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This is the final chapter of this study, which presents the discussions of findings and the relationship among the different research variables in achieving the study objectives is presented first. It is followed by the contributions of the study. The academic and practical implications, problems and hindrances faced while conducting the study are discussed next. The limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are also reviewed and the chapter concludes with the study conclusion.
7.2 DISCUSSIONS OF FINDINGS
The objectives of this study were (1) to measure the level of the consumer ethnocentrism in an "LDC" Jordanian consumer in Amman, (2) investigate the determinants that influence consumer behaviour towards foreign products Jordanian consumers’ in Amman, (3) explain the structural interrelationships between the external variables "conservatism and interest in travel abroad" within TRA theory, (4) validate and generate a research model that will be able to demonstrate actual purchase behaviour towards foreign products in an "LDC" Jordanian consumer in Amman, using TRA theory and structural equation modelling "SEM". Each of these objectives will be discussed.
7.2.1 First Objective
In relation to the first the first objective, where investigating the level of Jordanian consumer ethnocentrism, this study found the level as follows:
Referred to the result in Table 6-2 (chapter 6), the current empirical study of 382 Jordanian consumers in Amman revealed that the level of consumer ethnocentrism was relatively low compared with previously published international researches in Table 3-2 (chapter3) which shows the levels of consumer ethnocentrism across countries using same method of measurement "CETSCALE".
Shimp and Sharma (1987) indicated that the higher consumers were on their CETSCALE, the more preference to choose the home made goods, while the less consumers were on their scale, more likely be to choose imported goods. In simply manner, consumers with a low score in CETSCALE are more likely to prefer imported goods (Acharya and Elliott, 2003).
In fact, Jordanian consumers were not prejudiced against foreign products. This means that consumers in Jordan has no bias toward foreign products and accept it when compared to local goods. Similarity, previous Wang & Chen (2004); Kinra (2005) findings are consistent with our findings, were demonstrated low level of consume ethnocentrism in the context of less developed countries.
Conversely, previous studies in the literature review conducted in less developed countries have indicated that level of consumer ethnocentrism was relatively high such as Hamin & Elliott (2006); Kaynak & Kara (2000); Orth & Firbasova (2002) have demonstrated that, consumers in the context of a less developed country are more correlated with their ethnocentric bias.
Previous studies from the US and other developed countries are support the consumer with low level of ethnocentrism underestimate domestic goods, overestimate imports, have preference to buy foreign products made (Sharma et al., 1995; Shimp and Sharma, 1987).
Back to our results, it should not have been any surprise the low level of consumer ethnocentrism among Jordanian, that due to the industrial sector in Jordan, it does not provide all the products Jordanians need, Chapter 1, Table 1-1 shows the high deficit in Jordanian trade balance toward imported balance. Where we could not find domestic products, the level of Jordanian consumer ethnocentrism will be impacted negatively in less bias manner toward foreign products.
Furthermore, Ghazali M et al. (2008); Yim, Garrma & Polonsky (2008); Balestrini & Gamble (2007); Jin & Chansarkar (2006); have demonstrated consumer from less developed country more likely to products made in "Technology More Advanced" (TMA) countries which negatively effect level of CET.
In regards the availability of local products, Candan et al. (2008) found ease of availability of foreign products effect directly the level of ethnocentrism. This finding in credence with Nijssen et al. (1999) that demonstrated availability of local products has an important effect on both CET & foreign product evolution. Shortage in domestic product and surplus in imported product increase the preference toward imported goods (Al Faniq, 2008).
In Jordan as presented in Chapter 2 Jordanian culture and the role of Islam rejects all kind of ethnocentricity. As a Muslim country, religious tolerance is essential in Jordan; in many ways such beliefs and practices in the daily life of a Muslim prevent ethnocentrism altogether (Al Faniq, 2008).
7.2.2 Second Objective
In relation to the second objective, this study found the determinants that influence consumer purchase behaviour towards foreign products in Jordan as follows:
1-Attitude towards Foreign Products (H7-b)
The empirical data does support the positive relationship between attitude towards foreign products and actual purchase as asserted by hypothesis H7-b. Thus, a positive attitude towards foreign products will increase the possibility of purchasing foreign goods and products.
