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The differential effect of acculturation modes on immigrant consumers' complaining behavior: the case of West African immigrants to Canada

Nizar Souiden (Marketing Department, Laval University, Quebec, Canada)
Riadh Ladhari (Marketing Department, Laval University, Quebec, Canada)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 2 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The objectives of this study are: to gain a better understanding of the modes of acculturation of West African immigrants in Canada; to relate these modes of acculturation to consumers' perceived likelihood of successful complaint and complaining behavior; and to compare consumers' complaint attitudes and behavior in their home countries (i.e. original countries) and the host country (Canada).

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study is conducted among a sample of 218 immigrants from several West African countries now living in Canada. ANOVA and paired samples t‐tests were used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The results show that the majority of the surveyed West African immigrants fall into one of two acculturation groups: integrated or separated. Although there are no significant differences between these two groups in terms of their perception that a consumer complaint is more likely to be successful in Canada than in their home countries, there are significant differences in their complaining behaviors in Canada and at home.

Research limitations/implications

Marketers should be aware that not all immigrants are the same and that market segmentation based on the degree of immigrants' acculturation might lead to a sound marketing strategy.

Practical implications

Caution should be exercised in generalizing the research results to the entire population of West African immigrants in Canada.

Originality/value

Most previous studies of the consumption behavior of immigrants have examined their perceptions and behavior mainly in the context of the host country, while overlooking their perceptions and behavior in their home countries. The present study has addressed this gap in the literature by investigating the perceptions and behavior of West African immigrants to Canada in both contexts.

Keywords

Citation

Souiden, N. and Ladhari, R. (2011), "The differential effect of acculturation modes on immigrant consumers' complaining behavior: the case of West African immigrants to Canada", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 321-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363761111149974

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited