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

Research Article: 2018 Vol: 22 Issue: 2

Digital Native and Immigrant as Antecedents of Consumer Ethnocentrism

Mohammad Shafiq Obeidat, American University in Dubai

 

William D. Young, Wilmington University

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Consumer Ethnocentrism, Antecedents, Digital Native, Digital Immigrants, World-Mindedness.

Introduction

Background of the Study

In an era of globalization, international trade barriers have broken down and foreign products have a growing global presence. Consumers are experiencing an enormous variety of established domestic and new foreign products (Nguyen, 2017). Even though globalization has set massive preferences of foreign products over their domestic rivals, barriers to success in foreign markets remain a dilemma because of consumer ethnocentrism (Cleveland, Laroche, Naghavi & Shafia, 2017). The phenomenon of preferring local over foreign products is called consumer ethnocentrism; it expresses beliefs about the moral appropriateness of buying foreign products in general (Shimp & Sharma, 1987; Watson & Wright, 2000). Consumer ethnocentrism is becoming even more important in consumer purchase decisions for multinational consumption (Cleveland, Laroche, Naghavi & Shafia, 2017). Most economies discourage purchasing foreign products, as it has negative consequences on the national economy and unemployment (Carpenter, Moore, Alexander & Doherty, 2013). However, multinational organizations are offering diversity in product lines at very competitive prices (Kaynak & Kara, 2002). Therefore, to remain competitive, local manufacturers need to understand how and why consumers choose between domestic and foreign products. Prior research suggests that consumer ethnocentrism may influence consumers to purchase a locally-made product rather than a foreign made one (Akram, Merunka & Akram, 2011; Guo & Lin, 2017; Pentz, Terblanche & Boshoff, 2017; Watson & Wright, 2000).

Globalization has made the role of consumer ethnocentrism a significant factor in marketing (Caruana, 2005). Although an increasing number of marketing researchers are now focusing on the marketplace behaviour of consumers in cross-cultural settings, relatively few studies have investigated the perceptions and judgments of consumers in developing countries and the Middle East (Kaynak & Kara, 2002; Maiksteniene & Auruskeviciene, 2008). For many years, consumer feelings toward foreign products were a subject of interest both in the field of consumer behaviour and international marketing. Marketers need to understand consumers’ ethnocentric tendencies to develop effective marketing and communication strategies within and outside national boundaries. Several studies have examined the factors pertinent to the purchase of foreign products in domestic markets (Shimp & Sharma, 1987; Pentz, Terblanche & Boshoff, 2017). Evanschitzky, Wangenheim, Woisetschläger & Blut, (2008) indicate that consumer purchase behaviour towards foreign versus domestic products can be explained by a combination of demographic variables and country-of-origin effects. However, understanding the digital native and digital immigrant factor is a new concept, especially from the Middle East perspective, which has extensive influence on consumer ethnocentrism. Because the majority of studies have found that the locally-manufactured product does affect purchase behaviour and intention of the consumer, it has been suggested that the country of origin should be considered an additional element of the traditional “marketing mix” (Nadiri & Tumer, 2010). Foreign companies planning to enter a particular market require a clear understanding of the barriers that their products are likely to face. It is obvious that there is a need for a better understanding of the factors that determine consumer choices of domestic and foreign products in different market settings and a need to understand the digital native and digital immigrant aspect.

The most significant factor in the formation of consumer ethnocentrism is the socio-psychological influence, such as world-mindedness and cultural openness and demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, education level and knowledge of technology (Shankarmahesh, 2006). In this study, on the basis of demographic characteristics, the authors focuses on two factors to understand the dynamics of demography in the Jordanian context; these are digital native and digital immigrant’s concepts. Digital natives, who have grown up with digital technologies, may have different understandings of foreign products than digital immigrants, who were first exposed to digital technologies later in life (Ahn & Jung, 2016). Whereas the term “digital natives” indicates the generation born during and after the 1980s, “digital immigrants” are the parent generation of digital natives (Prensky, 2001). According to Prensky (2001), people born after 1980 are called digital natives; however, considering the current study is based in the Jordanian context, not all Jordanians born after 1980 have been exposed to Internet technology in the early years of life because of the economy and uncertainty.

