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E. Magier-Łakomy, M. Boguszewicz-Kreft (2015), Dimensions of the Country of Origin Effect and their Measurement, Annales UMCS, Sectio H Oeconomia, No. 3, pp. 125-134

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E. Magier-Łakomy, M. Boguszewicz-Kreft (2015), Dimensions of the Country of Origin Effect and their Measurement, Annales UMCS, Sectio H Oeconomia, No. 3, pp. 125-134
  DOI:10.17951/h.2015.59.3.125 ANNALES UNIVERSITATIS MARIAE CURIE-SKŁODOWSKALUBLIN – POLONIA VOL. XLIX, 3 SECTIO H 2015 Gdańsk School of Banking EWA MAGIER-ŁAKOMY, MONIKA BOGUSZEWICZ-KREFT  Dimensions of the Country of Origin Effect and their Measurement Wymiary efektu kraju pochodzenia i ich pomiar  Keywords:  country-of-srcin (COO) effect, country of srcin image, COO effect’s dimensions, attitude, Polish consumers, consumers’ behaviour. Słowa kluczowe:  efekt kraju pochodzenia, wizerunek kraju pochodzenia, wymiary efektu kraju po - chodzenia, postawa, polscy konsumenci, zachowania konsumenckie. JEL Code: M31, L8 Introduction The dynamic growth of trade exchange and globalisation processes result in the fact that most consumer decisions are connected with purchasing goods coming from other countries. These countries’ images inuence consumer attitudes concerning their perception, opinions and purchasing behavior. This phenomenon has been dened as the country of srcin effect (COO effect). Considering such a context, an important research challenge is to measure this inuence (the COO effect itself) and  particular components of the COO effect. Research identies three approaches to the general problem of the country of srcin (Roth, Diamantopoulos, 2009): 1/ concentrating on the general image of the country, 2/ considering both the image of the country and the image of products which come from this country, 3/ focusing on the image of products coming from  EWA MAGIER-ŁAKOMY, MONIKA BOGUSZEWICZ-KREFT 126  particular countries. The following analysis takes the third approach and it aims at the verication of a hypothesis concerning multiplicity of dimensions which co-create the image of products and services coming from various countries. So far, studies which were carried out, did not give a clear answer, whether COO effect is multi- or uni-dimensional. Therefore, the particular research questions have been formulated as follows:1. Is the COO effect multidimensional? 2. What is the rate of variance of the COO effect dimensions and what is its importance? The data have been collected with the use of the survey questionnaire. To process the obtained data statistically, the analysis of variance and one sample t  -test have  been applied. 1. The concept of a consumer attitude in the COO The consumer attitude comes as a result of cognitive processes (for example: consumers’ belief in the industrial development and advanced technology in a par  - ticular country, which are associated with the quality and characteristics of products offered by this country), of affective processes (emotional and symbolic values which are attributed to the country of srcin), of conative processes (the level of interaction with a particular country desired by consumers) 1 ,   and of normative processes (the impact of social standards, e.g. inspired and given media publicity boycott actions taken by consumers to retaliate against particular political decisions) (Balabanis and Diamantopoulos, 2011; Bloemer, Brijs and Kasper 2009). However, as some  psychological research suggests (Wojciszke, 2011), the multifactorial concept of the attitude can well characterize attitudes towards particular objects. In the case of objects which have more abstract or symbolic character, the distinguished elements of the attitude merge together, and they become more difcult to identify. Therefore, it can be assumed that in the case of products seen as material objects, the attitude measurement based on its tri-factorial concept may be effective, whereas in the case of services with intangibility as their key dimension, it seems reasonable to provide a global research on the attitudes towards them. In the following publication, a general denition of an attitude has been accepted as “an evaluative attitude based on cognitive elements, emotional reactions and in - tentions towards the future, and on behaviour” (Leippe and Zimbardo, 2004, p. 52). Hence, an attitude is to be understood as global orientation. The empirical indicator of this orientation is assumed to be a declarative evaluation of services and products. 