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Antecedents and consequences of brand ownership: moderating roles of social value orientation and consumer perceived ethicality in Taiwan's food industry

Wang-Sheng Chen (Department of Business Administration, National Taipei University, New Taipei City, Taiwan)
Kuen-Hung Tsai (Department of Business Administration, National Taipei University, New Taipei City, Taiwan)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 4 January 2021

Issue publication date: 27 April 2021




This study empirically tests a brand ownership framework based on psychological ownership theory. It examines the role of participative brand development in developing brand ownership among different social value orientation (i.e. proself and prosocial). Furthermore, it examines brand ownership's effects on various food brand supportive behaviours and the moderating role of consumer perceived ethicality.


To understand the participative brand development effect on brand ownership and brand supportive behaviours of organic food and local cultural food from the consumer perspective, primary data collected via 668 valid questionnaires tested the conceptual model using partial least squares structural equation modelling.


Participative brand development has a significant influence on brand ownership. Moreover, brand ownership is an important factor in affecting brand supportive behaviours. The negative relationship between brand ownership and positive word of mouth for those who have higher consumer perceived ethicality is significant. Moreover, social value orientation, the relationships between participative brand development and brand ownership differ significantly.

Research limitations/implications

First, it only focusses on the antecedents of brand ownership among different proself and prosocial groups in Taiwan. However, Taipei, as an important city in Taiwan, is a microcosm of Taiwan's food development. It can reflect the problems existing in Taiwan's current food development process from one side. Second, customer perceived ethicality was moderated into the psychological ownership model to extend it. Future studies may consider sustainable consumer behaviour (White et al., 2019) and other variables to explain the antecedents and consequences of brand ownership on the moderating role. Third, more multi-group analyses may explore the antecedents of brand ownership of more and different groups.

Practical implications

First, the participative brand development of proself groups (such as organic food marketers) towards brand ownership should emphasize the health and safety associated benefits of organic foods. If consumers perceive more health and safety benefits from adopting organic foods regarding their well-being needs, they will be more willing to increase their use of organic foods. Second, local cultural food marketers play a significant role in promoting processed foods, creative gourmet, rural leisure and festival events. In the current stage of local cultural food development, the more immediate consequences of pro-environmental behaviours for a given city, region or neighbourhood can make environmental actions and outcomes seem more tangible and relevant (Scannell and Gifford, 2013). Organic and local cultural food marketers should also pay attention to the change in the psychology of different group members and adjust marketing strategies appropriately.

Social implications

Consumers who are convinced that organic foods strongly adhere to the environmental and ethical principles they value may intensify their organic buying behaviour. Drawing on people's attachments to a specific place (Gifford, 2014), festival events can lead to engagement in local cultural products consumption. People may be subject to the opinions of important people, such as family members, relatives and friends. Therefore, communities could advocate for local cultural food via word of mouth and consume local cultural food daily to create a good pro-environmental atmosphere.


This is the first study to investigate the antecedents and consequences of brand ownership and the moderators of these relationships in the context of organic food and local cultural food.



Chen, W.-S. and Tsai, K.-H. (2021), "Antecedents and consequences of brand ownership: moderating roles of social value orientation and consumer perceived ethicality in Taiwan's food industry", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 5, pp. 1875-1898.



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