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The role of ethnic affiliation in consumer ethnocentrism

Irena Vida (Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Tanja Dmitrović (Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Claude Obadia (Advancia‐Negocia, Paris, France)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




In view of the increasingly dynamic ethnic composition of nation states in Europe and elsewhere, this paper aims to examine the effects of ethnic affiliation on ethnocentrism and domestic purchase bias, and to test a model of consumer ethnocentrism antecedents and outcomes in a multi‐ethnic transitional economy.


Empirical data were collected via personal interviews from 580 urban consumers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was, in the aftermath of violent ethnic conflicts in the Balkans, divided into two major sub‐regions inhabited by three clearly identifiable ethnic groups. A structural model with five first‐order reflective constructs was evaluated to test the hypothesized relationships.


The findings confirm that both national identity and nationalism are significant predictors of consumer ethnocentrism, and that ethnic affiliation has a direct effect on both consumer ethnocentrism and on domestic purchase bias. However, the antecedent nature of cultural openness in relation to consumer ethnocentrism was not confirmed.

Practical implications

While it has been suggested previously that, when consumers have dual allegiances, the construct of national identity may be of a lesser explanatory power, the results attest to the value of both nation‐state level constructs in the model as reliable predictors of consumer ethnocentrism. The findings also suggest that a differentiated marketing strategy may be warranted on entering multi‐ethnic markets.


Unlike most prior studies that tested ethnocentrism models across different countries with citizens of each country being addressed as a culturally/ethnically uniform group, this study does not limit in‐groups to a nation state, but examines groups based on ethnic affiliation.



Vida, I., Dmitrović, T. and Obadia, C. (2008), "The role of ethnic affiliation in consumer ethnocentrism", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 42 No. 3/4, pp. 327-343.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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