Previous researchers indicate that impacts of demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, education level are unclear, contradictory and present a research gap (Josiassen, Assaf & Karpen, 2011). Consumer ethnocentrism in previous literature focused mainly on investigating ethnocentrism amongst consumers from developed countries (Bartsch, Riefler & Diamantopoulos, 2016). Despite a few exceptions, the literature has ignored determining ethnocentric tendencies for consumers from the Middle East and developing countries (Al-Ganideh, Al-Refae & Aljanaideh, 2011). Jordan is a good representative for the Middle East in exploring international marketing business research (Albarq & Nik, 2007; Al-Ganideh & Al-Taee, 2012).

This study aims to explore digital native and digital immigrant consumers' perceptions of purchasing products manufactured in foreign countries. Specifically, this study explores the antecedents of consumer ethnocentrism and attitudes towards Jordanian versus foreign products and analyse whether the ethnocentric tendencies vary by the demographic variables of gender, age, education and knowledge of technology by comparing tendencies between digital native and digital immigrants.

Research Question

? How do digital natives and digital immigrants differ in their sensitivity toward foreign products?

? Can early age access to the Internet be an antecedent for consumer ethnocentrism in the same way as world-mindedness and world openness?

Literature Review

Consumer Ethnocentrism

Consumer ethnocentrism (CE) focuses on consumer beliefs. The phenomenon of preferring local over foreign products is called consumer ethnocentrism; it captures beliefs about the moral appropriateness of buying foreign products in general (Shimp & Sharma, 1987; Watson & Wright, 2000). The concept of consumer ethnocentrism was originally extended from the field of sociology to the field of consumer behaviour in the late 1980s by Shimp and Sharma (1987). Consumer ethnocentrism has gained substantial consideration in strategic marketing literature as a component of foreign product purchase behaviour (Altintas & Tokol, 2007). CE implies the normative belief that purchasing domestic products is more useful than purchasing foreign products (Balabanis & Siamagka, 2017). Several empirical studies indicate that CE strongly influences purchase behaviour toward foreign products (Fernández-Ferrín, Bande-Vilela, Klein & Rio-Araujo, 2015). Consumer ethnocentrism provides individuals with a sense of identity or belonging to group-citizens of a certain country-and an understanding of the purchasing behaviour acceptable for their group (Fernández-Ferrín and Bande-Vilela, 2013).

Applicable Theories (Social Identity Theory)

Relating the consumer ethnocentrism and demographic antecedents, the theoretical perspective provides better elucidation of the CE concept. The social identity theory developed by Tajfel and Turner (1986) states that all individuals tend to classify themselves into groups that these authors call in-groups and set themselves apart from the out-groups, which encompass all others. This classification supports a sense of identity and explains in-group and out-group attitudes and behaviours and specifically national identity phenomena (Tajfel & Turner, 1986). The inclination of consumers to be CE signifies a consumer attitude about the purchase of their own country’s products and an understanding the inappropriateness of purchasing foreign products for economic benefit and self-esteem (Shimp & Sharma, 1987).

Demographic Antecedents (Digital Native and Immigrant)

Previous studies have explored that consumer ethnocentric tendencies are a part of demographic antecedents (Sharma, Shimp & Shin, 1994).

Another aspect not explored in the consumer ethnocentrism literature is the impact of digital nativity on consumer ethnocentrism. This not only predicts levels of consumer ethnocentrism but also the influence of consumer purchasing behaviour (Pentz, Terblanche & Boshoff, 2017). The study suggests that consumers of different ages, genders and income levels may differ in their propensity to let these consumer ethnocentric tendencies affect their willingness to buy (Josiassen, Assaf & Karpen, 2011). These gaps in our understanding of the influence of demographic consumer characteristics in predicting consumer ethnocentric tendencies also severely limit the managerial relevance of research in this area (Homburg & Giering, 2001).

