AbstractEast-West trade has grown rapidly since the sixties, stimulating a parallel expansion in the literature on the subject. An extensive review of this literature shows how: (i) most of the issues involved have at their source the distinctions between East and West in political ideology and/or economic management, and (ii) there has been a tendency to keep theoretical and practical perspectives on the subject too separate. This thesis demonstrates the importance of understanding the fundamental principles implied in the first point, and represents an attempt to bridge the gap identified in the second.
A detailed study of the market for fire fighting equipment in Eastern Europe is undertaken in collaboration with a medium-sized company, Angus Fire Armour Limited. Desk research methods are combined with visits to the market to assess the potential for the company's products, and recommendations for future strategy are made. The case demonstrates the scope and limitations of various research methods for the East European market, and a model for market research relevant to all companies is developed.
Tne case study highlights three areas largely neglected in the literature: (i) the problems of internal company adaptation to East European conditions; (ii) the division of responsibility between foreign trade organisations; and (iii) bribery and corruption in East-West trade.
Further research into the second topic - through a survey of 36 UK exporters - and the third - through analysis of publicised corruption cases - confirms the representativeness of the Angus experience, and reflects on the complexity of the Bast European import process, which does not always function as is commonly supposed.
The very complexity of the problems confronting companies reaffirms the need to appreciate the principles underlying the subject, while the detailed analysis into questions of, originally, a marketing nature, reveals wider implications for East-West trade and East-West relations.
|Date of Award
|Phil Hanson (Supervisor)
- East-West trade
- market research
- foreign trade organisations