1 Coming as three components of attitudes which are reected in the structure of the country image (Laroche et al  ., 2005).  DIMENSIONS OF THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN EFFECT AND THEIR MEASUREMENT 127 2. The country of srcin (COO) and its inuence on consumers Schooler (1965)   started the research on the inuence that an image of the country of srcin has on processes concerning evaluation of products and on purchasing be - haviour ( COO effect  , for relevant literature reviews, see e.g.: Bikely and Nes, 1982, Al-Sulaiti and Baker, 1998; Peterson and Jolibert, 1995; Javalgi, Cutler and Winans, 2001; Pharr, 2005; Rezvani   et al  ., 2012; Saran and Gupta, 2012). Since then, this  phenomenon has become one of the most often analysed in scientic research in the eld of international marketing and consumer behaviour. This phenomenon refers to the inuence of a particular country image on evalu - ation of products and brands from that country (Liczmańska, 2010). Despite the fact that consumers’ identication of the COO most often has an unintentional subjective character, and is not always accurate (Balabanis and Diamantopoulos, 2008; Zhou, Yang and Hui, 2010), (Balabanis and Diamantopoulos, 2011; Melnyk, Klein and Völ - ckner, 2012), it has been also discovered that it results in assuming certain attitudes and consumer behaviour (Sikora, 2008; Balabanis and Diamantopoulos, 2011; Parr, 2005). 3. The measurement of the COO inuence on consumers’ opinions about products and services  COO was primarily perceived as a one-dimensional category (e.g. Hong and Wyer, 1989). However, after over twenty years of research, it started to be consid - ered a complex category (Dinnie 2004, cit. in: Meng 2007). In the 1980s numerous concepts of various components of this phenomenon appeared (e.g. Johansson, Douglas and Nonaka, 1985). Their importance and impact started to be analysed in connection to the image perception of the country of product srcin. The scientists were interested not only in the fact that the COO effect exists, but also in searching for answers to the question: why the differences in evaluation and in preference of  products from various countries appear. After the analysis of attributes used in other surveys of consumers’ opinions on products in the context of the COO, Roth and Romeo (1992) presented a model composed of four dimensions:1. Innovativeness – use of new technology and advanced engineering.2. Design – appearance, style, colors, variety.3. Prestige – exclusivity, status, brand name reputation.4. Workmanship – reliability, durability, craftsmanship, manufacturing quality. This study veries the given model after its previous modication. The changes result from the efforts to adapt this model to the analysis of not only material goods (as it was primarily meant for this purpose), but also to the analysis of services. The modied model was previously used by Bose and Ponnam (2011). They focused their research on the evaluation of entertainment services (music, dance, circuses,  EWA MAGIER-ŁAKOMY, MONIKA BOGUSZEWICZ-KREFT 128 theatres, lms) by young citizens of India. The authors stated that some criteria of the evaluation which were used in Roth and Romeo’s model, and which pertain to material goods, were not adequate while discussing the analysed services. Therefore, they assumed the following dimensions: innovativeness, diversity, exclusivity, and quality. Adjusting the above criteria to the requirements of the COO analysis concerning services in general, the presented study assumes the following dimensions of the country image:1. Innovativeness – understood as the use of the latest knowledge and advanced technology,2. Diversity – namely: variety, wide range, and attractiveness of an offer,3. Prestige – dened by exclusivity, status, brand name reputation,4. Quality – seen as efciency, durability, professionalism. 4. The research method  Participants.  The data were collected from 129 Polish students 2  of economic study courses: 55 men (43%), 73 women (57%). The mean participant’s age was M=23.9; SD =6.77. Participation in the study was voluntary and anonymous. Questionnaire . The research was based on a questionnaire elaborated by the a uthors and consisted of several questions. Due to the aim of the study only the data from four questions were introduced to further analysis. The questions concerned the participants’ attitude to products and services offered in 9 European countries 3 . The respondents completed their questionnaire forms using a six-grade scale. Country selection . 