Socio-Psychological Antecedents

Cultural Openness

Cultural openness is defined as an awareness and readiness to communicate with people from other cultures and experience some of their artifacts (Sharma, Shimp & Shin, 1994; Shankarmahesh, 2006). Individuals differ in terms of their experience with openness towards other people, values and artifacts of other cultures. The opportunity to interact with other cultures may have the effect of reducing cultural unfairness (Sharma, Shimp & Shin, 1994).

World-Mindedness

Consumer world-mindedness addresses an individual’s interest in, openness to and adoption of consumer products, services and ideas from other cultures or parts of the world and accepting these cultural norms and values completely without nationalistic bias or prejudice (Douglas & Nijssen, 2010). As geographic distances shrink with advances in communications technology, the Internet, the spread of global media and increased international travel, consumers become more aware of and exposed to products, customs and lifestyles in other cultures and countries (Douglas & Nijssen, 2010).

Relating Socio-Psychology to Digital Nativity

Socio-psychological and demography are the two categories of antecedents of consumer ethnocentrism (Shankarmahesh, 2006). However, there is a lack of research providing answers to the question of whether digital nativity influences the relationship between consumer willingness to buy foreign products and their ethnocentric tendencies. In this study, the authors have researched the interacting effects of consumer ethnocentrism and digital nativity’s impact on consumer willingness to buy foreign products.

A review of the literature indicates that much of the previous research exploring consumer attitudes and purchase behaviour toward foreign products has been explained in terms of developing stereotypes among consumers about foreign products. On the basis of the literature review, the author has developed the following hypotheses to explore the relationships.

Hypothesis Development

H1 Digital native consumers are less ethnocentric in comparison to digital immigrants.

H2 Digital natives score higher on world-mindedness and cultural openness than digital immigrants.

H3 Digital natives have positive attitudes towards foreign products.

H4 Digital natives are willing to buy and adopt foreign products.

H5 Being a digital native will give the same effect of ethnocentrism as world-mindedness similar to those who have travelled and lived outside the country.

Research Methodology

Research Design

The research paradigm is positivism; hence, the study type is explanatory with a cause and effect relationship. The method is quantitative and we use hypotheses testing. The research strategy is based on surveying and the tool for data collection is a questionnaire. The instrument is the CETSCALE (Consumer Ethnocentrism Tendency Scale) adapted from Shimp and Sharma (1987). The responses were sought on a five-point Likert scale. The population of the study was procured from shopping malls and centres in Jordan. Shopping malls and centres of four cities were selected and probability random sampling was used for data collection. The survey questionnaire was specifically circulated to random respondents in the shopping malls and centres over a period of three weeks. The data was collected through a self-administered survey questionnaire from 340 people. Each of the respondents was counselled appropriately to stay away from mistakes and deficient or missing answers. Twenty-four responses were not found to have adequate information and were discarded. 340 responses were used for data analysis. Descriptive statistics were used in SPSS to estimate the normality of the data through means and standard deviation. The author also compares the mean values to test the hypotheses. The findings of the data are discussed in the following section to interpret the results.

Interment Development

The CETSCALE (Consumer Ethnocentrism Tendency Scale) was adapted from Shimp and Sharma (1987) and contains the following dimensions: Attitude towards foreign products. Purchase intention willingness to buy foreign products is adapted from Klein (1998) and world-mindedness scale from Rawwas (1996). The survey also includes four demographic items, including the age of Internet/technology exposure, gender, education and time lived outside the country. It used a five-point Likert scale to examine the responses. The measurement scale ranged from one (strongly disagree) to five (strongly agree). According to Prensky (2001), people born after 1980 are called digital natives; however, considering the current study is based on the Jordanian context, not all Jordanians born after 1980 have been exposed to Internet technology in the early years of life because of the economy and uncertainty. Therefore, the authors include the question regarding exposure to the Internet before the age of 10 to classify digital natives.

