This research is about the study of the understanding and attitudes of Thai and Singaporean consumers towards the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) coming around in 2015. AEC is a regional economic integration of 10 countries consisting of Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam which are diverse economically, culturally and politically. There are 4 mains key characteristics of AEC which are following. 1.
A single market and production base
A highly competitive economic region
A region of equitable economic development
A region fully integrated into the global economy.
As a result of differences among member countries, the integration would affect each country differently. All countries have to prepare for the changes after AEC is implemented. For example, under the AEC, human resources will be able to move around the region freely. Thus, it is very important for the countries to know how to manage flow of people in and out and also for the organizations to know how to adapt management practice to cope with the changing nature of workforce. Studying for the understanding and attitudes of people towards AEC will be beneficial for both public and private sectors. The research will explore the level of understanding, attitudes towards the regional economic integration, to what extent people understand AEC and whether a uniform understanding is present. The research also shows the comparision between Thais and Singaporeans about their understanding and attitude towards AEC. Both domestic and multinational companies in Thailand and Singapore can review the result of the research to know the understanding and attitudes of their consumers towards AEC. Therefore, the firms will be able to know how to set their strategies or adjust their management stylein order to cope with the changing and grasp the new opportunities of the AEC. Moreover, the governtment of Thailand and Singapore can use this research to be the guideline for setting the policy in order to take advantage of the integration and enhance economic growth of the countries.
Definition of management problem :
Should the government and firms create project to give the knowledge about the AEC to their critizen or consumers? 2.)
What can the government and firms do to pursusade their critizen and consumers to have good attitude towards the AEC? 3.)
What can the government and firms do to get their critizen and consumers have uniform understanding of AEC?
Conceptual Model / Framework :
The figure shown below is the conceptual model that has 7 concepts which are nationality, income, occupation, work industry, consumer ethnocentrism, consumer cosmopolitanism and understanding of AEC. In the model, there are 4 independent variables which are nationality, income, occupation and work industry. Consumer ethnocentrism and consumer cosmopolitanism are considered as mediating variables and understanding of AEC is dependent variable.
H1 : There is a relationship between nationality and consumer ethnocentrism. H2 : There is a relationship between income and consumer ethnocentrism. H3 : There is a relationship between occupation and consumer cosmopolitanism. H4 : There is a relationship between work industry and consumer cosmopolitanism. H5 : There is a negative relationship between consumer ethnocentrism and understanding of AEC. H6 : There is a positive relationship between consumer cosmopolitanism and understanding of AEC. Definitions of Terms
Nationality refers to membership of a particular nation or state, by origin, birth, naturalization, ownership, allegiance or otherwise, in which people share a common origin, culture and/or language, and possibly constituting a nation-state (Wiktionary, 2012). 2.
Income is defined as an employee’s earnings in term of monetary which is wage or salary (Ike-Elechi Ogba, 1999). 3.
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