Cultural congruence of Websites: conscious, unconscious or coincidental? The case of Honda Cars

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Femke Vyncke
Leo Van Hove
Malaika Brengman

Vyncke, F., Van Hove, L. and M. Brengman, Cultural congruence of websites: conscious, unconscious, or coincidental? - The case of Honda Cars, Information Research, Vol. 24, Nr. 3, September 2019, paper 832.

Introduction. This paper analyses the cross-cultural Website design strategy of a division of a single multinational company, namely Honda Cars.
Method. We conducted a content analysis of sixty-one Honda Cars Websites, each targeted at a different country.
Analysis. We perform t-tests and compute Pearson correlations to verify and quantify the cultural convergence of the Honda Cars Websites. We use novel regression analyses to explain the deviations between the culture reflected in the Websites and the culture of the country the sites are targeted at.
Results. We find that the sites of Honda Cars are by and large culturally congruent – for all the dimensions of national culture originally proposed by Hofstede and Hall. The templates that some regional offices of Honda Cars provided to their branches thus do not appear to have overly constrained local developers in creating a culturally sensitive site. Finally, the sites show a higher degree of localisation when the Internet penetration in the country is high and a lower localisation degree when the country has an extreme score on a specific cultural dimension.
Conclusions. Our results suggest that the observed cultural congruence is partly deliberate and partly accidental.

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