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The challenges of market research in emerging markets: A practitioner perspective from Sub-Saharan Africa

Greenland, Steven J. and Kwansah-Aidoo, Kwamena (2012). The challenges of market research in emerging markets: A practitioner perspective from Sub-Saharan Africa. Australian Journal of Market & Social Research,20(2):9-22.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title The challenges of market research in emerging markets: A practitioner perspective from Sub-Saharan Africa
Author Greenland, Steven J.
Kwansah-Aidoo, Kwamena
Journal Name Australian Journal of Market & Social Research
Publication Date 2012
Volume Number 20
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1837-7467   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 9
End Page 22
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher The Australian Market & Social Research Society Ltd.
Field of Research 1505 - Marketing
Abstract This paper makes a contribution to the limited body of academic literature on market research in emerging markets, more specifically the less developed countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It should not only assist academics interested in emerging market research challenges, but also practitioners keen to pursue one of the last remaining emerging market frontiers. The research provides a checklist to help ensure research projects are designed to overcome the many challenges encountered. The study may also facilitate the training of research executives, as well as educating clients, by helping them to more fully appreciate the complexities of SSA.
While there is an expanding body of literature on international marketing research, very little looks specifically at SSA. Furthermore,
few studies examine the subject from the perspective of the market research industry practitioner. This paper does that, by exploring the challenges of conducting market research with SSA consumers from the practitioner standpoint.
The study adopts a qualitative approach to investigate the experiences of 49 professionals working in the SSA market research
industry. The research identifies a complex array of challenges facing those researching African consumers, which relate to the
region’s unique micro and macro environmental conditions. The challenges are categorised in terms of political and economic,
legislative, environmental, socio-cultural and infrastructure, as well as significant client and research resourcing issues. These are
summarised in a conceptual framework that presents a holistic picture of the situation and provides a checklist of the factors that
need to be considered during the research process. Overcoming the challenges invariably has significant impact upon research
methodology design, project management processes, as well as associated project costs and duration. These issues indicate that
companies seeking research suppliers in SSA need to reconceptualise the nature of the client–agency relationship.
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Created: Mon, 05 Jun 2017, 14:36:39 CST by Marion Farram