Abstract—This paper examines cross cultural problems in buyer-supplier marketing relationships between Thai suppliers and Japanese buyers. The impact of Thai culture on buyer-supplier marketing relationships is exposed from the point of view of Japanese buyers. In-depth interviews were conducted with 25 Japanese expatriates from four leading Japanese automobile manufacturers - Toyota, Honda, Isuzu and Hino. To ensure validity, data triangulation through interviews with Thais involved in developing RM, not only from suppliers but also from automobile purchasing departments were conducted. This study found that Japanese and Thais are aware of the differences; however, cross cultural problems during working relations still exist. Based on Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions; Thais are defined as “Feminine” and Japanese as “Masculine”, these different dimensions and characteristics consequentially lead to different perceptions on quality terminology and problem solving styles. The inability to cope with conflict may result in a lack of trust in RM. Minimizing working conflict is possible with awareness, acceptance, and commitment from suppliers and buyers, both Thai and Japanese.
Index Terms—Buyer-Supplier Relationship, Japanese, Relationship Marketing, Thai.
MPhallapa Petison is with the College of Management, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Phallapa Petison, "Cross Cultural Relationship Marketing in the Thai Context: The Japanese Buyer’s Perspective," International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 17-23, 2010.