The article “Consumer Animosity, Country of Origin, and Foreign Entry-Mode Choice: A Cross-Country Investigation” dwells on the connection between entry modes and the product purchase intentions in an animosity environment. Cher-Min Fong, Chun-Ling Lee, and Yunzhou Du are motivated to find out how the selection of the entry mode influences the launch of the product in a host country. The paper evaluates foreign direct investment entry modes, such as international joint ventures (IJVs). The research provides well-grounded evidence supported by theoretical concepts and management implications.
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The Main Purpose and Key Conceptual Underpinnings
The purpose of the article is to investigate unexplored forms of foreign market entry by considering consumer responses. The authors aim to examine whether products introduced through IJVs receive greater acceptance in a host country in comparison to imported goods. Moreover, the paper explores the effect a brand strategy with a more salient host identity has on consumer loyalty toward the product.
The main theoretical underpinnings of the paper are the concept of the country-of-origin (COO) and consumer animosity construct. A foreign country’s subsidiary experiences two facets of the COO: the host one and the home one. Consumer animosity is regarded as COO related phenomenon as it determines hostile consumer behavior toward the origin of the product. The COO is the mechanism that allows customers to endow a product or a brand with symbolic meanings and characteristics. Political attitudes shape these non-quality country-induced biases and behaviors. Consumer animosity refers to political attitudes because it deals with antipathy associated with political, military, or economic conflicts endured by a host country.
Findings and Managerial Implications of the Research
The first study conducted by the authors investigated a Japanese firm entrance into Chinese and Taiwanese markets. The group of 284 students was used for the core study. The results of the questionnaire demonstrated that consumers in China expressed lower intention to buy Japanese products in comparison to Taiwanese consumers. The second study investigates the post-entry branding strategies of an IJV and their effect on consumer responses. It revealed that Chinese participants positively reacted to a salient local brand or local–foreign cobrand strategies. International companies have to take into account the issue of consumer animosity when entering foreign markets. The research paper suggests that it is possible to eliminate negative consequences by carefully selecting the market entry mode and branding approach. The launch of an international subsidiary with local ownership leads to a positive response from customers.
Analysis and Evaluation
The structure and tone of the paper are logical and consistent with the flow of thoughts. It presents a substantial amount of theoretical background, which in turn justifies the purpose. Since the authors are from the National Sun Yat-sen University of Taiwan, they pay a lot of attention to the historical prerequisites. For example, they underline that China had undergone a severe Japanese occupation, whereas Taiwan enjoyed economic and infrastructural benefits during the Japanese rule. This holistic approach gives a broader understanding of the stated purpose.
The research is conducted in the country with high animosity – China, and in Taiwan, the country with low animosity. Fong, Lee, and Du selected students to participate in two studies. The authors managed to exclude external factors like age, education, and experience to ensure the homogeneity of the group. This representation also allows making comparisons with earlier scientific investigations of the subject. The two stages of the questionnaire secure the proper employment of the evidence. The outcomes of the pretest correspond to the previous research on general animosity and ethnocentrism. The main study supports the authors’ intentions to investigate connections between various entry modes and consumer animosity.
Obtained study results can serve as the background for further theoretical exploration of the COO concept. The vital contribution made by Fong, Lee, and Du lies in the domain of international management practice. They propose an appropriate solution for companies, such as market surveys, to study the level of consumer animosity. The only drawback of the study is the selection of one product category – a laptop – as an object of the questionnaire.