Development Of Theoretical Framework And Hypotheses
4.2 FRAMEWORK DEVELOPMENT & HYPOTHESIZED MODEL
A framework is defined as a collection of models and studies gathered from the literature which underpins a positivistic research study (Hussey & Hussey, 1997). In other words, a researcher develops a framework for his or her research by analysing the relationships among the several factors identified as being important to the problem. This will serve in postulating and testing certain association and in improving his or her understanding of the dynamics of the situation.
After the framework has been formulated, testable hypotheses can be developed to examine whether or not it is valid (Sekaran, 2003).
4.2.1 Theories derivation (TRA & CET)
As shown in Figure 4-1 Ajzen and Fishbein's (1980) Theory of Reasoned Action has served as the starting point of a theoretical foundation for this research.
Based on literature review Theory of reasoned action (TRA) was adopted in several studies and shows a strong predictor to actual behaviour in difference area different places. A huge amount of researchers found strong support for TRA (Davies C., 2008; Damen & Steenbekkers, 2007; Bonne et al., 2007; Marks, 1996; Sharon et al., 1997; Cook & Fairweather, 2007; Sharon et al., 1997; Shih & Fang, 2004; Choong, 1998, China, Lee & Littrell, 2005; Hansen et al., 2003; Greene et al., 1997; Sejwacz et al., 1980; Sparks et al., 1995). Furthermore, three Meta analyzed studies where found supporting TRA (Shappard et al., 1988; Randolf & Wolff, 1994; Sherran & Oberall, 1999).
Actually, buying foreign product don’t need special skills and cooperation from others to be performed, or certain skills or mindless which mean purchase a foreign product is a volitional behavior and TRA is to explain behavior under volitional (personal) control. This assumption is the same as the one in this study, which is that a consumer purchase behaviour decision towards foreign products is a rational process.
Several studies used TRA theory in predicting consumer behavior toward purchasing products, such as Summers et al. (2006) toward luxury products; Tarkiainen and Sundqvist (2005) buying organic food; Lee & Littrell (2006) product on the internet, Nor et al. (2008) online products; Hamin and Elliott (2006) toward domestic & foreign products. All found TRA theory is a strong model in predicting consumer purchase behaviour are investigated.
Furthermore, Sheppard et al. (1988) conducted two meta-analyses of the TRA, and found TRA an excellent model to predict consumer behavior basis and how to target the changer could be in consumers' behavioural.
As a second primary theory this study adopted to help in predicting consumer behaviour toward foreign products is Consumer ethnocentrism. This research have represented the subjective norm with consumer ethnocentrism based on the literature review that found consumer ethnocentrism conceptualized as playing the role of the subjective norms (Levine and Campbell, 1972; Shankarmahesh, 2004; Balestrini & Gamble, 2007; Shimp and Sharma 1987; Sharam et al., 1995).
However purchase behaviour towards foreign products could be affected by many variables such as price, quality, and country of origin, based on literature review all these factors become less powerful in case consumer ethnocentrism is involved. By this is meant that if the entire previous factor is strong, then consumer ethnocentrism remains a barrier in consumer purchase behaviour (Balestrini & Gamble, 2007; Hamin and Elliott, 2006; Shankarmahesh, 2004; Shimp and Sharma, 1987).
Also in past studies on foreign buying behaviour the role of subjective norms, which refers to the perceived social pressure has often been ignored and not represented very well as a multivariate model (Tarkiainen & Sundqvist, 2006). Hamin and Elliott (2006) did not include the (SN) into their model at all. Another study done by Sparks and Shepherd (1992) included subjective norms within the study framework, but subjective norms’ did not have strong explanatory power which resulted comparatively weak and not significant.
Thus, based on that, this study used the concept of consumer ethnocentrism here to represent consumers' normative beliefs in the superiority of their own countries' products so as to increase the explanatory power effect of subjective norm.
Finally, Fisher (1984;119) states: 'Taking these findings together, it can be considered that the theory of reasoned action is a generally useful and applicable predictor, across behavioural domains, but that inclusion of external variables that are relevant in a specific behavioural domain may improve prediction of that type of behaviour". This will be explained next.
