A consumer cultural paradox: exploring the tensions between traditional and international education
International Marketing Review
Article publication date: 25 March 2022
Issue publication date: 4 August 2022
In a globalized world, consumers embrace mutually conflicting cultural values rather than making exclusive, either/or choices. As a result, they experience multiple tensions, a phenomenon that can be identified as the consumer cultural paradox. Despite clear interest in the influence of local/global culture on consumers, knowledge of how conflicting cultural elements shape consumer behavior remains limited. To address these issues, the current article seeks to identify higher- and lower-level tensions inherent in the consumer cultural paradox.
Using in-depth interviews, the authors investigate tensions experienced by Chinese consumers of international private education services. This study applies a paradox lens, a tension-based conceptual approach that is well suited for studying consumer paradoxes.
Ten lower-level tensions of the consumer cultural paradox arise in the focal international service context; these tensions in turn form three higher-level tensions.
The study is among the first in marketing to use a paradox lens and empirical research to delineate multiple dimensions of the consumer cultural paradox, then categorize them into lower and higher-level tensions. The findings offer theoretical and managerial implications, in that recognizing the multiple tensions experienced by consumers allows scholars and marketers to gain a better understanding of how consumers perceive and evaluate services from different cultures.
Beveridge, I., Furrer, O. and Gelb, B.D. (2022), "A consumer cultural paradox: exploring the tensions between traditional and international education", International Marketing Review, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 811-835. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-05-2021-0177
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