Theoretically, in literature review Bentler and Speckarts (1979-1981) examined the direct path between attitude and behaviour. Results indicated that the direct paths from attitude to actual behaviour would improve the predictive power of the model more than what had been established by the original Fishbein and Ajzen model (1975).
As predicted by the model, attitude towards the behaviour had the most influence on purchase behaviour. The more favourable a respondent’s attitude is more likely to make the purchase.
As for Jordan, many Jordanian consumers were used to buying foreign products since earlier there were few or no domestic alternatives to choose from. The shortage of some products encouraged Jordanians to purchase foreign products. Thus, they have more knowledge about foreign products and a positive evaluation for many foreign products. The favourable attitude has increased the actual purchasing behaviour towards foreign products (Fishbein and Ajzen model, 1975).
The findings of Ghadir (1990); Hussein (1997) that attitude directly effect purchase behavior toward foreign products, are supported by the findings of this study. Our finding that attitude toward foreign product has a direct significant effect on Jordanian consumer in Amman toward purchase foreign products.
These findings are consistent with Lee & Bory (2008). They found both Taiwanese and Cambodian consumer have a positive attitude for Japanese brands directly effect on intention and purchase. Conversely, study done Guatemalan students by Schooler (1965) reviled that general negative attitude toward people from foreign countries such as El Salvador and Costa Rica, where found positive attitude directly effect purchase behaviour toward domestic products.
In our findings, Jordanian has positive attitude toward foreign products than domestic made, and that directly effect Jordanian consumer to purchase foreign products provides support for Ghazali M et al. (2008); Yim, Garrma & Polonsky (2008); Balestrini & Gamble (2007); Jin & Chansarkar (2006); who have also researched this phenomenon.
2. Conservatism (H9)
As the second predictor factor of purchasing behaviour towards foreign products, this study found a new path based on the modification indices of SEM (See Table 6-28). The findings reveal a significant negative association between conservatism and actual purchase as asserted by hypothesis H9. This finding shows that Jordanian consumers with high conservatism negatively assess the actual purchase of foreign products.
These findings are inconsistent with previous research. In fact, previous studies did not found a direct path between conservatism and actual purchase behaviour. Wang (1978); Anderson & Cunningham (1972) found negative relationship between conservatism and attitudes toward foreign products. Other researcher found conservatism effect on purchase behaviour through mediator effect "consume ethnocentrism" only such as Sharma et al. (1995) and found positive relationship between ethnocentrism and conservatism.
In theoretical approach, the finding is consistent with findings of theoretical approach. In literature review Fishbein model asserts that there are many external variables that may influence behaviour. The TRA shows that those external variables only indirectly influence the individual’s beliefs (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). Where other researchers have found that some external variables have a direct influence on behaviour and/or behaviour Summers et al. (2005); Tarkiainen & Sundqvist (2005); Sparks et al. (1995); James P. (2002); Warburton & Terry (2000); and Bagozzi Bagozzi et al. (1981, 2000) this finding was also consistent with our findings.
There are several possible reasons why this relationship surfaced. Practically, this can be explained by the religious influence and in part by the attitude of conservatism. Islam is the official religion of Jordan. Here a Muslim attitude is needed to follow the laws of Islam. ALSHAREA and ALSONNA are examples of clothes chosen for Muslims, as most Muslims wear Hijab. Islam has a fundamental influence in the lives of those who follow the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (UNICEF, 2002).
Muslims have to follow the path of Islam. For example, Halal dietary laws determine which foods are “lawful” or permitted. These laws are found in the Quran and in the Sunna, the practice of the Prophet Muhammad, as recorded in the books of Hadith. They prohibit the consumption of alcohol, pork, blood, dead meat and meat that has not been slaughtered according to Islamic rulings. In reference to Islam, halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or that what is permitted and allowed by the lawgiver (Allah), whereas haram means unlawful or prohibited (Regenstein et al., 2003).