Figure 4-1: Original model of TRA (Fishbein & Azjen, 1975)
Figure 4-2: First Derived Model from the TRA model
Actual purchase of foreign Products
Intention towards foreign products
Attitude towards foreign product
4.2.2 External Variables (Conservatism and interest in travel)
TRA postulate that both attitude and subjective norms are predictor of intention were intention is an approximate predictor for actual behaviors. Nevertheless, critics of the TRA have argued that "attitude and subjective norm is not sufficient predictor of behaviour intention or indirectly of behavior" (Dillard & Pfau, 2002).
In sight of that, several studies found adding external variables could be directly effect toward intention or actual behaviour and increase the model power and more statically fit (Prestholdt, Lane, & Mthews, 1987; Sprks et al., 1995; Warburton & Terry, 2000; Sparks & Guthrie, 1998; O Keefe, 1990; Tarkiainen & Sundqvist, 2005, Fisher, 1984).
Based on literature, strong take in consideration using external variables it increase the power in predicting behavior which in turn increase the model fit (Bagozzi et al., 2000; Candan et al., 2008). Thus, we motive by previous studies related adding external variables to TRA theory to increase the power of the model.
In terms of that, we were particularly interested in the influence of several external variables in our study on respondents’ purchase behaviour; we decided to include both (conservatism and interest in foreign travel) to the central variables in the full model to predict purchase behaviour of Jordanian consumers towards foreign products which is presented in Figure 4-3.
Figure 4-3: Study framework (hypothesized model)
Actual purchase of foreign product
Intention towards foreign products
Interest in foreign travel
Attitude towards foreign products
Both these concepts, conservatism and foreign travel, could have a strong influence on the attitudes and subjective norms of consumers purchase behaviour in situations similar to Jordan. As a Muslim country with a rich tradition where conservatism has a strong effect, a majority want their purchase behaviour to fit their social status (Jordan Times, 2007).
The highest ethnocentrism levels are among believers that are only marginally connected to organized religion (Salter & Frank, 2004). Based on Nijssen et al (1999) argued that most experienced toward other culture come by watching programmes on television or the information take it in school by reading about other cultures.
In fact, the real experience and knowledge regard other culture can came by the living within that culture or visit them. Thus, from that experience can exactly judge more logically toward that culture.
Interest in travel was found to have negative link to consumer ethnocentrism, in tern will effect on purchase behaviour toward foreign product (Nijssen et al 1999). Based on Mooij (1997); Kelly (1995); Litvin, Crotts & Hefner (2004) Interest in travel and go abroad more appear strongly among small group or country with small nation. That people from small countries have more exposure toward big counters.
Based on that, as Jordan small country, positive attitude toward travel abroad could be a strong construct effect Jordanian consumer behavior toward foreign products.
4.3 INTERRELATIONSHIP AMONG RESEARCH VARIABLES
On the basis of Figure 4-3, the framework discusses the interrelationships among the six variables that are considered important to our study. These variables have generated a lot of recent research interests in many developed countries. Since the variables have great potential to be good predictors of purchase behaviour, it might be especially interesting to investigate it in a less developed country like Jordan.
The interest in foreign travel variable for example, has not been investigated previously in these circumstances before. In addition, these variables may differ between cultures, and this study aims to establish these differences. Beside the general reasons for selection of the six variables given above, individually, each variable is appropriate for its use in this study, for reasons discussed below:
4.3.1 Consumer Ethnocentrism Predictor
For this research consumer’s ethnocentrism refers to preference for domestically produced products, or conversely, a bias against imported products (Shimp and Sharma, 1987).
Figure 4-4: Conceptual relationship between conservatism and interest in foreign travel and consumer ethnocentrism
Interest in foreign travel
1- Conservatism and consumer ethnocentrism
Conservative people are those who “show a tendency to cherish traditions and social institutions that have survived the test of time and to introduce changes only occasionally, reluctantly and gradually” (Sharma et al., 1995).
It is relatively easy to observe how many Jordanians cherish their traditions and social institutions. Traditions play an important role in keeping this conservatism alive in a Jordanian’s life. Moreover, the strong foothold of religion corresponds with strong conservatism for Jordanian consumers (Al Rai, 2008).
Many Jordanian prefer to link their behaviour with traditional cues (Al Faniq, 2009). This is in contrast with the new generation which wants to follow and imitate the new lifestyles coming from the developed countries. Different cultures have different established values, and conservatives in different cultures have differing goals. Burke (1987) argued that "tradition is a much sounder foundation than 'metaphysical abstractions’".
