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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2012

Zafar U. Ahmed, Imad J. Zbib, Arif Sikander and Ralph Gilbert Noujaim

This study aims to examine country of origin (COO), price and brand effects on Lebanese consumers’ attitudes towards US products and brands while evaluating a low‐involvement…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine country of origin (COO), price and brand effects on Lebanese consumers’ attitudes towards US products and brands while evaluating a low‐involvement product like chocolate.

Design/methodology/approach

The research comprised formulation of a detailed questionnaire that was served to 488 administered at various shopping malls across Lebanon. Statistical analyses of data employed included Pearson correlation and analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests.

Findings

The data supported both the hypotheses that respectively predicted that brand price was more important than COO in the evaluation of low‐involvement products. The data did not support the hypothesis that predicted a preference by Lebanese consumers for “Made in Lebanon” products, based on a similar observed preference for domestic products in developed nations.

Research limitations/implications

The external validity of the findings are limited since an over‐exaggerated weight is provided for the “made in” label while in a real purchase situation; price as well as brand have a weight that is far superior to that of the COO. In today's business world several cues are already embedded in the brand name which limits the internal validity of the study; this includes the “made in” labels as external cues used by respondents while evaluating a particular chocolate brand regardless of the origin cue already dispatched by the brand itself.

Originality/value

The results have evidenced, if needed, the importance of taste when purchasing a particular brand. Hence, a Lebanese consumer would not mind choosing a Ghour chocolate bar instead of a Nestlé or even a Cadbury chocolate bar only if these three brands had equivalent attributes. Brand is the second attribute considered by consumers when choosing a particular chocolate. Thus, a successful approach for international marketers would be to build strong brand equity. The results provide extremely useful outputs to the marketing professionals.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 March 2010

Imad J. Zbib, Barbara R. Wooldridge, Zafar U. Ahmed and Sarkis Benlian

This paper aims to study country of origin perceptions of Lebanese consumers with respect to potato chips, the correlation involved between country of manufacture and consumer…

2765

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study country of origin perceptions of Lebanese consumers with respect to potato chips, the correlation involved between country of manufacture and consumer behavior; purchase intent; and product quality.

Design/methodology/approach

Four hypotheses in respect to country of origin perceptions on potato chip purchases were tested. The research was conducted in three phases: qualitative research was done to determine key attributes in potato chip selection, these findings were used to create a questionnaire, and a sample from 326 Lebanese consumers was collected.

Findings

The paper finds that there are demographic differences in the evaluation of potation chips. The evaluation of specific attributes did not vary by country of origin and there were no differences in overall quality perceptions by country of origin. Snack food purchases appear to be low involvement purchases based on experiential qualities. Brand awareness and purchase appear not to be linked.

Research limitations/implications

It appears that country of origin is of secondary importance; yet, it is important to note the limited number of countries tested in this study. Given the tainted food scandals involving China country or origin may play a larger role in studies testing a wider variety of countries. Future research should include products not currently available in the market.

Originality/value

Given the potential for high growth in the snack food market in developing countries, this study provided valuable insight into one such market. The results indicate that more study is warranted in this area.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2010

Imad J. Zbib, Barbara R. Wooldridge, Zafar U. Ahmed and Yeghig Benlian

The global cosmetics industry is an attractive business opportunity. This paper aims to study country of origin effects among Lebanese consumers' purchase of shampoo.

4235

Abstract

Purpose

The global cosmetics industry is an attractive business opportunity. This paper aims to study country of origin effects among Lebanese consumers' purchase of shampoo.

Design/methodology/approach

The research tests four hypotheses in respect of country of origins' impact on shampoo purchase decisions and concludes with marketing implications. A questionnaire was administered to 332 consumers to test four hypotheses concerning the impact of country of origin.

Findings

The data confirmed that there are no differences in either the overall quality perceptions of the product or the attribute evaluation of shampoos sourced from different countries; but the purchase intent of consumers for certain brands is affected by changes in the country of origin of the shampoo. In a low consumer involvement category such as shampoo, country of origin is not one of the key attributes affecting choice of Lebanese consumers. Purchase is driven either by practical objectives such as benefits or by experiential pleasures.

Practical implications

Marketers should strive to develop a leadership position in consumers' minds. Marketers should attempt to leverage or build brand awareness.