Even though respondents, in general, were fairly independent and were less motivated to comply with others, a majority wanted their behaviour to fit with their social status as a Muslim. However, some respondents agreed that their social status made them think of purchasing foreign product is not accepted. This hesitation may have been related to respondents’ uncertainty about the social acceptance of purchasing foreign product.
3-Intention towards Foreign Products (H8)
As the third predictor of actual purchase behaviour, this study found intention towards foreign products has a positive significant impact on actual foreign product purchase as asserted by hypothesis H8. Those who have higher intentions towards foreign products will show higher probability of purchasing the foreign products. We found that measuring intentions increased purchase behaviour among consumers with positive intentions.
This finding is in line with previous research showed in literature review chapter. Sharma (1987) showed that positive intention for foreign brands increased the purchase of foreign products and those who had no such intention would decrease the purchase of foreign products.
Previous literature revealed studies such as Hamin & Greg Elliot (2006) have demonstrated a direct significant path between purchase intentions with actual purchase toward foreign products, which support our findings. Also, Chai et al. (2004) confirmed that intention to buy a new foreign product is a predictor of actual purchase behaviour.
Thus, findings of previous researchers Sharma (1987); Hamin & Greg Elliot (2006); Chai et al. (2004) indicated intention is a significant predictor toward purchase behavior which are supported by the findings of this study.
Study conducted by Speece & Nguyen (2005) demonstrated that all products attribute effect significantly on purchase behaviour toward foreign products through intention. The findings of Speece & Nguyen (2005) supported by Tse et al. (1996) who investigated country of origin effect on Hong Kong consumers purchase behavior toward foreign products. The findings show intention toward foreign products is a fully mediator for country of origin. This mean intention have a direct significant relationship with purchase behavior.
As a theoretical approach, Ajzen and Fishbein (1980), demonstrated that TRA posits that the strongest or most proximal predictor of volitional behaviour is one’s behaviour intention, more individual have intention to perform a certain behaviour is more confirmed the act toward that behaviour.
Practically, Al Faniq (2008) believed that consumers have been purchasing foreign products for their daily necessities since long time, due to the shortage, where no domestic alternatives to choose from. So, they have extensive experience with foreign products. Therefore, it is not surprising that they have high intention in relate the availably and the previous experience for the foreign products performing. Evidently, the deficit in trade balance remains. Since its independence, Jordan has export far less than it has imported.
Thus, it can be concluded that positive intention towards foreign products is a predictor of purchasing behaviour, which invariably leads to increase in the foreign product purchase.
Finally, it can be concluded that positive attitude towards foreign products, less conservatism, and intention towards foreign products have a direct significant relationship with purchasing behaviour toward foreign products among Jordanian in Amman, which invariably lead to increase in the foreign product purchase.
7.2.3 Third Objective
In line with the third objective, this study found the structural interrelationships between the external variables "conservatism and interest in travel abroad" within TRA theory, as follows:
1- Attitude and ethnocentrism (H6-a)
The findings of this research found a negative significant influence between Jordanian consumers’ ethnocentrism and Jordanian attitude towards foreign products as asserted as we hypothesized (H6-a).
Consumer ethnocentrism demonstrated a negative effect on attitudes against foreign products in study such as Candan et al. (2008); Hamin & Elliot (2006).
Referred to the literature review of this research, Kinra (2006); Kim & Pysarchik (2000); Sharma et al. (1995); Han (1988) Shimp and Sharma (1987) found strong statistical evidence for the direct negative link between CET and attitude toward foreign products.
Wang & Chen (2004) also found a negative relationship between CET and willingness to buy foreign products. However, d'Astous & Ahmed (1998) found that buying domestic ranked second to price considerations among Canadian consumer with higher ethnocentric level.
The main effects of consumer ethnocentrism on attitudes towards foreign products have been extensively examined in previous studies. However, little research has been conducted in developing countries (Batra et al., 2000).