Salter & Frank (2004) found the highest ethnocentrism levels are among consumer connected to structured religion. It found consumer conservatism have significantly effect consumers ethnocentrism (Sharma et al., 1995; Balabanis et al., 2002; Supphellen & Rittenburg, 2001; Javalgi et al., 2004). Thus, this study hypothesizes that:
H2-a “Conservatism has a positive significant impact on consumer ethnocentrism”
2- Interest in foreign travel and consumer ethnocentrism
Nijssen et al (1999) defined interest in foreign travel as interest attitudes towards travelling and exposure to foreign countries and to go abroad. A lot of research has been conducted in the past relating to consumers’ ethnocentrism in countries with large internal markets till today.
It has been established that people in a small nation will be mostly more concern to other nations and look forward to know more about others, which in tern will give enhance the experience and the information which also reduce the inclination towards ethnocentrism (Mooij, 1997).
Based on the we can conclude that positive attitude toward travel abroad reduce inclination towards consumer ethnocentrism (Nijssen et al 1999; Mooij, 1997; Kelly, 1995; Litvin, Crotts & Hefner, 2004). Thus, interest in foreign travel provides a strong theoretical ground to predict consumer ethnocentrism among Jordanian consumers in Amman as a small country. As Jordan is a small country with high interest to travel abroad based on the literature review this could affect negatively affect consumer ethnocentrism.
Therefore, this research expects that increase in interest in foreign travel will have negative significant influence on consumer ethnocentrism in the future. Thus, the following hypothesis can be derived:
H1-b “Interest in Foreign Travel has a negative significant impact on consumer ethnocentrism”
4.3.2 Attitude toward Foreign Products Predictor
Ajzen (2006) defined attitude toward the behaviour as the "degree to which a person has a favourable evaluation or appraisal on the behaviour in question and also is characterized as a personal preference to exhibit a certain response towards a concept or subject". Previous studies show attitude could effect by several variables in regards attitude toward foreign products.
Figure 4-5: Conceptual relationship between consumer ethnocentrism, interest in foreign travel, and conservatism and attitude toward foreign products
Interest in foreign travel
Attitude towards foreign product
Figure 4-5 illustrates the relationship between Attitude toward foreign product as dependent variable and the predictor (consumer ethnocentrism, interest in foreign travel, and conservatism) as independent variables. It is clear that the direct relationship between the independent variables and dependent variable is interrelated, and consistent with consumer ethnocentrism concept and the TRA theory as discussed in previous chapter based on literature review.
1 - Consumer ethnocentrism and attitude toward foreign products
Based on the concept of consumer ethnocentrism, consumers exhibit high inclination towards domestic products instead of foreign products. Consumer ethnocentrism resulted in negative attitudes against foreign products in studies such as (Yim, Garrma & Polonsky, 2008; Balestrini & Gamble, 2007; Torres & Gutierrez, 2007; Kinra, 2006; Nijssen et al., 1999; Hamin and Elliott, 2006); Au and Sha ,2003; Suh & Kwon, 2002; and Klein et al., 1998); where it was found that there had been positive feelings towards domestic products and a bias against foreign products. Previous studies were found statistical evidence for the direct negative link between CET and attitude toward foreign products.
"The logic was that ethnocentric consumers will perceive international competition as being unfair to domestic industries" (Shankarmahesh, 2004). In time, findings by previous research showed the consumers display their priority on foreign goods and treat in a partial or biased manner against home made (Yim, Garrma & Polonsky, 2008). Marketer believed that if a consumer has ethnocentric tendencies, more preference toward home made will appear.
Thus, we can conclude, increase consumer ethnocentric level, will increase the preference toward home made, and evaluate foreign product in a negative position.
The findings of Shimp & Sharma (1987); Shankarmahesh (2004); Yim et al. (2008) demonstrated that ethnocentric feeling play an important factor in forming consumer responses to imported products and brands. This finding believed highly ethnocentric ethnocentric person tends to reject foreign brand, where consumer who exhibit less ethnocentric are likely to hold positive attitude toward foreign products.
