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2018/2019  BA-BIMKV1701U  3C: Comprehending Consumers across Cultures

English Title
3C: Comprehending Consumers across Cultures

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for BA in Intercultural Marketing Communication
Course coordinator
  • Fumiko Kano Glückstad - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Jan Michael Bauer, Assistant Professor,
Krisian Roed Nielsen, Assistant Professor,
Fumiko Kano Glückstad, Associate Professor
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Globalization and international business
  • Marketing
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 22-08-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Be able to formulate a research question integrating some of the key theoretical concepts introduced in the course
  • Display a theoretical understanding of consumer behavior and culture
  • Understand the role of social, cultural and personal factors influencing the decision-making of international consumers
  • Be able to detail how the international consumer behavior concepts and theories can be used to segment and target international markets
  • Develop cross-cultural communication strategies targeting the selected segments
  • Critically assess the advantages and disadvantages of the respective theories and methods for solving a specific (social) marketing problem
Course prerequisites
The course is open to a wide range of students who wish to learn how to investigate, understand, and manage international consumers.
3C: Comprehending Consumers across Cultures:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

Each student will submit an individual written product based on empirical data and materials collected through the group assignment in the course. The students have to formulate their own individual research questions, selecting and applying theories introduced in the course, and critically analyze empirical data by employing theories and methods learned. A student who has not participated in a group assignment during the course must find his/her own data and materials for the exam assignment.

Course content and structure

Consumers increasingly expect to be addressed and met on their own terms. This can only be achieved if businesses can handle very complex insights into culturally diverse subgroups (“segments”) of consumers and their behavior across the global market place. The key challenge is understanding and identifying how consumers prioritize and choose. The identity formation and thereby value formation of modern consumers are becoming increasingly complex due to their belonging to local, national and global communities accessible via contemporary media technologies and the world-wide web.


In order to comprehend consumers across cultures, the course reviews definitions of cultures, socio-cultural environments influencing the formation of consumers' identities, and discusses how culture, values and norms translate into consumer behavior. The course introduces several consumer behavior concepts such as "Acculturation to Global Consumer Culture", "Consumer Segmentation", “Social Marketing”, and “Cognitive and Behavioral Consumer Models”.  .


For comprehending consumers across cultures, several research methods are introduced among others: explorative quantitative analysis of secondary data such as World Value Survey, European Social Survey, Eurobarometer; survey design for collecting primary data; and experiments.  


The course focuses on identifying a target (consumer or market) segment for a specific product/service and analyzing how a company or institution could target this segment, for example, by optimizing its communication strategy to attract the targeted consumer segment.  



Description of the teaching methods
The course consists of 3 lessons (3 x 45 minutes) for 12 weeks.

The course will mainly use lecturing and group discussions as learning tools. The aim is to form groups consisting of a mix of local Danish and international students in order to facilitate discussions between people with diverse backgrounds.

The students in groups choose a product/service relevant to a case introduced at the beginning of the course and make a group assignment, which is to be presented in class.

The students can use materials worked on in the group assignment for their individual final exam reports.
Feedback during the teaching period
Through a group-based assignment, the course will facilitate "student to student feedback" as well as teachers' feedbacks to each group assignment in the class and online.
Student workload
Preparation (reading course materials) 50 hours
Exam (including exam preparation) 48 hours
Group work and assignments 72 hours
Lectures 36 hours
Expected literature
  • Craig, C. Samuel & Susan P. Douglas (2005) International Marketing Research, 3rd Edition. Wiley ISBN: 978-1-119-06233-2
  • Jackson, T., 2005. Motivating Sustainable Consumption, Guildford.
  • Markus, H.R. & Kitayama, S. (2010) Cultures and Selves: A Cycle of Mutual Constitution. In Perspectives on Psychological Science 5(4) 420-430
  • Cleveland & Laroche (2007) Acculturation to the global consumer culture: Scale development and research paradigm. In Journal of Business Research Vol. 60
  • Schwartz, Shalom H. (2012) An Overview of the Schwartz Theory of Basic Human Values. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. 
  • Inglehart, R. & Baker, W.E. (2000) Modernization, cultural change, and the persistence of traditional values. In American Sociological Review, Vol. 65
  • Ölander, F. & Thøgersen, J., 1995. Understanding of consumer behavior as a prerequisite for environmental protection. Journal of Consumer Policy, 18(4), pp.345–385. Available at:http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1007/​BF01024160.
  • Thøgersen, J. (2005). How May Consumer Policy Empower Consumers for Sustainable Lifestyles? Journal of Consumer Policy, 28(2), 143-177.
  • Bertrand, M., Mullainathan, S. & Shafir, E., 2006. Behavioral Economics and Marketing in Aid of Decision Making Among the Poor. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 25(1), pp.8–23.
Last updated on 22-08-2018