- Elgar original reference
Edited by Subhash C. Jain and David A. Griffith
15 Is there a country-of-origin theory? Peter Magnusson and Stanford A. Westjohn INTRODUCTION In 1962, Dichter (1962, p. 162) suggested that country of origin (COO) can have a ‘tremendous influence on the acceptance and success of products’. Subsequently, Schooler (1965; 1971) conducted the first empirical tests, which confirmed Dichter’s assertion. These studies laid the seminal foundation for what has become one of the most intensely studied topics in the field of international marketing. As evidence, Tan and Farley (1987) called the country-of-origin phenomenon the most-researched issue in international buyer behavior, and Papadopoulos and Heslop (2002) categorized over 750 major publications on the topic in the past 50 years. The focus on COO rests on the assumption that consumer decisionmaking is a cognitive (and somewhat rational) process (Bloemer et al., 2009). From a cognitive-process perspective, products consist of a collection of information cues, which consumers rely on when making purchase decisions. Product attributes, such as the physical make-up of the product, including material, color, technical specifications, performance, taste, texture and design, have traditionally been referred to as intrinsic cues. Whereas often preferred, intrinsic cues are not always readily available prior to purchase, which forces consumers to rely on aspects external to the product, such as reputation, brand equity, price, brand name, and country of origin (Liefeld, 1993; Srinivasan et al., 2004; Zellner and Durlach, 2003). Extrinsic cues, such as COO, can provide a cognitive shortcut when intrinsic cues are difficult to obtain, the motivation to understand intrinsic cues is lacking, or...
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