Furthermore, theoretically previous studies related to the TRA have found evidence that there is a significant causal path from subjective norms to attitudes, where ignored in studies done before. Chang (1998) suggested that the link could be explained with social environment’s influence on an individual’s attitude formation. Thus, several authors have proposed that there is a need to modify the TRA. As stated earlier, Chang (1998), Shepherd and O’Keefe (1984), Shimp and Kavas (1984), and Vallerand et al. (1992) have all found evidence that there is a significant causal path from subjective norms to attitudes. Based on the above statements, we therefore construct hypothesis that:
H6-a “Consumer ethnocentrism has a negative significant impact on attitude toward foreign products”
2- Interest in foreign travel and attitude toward foreign products
As for interest in travel abroad, Nijssen, et al. (1999) found that, consumer have more preference to go abroad and visiting countries, are more less ethnocentric toward foreign products, where in turn effect positively on attitudes towards imported goods.
As a matter of fact, small countries like Jordan have positive attitudes toward travel abroad and reflect a more international orientation (World Tourism Organization, 1999). Embassies of foreign counties in Jordan are met with people every day who submit their request for visa to travel. According to the Department of Statistics (2007), around 600,000 to 700,000 Jordanians had left the country last year (Department of Statistics, 2007).
Douglas, et al. (1997) made an interesting finding that there is the positive link between interest in foreign travel, and attitude toward foreign products. As proposed by Mooij (1998) that he believed, absence of knowledge of other culture can create the ethnocentrism among consumer toward certain culture rather than to prejudice which will also reflect on consumer attitude.
As many Jordanians prefer to take go overseas spending their vacations and holidays between Europe and Asia (World Tourism Organization, 1999), this research expects that increase in interest in foreign travel among Jordanian consumers in Amman will have positive significant influence on attitude towards foreign products in the future where we hypothesized:
H1-b “Interest in foreign travel has a positive significant impact on attitude toward foreign products”
3- Conservatism and attitude toward foreign products
As for conservatism, studies such Altintas & Tokol (2007), Sharma et al. (1995), Balabanis et al. (2002), Supphellen & Rittenburg (2001), Javalgi et al. (2004) found a negative relationship between conservatism and attitude towards foreign products. A similarity finding by study done by Olsen et al. (1999) in the US used survey questionnaire to investigate the relationship between conservatism and attitude towards foreign products found a negative relationship between the two.
As we mentioned earlier, Jordan is very rich traditional country. At the same time as a Muslim country we can easily observe the role of Islam in increasing the conservatism. Whatever may be the quality or price of the product, if it does not meet with his role as a Muslim or as a highly conservative person, he will not go ahead and purchase the product. . This situation leads us to hypothesize:
H2-b “Conservatism has a negative significant impact on attitude towards foreign products”
4.3.3 Intention toward Foreign Products Predictor
As we mentioned earlier in the chapter on literature review, Intention(s) based on TRA theory are the proximal factor directly effect on behavior to act. This intention is made up of the attitudes and subjective norms previously discussed according to (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980).
Figure 4-6: Conceptual relationship between consumer ethnocentrism and attitude toward foreign product and intention towards foreign products
Attitude towards foreign prodcu
Intention towards foreign product
1- Consumer ethnocentrism and intention towards foreign products
Consumer ethnocentrism conceptualized as one of the normative beliefs orientations of the consumer toward products manufactured abroad (Levine and Campbell, 1972). From a marketing standpoint, ethnocentrism is likely to be understood as what is good for consumers of their own country is also good for consumers in the foreign markets.
Empirical evidence by Sharma et al. (1995) found a very strong relationship between CET and consumer intention towards foreign products. Previous studies to the purchase of domestic or foreign products as opposed found weather attitude or intention are positively found, consumer will purchase the product he is positive with, thus, researchers have used different latent such as “willingness to buy domestic products” (Wang and Chen, 2004; Olsen et al., 1993), “willingness to buy foreign products” (Klein et al., 1998), "actual purchase" (Hamin & Elliot, 2006), “purchase intention” (Han, 1988), “consumer attitudes towards buying imported products” (Kinra, 2006).
It is clear that the direct relationship between the independent variables and dependent variables is interrelated, and consistent with the concept of consumer ethnocentrism and the TRA as discussed in the previous chapter.
