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The role of subnational cultural value on animosity: the China-South Korea THAAD crisis

Jeoung Yul Lee (National Research Base of Intelligent Manufacturing Service, Chongqing Technology and Business University, Chongqing, China) (School of Business Management, Hongik University, Sejong, Korea)
Joong In Kim (School of Business Management, Hongik University, Sejong, Korea)
Alfredo Jiménez (Department of Management, Kedge Business School, Talence, France)
Alessandro Biraglia (Leeds University Business School, Leeds, UK)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 2 November 2020

Issue publication date: 29 April 2021

368

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the impact of situational and stable animosities on quality evaluation and purchase intention while also testing the moderating effects of within- and cross-country cultural distance. It focuses on the case of the US THAAD missile defense system deployment in South Korea (hereafter, Korea) and investigates how the resulting Chinese consumers' animosity affects their quality evaluation of, and purchase intention toward, Korean cosmetics.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilizes a quantitative approach based on a survey and structural equation modeling. The sample comprises 376 Chinese consumers from 19 Chinese regions.

Findings

The results indicate that both stable and situational animosities are negatively associated with purchase intention toward Korean cosmetics. However, their effects on quality evaluation are different. While stable animosity is negatively related to product quality evaluation, situational animosity has no such negative association. Finally, the cultural distance between Chinese regions and Korea strengthens the negative relationship between stable and situational animosities and purchase intention.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes by better unraveling the effects of stable and situational animosities on perceived product quality. The empirical context is unique because it allows the authors to investigate the relationship between Chinese antagonism toward the THAAD deployment in Korea and Chinese consumers' stable and situational animosities in terms of their quality evaluation of, and purchase intention toward, imported Korean cosmetics. Hence, this study contributes to the literature on consumer animosity by empirically testing the moderating effect of within- and cross-country cultural distance on the relationship between stable and situational animosities and purchase intention.

Practical implications

The study has relevant practical implications, notably for Korean exporters' marketing management and within- and cross-cultural management. The results suggest that countermeasures are needed because Chinese consumers' stable and situational animosities are negatively related to their purchase intention toward Korean cosmetics. Moreover, the findings provide the insight that when foreign firms export culture-sensitive products to a large, multicultural country, their managers should pay attention to within- and cross-cultural differences simultaneously.

Originality/value

Previous studies have shown that the effects of animosity on product evaluation and purchase intention differ depending on the animosity dimension, product type, country and the situation causing animosity, among others. However, the existing literature on animosity has neglected the reality that within-cultural differences in a single large emerging market are relevant to explaining the concept of animosity and its effect on the purchase intention toward culture-sensitive products. Furthermore, none of the animosity studies have touched on the important moderating role of within- and cross-cultural differences between a large and multicultural importing country and a brand's home country in this manner. Therefore, the study fills this gap by empirically examining whether different moderating effects of stable and situational animosities exist for a specific conflict situation caused by a military issue and investigates the causes of these different effects.

Keywords

Citation

Lee, J.Y., Kim, J.I., Jiménez, A. and Biraglia, A. (2021), "The role of subnational cultural value on animosity: the China-South Korea THAAD crisis", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 452-478. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCSM-01-2020-0010

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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