In less developed country context, our research findings show where an increase in Jordanian consumer ethnocentrism levels is, there will be a decrease in Jordanian consumer attitudes towards foreign products which previous studies such as (Kinra 2006; Kim & Pysarchik, 2000; Sharma et al., 1995; Han, 1988; Shimp and Sharma, 1987; Wang & Chen, 2004; Batra et al., 2000) are supported.
The logic is that ethnocentric Jordanian consumers will perceive international competition as being unfair to domestic industries. This decrease could be to perceive equity will then influence consumers to buy domestic products as opposed to foreign products.
Theoretically, our finding is inconsistent with Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) in regard the relationship between (SN=CET) & (ATT). But, as the literature mentioned of compelling evidence that attitude and subjective norms have high correlation (Dillard & Pfau, 2002), this study found strong statistical evidence for the high correlation between both construct as supported by (Dillard & Pfau, 2002).
This finding also lends credence to the previous argument of (Park, 2000; Miniard & Cohen, 1981); both of them show also a high correlation between subjective norms constructs and attitude construct. "Attitude and subjective norms are correlated because the impact of ones behaviour on other can be stated as either a behavioural belief or normative belief" (Miniard & Cohen, 1981).
The alternative model of the research Figure 5-6, show high correlation (r = 0.71) between (ATT & CET). In fact, this strong relationship can show statistical problems as Dillard & Pfau, (2002) mentioned.
2- Attitude and Conservatism (H2-b)
The results analysis as shown in Table 6-28, highlights negative significant influences between conservatism and attitude toward foreign products where hypothesis H2b was asserted. This means that, the stronger the conservatism among Jordanian consumers, the weaker the 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 demonstrated a negative relationship between the two.
In Sharma et al., (1995) extreme form, conservatism “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”. Recent findings by Balabanis et al. (2002) indicated a significant positive relationship between conservatism and CET.
In fact, this relationship clarify, those people who show a strong tendency to cherish traditions and social institutions, have a positive feeling toward f CET and can clear itself as religious bigotry in relationship with attitude toward foreign products (Han, 1988) which support our findings.
Other researches in literature show inconsistence with our findings. Ruyter et al. (1998) demonstrated the effect of conservatism on attitude toward foreign products is fully mediated by consumer ethnocentrism. Conversely, Shankarmahesh (2004) reviled influence of conservatism on CET or attitude towards foreign products should be examined together within world mindedness as a mediator.
As conservatism can manifest itself as religious bigotry and fanaticism (Han, 1988), our findings thus indicate that Jordan as a Muslim country can find the religious tolerance among Muslim consumer where state and traditional values are very important to them (Jordan Times, 2008).
Recent researches done by Bonne et al. (2007), found that Muslim people even overseas have this religious bigotry and fanaticism. Halal food refers to food that has been specially prepared according to the religion's dietary requirements. Halal food is one of the most important aspects of Islamic life. Halal food can be a direct motivation for Jordanian Muslim customers regardless of the availability of other foreign food products or price. Altintas & Tokol (2007) have found conservatism is the second-most influential factor on Turkish consumer attitude through CET.
In fact, 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.
3- Attitude & Interest in foreign travel (H1-b)
This study has found no significant relationship between interest in foreign travel, and attitude toward foreign products. The hypothesis H1-b is rejected (See Table 6-28). There is no significant relationship between the Jordanian consumer who is interested in travelling abroad and his attitude towards purchasing foreign products.
This finding is inconsistent with previous literature findings. Nijssen, et al. (1999) found that, consumer have more preference to go abroad and visiting countries, are more positive attitudes towards purchase imported goods which support that interest in foreign travel has a positive effect on attitude toward foreign products. Nijssen, et al. (1999) are supported by (Douglas, et al., 1997, Mooij, 1998).
In fact, Jordanian consumers could have the intention or interest to travel abroad, but not necessary have positive attitude towards foreign products. It could be due to this reason that, he or she does not relate his or her travel interest with attitude towards the products. These individuals travel perhaps for a job, or to study or for medical treatment or other reasons.