Based on the literature review, we found that consumer ethnocentrism can negatively affect one’s intention towards foreign products. Thus, this study attempts to build the following hypothesis:
H6-b “Consumer ethnocentrism has a negative significant impact on intention towards foreign products”
2- Attitude and intention towards foreign products
According to Ajzen (2006) "attitude toward the behaviour refers to the measurement to which a person has a approving or not approving the evaluation or appraisal of the behaviour in question, the more favourable the attitude with respect to behaviour, the stronger is the individual’s intention to perform the behaviour under consideration".
Based on the theoretical models in predicting consumer purchase behaviour the TRA, proposed that behaviour is affected by behavioural intentions which, in turn, are affected by attitudes toward the act and by subjective norm (Ajzen, 2006; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975).
The evaluation of this attitude was found to be positive based on purchasing of foreign product. Higher positive attitude toward foreign products will project a higher interest and intention on foreign products (Alden et al., 2006; Wang and Chen, 2004; Olsen et al., 1993;; Han, 1988; Sharma et al., 1995).
Based on literature review studies conducted by Balestrini & Gamble (2007); Torres & Gutierrez (2007); Kinra (2006); Nijssen et al. (1999); Hamin and Elliott (2006); Au and Sha (2003); Suh & Kwon (2002); and Klein et al. (1998); Kim & Pysarchik (2000) have also found strong statistical evidence for the direct negative link between consumer attitude and intention toward foreign products. Thus, we can derive the following hypothesis:
H7-a “Positive attitude towards foreign products has a positive significant impact on intention towards foreign products”
In conclusion, consumer ethnocentrism and attitude towards foreign products are providing a strong theoretical ground to predict intention towards purchasing foreign products among Jordanian consumers. Therefore, this research expects that increase in consumer ethnocentrism will have a negative significant influence on intention towards purchasing foreign products, and positive attitudes towards foreign products will have positive significance on intention towards purchasing foreign products in future.
4.3.4 Actual Purchase of Foreign Products Predictor
Actual purchase of foreign products is related to real order of foreign imported products (Ajzen, 2006; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975).
Figure 4-7: Conceptual relationship between intention towards foreign products and attitude towards foreign products and actual purchase of foreign products
Intention towards foreign product
Attitude towards foreign prodcu
Actual purchase Product
1- Intention towards and actual purchase of foreign products
According to the TRA, Ajzen said a behaviour is a function of intentions. TRA found a significant relationship between intention and actual purchase as mentioned previously in literature review, intention is the proximal predictor of actual behaviour.
Based on that theory the consumer’s positive intention towards foreign products could affect his/her actual purchasing behaviour. Studies done by Ghazali M et al. (2008), Lee & Bory (2008), Hamin and Elliott (2006), Altintas & Tokol (2007), Reierson (1966), Patterson and Tai (1991), Nijssen et al. (1999) found increase intention toward foreign products will directly effect actual purchase behaviour toward foreign products. Thus, it is hypothesized that:
H8 “Positive intention toward foreign product has a positive significant impact on actual purchase toward foreign product”
2- Attitude towards and actual purchase of foreign products
An alternative formulation of the Fashnein and Ajzen model has been proposed by Bentler and Speckart (1979, 1981) found directly attitude can affects behaviour in addition to indirectly influencing behaviour via intention that which was not hypothesized by the original Fishbein and Ajzen framework. This suggests that behavioural intention does not fully mediate the attitude - behaviour relationship.
Fredricks and Dossett (1983) attempted to replicate what Bentler & Speckarts did previously in regard the path from attitude directly to actual behaviour Findings provided partial support for the Bentler and Speckart model.
In fact, several studies found this relationship appeared. Bentler and Speckart (1979, 1981) postulated a direct affect of attitudes on behaviour in addition to the indirect impact through intention. Partial support for both models was shown by other researchers (Bagozzi, 1981; Burnkrant & Page, 1988; Fredricks & Dossett, 1983).
Therefore, it is believed that attitude will influence consumers’ purchasing behaviour directly and indirectly. It is clear that the direct relationship between the independent variable and dependent variables is interrelated, and is consistent with the study by Bentler and Speckart and the TRA as discussed above.
We hypothesized that a significant positive relationship between attitude towards foreign products and level of actual purchase decision. That explain high attitude toward foreign products had a high percentage of making purchasing decisions toward foreign products.
