Website localization towards the Norwegian market : an analysis of American firm´s websites
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This study is the first involving international firms and the localization of firms' websites for a Norwegian audience. In order to give the reader a better understanding of the topic, we first conducted a literature review where we identified five key themes related to website localization: standardization versus localization, localization website design characteristics, website localization measurement and cultural depictions in websites. The research method used in this thesis is a quantitative analysis of data collected via the content analysis of websites. By building on a proven framework developed by Singh and Matsuo (2004), we obtained data that could be compared with data from similar research performed in other cultures. The first part of the research aimed to answer the question ―do international firms adapt their webpages to the Norwegian market?" The result of the research indicated that there is a wide range between firms that localize their websites and those that do not. We found that 50 out of the 155 international firms analyzed have localized or highly localized websites. Our second research question aimed to answer how well the companies having websites that in part one were classified as localized actually localize their websites. We found that there are mostly no significant differences between the items depicted on Norwegian and US sites, which shows no clear indication of a general localization effort being made. Significant differences may exist in some items, but not at an overall cultural dimension level. The explanation for the 50 websites classified as localized in the first part of the research question is thus most probably related to the similarities between the US and Norwegian cultures.
Masteroppgave i økonomi og administrasjon - Universitetet i Agder 2011 - Masteroppgave i informasjonssystemer- Universitetet i Agder 2011