4- Intention and Consumer ethnocentrism (H6-b)
Based on the result of the analysis, it was found that consumer ethnocentrism has a negative significant influence on purchase intention as asserted by hypothesis H6b. Evidently, Jordanian consumers who have less ethnocentrism show higher interest towards foreign products.
Ethnocentric consumers have more intention towards home made goods because they believe that home made products are the best (Klein et al., 1998). Moreover, Wall and Heslop (1986) reviled that consumer more intention to home made products in morality concern even though the quality is poorer than that of foreign one. Thus, consumer ethnocentrism provides a strong theoretical ground to predict intention towards foreign products among Jordanian consumers in Amman.
Sharma et al. (1995) and Chakrabarty & Conrad (2007) found a negative link between consumer ethnocentrism and intention toward foreign products. Referred to the literature review of this research empirical support for the negative relationship between CET and purchase intention of home made products is found in studies such as (Candan et al., 2008; Hamin & Elliot, 2006; Kim & Pysarchik, 2000).
5- Intention and Attitude towards foreign products (H7-a)
Based on the analysis of the result shown in Table 6-28, it was found that attitudes towards foreign products have a positive significance on purchase intentions as asserted by hypothesis H7-a. It shows that a Jordanian consumer who has a positive attitude towards foreign products will increase his or her intention to purchase foreign products. In other words, a higher positive attitude will project a higher interest and intention on 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)
In this research, the finding in credence with previous findings such as (Alden et al., 2006; Wang and Chen, 2004; Olsen et al., 1993; Klein et al., 1998; Han, 1988; Kinra, 2006; Sharma et al., 1995; Hamin & Elliot, 2006)
Practically, Jordan as small country and less developed country with limited alternative in domestic products, s there are no alternative choices of foreign products in Jordan for many products; inevitably this has increased the intention to purchase foreign products. This was evident in the deficit of the Jordanian trade balance as shown in Table 1-1 (chapter-1).
6- Ethnocentrism and Interest in Foreign Travel (H1-a)
Based on the result in Table 6-28, it was found that interest in foreign travel is significantly related to consumer ethnocentrism. Thus, hypothesis H1-a is asserted. It shows that the Jordanian consumers who are interested in travelling abroad are more exposed to foreign products, and show less ethnocentrism toward foreign products.
Previous researchers have introduced few antecedents of consumer ethnocentrism. In fact, interest in foreign travel only tow studies mentioned directly as one of consumer ethnocentrism antecedents. Furthermore, interest in foreign travel as an external variable with TRA theory has not been tested in these circumstances before which our statistical results support the negative link between interests in foreign travel consumer ethnocentrism.
This finding is consistent with previous literature review. Nijssen, et al. (1999) found that, consumer have more preference to go abroad and visiting countries, are more positive attitudes towards purchase imported goods which support that interest in foreign travel has a positive effect on attitude toward foreign products. Nijssen, et al. (1999) are supported by (Douglas, et al., 1997, Mooij, 1998)
In Amman city, we can find many foreign items and the city has the biggest western supermarkets and malls. Western-style fine arts became popular in Jordan in the late twentieth century as more Jordanians travelled to other countries (UNICEF, 2002). Furthermore, Jordan has consistently followed a pro-Western foreign policy and traditionally has had close relations with the United States and the United Kingdom (UNICEF, 2002; Jordan Times, 2007). We can find that many Jordanians have lived in or travelled overseas which effects negatively and decreased the level of ethnocentrism.
7- Ethnocentrism and Conservatism (H2-a)
Referring to Table 6-28, it is evident that conservatism positively influences the Jordanian consumer’s ethnocentrism level. These findings support hypothesis H2-a. This shows Jordanian consumers who show more conservatism, are more likely to show ethnocentrism toward foreign products.
Previous studies have introduced few antecedents of consumer ethnocentrism. For instance, Sharma et al. (1995) tested the correlations between consumer ethnocentrism and social-psychological antecedents such as patriotism, openness to foreign cultures, conservatism, and individualism/collectivism.