Attitudes towards foreign products provide a strong theoretical ground to predict actual purchase of foreign products consumers. Therefore, this research expects that increase attitude towards foreign products will have a positive significant influence on actual purchase towards foreign products. Thus, we arrive at the following hypothesis:
H7-b “Positive attitude towards foreign products has a positive significant impact on actual purchase towards foreign products”
4.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
We have selected the variables used in this study for our hypothesized model on the basis of the literature review. These variables have also been applied in various settings in past studies, which represent relevant antecedence to actual purchase towards foreign products. We have noticed that recently these variables have evoked a lot of research interests in western developed countries.
Figure 4-8: Hypothesized research model (Direct Relationship)
Interest in foreign travel
Actual Usage of foreign products
Intention towards foreign products
Attitude towards foreign products
Given the great potential of these variables as good predictors of purchase behaviour, it is interesting to investigate purchase behaviour particularly in less developed countries such as Jordan. Based on our hypothesized research model, several hypotheses will be tested (See Figure 4-8).
H1 a: Interest in foreign travel has a negative significant impact on consumer ethnocentrism.
b: Interest in foreign travel has a positive significant impact on attitude toward foreign product.
H2 a: Conservatism has a positive significant effect on consumer ethnocentrism.
b: Conservatism has a negative significant effect on attitude toward foreign product.
H3 a: Consumer ethnocentrism is a mediator between interest in travel and attitude.
b: Consumer ethnocentrism is a mediator between conservatism and attitude towards foreign products.
H4 Attitude towards foreign products is a mediator between consumer ethnocentrism and purchase intention towards foreign products.
H5 Intention is a mediator between attitude towards foreign products and actual purchase of foreign products.
H6 a: Consumer ethnocentrism has a negative significant influence on attitude towards foreign products.
b: Consumer ethnocentrism has a negative significant influence on purchase intention towards foreign products.
H7 a: Attitude towards foreign products has a positive effect on purchase intention toward foreign products.
b: Attitude towards foreign products has a positive effect on actual purchase of foreign products.
H8 Intention towards foreign products has a positive significant impact on actual purchase of foreign products.
The hypothesized model can be expressed visually. Figure 4-9 shows the diagram corresponding to this hypothesized model.
Figure 4-9: Structural Diagram
H1a CON CET γ1,1
H1b CON ATT γ2,1
H2a FT CET γ1,2
H2b FT ATT γ2,2
H6a CET ATT β2,1
H6b CET INT β3,1
H7a ATT INT β3,2
H7b ATT ACT β4,1
H8 INT ACT β4,2
ξ : A construct associated with measured X variables(KZI)
φ : A path referring to the covariance between a set of ξ and ξ
γ : A path representing a causal relationship (regression coefficient) from ξ to η (GAMMA)
ζ : A way of capturing the covariation between η construct error(ZETA)
η : A construct associated with measured Y variables (ETA)
β : A path representing a causal prelateship (regression coefficient) from η to η (BETA)
4.5 OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF VARIABLES
The definitions of the main variables used in this study are listed in Table 4-1.
Table 4-1: Operational Definitions of Variables
Show a tendency to cherish traditions and social institutions that have survived the test of time (Shimp & Sharma, 1987)
Interest in Foreign Travel
Interest towards travelling and exposure to foreign countries and to go abroad (Nijssen et al., 1999)
Consumer’s preference for domestically produced products, or conversely, as a bias against imported products (Shimp & Sharma, 1987)
Attitude towards foreign products
It is an individual’s positive or negative belief about performing behaviour "foreign products" (Fishbein, & Ajzen, 1975)
Purchase intention represents what consumers think they will buy or not "foreign products" (Ajzen, 1998).
Related to real order "foreign imported products"(Ajzen, 1998).
This chapter proposed a theoretical framework (a research model) based on prominent theory of Reasoned Action, consumer ethnocentrism together with the findings from past research which presented strong evidence towards the formation of the research model employed in this study. Eight research hypotheses were developed from the model. These hypotheses were developed with a goal to examine the relationship between conservatism interests in foreign travel, consumer ethnocentrism, and attitude towards foreign products, purchase intention and actual purchase. The mediation effect of consumer ethnocentrism and attitude towards foreign goods and products on the above mentioned relationships was also examined. The empirical research methods used to examine the hypotheses and its relationship are discussed in the following chapters.
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