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The dual impact of traditional and national cultural values on expatriate ethnic groups' attitudes and willingness to buy

Yamen Koubaa (The Brittany School of Management, Brest, France)
Gaelle Ulvoas (The Brittany School of Management, Brest, France)
Patricia Chew (School of Business, SIM University, Singapore City, Singapore)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 15 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the dual influence of traditional Chinese and national Singaporean cultural values on the attitude towards skin beauty and the purchase intention relating to skin care cosmetics among Chinese Singaporean women. It aims is to investigate how ethnic and national cultures might interact to influence the attitude towards skin beauty and hence the willingness to buy skin care products.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of 370 Chinese Singaporean women was conducted to test the proposed links. The study adopts an empirical approach using structural equation modelling.

Findings

Both traditional Chinese and national Singaporean cultural values impact the attitude of Chinese Singaporean women towards skin beauty and their willingness to buy skin care cosmetics. The components of the traditional Chinese values (Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism) and national Singaporean values were found to have differing impact on the attitude towards skin beauty and the purchase intention of skin care cosmetics among Singaporean women. Confucianism was found to have a very strong impact on skin fairness and whitening, national Singaporeans' values were found to have a strong impact on skin anti‐ageing, and Buddhist values were found to have moderate impact on attitude towards skin smoothness and skin fairness and on the willingness to buy skin smoothening and skin whitening cosmetics.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the sample can be considered large, given the number of variables in the model, it would be wise to rely on a larger sample. In addition, the research was about specific cosmetics products, namely those related to skin care. It is judicious to extend the analysis to other categories and types of products. For expatriate ethnic groups, it is recommended that marketers think about the interaction between their traditional values and the values of the host country, as these have dual effects on their attitudes and hence on their buying intention. The interaction between these values is not static across products. It varies in size and combination across types of attitudes and products.

Practical implications

Traditional ethnic and national cultural values have differing impact in terms of significance and size on the attitude towards face beauty. Hence, marketing actions such as positioning and advertising should be customized accordingly, to target at these values in an attempt to influence attitude, and hence purchase behavior. Attitude plays a mediating role between cultural values and purchase intention. Influencing consumers' willingness to buy involves influencing their attitudes.

Originality/value

Few works have surveyed the dual influence of national and ethnic values on a specific ethnic subgroup in Asia. To the authors' knowledge, there no previous research has been conducted for Singapore. This paper demonstrates that it is important for the marketer to take into account Singaporeans' national and ethnic values while marketing to them.

Keywords

Citation

Koubaa, Y., Ulvoas, G. and Chew, P. (2011), "The dual impact of traditional and national cultural values on expatriate ethnic groups' attitudes and willingness to buy", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 626-640. https://doi.org/10.1108/13555851111183066

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited