Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
The increasing globalization of business provides a compelling reason for understanding the cultural context of consumer behaviour. Our thesis investigates the impact of culture on consumers’ propensity to innovate and consumers’ susceptibility to interpersonal influence
that is divided into normative interpersonal influences and informational interpersonal influences.
A lot of research has been studied intentionally to find the factors that influence the acceptation rate of innovation. Culture is considered as one of those factors by some researchers while other researchers find insufficient evidence to support this view, which
means that their findings are inconsistent. Moreover, previous studies about the cultures’ role on consumers’ propensity to innovate between Western and Eastern countries are very limited, which inspires us to make a further study in this area.
An empirical quantitative study was conducted among 360 young people in Sweden and China based on the independent variable factors, ‘propensity to innovate’, ‘propensity to
imitate’, ‘susceptibility to normative interpersonal influence’, and ‘susceptibility to informational interpersonal influence’ by using Hofstede’s (2001) five cultural dimensions.Measurement scales were taken from Baumgartner et al (1996) and Bearden et al (1989). The validity and reliability of factors and scales have been discussed.
The findings are unable to identify culture as a variable that statistical significantly affects innovativeness and consumers’ propensity to imitate. In contrast, the results indicate the
differential sensitivity of consumers in different national cultures to their susceptibility to normative influence and susceptibility to informational influence. Consumers in more collectivistic, large power distance, strong uncertainty avoidances, and long-term orientation cultures are going to be convinced into adopting new products through normative influence and informational influence.
In addition, our research suggests that gender has a significant difference in innovativeness,implying that female have higher innovativeness. Occupation has a significant difference on
‘susceptibility to normative influence’ and ‘susceptibility to informational influence’, while age has no correlation with the four factors.
The major implication is that international markers would be better employ normative and informational interpersonal influences to attract consumers to accept innovations when they make marketing strategies to consumers in more collectivist, larger power distance, stronger uncertainty avoidance, more long-term orientation cultures.
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2007. , 79 p.