Originality/value

Globally the cosmetics industry represents an attractive business opportunity. The growth trend for industry is positive with new growth opportunities in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The study provides insight into one growth area and indicates that more research in this area would be of value.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 January 2007

Mehdi Hafedh, Ibrahim Akoum, Imad J. Zbib and Zafar U. Ahmed

To shed light on the political economy aspect of post‐conflict reconstruction in Iraq and illustrate how bad governance and economic mismanagement has devastated a country once…

Abstract

Purpose

To shed light on the political economy aspect of post‐conflict reconstruction in Iraq and illustrate how bad governance and economic mismanagement has devastated a country once endowed with abundant natural and human resources.

Design/methodology/approach

The wealth of heritage, culture, and economy that Iraq enjoyed is highlighted. The paper presents a brief overview of economic mismanagement, corruption, and political blunders of Saddam Hussein's regime, which led to sapping the country of its wealth and degraded its human resources. In view of that, the political impediments to the reconstruction process are outlined. Hence, the significance of democratic and participatory approaches to sustainable development.

Findings

The paper reveals that the years of oppressive, myopic, and self‐serving policies of Saddam Hussein's regime have incapacitated Iraq and its people. Income per capita in 2003 was less than 15 percent of its value in 1980 and Iraq's debt amounted to about 600 percent of national output. The paper also indicates that international, regional, and local politics has been the primary hindrance to Iraq's reconstruction and development.

Originality/value

If history is any guide, the peoples of all non‐democratic and corrupt regimes throughout the world ought to heed the lessons imparted by the Saddam's model of governance, that is, sustainable economic development and improving the standards of living can best be attained through democratic and participatory governance.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2009

Yusuf Sidani, Imad Zbib, Mohammed Rawwas and Tarek Moussawer

The purpose of this paper is to address issues of gender, age, and ethical sensitivity and to address the interplay of gender and age and levels of ethical sensitivity within the…

2482

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address issues of gender, age, and ethical sensitivity and to address the interplay of gender and age and levels of ethical sensitivity within the Lebanese context.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured survey was designed and administered to a sample of Lebanese respondents to test the extent of ethical sensitivity of the respondents. This study used a range of situations and scenarios to identify the levels of both sensitivity to business ethics and awareness of unethical business.

Findings

Significant differences were found in ethical sensitivity in only four out of 18 situations where in all cases females were more sensitive than males to issues of ethical nature. When comparing younger to older employees, significant differences were found in six out of the 18 situations. Age of the respondents seemed to better explain some ethical differences among respondents in some situations.

Research limitations/implications

The specific context (workers) in which this study was conducted may limit the generalizability of the results. In addition, such studies measure perceptions of business ethics or intentions to act in an ethical or unethical way. This does not necessarily describe the actual behavior that people will be involved in.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that males and females ethical orientations tend to get closer to each other as they mature in age. This could be due to workplace socialization. Accordingly, managers are invited to see the impact of workplace culture on ethical beliefs and behaviors.

Originality/value

This study contributes in understanding variations in ethical sensitivities across gender and age. There are only few research studies addressing business ethics and gender differences in the Middle East. This study adds to what is known about the effect of these variables on ethical orientations across different contexts.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Zafar U. Ahmed, Imad J. Zbib, Arif Sikander and Karla Tanios Farhat

This study seeks to examine country of origin (COO) and national loyalty effects on Lebanese consumers' quality perceptions, attitudes, and purchase intentions with respect to…

2089

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to examine country of origin (COO) and national loyalty effects on Lebanese consumers' quality perceptions, attitudes, and purchase intentions with respect to airlines serving Lebanon.

Design/methodology/approach

The research comprised formulation of a detailed questionnaire that was served to 360 persons via personal delivery and e‐mails. Statistical analysis of data employed chi‐square and ANOVA tests.

Findings

It was found that factors other than personal experience could impact customer perceptions when selecting the airlines of preference in which national loyalty was a key factor. An important finding was that, from the point of view of personal experience, demographic variables influenced customer perceptions, whereas otherwise the country of origin (COO) effect was predominant.

Research limitations/implications

There was a direct implication that factors other than personal experience do impact customer perception when selecting the airlines of preference. The findings show disagreement with many scholars who give high importance to personal experience as a basis for selection. In this scenario, the majority of the respondents traveled on MEA and gave a good evaluation for the quality services provided by MEA. A different experimental setting would be required to determine the response of dissatisfied customers with travel on MEA.

Originality/value

The analysis of COO effect in selecting an airline by Lebanese consumers is the first of its kind of study in Lebanon and would contribute to the overall literature. It could also provide useful information to the airline industry and national aviation planners in Lebanon.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

Keywords

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