The Country-of-origin Image and Consumer Trust Development: A Quantitative Analysis of the Relationship between Country-of-origin Image and Narrow-scope Trust

Denisa Andreea Matei & Sophie Christin Fink

Student thesis: Master thesis


Purpose: The current study investigates whether country image perceptions of consumers exert an influence on the formation of narrow-scope trust in companies from the respective country, by also examining antecedents, outcomes and moderators of the hypothesized relationship. Specifically, the aviation industry and the Egyptian airline EgyptAir serve as a research context.
Methodology: This study employs a quantitative research method. After reviewing relevant secondary data, primary data is collected by means of a self-administered online survey targeting end consumers. Further, to identify relevant variables that are to be tested in the questionnaire, two pre-tests have been conducted, in the form of an online survey and a focus group discussion. Eventually, established hypotheses have been tested by performing eight linear regression analyses.
Findings: Study results indicate that country-of-origin image perceptions seem to have an impact on the formation of narrow-scope trust. Further, an enhanced trust level leads to a greater willingness to buy and willingness to pay, whereas performance risk perceptions and feelings of anxiety evoked in consumers are reduced. Moreover, word-of-mouth is identified as a driver of a country-of-origin image, while media exposure is negatively related to a country’s image. Cultural openness does not exert any influence on country image formation. Lastly, broad-scope trust and lay rationalism do not moderate the relationship between country-of-origin image and broad-scope trust.
Research Limitations: The study is limiting its scope to the chosen variables of the research framework. Further limitations include methodological constraints, in the form of non-probability sampling techniques and possible response biases, potentially impeding the generalizability of results.
Practical Implications: Managers should be aware that the image of a company’s country-of-origin has direct influence on consumers’ development of narrow-scope trust. Consequently, measures should be undertaken to either leverage a good country image or distract from an unfavourable one.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages192
SupervisorsAlexander Josiassen