Data Analysis And Findings

Demographic Respondent Profile

The total number of respondent is 340 of which 42% are females and 58% are males. The respondent age in years, 14% are 21 to 25, 35% are 26 to 30, 37% are 30 to 40 and 14% are more than 40 years of age. Respondents’ education level, 08% respondents have passed high school, 72% are undergraduates and 20% are graduates. 55% respondents selected never lived outside Jordan, 05% who answered lived outside at least for one year and 40% respondents lived outside Jordan for more than 2 years. 32% answered that they were exposed to the Internet during elementary school while 68% answered at a mature age. Hence, we can conclude that 32% participants are digital natives. The result of the demographic analysis shows that there are multiple people involved in the survey and there is enough data to understand the dynamic and impact of consumer ethnocentrism over the digital native and digital immigrant (Table 1).

Table 1:
Demographic Respondent Profile Summary
Gender Male 58%
Female 42%
  100%
Age 21 to 25 14%
26 to 30 35%
31 to 40 37%
40+ 14%
  100%
Education Level High School 8%
Undergraduates 72%
Graduates 20%
  100%
Residency Never Lived Outside Jordan 55%
Lived Outside Jordan for 1-2 years 5%
Lived Outside Jordan for 2+ years 40%
  100%
Internet Exposure Exposed During Elementary School 32%
Exposed at a Mature Age 68%
  100%

Result And Discussion

Attitude towards Foreign Products

Consumer Ethnocentrism and Purchase Decision

H1 Digital native consumers are less ethnocentric in comparison to digital immigrants.

To test this hypothesis, we used Levene's Test. As shown in Table 2a & 2b, Levene's T Test reveals that there is a significant difference between digital native people (M=15.34) and digital immigrants (M=10.12) in terms of ethnocentrism and purchase decisions t(298) =9.914, p=0.000. However, the difference between the two groups was not as predicted (digital native have a significantly higher ethnocentrism and purchase decision than digital immigrants). Therefore, Hypothesis 1 was not supported.

Table 2a: Group Statistics
  First time I was exposed to technologies (internet/computer) N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Consumer ethnocentrism and purchase decision Elementary school (DN) 95 32.5789 6.50953 0.66786
over 11 years old (DI) 205 24.0000 7.88707 0.55086
Table 2b: Independent Samples Test
  Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
F Sig. t df Sig.
(2-tailed)
Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Consumer ethnocentrism and purchase decision Equal variances assumed 15.931 0.000 9.241 298 0.000 8.57895 0.92837 6.75195 10.40595
Equal variances not assumed     9.910 218.751 0.000 8.57895 0.86573 6.87271 10.28518

World-Mindedness

H2 Digital natives score higher on world-mindedness and cultural openness than digital immigrants.

We also used Levene's T Test to examine H2, which predicted that digital native will score higher on world mindedness & cultural openness compared to digital immigrants. The sum scores of questions that World-mindedness decision (Q17 to Q20) to create World Mindedness variable. Then Independent sample t-Test is conducted to determine the difference of World-mindedness for digital native people and digital immigrants. The result is shown in the following Table 3a & 3b.

Table 3a: Group Statistics
  First time I was exposed to technologies (internet/computer) N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
World-mindedness Elementary school 105 7.7619 2.64765 0.25838
over 11 years old 210 11.8333 2.98254 0.20581
Table 3b: Independent Samples Test
  Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
F Sig. t df Sig.
(2-tailed)
Mean
Difference
Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
World-mindedness Equal variances assumed 9.879 0.002 -11.846 313 0.000 -4.07143 0.34370 -4.74768 -3.39518
Equal variances not assumed     -12.325 231.471 0.000 -4.07143 0.33034 -4.72228 -3.42058

From the above table, Levene's Test values are 9.879 at the significance level of 0.002. As the significance values are less than 0.05, we assume the t-stat value for equal variance not assumed (in the second line of the table). For the equal variance not assumed t-stat values are 12.325 at the significance level of 0.000 (which is less than 0.05). So, there is a significant difference of World-mindedness for digital native people and digital immigrants. We may now reject the Hypothesis H2. We may conclude that digital native have significantly less World-mindedness than digital immigrants.

Attitude towards Foreign Products

H3 Digital native have positive Attitude towards Foreign Products.

