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Effects of Values and Culture on International Consumer Satisfaction (Main Title: 16pt:Bold)
Dr. Turan Senguder, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Bold: 10pt: Title Case)
ABSTRACT (Title: 10pt: Centered: Captial: Bold)
(Text: 10pt: Roman Times font: Justified: Indentation: 0.5 inches) Empirical evidence drawn from Hofstede's international study (1980, 1983) shows that values differ significantly among nations. This research explores important differences in the types of values held by individuals in Turkey and the United States and how these values influence consumer satisfaction. This research mainly examines whether the consumers living in Turkey place more importance on status, social image, personal abilities, family and interpersonal relationships, than the consumers living in the United Sates. Hofstede's (1980) definition of national culture as the "collective mental programming that conditions peoples' values and perceptions" was adopted in this research.
INTRODUCTION (Title: 10pt: Centered: Capital: Bold)
Consumer satisfaction is important to the marketer because it is a determinant of repeat sales and consumer loyalty. Satisfaction is also important to the individual consumer because it reflects a positive outcome from the fulfillment of unmet needs (Spreng et al., 1996; Oliver and DeSarbo, 1988; and Day and Landon 1977). This research will help marketers seeking to sell their products in other countries and striving to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction compared to the competition. This goal cannot be obtained without a clear understanding of factors contributing to the generation of high satisfaction and the process by which customer satisfaction evolves following a product consumption experience. Customer satisfaction is an important determinant of post-purchase attitude and product choice. The growing amount of international business has increased the need to understand customer satisfaction from a cross-national perspective.
Culture (Sub-Title: 10pt: Aligned Left: Title Case: Bold)
Culture can be defined as a system of values in order to study culture as a determinant of consumer behavior (Hofstede, 1980b, 1983). Members of a particular culture transform their experiences with their physical and social surroundings to an abstract level of belief about what is desirable and what is not. Such encoded beliefs, called values, act as a general guide for day-to-day behaviors, including those pertaining to buying and consumption. Cultural values differ among nations along Hofstede’s four dimensions of national character (Hofstede, 1980, 1983).
Behavior (Sub-Title: 10pt: Aligned Left: Title Case: Bold)
The growing amount of international business has increased the need to understand consumer behavior from a cross-national perspective. Because competition has been increasing in international markets, management focuses on protecting its customer base from switching to competitors (Lowenstein, 1995) by making consumers more satisfied than they are with competing products (Hofstede, 1980b). A number of satisfaction models have been accepted by researchers and practitioners, but these models explain this phenomenon at the individual level, independent of the cultural environment of the consumers Hofstede, 1980b). Rsearchers need to understand social values, cultural beliefs, and norms to use these models.
According to existing research, valued benefits have impact on satisfaction responses following consumption (Westbrook and Reilly, 1983). Therefore, satisfaction is the function of the congruency between perceived performance and valued benefits derived from consumer personal values, and the formation of consumer values is influenced by central cultural values.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY AND FUTURE STUDIES (Title: 10pt: Centered: Capital: Bold)
In this research, satisfaction is measured by using the desktop computer as a stimulus product. However, many other stimulus products can be used in the future. Different products might create different results. Also, there might be more dimensions of national character, beside those Hofstede’s dimensions. Future research on cross-national satisfaction will be improved if other cultural values can be identified. The validity of the research findings is somewhat limited by the conceptual framework and design and the exclusion of some variables (Kahle, 1980). The identification of these limitations should provide direction for future research.
REFERENCES (10pt: Centered: Bold: Capital)
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