This finding is consistent with what has been found in previous studies such as Altintas & Tokol (2007); Sharma et al. (1995); Javalgi et al. (2004) have demonstrated conservatism has a positive link with consumer ethnocentrism. Conservative consumers are more bias toward foreign product (Balabanis et al., 2002), Prejudice toward imported products among people who have more conservative (Supphellen & Rittenburg, 2001) which serve as empirical support for our findings.
In Jordan, as has been said earlier, Islam is the dominant religion. However, most of the younger generation tends to follow western lifestyles in their life. Most Jordanians are Muslim. Jordan is a conservative Muslim state that retains good relations with its citizens of other faiths, which effect on Jordanian conservative level (Jordan Times, 2006).
Jordan also has rich traditional values(Jordan Times, 2006). The Islamic tradition of women covering their faces is currently becoming more popular in Jordan. The everyday Jordanian dress is conservative and particularly so for women. Therefore, it is not considered appropriate for them to wear tight clothes, sleeveless blouses, shorts, short skirts, or low-cut backs on shirts or dresses. This increases their ethnocentrism levels.
8- Attitude as a Mediator between ethnocentrism & intention (H4)
The result of hypothesis H4 as shown in Table 6-29, chapter-6 elicits that the attitude towards foreign products is a partial mediator between consumer ethnocentrism and purchase intention towards foreign products. It suggests that consumer ethnocentrism has a direct impact on purchase intention. It also has an indirect relationship on attitude (See Table 25-B). Figure 7-1, explains this relationship.
Figure 7-1: Attitude mediated between CET and Intention
More preference toward domestic product can found among ethnocentric consumers (Klein et al., 1998). Low level of Jordanian consumer ethnocentrism can be directly related to increase in the intention of purchasing behavior. Even if domestic product poorer quality, and higher price, ethnocentric consumers will buy it and negatively will effect on intention toward foreign products (Wall and Heslop, 1986).
Ethnocentric consumers with a positive attitude toward foreign product, have no bias toward foreign products. Hamin & Greg Elliot (2006) demonstrated in context with a less developed country, even high level of ethnocentrism among consumer but they keep purchasing toward foreign when evaluated positively.
Consumer give more intention toward their attitude rather than their normative beliefs Ajzen and Fishbein (1980), this explain the power of the positive attitude toward foreign product even in case of the ethnocentrism is involved. This result is in keeping with previous research conducted by (Sharma et al., 1995).
9- Intention as a mediator between attitude and purchase behaviour (H5)
The mediating effect of purchase intention between attitude and actual purchase, H5 (See Table 6-29) was rejected. Thus, attitude towards foreign products directly affects actual purchase towards foreign products and purchase intention is not a significant mediator.
It is not considered a significant mediator as the intention to buy foreign products because the consumers already possess a positive attitude. This relationship is similar to Olsen et al.’s (1993). They found that the effect of attitude toward foreign products as a predictor for intention is not significant. They found that a positive attitude will positively directly impact an actual purchase. Figure 7-2 explains this relationship.
This suggests that when the Jordanian consumer has a positive attitude towards foreign products, he or she will directly purchase the foreign products.
Figure 7-2: Intention mediated between attitude and actual purchase
Thus, we conclude that intention towards foreign products is not a mediator between attitude and purchase behaviour.
10- Ethnocentrism as a mediator between travel & attitude) (H3-a)
Based on the results provided in Table 6-29, (H3-a) was asserted, the relationship between interest in foreign travel and attitude towards foreign product was fully mediated by consumer ethnocentrism. The indirect effect (mediated by CET) is strongly affected, and is more significant than the direct effect (See Table 6-25-B). The result shows that the Jordanian consumer is interested in travelling abroad, but does not change his/her attitude towards foreign products unless he/she has a low ethnocentrism level. Figure 7-3 explains this relationship.
Figure 7-3: Consumer ethnocentrism mediated between interest in travel and attitude toward foreign product
This findings is consistent with what suggested by Douglas and Nijssen (2003), interest in foreign travel does not show a direct relationship to attitude towards foreign products.
