A model for the construction of country-specific, yet internationally comparable short-form marketing scales

Martijn G. de Jong, Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp, Bernard P. Veldkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


In the last few decades, the measurement of marketing constructs has improved tremendously. Our discipline has also started to systematically catalogue our measurement knowledge in influential handbooks of marketing scales. However, at least two important issues remain. First, existing scales are often too long for administration in nonstudent samples or in applied studies. Second, existing (U.S.-developed) scales may contain items that are not informative about the underlying construct in particular countries, whereas relevant items tapping into local cultural expressions of the construct in question may be missing. To address these issues, we propose a new model that yields country-specific yet fully cross-nationally comparable short forms of unidimensional marketing scales. The procedure is based on hierarchical item response theory and optimal test design. The procedure is flexible in the sense that the researcher can specify various constraints on item content, scale length, and measurement precision. Because our procedure allows inclusion of country-specific (or “emic”) items in standardized (or “etic”) scales, it presents an important step toward resolving the emic-etic dilemma that has plagued international marketing research for decades.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)674-689
Number of pages15
JournalMarketing science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-98542
  • METIS-262131

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