How does national culture impact on consumers’ decision-making styles? a cross cultural study in Brazil, the United States and Japan

This empirical article investigates the relationship between national culture and consumer decision-making styles in the purchase of cell phones, a product category that appears to be required by consumers independent of their nationalities. To make the research measurable, we used Hofstede’s four cultural dimensions (power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, and masculinity) and Sproles and Kendall’s Consumer Style Inventory framework (quality conscious, brand conscious, innovative, recreation, price conscious, impulsive, confused and brand loyal), and tested nine hypotheses through MANOVA in a sample of 108 buyers of the product in Brazil, 104 in the USA, and 107 in Japan, countries ranked in the top ten of the world’s largest cell phone market. Factor Analysis via Principal Component Analysis was conducted to examine the suitability of the eight-factor model in observations from each country. The three nationalities and the eight decision-making styles were treated as independent and dependent variables, respectively. Findings showed mixed evidence for the application of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions to decision-making styles. Managerial implications and suggestions for future research are presented to help understand the relationship between national culture and consumer decision-making styles.

culture and consumption; global marketing; cross cultural study; consumer decision

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