Buy or boycott?: an examination of mediated consumer animosity effects on purchase intentions

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University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this research was to investigate how consumer animosity directly and indirectly affects buying intentions of foreign brands in the context of the 2008 Beijing Olympic torch relay crisis. Theories of social identity and realistic group conflicts served as a theoretical framework to model the impact of consumer animosity on purchase intentions. The results suggest that the stable and situational animosities led to slightly lower product quality assessment while consumer ethnocentrism did not, indicating that the latter is a less significant predictor of product judgment than both animosities. Furthermore, perceived social pressure from significant others has triple capabilities to significantly influence product quality assessment, boycott motivations, and buying intentions. In addition, the impact of animosity on purchase intentions was completely mediated by boycott motivations whereas the impact of consumer ethnocentrism and subjective norm was partially mediated through boycott motivations. By contrast, product judgment was a weaker mediator and only partially mediated the relationship between subjective norm and the intention of purchase. The present study provides theoretical and empirical insights into direct and indirect effects of consumer animosity on purchase intentions, which may be beneficial for both manufacturers and retailers who suffer from the boycott of foreign merchandise.

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Mass communication