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The Levity of Homogenisation of Taste - A Critical Inquiry into the Standardisation Construct

Grundberg, Johan; Malmgren, Andreas and Cassinger, Cecilia (2003)
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
For decades, Theodore Levitt's notion of the homogenisation of consumer taste, as a consequence of globalisation, has been used in the marketing literature to legitimise standardisation as global strategy. Levitt's notion of homogenisation of taste refers to a worldwide desire for modern, low priced, world-standard and dependable products from the modern, and primarily western, world. Homogenisation of taste also presupposes a homogenisation of the meanings assigned to products and a view of the customers as passive recipients of promotional activity. The purpose of the thesis is to contribute to the understanding of the global corporation's role as an agent of homogenisation of taste, through a critical investigation of marketing guru... (More)
For decades, Theodore Levitt's notion of the homogenisation of consumer taste, as a consequence of globalisation, has been used in the marketing literature to legitimise standardisation as global strategy. Levitt's notion of homogenisation of taste refers to a worldwide desire for modern, low priced, world-standard and dependable products from the modern, and primarily western, world. Homogenisation of taste also presupposes a homogenisation of the meanings assigned to products and a view of the customers as passive recipients of promotional activity. The purpose of the thesis is to contribute to the understanding of the global corporation's role as an agent of homogenisation of taste, through a critical investigation of marketing guru Theodore Levitt’s theory in practice, regarding customers as passive recipients of promotional activities. The thought that meanings of modern, low priced, world-standard, and dependable products can be standardised in promotional activities are further investigated in view of that meanings are created in organised forms of social interaction in individual specific contexts. This is pursued by conducting a qualitative case study of how the promotion of standardised products is perceived by customers in a recently modernised market. In order to facilitate the comparison between corporate promotion and customer perceptions, the corporation's perception of the modern customer is in particularly investigated. The customers' perceptions are examined through qualitative interviews and observations of products in a home environment. In a joint analysis the differences of corporate and customers’ perceptions are singled out and discussed. Our study proposes that the corporation’s role as an agent of homogenisation of taste is limited to the moment of purchase. After purchase the customers seemed to decommodify and recontextualise the products, thereby assigning them other meanings than the ones promoted by the corporation. We found that this was not at least performed in order to handle the uniformity of the standardised products. Hence, our main conclusion is that customers are not passively receiving and accepting promotional activity. Therefore, a more careful usage of homogenisation of taste as legitimisation of the standardisation construct in the marketing literature is suggested. (Less)
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author
Grundberg, Johan; Malmgren, Andreas and Cassinger, Cecilia
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
homogenisation, hegemonisation, taste, Theodore Levitt, perception, meaning, modernity, consumption, standardisation, Management of enterprises, Företagsledning, management
language
English
id
1347662
date added to LUP
2003-05-26 00:00:00
date last changed
2012-04-02 14:37:04
@misc{1347662,
  abstract     = {For decades, Theodore Levitt's notion of the homogenisation of consumer taste, as a consequence of globalisation, has been used in the marketing literature to legitimise standardisation as global strategy. Levitt's notion of homogenisation of taste refers to a worldwide desire for modern, low priced, world-standard and dependable products from the modern, and primarily western, world. Homogenisation of taste also presupposes a homogenisation of the meanings assigned to products and a view of the customers as passive recipients of promotional activity. The purpose of the thesis is to contribute to the understanding of the global corporation's role as an agent of homogenisation of taste, through a critical investigation of marketing guru Theodore Levitt’s theory in practice, regarding customers as passive recipients of promotional activities. The thought that meanings of modern, low priced, world-standard, and dependable products can be standardised in promotional activities are further investigated in view of that meanings are created in organised forms of social interaction in individual specific contexts. This is pursued by conducting a qualitative case study of how the promotion of standardised products is perceived by customers in a recently modernised market. In order to facilitate the comparison between corporate promotion and customer perceptions, the corporation's perception of the modern customer is in particularly investigated. The customers' perceptions are examined through qualitative interviews and observations of products in a home environment. In a joint analysis the differences of corporate and customers’ perceptions are singled out and discussed. Our study proposes that the corporation’s role as an agent of homogenisation of taste is limited to the moment of purchase. After purchase the customers seemed to decommodify and recontextualise the products, thereby assigning them other meanings than the ones promoted by the corporation. We found that this was not at least performed in order to handle the uniformity of the standardised products. Hence, our main conclusion is that customers are not passively receiving and accepting promotional activity. Therefore, a more careful usage of homogenisation of taste as legitimisation of the standardisation construct in the marketing literature is suggested.},
  author       = {Grundberg, Johan and Malmgren, Andreas and Cassinger, Cecilia},
  keyword      = {homogenisation,hegemonisation,taste,Theodore Levitt,perception,meaning,modernity,consumption,standardisation,Management of enterprises,Företagsledning, management},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Levity of Homogenisation of Taste - A Critical Inquiry into the Standardisation Construct},
  year         = {2003},
}