11- Ethnocentrism as a mediator between conservatism & attitude (H3-b)
Based on the result of the analysis as asserted by Hypothesis H3-b it was found that the relationship between conservatism and attitude towards foreign products was partially mediated by consumer ethnocentrism (see Table 6-29). Conservative consumers who show a high level of consumer ethnocentrism have a low attitude toward foreign products. Figure 7-4 explains this relationship.
Kinra (2006); Kim & Pysarchik (2000); Sharma et al. (1995); Han (1988) Shimp and Sharma (1987) found strong statistical evidence for the direct negative link between CET and attitude toward foreign products.
Figure 7-4: Consumer ethnocentrism mediated between conservatism and attitude
In a study conducted by Sharma et al. (1995), they found that the more conservative a person is, the more consumer ethnocentric the person will be and that will negatively affect his/her attitudes towards foreign products. Thus, conservatism can directly negatively affect the attitude towards foreign products and have indirect relationship toward attitude also.
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 demonstrated a direct negative relationship between the two.
Conversely, Shankarmahesh (2004) demonstrated the need to investigate this relationship together within mediator which our finding s support the effect of the CET as a mediator between both constructs.
7.2.4 Fourth Objective
As for second objective that we were seeking to validate and generate a research model that will have the power to demonstrate actual purchase behaviour towards foreign products among Jordanian consumers’ in Jordan using TRA. This study has successfully taken into consideration the issues of generalization.
There are three important general strategic frameworks for testing structural equation models (Jöreskog, 1993): Strictly Confirmatory (SC), Alternative Model (AM), and Model Generating (MG). The primary focus is to locate the source of misfit in the model, and to determine a model that describes the data effectively. In this SC refers to a hypothesized model, AM refers to original theories and MG refers to model suggestion by using the modification index. Based on Table 6-27 (page 252), and Figure 6-4 (page 254), the comparisons are discussed as follows:
According to (Hair et al., 2006) difference better nested models are usually evaluated using the difference between the Chi-square (CMIN/df). The following equation is used for computation:
∆ χ ²∆ df= χ²df (B) - χ²df (A)
∆ df = df (B) – df (A)
Because the difference of two χ² distributed values is itself χ² distributed, we can test for statistical significance given ∆ χ ² difference value and the difference in degrees of freedom (∆ df = 1, meaning the additional path in the MG model), a ∆ χ ² of 3.84 or better would be significant at the 0.05 level.
∆ χ ²∆ df = 382.41 – 355.460 = 26.94 ( > 3.84)
∆ df = 340 – 339 = 1
Table 7-1: Comparison between Models
Strictly Confirmatory Model (SC)
Alternative Model (AM)
Model Generating (MG)
Thus as can be seen Table 7-1, based on goodness of fit indices , The Model Generating (MG) better fit and larger parsimony compared with Alternative Model (AM) and Strictly Confirmatory Model (SC).
1- Comparison between Hypothesized Model and Generating Model
They are similar in most relationships, except the new path from conservatism to actual purchase toward foreign product.
Both models supported the related hypotheses (H1a, H2a, H2b, H3a, H3b, H4, H6a, H6b, and H8).
Both models do not support H1b.
Based on the result of the study, generating models confirmed a better fit and larger parsimony compared to the hypothesized model (the generating model result of CMIN/df = 1.049, GFI = 0.940, RMSEA = 0.011, SMC = 0.77, and the P value = 0.259).
2- Alternative Model and Generating Model
Alternative model based on the Theory of Reasoned Action is not asserted here. This study has obtained a better model fit with the generating model (GM) compared to the hypothesized model.
To compare models, this study focused primarily on the change in R- square from other models. Refer to Chapter 6 (page 252 Table 6-27); we found our Generating Model (R²) equals 0.770. Meanwhile, the original model found that (R²) equals 0.550. Based on this result, the GM confirmed a better fit and larger parsimony compared to the original model. In addition, in the original model the p – value was found only significant = 0.052. In contrast, with our generating model we found the p – value = 0.259.
