The Psychology of Consumer Ethnocentrism and Cosmopolitanism: A Five-country Study of Values, Moral Foundations, Gender Identities and Consumer Orientations

Melvin Prince, Attila Yaprak, Mark Cleveland*, Mark A.P. Davies, Alexander Josiassen, Andrea Nechtelberger, Martin Nechtelberger, Dayananda Palihawadana, Walter Renner, Sona Chovanova Supekova, Sylvia Von Wallpach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which personal values, moral foundations and gender-role identities affect, in sequence, consumers' constructions of their ethnocentric and cosmopolitan orientations. Achieving a better understanding of the psychological makeup of consumer ethnocentrism and cosmopolitanism should help managers better design international market segmentation and brand positioning strategies. Design/methodology/approach: The study's conceptual framework is anchored in attitude and values theories, and focuses on the social categorizations that consumers make and how these contribute to the formation of their ethnocentric and cosmopolitan orientations. Drawing data from consumers living in five European countries, we test our theoretical conjectures through structural equation modeling approaches, including multigroup analysis at the country level, as well as the identification and scrutiny of potential pan-European consumer segments. Findings: Findings show that personal values, moral foundations and gender-role identities do exert direct and indirect (partially mediated) effects on the formation of consumers' ethnocentric and cosmopolitan orientations. These provide numerous insights for managers in terms of how they can segment domestic and international markets, as well as how to position products and communicate brand strategies. Research limitations/implications: The study focused on consumers' personal and role identities and offers implications based on data gathered from a sample of five European countries. Future work should broaden this perspective by including other identity facets, such as religious and ethnic identities, as well as product-category and brand-specific outcomes, in order to help develop a more comprehensive picture of the psychology underpinning consumers' identity-related orientations, and their effects on consumer behavior. Future research should also study these issues in a broader geographical context, by including national markets that have culturally diverse populations as well as places with dissimilar cultural and economic profiles. Originality/value: The study shows that individuals' personal values, moral foundations and gender roles have a strong effect on the formation of consumer ethnocentrism and consumer cosmopolitanism orientations. Consideration of how these antecedent constructs operate in concert to shape consumers' in- versus out-group orientations has been overlooked in the international marketing literature. Beyond the ramifications for theory, the study offers numerous substantive managerial implications in terms of how consumers are likely to respond to local and global/foreign products/brands based on these orientations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Number of pages37
ISSN0265-1335
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 2. June 2020

Keywords

  • Consumer cosmopolitanism
  • Consumer ethnocentrism
  • Gender role identity
  • International market segmentation
  • Moral foundations
  • Values

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