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Explaining the product‐specificity of country‐of‐origin effects

Ting‐Hsiang Tseng (Department of International Trade, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan)
George Balabanis (Cass Business School, City University London, London, UK)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 1 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the applicability of product typicality in explaining the product‐specificity of country of origin (COO) effects.

Design/methodology/approach

To help select stimuli used in the study, two dimensions of product typicality regarding COO images were created. A total of 416 participants from a business school in Taiwan participated in this experiment and rated their perceived COO images and attitudes towards specific products from select countries.

Findings

The results indicate that product typicality can help explain the discrepancies between COO images across products from a country, and across COOs of a product. Typical products received more favourable consumer attitudes and stronger COO images than atypical ones. This study also manipulated two other factors, product type and product category level. While product type had no significant impact on the effects of typicality, tests on product category level revealed enhanced effects for subordinate product categories.

Originality/value

The study provides a stepping stone towards the development of a general theory of COO. By testing the effects of a category‐based concept, typicality, in the context of the COO image, this study formally testifies the applicability of categorisation theories on COO effects, which may provide informative sources for the future development of COO studies. Based on the rationale of typicality, this study also tests the possible moderation effects of product types and category levels.

Keywords

Citation

Tseng, T. and Balabanis, G. (2011), "Explaining the product‐specificity of country‐of‐origin effects", International Marketing Review, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 581-600. https://doi.org/10.1108/02651331111181420

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited