Accepted for Journal of Customer Behaviour
Copyright © 2003 Keith Dinnie. All rights reserved. Dr Keith Dinnie Temple University Japan 4-1-27 Mita, Minato-ku Tokyo 108-0073 Japan Email: email@example.com Web: www.brandhorizons.com
Country-of-origin 1965-2004: A literature review
Introduction This paper reviews the country-of-origin literature and traces the conceptual development of the country-of-origin construct. In general terms, the value of literature reviews resides in their ability to provide scholars, students, and practitioners with a critical appraisal of the existing research on a topic. By classifying and evaluating the extant knowledge base of a particular area, a literature review not only delineates the major themes and issues in the field but also identifies and develops avenues for future research. In the specific context of the country-of-origin field, there is a high level of interest in researching the effects and impact of country-of-origin as an extrinsic product/service cue and therefore a review of the literature may be regarded as timely and useful. This level of interest may be attributed, at least in part, to increasing economic globalization which has resulted in the lowering of trade barriers between nations and the consequent availability of more foreign products and services across borders than ever before. In such circumstances, many products and services highlight their country-of-origin as a potential competitive differentiator in their respective markets. Country-of-origin thus represents an important area for consumer behaviour research and has attracted much attention by marketing scholars. This literature review identifies three main periods in the chronological development of country-of-origin research (see Table 1). The first period covers from 1965-1982, beginning with Schooler’s study of country-of-origin effects in the Central American market (Schooler, 1965) and ending with the widely cited Bilkey and Nes study of country-of-origin effects on product evaluations (Bilkey and Nes, 1982). The Bilkey and Nes article summarised country-of-origin research to that point in time, qualitatively evaluating the results of twenty-five country-of-origin studies. The 19651982 period in the country-of-origin research is characterised by a development from simple single cue studies-where country-of-origin is the only product cue to be manipulated-towards more complex investigations such as that by Bilkey and Nes (1982) into the generalisability of country-of-origin effects. The second period, 1983-1992, witnessed a further increase in the volume of countryof-origin research. Johansson, et al (1985) questioned the findings of earlier studies and claimed that previously conducted research may have overstated the significance of country-of-origin effects, particularly where a multi-attribute approach was not used. Conjoint analysis used by Ettenson, et al (1988) supported the contention of Johansson, et al (1985) that contrary to earlier contributions to the literature, other product cues such as price and quality may have a stronger effect on consumer product evaluations than country-of-origin information. The third period, 1993-2004, is characterised by a proliferation of different streams of research many of which seek to reconceptualise country-of-origin in terms of brand origin (Thakor and Kohli, 1996), product-country image (Papadopoulos and Heslop,
1993), and contextualised product-place image (Askegaard and Ger, 1998). This period, 1993-present day, has also seen a growing recognition that country-of-origin effects should be examined in relation to services and not exclusively in relation to tangible products (Harrison-Walker, 1995; Al-Sulaiti and Baker, 1998; Webb and Po, 2000; Javalgi, Cutler and Winans, 2001). In post-industrial economies, the service sector is facing unprecedented...