Applying Configurational Theory to Build a Typology of Ethnocentric Consumers

Published on May 9, 2016in International Marketing Review
· DOI :10.1108/IMR-03-2014-0075
Sven Feurer3
Estimated H-index: 3
(KIT: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology),
Elisa Baumbach2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UMA: University of Mannheim),
Arch G. Woodside53
Estimated H-index: 53
(BC: Boston College)
Purpose: Individuals showing high consumer ethnocentrism (CE) prefer domestic over foreign-made products and their preferences may contribute to barriers to international market entry. Therefore, how to identify such consumers is an important question. Shankarmahesh’s (2006) review reveals inconsistencies in the literature with regard to CE and its antecedents. To shed theoretical and empirical light on these inconsistencies, the study here contributes two new perspectives on CE: (1) a typology that classifies ethnocentric consumers by the extent to which they support government-controlled protectionism and consumer-controlled protectionism, and (2) a configurational (recipe) perspective on the antecedents. Design/methodology/approach: The study applies fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) of survey data from 3,859 consumers. The study contrasts the findings with findings using traditional statistical hypotheses testing via multiple regression analysis (MRA).Findings: The results reveal several configurations of antecedents that are sufficient for consistently explaining three distinct types of CE. No single antecedent condition is necessary for high CE to occur. Practical implications: The findings help international marketing strategists in their market entry decisions and in their targeting and segmentation efforts.Originality/value: The authors show the value of asymmetrical thinking about the relationship between CE and its antecedents. The results expand understanding of CE and challenge conventional net-effects thinking about its antecedents.
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