Religion as a cultural element has the potential to drive a strong boycott campaign. Previous studies acknowledge the role of religion in consumer boycotts yet did not investigate its role in influencing the very core of consumers’ motivation to participate in religion-based boycott. The purpose of this paper is to explore the fundamental nature of religious influence in an international religion-based consumer boycott. The research model tests the role of intrinsic religious motivation as the root of Muslim consumers’ motivational factors to participate and their intention to boycott US food brand.
The study adopted the Hoffman’s’ (2013) consumer boycott model to test the hypotheses. Survey method is used to collect primary data from Muslim millennials in a northern state of Malaysia. The study tested its five hypotheses on a data set of 325 cases using structural equation modelling (partial least squares regression).
The findings support the primary role of religion influences underlying boycott motivation factors. The intrinsic religious motivation is related to all the four boycott’s motivation factors (i.e. attitudes towards boycotting the brand, subjective norms, make a difference, self-enhancement), and indirectly contributing to intentions to boycott US food brand through the constructs of self-enhancement, subjective norms and attitudes towards the boycott.
The study is a cross-sectional in nature, confined to one US food brand. The findings may be limited to Muslim millennials in the same region or similar cultural background of the country surveyed.
Businesses may want to consider working with social agencies involved in a religion-driven consumer boycott in mitigating negative influences of such boycott on brands.
The study shows the root of consumers’ motivation to participate in an international religion-based consumer boycott, i.e. intrinsic religious motivation, by illustrating the mechanisms of religious influences (i.e. intrinsic religious motivation) on consumers’ intention to participate in Islam-driven boycott.
Muhamad, N., Khamarudin, M. and Fauzi, W. (2019), "The role of religious motivation in an international consumer boycott", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 1, pp. 199-217. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-02-2018-0118Download as .RIS
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