Evidently, the GM in this research has more power and greater understanding to demonstrate actual purchase behaviour towards foreign products among our population sample in Jordan. The summary of goodness of fit (Absolute fit level, incremental fit level, and parsimonious fit level) shows better fit among the generating model compared to both original and hypothesized models.
This result showed support for the conceptual framework in Chapter 4, Figure 4-3. At the same time we can still apply the original model in Jordan but cannot generalize the result based on the p - value (Probability Level).
7.3 RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS
This research set out to make certain contributions. These are as follows:
A major contribution to the existing knowledge and literature is the application of Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). The application of SEM promotes better quality of research. SEM has useful features, especially in modelling multivariate relations, and there are no widely and easily applied alternative methods of this kind (Byrne, 2006).
The modification done to the model of TRA by:
Subjective normative beliefs were represented by consumer ethnocentrism.
Two external variables were added to the original model
The interest in foreign travel variable has not been tested in these circumstances before.
A new direct relationship between conservatism and the actual purchase was found. The Fishbein model asserts that there are many external variables that may influence behaviour. The TRA shows that those external variables only indirectly influence the individual’s beliefs (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). Other researchers have found that some external variables have a direct influence on intentions and/or behaviour (Bagozzi et al., 1992; Fisher, 1984; and Bagozzi, 1981).
Our generating model has more power and greater understanding to demonstrate actual purchase behaviour towards foreign products among Jordanian consumers in Amman than the TRA model (Fishbein & Azjen, 1975). Still we can use TRA to demonstrate actual purchase behaviour toward foreign products among Jordanian consumers but our generating model has more power.
This is the first academic investigation of general consumer behaviour in Jordan towards foreign products. Purchase behaviour has been widely studied in developed countries whereas not many researches have been conducted on this area of interest in developing countries such as Jordan. The study contributes significantly to the global understanding of purchase behaviour through the development of the research model in a Jordanian cultural context. This outcome is expected to be useful from an academic or scholarly standpoint and will enable other research studies in Jordan and also in other cultures.
7.4 RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS
This study has several valuable implications, as described in the following sections.
7.4.1 Academic Implications
The highly useful statistical method namely “Structural Equation Modelling” or SEM is strongly recommended to be used for model testing and generating with AMOS software. The various benefits of SEM over other multivariate techniques (Byrne 2001, 2006) are as follows:
SEM presents itself well to the analysis of data for inferential statistics. On the contrary, most other multivariate techniques are essentially descriptive by nature (e.g. exploratory factor analysis), that is, although hypothesis testing is possible, it is difficult to perform.
SEM can provide explicit estimates of error variance parameters, whereas traditional multivariate techniques are not capable of either assessing or correcting measurement errors.
Data analysis using SEM procedures can incorporate unobserved (latent variables) as well as observed variables, but the former data analysis methods are based on observed measurements only.
It is also strongly recommended that the data collected from the survey questionnaire be tested not only for reliability and content validity, but also for construct validity. This is particularly relevant for convergent validity in the actual test for the main survey. Discriminant validity, for instance, should be tested using the SEM analysis through the AMOS software.
The CETSCALE was subjected to a validation test in different countries. For the first time we have applied this scale in Jordan, where we found it to be a reliable instrument. Other researches can build on this finding. Different marketing strategies should be constructed depending on the level of CET of the target-group selected Chryssochoidis (Krystallis & Perreas, 2008).
Two new external variables have been included to the central variables in the full model where the GM was found to have more power and greater understanding to demonstrate actual purchase behaviour towards foreign products among Jordanian consumers than the TRA model done by Fishbein & Azjen, 1975. Using this research model can help the ongoing efforts of theory-building in this field. This approach should be continued in further research.
The time selected to conduct the interview (between 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm) allowed the respondents to answer the questionnaire better. It was a convenient time for respondents’ to answer the questionnaire. This piece of information will be helpful for future researchers who are interested in using telephone surveys to select the right and convenient time to make the calls.
Finally, the results obtained from the hypotheses will be the foundation for future research and literature review.