Consumer Behavior

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THE EFFECT OF COUNTRY OF ORIGIN OF A PRODUCT ON CONSUMERS’ BUYING BEHAVIOR

By FIREW KIFLE GUDERO Bachelor of Arts in Business Management Jimma University Jimma, Ethiopia July 2001

Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the Oklahoma State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE May, 2009

COPY RIGHT BY FIREW KIFLE GUDERO MAY 2009

THE EFFECT OF COUNTRY OF ORIGIN OF A PRODUCT ON CONSUMERS’ BUYING BEHAVIOR

Thesis Approved:

Dr. Todd J. Arnold Thesis Adviser Dr. Steven W. Edwards Dr. Stephen J. Miller Dr. A. Gordon Emslie Dean of the Graduate College

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The enthusiasm of human beings to achieve greater heights will never end. It continues and I will too. The beginning of this paper was very challenging, but the unreserved and unfailing support of my advisor, Dr. Todd J. Arnold, has been enormously important and made the completion of this paper a reality. Dr. Arnold has been my teacher, my mentor, my advisor and he has encouraged me in challenging situations as a close friend. His positive attitude towards his students has been an inspiration to me. He let me take the lead on my course but at the same time he watched me to make sure I stayed in the major course. He has given me strong support throughout the time of my research. His commitment to solve any problems I presented to him at any time and place, has been very wonderful and worth recognition. I would like to extend my deep appreciation to him. I would like to express my gratitude to member of my thesis advisory committee, Dr. Steve W. Edwards; he has been very supportive and helpful to me throughout the study, giving advice where to go and how to build the idea of my research. I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Stephen J. Miller, committee member, who has been willing to work as my advisory committee by sacrificing his time from other commitments; He has always been a great support in any area of my need in the academics and research. I want to say thank you to my family, who always keep their spirit of expectation to a higher standard to see my great achievements. This is for them. To all my families, who have helped me in the application and implementation of the survey, I would like to say thank you! God bless you. My deep appreciation goes to all the staffs of the School of International Studies who has been very helpful and also a source of comfort and strength throughout the years of my study, I want to and like to thank them all. iv

At last, I want to dedicate this work to the good memory of my late grand mom; her passion and deep love to me will always inspire me to live the future with high expectations.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page

I. INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................1 Identification of the Problem ...................................................................................1 Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................3 Outline of Research Methodologies.........................................................................3 Contributions of the Study .......................................................................................5 Organization of the Thesis .......................................................................................6 II. REVIEW OF LITERATURE....................................................................................8 Overview .................................................................................................................8 The Country of Origin as a Marketing Strategy ......................................................8 The Country of Origin Effect for Specific Products and Brands ...............................................................................................9 Consumer Bias against...
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