Starting with détente, there has been a marked improvement in North American trade with the U.S.S.R. and other Eastern European countries. This trend is predicted to continue at an accelerating rate in the years ahead. Despite this, trading and business systems of these countries are not likely to alter much. In most cases, planned purchases are going to continue, although the intensity may vary. Public policy makers in these countries decide well in advance what type of products or services they are going to purchase, because their purchases must conform with the goals of the annual foreign trade plan and the allocations of foreign exchange available for that particular purchase. Most aspects of Eastern European markets and marketing practices are not well known by North American company managers dealing with these countries. In most cases, lack of information about these markets often leads to misunderstanding and, hence, lost opportunity. The purpose of this article is to determine the critical research voids in an effort to facilitate the expansion of North American-Eastern European trade. To this end, a four-step procedure is proposed to pinpoint areas of research for immediate attention.
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