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A Review And Meta-analysis Of Country-of-origin Research

P. Verlegh, J.B.E.M. Steenkamp, J.B.E.M. Steenkamp
Published 1999 · Psychology

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Despite a large body of research, country-of-origin effects are still poorly understood. Combining the strengths of a narrative review with those of a quantitative meta-analysis, our study seeks to establish a firm grounding for country-of-origin research. We review previous country-of-origin research, focusing on cognitive, affective, and normative aspects of country of origin. In a quantitative meta-analysis, we assess the magnitude of country-of-origin effects on three types of product evaluations, viz., perceived quality, attitude, and purchase intention. In addition, we develop and test hypotheses concerning the role of economic development, the impact of multi-national production, differences between consumers and industrial purchasers, and a number of methodological aspects. We find that country of origin has a larger effect on perceived quality than on attitude toward the product or purchase intention. We also find that differences in economic development are an important factor underlying the country-of-origin effect. The country-of-origin effect does not differ between industrial and consumer purchasing, nor is it affected by multi-national production. We conclude with suggestions for future research on the country-of-origin effect. Specifically, more research is needed on the symbolic and emotional aspects of country of origin, and on the role of competitive context.
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