Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Integrative Review: Factors Effecting Consumer Ethnocentrism (CET)

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Integrative Review: Factors Effecting Consumer Ethnocentrism (CET)

Article excerpt


In the era of global trade, marketers should consider the barriers that exist when they decide to expand their business globally. In many countries around the world governments were active and sought to protect their domestic economies from foreign investments such as establishing tariff and non-tariff barriers (Snieska, 2008). Consumer ethnocentrism plays a role in shaping consumer' buying behavior and therefore can act as an obstacle to international trade (Deb & Chaudhuri, 2014). By assessing the level of ethnocentrism marketers can make strategic decisions about products and services in the global market. Consumer ethnocentrism may indicate a general tendency of consumers to reject foreign products regardless of a product quality or price considerations (Siamagka & Balabanis, 2015). Consumer ethnocentrism is derived from the general concept of ethnocentrism that was first introduced in socio-psychological literature. Sumner (1906, p. 13) has defined ethnocentrism as the "view of things in which one's group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it". In his book, he believed that each group has a pride of their own group and the perception of other groups as subordinate. According to Sumner, each group has feelings of pride and superiority, but other groups are perceived as inferior from the host group point of view. Similarly, Siamagka and Balabanis (2015) use the notion of the "cognitive aspect" to explain how ethnocentric people understand the out-group being different from their own ethnic perspective. Importantly, they argue that this creates bias against foreign countries. This is in line with the views of Shimp and Sharma (1987) who showed how ethnocentrism is important to purchasing behavior and that difference of views can be found about how a host country produces superior products, while other countries produce inferior products. According to Shimp and Sharma (1987) consumer ethnocentrism is about the beliefs held by customers who see purchasing foreign products as immoral, that it can hurt the local economy and cause job loss, while being unpatriotic.

Antecedents of Consumer Ethnocentrism

Based on previous research he categorized factors that can influence CET suggesting four main antecedents: socio-psychological, political, economic and demographic. Each category has elements that may affect positively or negatively on consumer ethnocentrism and the following section explores this further:

Socio-Psychological Antecedents

There are four components of the Socio-Psychological Antecedents, consisting of animosity, conservatism, cultural openness, and patriotism. These constructs can affect the level of consumer ethnocentrism tendency toward purchasing foreign and domestic products. Some of them are found to enhance the consumer ethnocentrism tendency such as animosity, conservatism, and patriotism, while cultural openness is found to reduce the levels of ethnocentric tendency. The next section reviews the previous work that used these constructs to investigate their effect of consumer ethnocentrism and a summary of previous work can be found in Table 1.

The effect of animosity toward purchasing foreign products has been documented widely in international marketing literature. Klein, Ettenson, & Morris (1998) were the first who published a study and defined consumer animosity in the field of marketing. Animosity is about antipathy, feelings that are related to political, military, and economic issues and problems (Fong et al., 2015; Kleinet al., 1998). Consumers are different in their animosity and there may well be different reasons that cause this feeling including economic animosity, political animosity, religious animosity or personal animosity (Riefler & Diamantopoulos 2007). Feelings such as these can affect negatively on consumer purchase intention towards foreign products (Rose et al., 2009) and while the influence of consumer animosity on foreign products can appear to be similar to the concept of consumer ethnocentrism, the latter is not necessarily towards a specific foreign product from any particular country. …

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