Are multinationals localizing their web sites?

Nitish Singh (Boeing Institute of International Business, St Louis University, St Louis, Missouri, USA)
Daniel W. Baack (University of Denver, Denver, Ohio, USA)
Jennifer P. Bott (Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA)

International Journal of Commerce and Management

ISSN: 1056-9219

Publication date: 7 September 2010



The purpose of this paper is to fill a gap in the literature by examining the link between managerial attitudes regarding localization practices and firm behavior. The paper compares manager perceptions and understanding of their firm's web localization practices to the actual localization on their firm's web sites.


Two phases of empirical research were completed: a survey of localization attitudes for 65 Fortune 500 managers and a content analysis of localization practices of 27 German web sites. After reviewing descriptive statistics, a series of hierarchical regressions were performed to determine if responses to the localization survey predicted localization efforts, as coded by web site content.


The paper finds that multinational enterprise managers do consider localization to be important and that a managerial focus on localization, and on some of the important localization processes for web content, can lead to more localization of that content.

Practical implications

The paper reveals the localization norms within the industry. Managers often spend the resources necessary to localize with total standardization being rare. They are reluctant to outsource or let local partners have autonomy and want to incorporate some standardized content. Finally, managerial concern with the challenges associated with translation, internationalization, and quality assurance was linked to increased web content localization.


There is a body of literature stressing the importance of localization, but there is little to no exploration of the link between managerial attitudes toward localization and their firm's localization activity. The paper begins to address this gap.



Singh, N., Baack, D. and Bott, J. (2010), "Are multinationals localizing their web sites?", International Journal of Commerce and Management, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 258-267.

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