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How Does East Asian Philosophy Influence Consumerism and Marketing Strategy in the Non-East Asian World?

Special issue call for papers from International Marketing Review

Submission deadline: November 23rd 2018

East Asia is home to some of the world's largest and most prosperous economies (Gill and Kaharas 2007). The region’s extraordinary growth during the past few decades offers unprecedented market potential (World Bank 2017). Mainland China is the world's second largest economy (World Economic Forum 2017), while Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are highly ranked in per capita income (International Monetary Fund 2017). Although East Asian countries are at different stages of economic development, their ancient wisdoms and philosophies—such as Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Legalism—heavily influence their shared traditions (Fischer-Schreiber et al. 1994; Ram-Prasad 2005).

The shared aspects of traditional East Asian philosophies has resulted in profound influences on both consumer decision making as well as strategic marketing practices, which may differ from or resonate with their non-East Asian counterparts. For example, East Asian consumers often are stereotyped as more utilitarian-oriented and conservative spenders than their Western counterparts (Zhou, Lee, and Hyman 2017). Similar to their Latin American counterparts, East Asian marketers are more prone to adopt a relationship-oriented approach in a B2B marketing context (Cateora et al. 2016; Yang and Wang 2011). As the world grows increasingly interconnected via trade and business exchanges, the influx and outflow of goods and business opportunities between East Asian and non-East Asian economies may induce their consumers and marketers to adapt each other's values and philosophies.

Although cross-cultural marketing studies on East Asian and non-East Asian consumers have been conducted (e.g., Aaker and Maheswaran 1997; Fam, Yang, and Hyman 2009; Ford et al. 1997; Liang, Runyan, and Fu 2011; Jin, Park, and Kim 2008; Monga and John 2007; Ojka and Tansuhaj 1995), typical findings suggest East Asian consumers either differ from or are influenced by their non-East Asian counterparts (e.g., Batonda and Perry 2003; Dolnicar and Grün 2007). Hence, marketers tend to view East Asian and non-East Asian consumers as two distinct groups whose consumption and spending behaviors largely are driven by fundamentally different values and virtues. Similar to globalization’s homogenizing effect on worldwide consumption behaviors, consumers and marketers often are influenced—consciously or subconsciously—by other consumers’ and marketers' values, weltanschauung, and behaviors (Fletcher and Fang 2006; Hyman and Yang 2001).

An upcoming special issue of International Marketing Review will be dedicated to previously recognized and unrecognized influences of traditional East Asian values on non-East Asian consumerism, marketing theory, and practice. The many diverse topics suitable for the special issue include, but are not limited to, the following possibilities:

East Asian philosophies and their impacts on non-East Asian consumer behavior:

(1)    Past and current consumer responses of non-East Asian audiences to traditional East Asian philosophies (e.g., Confucianism, Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism), and how their decision processes are influenced by East Asian philosophies
(2)    Unrecognized adoptions of Eastern values by non-East Asian consumers: Does the source matter?
(3)    How events (e.g., financial crisis) might boost the favorability of East Asian values among non-East Asian consumers
(4)    How East Asian philosophies (e.g., conservative spending) induce non-East Asian consumers to engage in socially desirable marketing behaviors (e.g., sustainable consumption)
(5)    How East Asian philosophies (e.g., utilitarianism and harmony) influence non-East Asian consumers' understanding of key marketing elements (e.g., brand perceptions)
(6)    How non-East Asian consumers respond to ads depicting East Asian values
(7)    How differences between East Asian and non-East Asian consumers’ needs affect consumer behavior

East Asian philosophies and their influence on marketing strategies in non-East Asian countries:

(1)    How East Asian philosophy influences international/global marketing management strategies (e.g., standardization vs. adaptation; globalization vs. localization) in the non-East Asian countries
(2)    Potential benefits of applying traditional East Asian philosophy to non-East Asian marketing practice
(3)    Cross-cultural studies on the known and unknown reciprocity between East Asian and non-East Asian marketing theory and practice.
(4)    How East Asian philosophy informs strategic market entry (e.g., exporting, contractual agreements, strategic international alliances, direct foreign investment)
(5)    How East Asian philosophy informs innovation and new product development
(6)    How East Asian philosophy shapes channel-of-distribution structures (e.g., Japanese distribution structure) and the implications for non-East Asian countries
(7)    Efficacy of East Asian marketing ethics on non-East Asian marketing practice
(8)    Isomorphism of consumption and marketing practices between East Asian and non-East Asian markets
(9)    Effect of institutional distances (e.g. normative, cultural cognitive) between East Asian and non-East Asian societies on marketing theory and practice
(10)    How East Asian philosophy facilitates positive sales outcomes in non-East Asian countries
(11)    How non-East Asia marketing practitioners in channel relationships with East Asian business partners are influenced by sentiment, reason, and law (e.g., Yang and Jiang 2015).

Empirical studies (qualitative or quantitative), theoretical manuscripts, and case studies are welcome. The review process will be double blind, with at least three referees evaluating each manuscript. Prospective authors can find manuscript guidelines at Although shorter manuscripts are acceptable, authors should assume a 9,000 word limit, including tables, figures, references, and appendices. Submissions should be made through the Scholar One online submission system available through the author guidelines. Please use the “submit to the journal” link and, when requested, select this special issue from the drop down menu provided during your submission.


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Batonda, G., & Perry, C. (2003). Influence of culture on relationship development processes in overseas Chinese/Australian networks. European Journal of Marketing, 37(11/12), 1548-1574.
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Guest Editors

Michael R. Hyman                                          Wenkai Zhou
Distinguished Achievement Professor            Assistant Professor of Marketing
New Mexico State University                          University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Las Cruces, NM 88003                                   Green Bay, WI 54311
Email:                           Email:

Zhilin Yang
Professor of Marketing
College of Business
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Co-Editor Biographical Blurbs

Dr. Michael R. Hyman is Distinguished Achievement Professor at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He received his M.S.M. and Ph.D. from Purdue University. His more than 85 academic journal articles, 60 conference papers (11 which won a ‘best paper’ award), four co-authored/co-edited books, 30 other academic contributions, and 60 non-academic works, attest to this writing compulsion. He has served on 15 journal editorial boards and as a journal co-editor. He is Journal of Business Ethics section editor for marketing and an incoming Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice associate editor. His research interests include consumers' responses to advertising, ethics in marketing, survey research methods, knowledge acquisition in academia, and philosophical analyses in marketing.

Dr. Zhilin Yang is Professor Marketing, City University of Hong Kong. He received his Ph.D. in Marketing from New Mexico State University, USA. Dr. Yang has published over 70 articles in leading journals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, and Journal of International Business Studies. His widely cited publications have garnered several distinctions, among them the Emerald Citations of Excellence for 2015 and a University Research Excellence Award. In addition, Dr. Yang serves as an editor-in-chief of Asian Journal of Business Research, as associate editor of European Journal of Marketing, and as an editorial board member for Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, and EsicMarket (Spain). He co-edited a special issue editor for Journal of Business Ethics (2009), Industrial Marketing Management (2010, 2012), and Journal of Business Research (2011).

Dr. Wenkai Zhou is Assistant Professor of Marketing at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He received his Ph.D. from New Mexico State University. Dr. Zhou leverages his unique background in marketing and intercultural communication in pursuit of his primary research focus on cross-cultural marketing studies between Asian and Western populations. His work has appeared in Asian Journal of Business Research.