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Services Globalization

Part 6. International Marketing

  1. Haksin Chan

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem06033

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Chan, H. 2010. Services Globalization. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 6.

Author Information

  1. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


The last two decades have witnessed phenomenal growth in the service sectors, domestic and international. Global expansion poses major challenges for service operations, since they involve prominent human elements. The adage “think globally, act locally” is especially applicable to services marketers. In global expansion, services such as lodging and healthcare that are “inseparable” (i.e., that cannot be performed away from the customer) require more local adaptation and incur greater risk than “separable” services such as repair and delivery. With technological advances, however, the inseparability problem may be circumvented to some extent. Another issue is the culture-specific responses to the inevitable service failures. When the nature of failure is “economic” (e.g., a delayed flight), collectivists are more tolerant than individualists. But the pattern is reversed when the failure is “social” (e.g., an unfriendly flight attendant). Culture is clearly an important consideration for the control of service quality and the design of service-recovery programs. Furthermore, protectionism is a major concern in times of economic downturn. The high visibility of many global service operations also makes them easy targets in social and political crises. On a positive note, global services research is at the “takeoff stage” of its life cycle. The trend of “servicization” should prompt refinement of global marketing theories. Research opportunities also abound in global service contexts – for pinpointing culture-specific service quality dimensions, (dis)satisfaction responses, and recovery strategies.


  • services;
  • globalization;
  • culture;
  • inseparability;
  • variability;
  • service failures;
  • protectionism