The sum scores of questions that suggest positive attitude towards foreign product (Q1 and Q2) and subtract questions that suggest negative attitude (Q3) to create Attitude variable. Then Independent sample t-Test is conducted to determine the difference of attitude for digital native people and digital immigrants. The result is shown in the following Table 4a & 4b.

Table 4a: Group Statistics
  First time I was exposed to technologies (internet/computer) N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Attitude towards foreign products Elementary school 105 0.7619 1.48404 0.14483
over 11 years old 215 2.4884 2.43967 0.16638
Table 4b: Independent Samples Test
  Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
F Sig. t df Sig.
(2-tailed)
Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Attitude towards foreign products Equal variances assumed 43.204 0.000 -6.671 318 0.000 -1.72647 0.25882 -2.23568 -1.21726
Equal variances not assumed     -7.827 303.098 0.000 -1.72647 0.22059 -2.16054 -1.29239

From the above table, Levene's Test values are 43.204 at the significance level of 0.000. As the significance values are less than 0.05, we assume the t-stat value for equal variance not assumed (in the second line of the table). For the equal variance not assumed t-stat values are 7.827 at the significance level of 0.000 (which is less than 0.05). So, there is a significant difference of attitude for digital native people and digital immigrants. We may now reject the Hypothesis H3. We may conclude that digital native have significantly less positive attitude towards Foreign Products than digital immigrants.

Purchase Intention

H4 Digital native willing to buy and adopt foreign products.

The scores of questions that positive purchase intention towards foreign product Q4 and subtract questions that suggest negative purchase intention (Q5) to create purchase intention. Then Independent sample t-Test is conducted to determine the difference of purchase intention for digital native people and digital immigrants. The result is shown in the following Table 5a & 5b.

Table 5a: Group Statistics
  First time I was exposed to technologies (internet/computer) N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Purchase Intention Elementary school 100 -1.6500 1.43108 0.14311
over 11 years old 215 -1.8140 1.16923 0.07974
Table 5b: Independent Samples Test
  Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
F Sig. t df Sig.
(2-tailed)
Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Purchase Intention Equal variances assumed 10.704 0.001 1.077 313 0.282 0.16395 0.15227 -0.13564 0.46355
Equal variances not assumed     1.001 162.760 0.318 0.16395 0.16382 -0.15954 0.48745

From the below table, Levene's Test values are 10.704 at the significance level of 0.001. As the significance values are less than 0.05, we assume the t-stat value for equal variance not assumed (in the second line of the table). For the equal variance not assumed t-stat values are 1.001 at the significance level of 0.318 (which is greater than 0.05). So, there is no significant difference of purchase intention towards foreign product for digital native people and digital immigrants. We may now accept the Hypothesis H4. We may conclude that digital native have no significantly different purchase intention towards Foreign Products than digital immigrants.

Perceived Quality

The scores of questions that suggest positive perceived quality (Q16) and subtract questions that suggest negative perceived quality (Q15) to create Perceived quality variable. Then Independent sample t-Test is conducted to determine the difference of perceived quality for digital native people and digital immigrants. The result is shown in the following Table 6a & 6b.

Table 6a: Group Statistics
  First time I was exposed to technologies (internet/computer) N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Perceived Quality Elementary school 100 0.3500 0.91425 0.09143
over 11 years old 210 1.1905 1.42161 0.09810
Table 6b: Independent Samples Test
  Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
F Sig. T df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Perceived Quality Equal variances assumed 65.953 0.000 -5.402 308 0.000 -0.84048 0.15560 -1.14664 -0.53431
Equal variances not assumed     -6.268 281.465 0.000 -0.84048 0.13410 -1.10444 -0.57651

From the above table, Levene's Test values are 65.953 at the significance level of 0.000. As the significance values are less than 0.05, we assume the t-stat value for equal variance not assumed (in the second line of the table). For the equal variance not assumed t-stat values are 6.268 at the significance level of 0.000 (which is less than 0.05). So, there is a significant difference of perceived quality for digital native people and digital immigrants. We may conclude that digital native have significantly less positive perceived quality towards Jordanian products than digital immigrants.

