An Assessment of Consumers' Willingness to Patronize Foreign-Based Business Format Franchises: An Investigation in the Fast-Food Sector
Description: This study aimed to address consumers' stereotypical categorizations in the form of essentialist views about foreign cultures and their effect on individual consumers, including their negative or aroused emotions and subsequent retail patronage behaviors. The research mission was to empirically assess the salient dimensions of consumers' states of mind (positive and negative affect, psychological essentialism, epistemic curiosity), states of being (store atmospherics), and states of action (retail patronage behaviors) in a cultural context based on Mehrabian-Russell theory of environmental psychology. Specifically, the retail patronage setting was selected as foreign-based fast-food franchises because it represents both a relevant and timely situational context for consumer behavior. This dissertation makes several contributions to international retail patronage literature. First, it frames curiosity as an aroused emotional state and finds support for the relationship between consumer epistemic curiosity and retail patronage. Second, it provides support for the linkage between consumer affect and retail patronage in an international retail setting. Third, it reveals that affect has a greater impact on retail patronage than epistemic curiosity. The overarching finding of this study is an inability to tie the cultural elements in retail atmospherics, including signs, symbols, and artifacts, to consumer emotions. In addition, we were unable to frame psychological essentialism as a personality trait that would reduce the levels of affect and curiosity in retail store environments characterized by foreign-cultural elements.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Ertekin, Selcuk