Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Consumer Ethnocentrism on Product Judgment and Willingness to Buy: A Meta-Analysis

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Consumer Ethnocentrism on Product Judgment and Willingness to Buy: A Meta-Analysis

Article excerpt

Nowadays, consumers' attitudes toward and belief in their home country are becoming increasingly significant in international business (Vida & Reardon, 2008). Consumers who hold the idea that purchasing foreign-made products is inappropriate and unpatriotic are considered to be ethnocentric consumers (Shimp & Sharma, 1987). They consider that the quality of domestic products surpasses that of foreign products, and that they should buy products made in their home country instead of in a foreign country (Sharma, Shimp, & Shin, 1995).

With the advent of globalization, consumer ethnocentrism has obtained a great deal of both practitioner and academic research attention. Although the term was initially applied in the United States (see Shimp & Sharma, 1987), this concept has been introduced and examined in several countries, for example, Australia (Pecotich & Rosenthal, 2001), Poland (Supphellen & Rittenburg, 2001), China (Wang & Chen, 2004), South Korea (Moon, 2004), the Netherlands (Nijssen & Douglas, 2004), Germany (Nijssen & van Herk, 2009), Austria (Riefler, Diamantopoulos, & Siguaw, 2012), and Thailand (Winit, Gregory, Cleveland, & Verlegh, 2014).

Although many researchers have studied consumer ethnocentrism in various countries and have focused on the consequences of consumer ethnocentrism, little is known about the relative importance of effects of consumer ethnocentrism on product judgment and willingness to buy, which are two important outcome variables. Our knowledge of both domestic versus foreign product judgment and willingness to buy domestic versus foreign product was acquired from a review of existing studies.

In the present study we aimed to undertake, to the best of our knowledge, the first meta-analysis on the effects of consumer ethnocentrism on product judgment and willingness to buy. Several key factors have contributed to our research. First, we identified the effects of consumer ethnocentrism on product judgment and willingness to buy. Second, we recognized and examined the relative importance of domestic versus foreign product judgment and willingness to buy domestic versus foreign product and, third, we demonstrated how the effects of consumer ethnocentrism are moderated by economic development, cultural context, and sample type.

Hypotheses

Previous researchers on the consequences of consumer ethnocentrism have divided product judgment and willingness to buy into two categories, domestic and foreign. We therefore regarded domestic versus foreign product judgment and willingness to buy domestic versus foreign product as separate consequences of consumer ethnocentrism. Table 1 provides a review of definitions and aliases for the key constructs, that is, consumer ethnocentrism, product judgment, and willingness to buy.

As ethnocentric consumers may consider that the behavior of buying foreign products would pose a threat to their national industry and thus result in more unemployment (Sharma et al., 1995), they prefer domestic products to foreign products. Additionally, existing studies demonstrate diverse findings in the effect of consumer ethnocentrism regarding different levels of economic development (developed market vs. developing market), cultural context (eastern culture vs. western culture), and sample type (general consumers vs. student consumers). We therefore proposed the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1a: Consumer ethnocentrism will be positively related to domestic product judgment.

Hypothesis 1b: Consumer ethnocentrism will be negatively related to foreign product judgment.

Hypothesis 2: The effect of consumer ethnocentrism on domestic product judgment will be stronger than the effect of consumer ethnocentrism on foreign product judgment.

Hypothesis 3a: Consumer ethnocentrism will be positively related to willingness to buy domestic product.

Hypothesis 3b: Consumer ethnocentrism will be negatively related to willingness to buy foreign product. …

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