H5 Being digital native will give you the same effect on ethnocentrism as world mindedness similar to those who travelled and lived outside the country.

Finally Independent sample t-Test is conducted to determine the difference of World-mindedness for lived outside the country and didn’t travel. The result is shown in the following Table 7a & 7b.

Table 7a: Group Statistics
  I lived outside Jordan N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
World-mindedness I lived outside 175 9.8286 4.02211 0.30404
I never lived outside 160 11.2188 2.34902 0.18571
Table 7b: Independent Samples Test
  Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
F Sig. t df Sig.
(2-tailed)
Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
World-mindedness Equal variances assumed 76.325 0.000 -3.817 333 0.000 -1.39018 0.36422 -2.10664 -0.67372
Equal variances not assumed     -3.902 284.684 0.000 -1.39018 0.35627 -2.09144 -0.68892

From the below table, Levene's Test values are 76.325 at the significance level of 0.000. As the significance values are lower than 0.05, we assume the t-stat value for equal variance not assumed (in the second line of the table). For the equal variance not assumed t-stat values are 3.902 at the significance level of 0.000 (which is less than 0.05). So, there is a significant difference of World-mindedness for lived outside the country and didn’t travel. We may now reject the Hypothesis H5. We may conclude that lived outside the country have a significantly difference World-mindedness with didn’t travel.

Research Model Picture

The sum scores of questions that suggest a positive attitude towards foreign products (Q1 and Q2) and the subtract questions that suggest negative attitude (Q3) create the attitude variable. The scores of questions about positive purchase intention towards foreign products Q4 and the subtract questions that suggest negative purchase intention (Q5) create purchase intention. The sum scores of questions about consumer ethnocentrism and purchase decision (Q6 to Q14) divided by 9 create the ethnocentrism purchase decision variable. The scores of questions that suggest positive perceived quality (Q16) and the subtract questions that suggest negative perceived quality (Q15) create the perceived quality variable. The sum scores of questions about world-mindedness decision (Q17 to Q20) divided by 4 create the world-mindedness variable. Then the research model picture is developed, as shown below (Figure 1).

Figure 1:1. Research Model Picture Of Jordan Market.

From the above model, the attitude towards foreign products for over 11 years old (DI) is much higher than elementary school (DN). The t-Test shows a significant difference in attitude towards foreign products between digital natives and digital immigrants. The purchase intention for over 11 years old (DI) is slightly higher than that of elementary school (DN). The t-Test result shows there is no significant difference of purchase intention towards foreign products for digital natives and digital immigrants. For ethnocentrism and purchase decision, elementary school (DN) is much higher than that of over elementary school (DI). The t-Test result also shows there is a significant difference of ethnocentrism and purchase decision for digital natives and digital immigrants. The model shows that perceived quality for over 11 years old is much higher than that of elementary school. The t-Test result shows there is a significant difference of perceived quality for digital natives and digital immigrants. Finally, world-mindedness for over 11 years old is much higher than that of elementary school. The t-Test result shows a significant difference of world-mindedness between digital natives and digital immigrants.

Discussion

This study is intended to analyse consumer ethnocentrism and its influence on socio-psychological and demographic characteristics in four cities of Jordan through data collected from shopping malls at random from the walk-in consumers. Results of the data analysis of socio-psychological and demographic characteristics are discussed in detail in a previous section. The author reports respondent profiles, descriptive statistics and executed histogram mean analysis of consumer ethnocentrism of digital natives and digital immigrants in Jordan. Taking into consideration the current study, previous reviewed literature and conducting an analysis of results, the author draws certain conclusions and recommendations. To conclude the discussion, first we must consider the propositions and their respective outcomes. To answer the research questions, different hypothesis were initially developed and then tested accordingly to discover empirically if any association exists between consumer ethnocentrism in digital natives and immigrants.

