Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

Influence of Ethnocentrism on Consumers' Intention to Buy Domestically Produced Goods: An Empirical Study in North Cyprus/Etnocentrizmo Poveikis Pirkeju Norui Pirkti Salyje Pagamintas Prekes: Empirinis Tyrimas Siaures Kipre

Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

Influence of Ethnocentrism on Consumers' Intention to Buy Domestically Produced Goods: An Empirical Study in North Cyprus/Etnocentrizmo Poveikis Pirkeju Norui Pirkti Salyje Pagamintas Prekes: Empirinis Tyrimas Siaures Kipre

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Globalisation has resulted in increased competition as businesses extend their coverage to include a range of domestic and international markets. As a consequence, customers have an ever-expanding choice of purchase options, including an increasing proportion of foreign products and brands.

The perceptions and attitudes of consumers regarding their readiness to accept foreign products is thus becoming an increasingly critical issue for marketers (Klein et al. 2006). It is apparent that there is a need for a better understanding of the factors that determine consumers' choices of domestic and foreign products in different market settings (Netemeyer et al. 1991; Orth and Firbasova 2003). In particular, the concept of ethnocentrism is a sociological concept that refers to a tendency to regard the beliefs, standards and code of behavior of one's own as superior to those found in other societies. Ethnocentrism which has historically received a good deal of attention by sociologists and psychologists is now becoming important in the marketing literature (Jacoby 1978; Shimp 1984). Globalisation has made the role of so-called 'consumer ethnocentrism' a significant factor in marketing (Caruana 2005).

Shimp and Sharma (1987) were the first to develop an effective instrument for measuring the ethnocentric tendencies of consumers in deciding whether to purchase foreign or domestic products. This multi-item scale, which was named 'Consumer Ethnocentric Tendencies Scale' ('CETSCALE'), has been utilised to analyse why some consumers prefer domestically produced goods to imported goods, even when the latter are cheaper and their quality is evidently better (Balabanis et al. 2001). According to Luque-Martinez et al. (2000), the 'CETSCALE' instrument, which uses country of origin as one of its explanatory variables, would appear to be a useful tool for analysis of consumer attitudes, behaviour, and future purchase intentions with respect to foreign and domestic goods.

Although an increasing number of marketing researchers are now focusing on the marketplace behaviour of consumers in cross-cultural settings, relatively few studies have investigated the perceptions and judgments of consumers in developing countries and newly emerging economies (Al-Sulaiti and Baker 1998; Kaynak and Kara 2002; Maiksteniene and Auruskeviciene 2008). This is perhaps surprising, given that multinational companies around the world are continually expanding their operations (and facing significant challenges) in a range of developing countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region (Roth and Romeo 1992; Varadarajan et al. 1994). Moreover, as Kaynak and Kara (2002) have noted, the significant population growth and increasing purchasing power of consumers in such developing/emerging countries offer enticing market opportunities to Western companies whose domestic markets, in many cases, have already reached maturity. It is also of interest that the studies that have addressed consumer issues in developing countries have focused almost exclusively on hi-tech or fashion products (such as automobiles, home appliances, computers, apparel, etc.) and/or services (such as air transportation) (Chryssochoidis et al. 2007). Few studies, if any, have examined consumer attitudes in developing countries with regard to common household consumer products (such as cleaning agents for example, cleaning agents are substances, usually liquids, that are used to remove dirt, including dust, stains, bad smells and clutter on surfaces. Purposes of cleaning agents include health, beauty, absence of offensive odor, avoidance of shame, and to avoid the spreading of dirt and contaminants to oneself and others. Some cleaning agents can kill bacteria and clean at the same time.

Against this background, the present study is designed to contribute to the literature in this area of research by:

* Testing the reliability and validity of 'CETSCALE' by examining consumers' ethnocentrism in a developing/emerging market setting that has not been previously investigated in this regard (North Cyprus);

* Examining consumers' ethnocentric tendencies on a product category that has not been previously investigated in this regard (domestically produced household cleaning agents) and

* Investigating how demographic variables (such as age, gender, education, and income) influence ethnocentric tendencies in the chosen research setting. …

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