Cross-Cultural Consumer Behavior

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Brand, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 18 (5535 words) Published: September 24, 2012
Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 23:181–192, 2011 Copyright c 2011 Marieke de Mooij and Geert Hofstede BV ISSN: 0896-1530 print / 1528-7068 online DOI: 10.1080/08961530.2011.578057

Cross-Cultural Consumer Behavior: A Review of Research Findings Marieke de Mooij Geert Hofstede

ABSTRACT. Most aspects of consumer behavior are culture-bound. This article reviews the cultural relationships with the self, personality, and attitude, which are the basis of consumer behavior models and branding and advertising strategies. The Hofstede model is used to explain variance. Other consumer behavior aspects reviewed are motivation and emotions, cognitive processes such as abstract versus concrete thinking, categorization and information processing, as well as consumer behavior domains such as product ownership, decision making, and adoption and diffusion of innovations. Implications for global branding and advertising are included. KEYWORDS. Culture, dimensions, personality, self, emotion, global branding, communication

Recent years have seen increased interest in the influence of culture on consumer behavior as well as increased research. In this article we review studies of the influence of culture that are relevant to international marketing. We discuss the various areas of research following the components of human behavior as structured in our Cross-Cultural Consumer Behavior Framework (figure 1), which was inspired by a conceptual model by Manrai and Manrai (1996). In this framework we structure the cultural components of the person in terms of consumer attributes and processes, and the cultural components of behavior in terms of consumer behavior domains. Income interferes. If there is no income, there is little or no consumption, so income is placed in a separate box. The attributes of

the person refer to what people are (the who) and the processes refer to what moves people (the how). The central question is “Who am I?” and in what terms people describe themselves and others—their personality traits and identity. Related to the who are attitudes and lifestyle because they are a central part of the person. How people think, perceive, and what motivates them—how the aspects of “me” process into behavior—are viewed as processes. Much research on cross-cultural consumer behavior has used the Hofstede dimensional model of national culture. Although the country scores originally were produced in the early 1970s, many replications of Hofstede’s study on different samples have proved that the country ranking in his data is still valid. In the second edition of his book Culture’s Consequences (2001), Hofstede shows more than 400

Marieke de Mooij is affiliated with Cross-Cultural Communications Consultancy, Burgh-Haamstede, the Netherlands. Geert Hofstede is affiliated with the Center for Economic Research at the University of Tilburg, Tilburg, the Netherlands. Address correspondence to Marieke de Mooij, PhD, Cross-Cultural Communications Consultancy, Westerenban 44, NL-4328 Burgh-Haamstede, the Netherlands. E-mail: 181



FIGURE 1. Cross-Cultural Consumer Behavior Framework (Adapted from Manrai and Manrai 1996) Processes “How”
• Social processes
Motivation, Emotion Group processes

Attributes “Who”
Personality Self-concept Identity Image Attitude Lifestyle


Consumer The Person Values Culture

• Mental processes
Cognition, learning Language, perception Information processing Communication Decision making

Consumer Behavior Domains
Product ownership and usage Adoption/diffusion of innovations Complaining behavior Brand loyalty Responses to advertising Media usage

significant correlations between his index scores and data from other sources that validate them. Many data on product ownership and related behavior (De Mooij 2004, 2010; Hofstede 2001) appear to correlate with Hofstede’s dimensions. Sometimes a...
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