n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - The moderating effect of living standards on the relationship between individual-level culture and life satisfaction : a value segmentation perspective

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1019-567X



Culture is one of the most fundamental determinants of a person's personality or motivational drives. Culture infuses personalities at both collective and individual levels and this influence affects the attitudes and behaviour of consumers and their experiences of life satisfaction. Life satisfaction has been found to be related to the consumption of material goods, making it an aspect of interest to marketers. Satisfaction with life has also been found to be related to income at aggregate cultural and national levels, but at an individual level, the relationship is weaker. Based on a nationally representative sample (n = 2 566) of South African consumers, this study investigated the relationship between their individual-level culture and life satisfaction across different levels of living standards. It was found that living standards have a moderating effect on the relationship between allocentrism and life satisfaction, with the effect gradually changing from a significantly negative effect for low levels of living standards to significantly positive effects with higher levels of living standards. For low levels of living standards, the relationship between idiocentrism and life satisfaction were positive but weak, while the relationship was not significant for higher levels of living standards. Statistical analyses included multi-group second-order confirmatory factor analysis to assess the factorial validity and measurement equivalence of the instrument, while multi-group structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses of interest in the study. The results suggest that living standards have a moderating effect on the relationships between higher-order individual cultural values and life satisfaction.

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