n South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - Demographics and consumer ethnocentrism in a developing country context : a South African study

Volume 17, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1015-8812
  • E-ISSN: 2222-3436



International trade has grown exponentially since the days of the Cold War, and today consumers in most countries are exposed to a growing range of product offerings from around the world. As the origin of products might have an influence on consumer buying behaviour, many marketers realise that an improved understanding of consumer attitudes towards both domestic and imported products could be useful in formulating more effective marketing strategies. Previous research in the field of international marketing suggests that the concept of consumer ethnocentrism can be an important factor when consumers decide to purchase locally produced rather than imported products. While the concept of consumer ethnocentrism has been actively researched in a number of contexts and countries, research on this phenomenon has been limited to developed countries. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the existing body of knowledge on consumer ethnocentrism in developing markets by investigating the possible relationships between consumer ethnocentrism and a number of demographic variables in South Africa. A unique contribution of this study is that the investigation focused on two different ethnic samples - 'white' respondents and 'black' respondents - to account for the ethnic diversity in South Africa. An online survey was used to collect data on ethnocentristic tendencies in both sub-samples, as well as on their demographic characteristics. The results of the study revealed that for both groups of respondents there was a positive relationship between age and consumer ethnocentrism, while a negative relationship was found for both groups in the relationship between consumer ethnocentrism and income. In respect of the relationship between consumer ethnocentrism and gender, the results differed between the two groups of respondents.

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