5 countries were selected for further analysis. Poland as the country of respondents’ residence and as the localization reference for the remaining four countries. The main criteria for choosing them was geographical in character: Germany  –   as a western country, Lithuania – as an eastern country, Hungary  – as a  southern country, Sweden – a northern country, referring to Poland. 2 Participants were recruited from a student’s sample due to the lack of differences in COO between students and regular consumers (results were obtained in previous studies, i.e. Verlegh, Steenkamp (1999). 3 Questions were as follows: 1\ How would you rate innovativeness (understood as the use of the latest knowledge and technology) of products and services according to the country of srcin on a scale of 1 – 6 (1 – very low, 6 – very high)?; 2\ How would you rate diversity (understood   as the appearance, style, the range of the offer of products and services according to the country of srcin on a scale of 1 – 6?; 3\ How would you rate quality of the products and services understood as reliability, durability, professionalism on a scale of 1 – 6?; 4\ How would you rate prestige (understood as exclusivity, status, reputation) of products and services according to the country of srcin on a scale of 1 – 6?  DIMENSIONS OF THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN EFFECT AND THEIR MEASUREMENT 129 5. Results In order to test the assumption that the COO effect is a multidimensional, an analysis of variance with repeated measures was conducted. Two independent vari - ables were introduced to the analysis: COO dimension  (4: innovativeness, diversity, quality, prestige), and country  (5: Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden). All analyses were conducted with STATISTICA 10  software. The main effect of the country  (independently of dimension  factor;  F  (4, 504) = 255,67. 65;  p < 0.0001, η 2 = 0.67) showed that there is a difference in products and services evaluation between given European countries. These results conrm the COO effect but it is rather replicating in character and it was not the main aim of the study. The analysis also revealed a signicant main effect for the dimension  variable (independently of the country  factor;  F  (3, 378) = 2.94;  p <0.05, η 2 = 0.02. The detailed analysis showed that European products and services are evaluated at the highest level with regard to their quality (  M  Q  = 3.920, which is signicantly higher com -  paring to diversity (  M   D  = 3.80;  LSD : p<0.05), prestige (  M   P   = 3.80,  LSD : p<0.01), and innovativeness (  M   I   =3.82,  LSD: p< 0.05). The difference between quality and innovativeness (  M   I   = 3.82) was not signicant (  LSD : p>0.05). Obtained results show that European products and services are not evaluated equally to the extent of all given dimensions. That can be taken as a preliminary and indirect conrmation that introducing different dimensions to the study was relevant. A signicant interaction of two variables ( country x dimension ) was found,  F  (12, 1512) = 8.58,  p  <0.0001, η 2  = 0.06 see Figure 1). All dimensions were evaluated at the highest level for Germany. Innovativeness, diversity, quality, and prestige for German products and services were evaluated sig - nicantly higher comparing to all remaining countries (most of  LSD  tests:  p <0.00001). In comparison with four remaining countries, products and services srcinated in Lith - uania were evaluated most negatively, no matter what kind of dimension was a subject of respondents’ consideration. That gives a shallow impression that regardless of the criteria, German products are good and Lithuanian are bad. However, signicant differences between dimensions for a given country were observed. In addition, another analysis (single sample t  -test) was conducted to check wheth - er the evaluation of products and services in terms of a given criteria differs from a neutral attitude at a signicant level (see Table 1). Germany . Diversity was evaluated signicantly lower comparing to innovative - ness (  LSD: p <0.001), to quality (  LSD: p <0.0001) and to prestige (  LSD: p <0.0001) 4 . There was no signicant difference between remaining criteria: innovativeness, qual - ity, prestige (  LSD: p >0.05). That means that German products are highly appreciated for these criteria and less for their diversity. All the obtained outcomes concerning services and products from Germany have been evaluated signicantly above the 4 All compared means are presented in Table 1.
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