Sins of omission versus commission: Cross-cultural differences in brand-switching due to dissatisfaction induced by individual versus group action and inaction

Sharon Ng, Hakkyun Kim, Akshay R. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine how brand-switching varies across cultures, depending on the drivers of a prior unsatisfactory consumption experience. We draw from the literature on regret, norm theory and cross-cultural psychology to predict that Westerners are more likely to switch brands when the unsatisfactory consumption experience is a consequence of their inaction relative to the inaction of a group to which they belong. In contrast, it is predicted that Easterners are more likely to switch brands when the unsatisfactory consumption experience is a consequence of inaction on the part of the group to which they belong relative to their own inaction. We discuss the relevance of our research for marketing theory, the need to account for cultural differences in consumer segments, and the implications for organizations targeting culturally distinct market segments, both domestically and internationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Samsung Research Fund, Sungkyunkwan University, 2013 (awarded to H. Kim) and Nanyang Technological University (awarded to S. Ng) . The authors are indebted to seminar audiences at the University of Illinois, Champaign–Urbana, and the University of Texas, Austin, as well as Ying-Yi Hong and Bob Wyer for valuable comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology.

Keywords

  • Action-inaction
  • Brand-switching
  • Culture
  • Group decision-making
  • Multinational marketing strategies
  • Regret

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