Academy of Marketing Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6298; Online ISSN: 1528-2678)

Abstract

Digital Native and Immigrant as Antecedents of Consumer Ethnocentrism

Author(s): Mohammad Shafiq Obeidat, William D. Young

Several studies have explored the four categories-socio-psychological, economic, political and demographic-of the antecedents of consumer ethnocentrism. The current study is the first to look at antecedents of consumer ethnocentrism from digital native and immigrant perspectives. The purpose of the study is to examine whether digital natives and digital immigrants differ in their sensitivity to foreign products. We hypothesize that digital natives are less ethnocentric in comparison to digital immigrants and digital nativity has the same effect on the consumer as cultural openness and world-mindedness, which the consumer can acquire through traveling and living abroad. This is because the digital native has greater access to the world from an early age through the Internet. The study uses an instrument called the Consumer Ethnocentrism Scale (CETSCALE), developed by Shimp and Sharma (1987) to measure the ethnocentric tendencies of consumers towards buying foreign products rather than locallymanufactured goods. A sample of 340 respondents has been reported in the study. A test for the homogeneity of variance called Levene's Test was run, as it is used whenever an Independent Samples T-test in SPSS is preformed to discover patterns of ethnocentrism among two categories of people. We found that digital natives are less ethnocentric compared to digital immigrants and they have positive attitudes toward foreign products. Also, early age exposure and access to the Internet was found to produce the same effect as world-mindedness and cultural openness, as if the person lived abroad or has travelled. This study also suggests some managerial implications.