The result indicates that digital natives appear to be less like-minded about buying foreign products than digital immigrants. On the other hand, the majority of questions suggest a closed economy buying only domestic products, with digital native preferring domestic over foreign products than digital immigrant. However, both digital natives and digital immigrants agree on the fact that foreign products are of better quality than domestic ones. Thus, both do not disagree about not buying foreign products. Early age exposure and access to the Internet doesn’t give the same effect as world-mindedness and cultural openness as if the person lived abroad or has travelled.

Results show that consumer ethnocentrism differs among demographic factors. Furthermore, the author investigates the role of consumer demographic characteristics divided into two factors-digital native and digital immigrants-on consumer ethnocentric tendencies. The results show that digital native have higher tendencies towards foreign products than digital immigrants. Hence, digital immigrant consumers have a tendency to be more ethnocentric than digital natives.

Furthermore, ethnocentric tendencies are more prevalent among female digital immigrant consumers than among male digital immigrant consumers. Recent research (Melnyk, 2009) into the relationship between loyalty and gender shows that female consumers tend to be more loyal to local products than male consumers. In general, the results emphasize the importance of studying the demographic characteristics of buying behaviour. Much recent research in consumer behaviour has abandoned demographic factors and, instead, has focused on psychological constructs. While the value of these psychological factors is well established, the results strongly indicate that demographic characteristics such as age and gender play an important role. Consumers familiar with technology who have lived outside Jordan for a couple of years are more inclined towards foreign products than those not familiar with technology that has never lived outside Jordan. On the other hand, we can elaborate on digital natives, whether they are male or female and less inclined to foreign products.

The conclusion of the study elucidates that the young generation is less inclined to purchase foreign products. This has several managerial and practical implications. First, the results provide managers with a detailed understanding of which customer groups are the most consumer ethnocentric. Most multinational organization needs to understand the dynamics of demographic factors when entering the market and this study will provide the basis for understanding the Jordanian context so they are able to expand awareness of their products. There are great chances for foreign products to be successful in said market. On the other hand, marketing managers who assume that all domestic consumers are ethnocentric are likely to fail to develop the best marketing strategies. Based on the demographic factors of gender, age and education level, findings shows that older consumers in the study, called digital immigrants, tend to be more ethnocentric.

Future studies on consumer ethnocentrism in Jordan could include additional product categories, particularly low-involvement products. Instead of only investigating tangible products, the influence of consumer ethnocentrism in a service context could also be explored. Future studies could be expanded to other countries of the Middle East.

Concluding Remarks

This article explores two generations’ understanding of consumer ethnocentrism, considered an emerging social problem. Although digital natives and digital immigrants have common purchase intention when it comes to foreign products, they differ about purchasing; and with the acknowledgment of differences between digital native and immigrants, researchers and relevant organizations can learn how to cope with consumer ethnocentrism.

Conclusion

The purpose of this study is to explore the ethnocentrism of Jordanian digital natives and digital immigrant consumers and whether it is right and appropriate for them to purchase products manufactured in foreign countries. The study is intended to analyse consumer ethnocentrism and its influence on socio-psychological and demographic characteristics in four cities of Jordan by collecting data from shopping malls. The primary objectives include exploring the antecedents of consumer ethnocentrism and attitudes towards Jordanian vs. foreign products, as well as analysing whether ethnocentric tendencies vary by demographic antecedents. It can be concluded from the above discussion that digital native have high level of loyalty and high ethnocentric tendencies towards Jordanian-made domestic products. Although digital natives and digital immigrants have a common purchase intention with regard to foreign products, they differ when purchasing the product and perceiving their quality when comparing domestic and foreign goods. Digital natives, whether male or female, are less inclined to foreign products. Consumers familiar with technology who have lived outside Jordan for a couple of years are more inclined towards foreign products. Marketing managers who assume that all domestic consumers are ethnocentric are likely to fail to develop the best marketing strategies. Based on demographic factors such gender, age and education level, findings show that the older consumers in the study, called digital immigrants, tend to be less ethnocentric. On the other hand, the study found that digital natives are more ethnocentric compared to digital immigrants and they have a positive attitude toward foreign products as well as a positive purchase intention.

References