling the Role of Ethnocentrism in Multicultural Service Failures and Recoveries

NSC Supported Research Grant

The service industry has become the largest single business industry in the global economy. In Taiwan, the service sector has seen explosive growth, and Taiwan's consumers have participated widely in the global service sector through their travels overseas. Wide success of total quality management programs in production of goods has lead to its application in the service sector. While the different aspects of what makes a service encounter successful or not have been well researched, the characteristics of what a service failure is, and how to recover from it, have not.

This research proposes to extend existing research to investigate the details of what makes a service failure and what is the most effective recovery technique within an international setting. While a native of Taiwan may have a set of service expectations that do not change, when overseas, service a delivery that does not meet his/her expectations may obtain a modified reaction. Ethnocentrism is proposed to also play a central role in the consumer's cognitive process and modify ratings of failure and recovery.

CIT (Critical Incident Technique) is the basis of the multiple stage research project, which attempts to validate CIT as a basis for Internet-based CIT interviewing. Once validity is confirmed, Internet-based CIT data will be incorporated into online simulations, which will then be run by international survey participants over the Internet. The numerous combinations of foreign and domestic service incidents will be tested, as well as the role of ethnocentrism.

Results of this project will supply information for managers on just what type of recovery strategies are most effective for different failures. Additionally, service providers who deal with multinational service situations, will be able to apply results in knowing just what to avoid and how to respond in service incidents. A second group of results will prove extremely useful to marketing researchers-the application of marketing research on the Internet. Such applications will allow marketing researchers to gain access to truly international sampling at a fraction of the time traditional sampling requires. Effective techniques for using CIT-type methodologies in non-personal interview settings has to potential to greatly expand the useful research method.

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Relationship Between Language of Origin Effect and Language Learning Motivation

NSC Supported Research Grant

Taiwan's entry to the WTO increases opportunities for global interaction in aspects of culture, economy, business, education, etc. Recognizing of the importance of learning international languages, Taiwan schools have recently expanded English education to elementary school grades. More often than not, the emphasis on language education is within the social realm, i.e., interaction in natural ways with the native speakers of the language. However, the majority of language contact people in Taiwan have is through marketing messages within the commercial aspects of the target culture, such as television, film, radio, Internet, etc. This acquaints young people with the marketing efforts of overseas firms, such as American, Japanese, or Korean based companies. Do these social and cultural contacts affect students' motivation in studying foreign languages? Little research to date has investigated the potential positive influence such exposure can have on learning in general and language specifically.

Through brand theory we can gain an insight into how students increase their consumer socialization in a target language. This research is divided into two stages. In the first stage, it is hypothesized that through these commercial interactions consumer socialization is taking place that can expand understanding of the target culture's values and in turn improve language learning motivation and performance. This research attempts to quantify the positive effect such commercial exposure has on learning motivation. In the second stage, through a series of pre-tests, the construct of Language of Origin (LOO) effect will be operationalized. Structural equation modeling (LISREL) will be used to build a model of the role of consumer socialization in language skill development. Results will underscore influential factors in motivating students through commercial exposures to the target culture. These results will next be used in laboratory settings to test for increased motivation and finally in a classroom setting for confirmatory testing, finding the educational value such constructs can have for teachers and students.