Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies
Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies
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Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies ISSN 2029-4581 eISSN 2345-0037
2021, vol. 12, no. 2(24), pp. 503–525 DOI: https://doi.org/10.15388/omee.2021.12.67

The Role of Animosity, Religiosity, and Allocentrism in Shaping Purchase Intention through Ethnocentrism and Brand Image

Kunthi Afrilinda Kusumawardani (corresponding author)
kunthi.kusumawardani@president.ac.id
President University, Indonesia
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5792-9561

Monica Yolanda
President University, Indonesia
monica_aries68@yahoo.com

Abstract. With the long history of the relationship between Indonesia and China, various sentiments may arise and influence the consumer purchasing decision. This study aims to determine the impact of animosity towards China, religiosity, and allocentrism of the Indonesians on the intention to purchase Chinese brands smartphones, mediated by consumer ethnocentrism and brand image. This study has 215 valid responses and was carried out using SPSS 25. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was performed using AMOS 22. The results show that consumer ethnocentrism is significantly influenced by animosity, religiosity, and allocentrism. Brand image can mediate between consumer ethnocentrism and purchase intention. This study gives a better understanding of Indonesian consumer ethnocentrism with animosity towards China, religiosity, and allocentrism, which will affect the Chinese brand image and Indonesians’ intention to purchase the product.

Keywords: consumer ethnocentrism, animosity, allocentrism, brand image, purchase intention.

Received: 5/25/2021. Accepted: 3/9/2021
Copyright © 2021
Kunthi Afrilinda Kusumawardani, Monica Yolanda. Published by Vilnius University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

1. Introduction

In June 2018, there were approximately 3.6 billion active users of smartphones globally. From those numbers, Samsung has become the most famous brand with 893 million active devices in use; Apple holds the second position followed closely by the Chinese brands of smartphones such as Xiaomi, OPPO, Huawei, and Vivo with a third of the world’s active smartphone users (Mourdoukoutas, 2018). Based on the data mentioned, it can be seen that Chinese smartphones have taken up a large part of the smartphone industry.

The Chinese smartphone brands have been successfully emerging and developing for the past few years because of the constant innovation and the low price they offer (Hong, 2018). The Chinese brands are not ashamed to copy the latest smartphone design from other brands and differentiate them by adding several more advanced features or pricing them cheaper (Singh, 2018). Even though the Chinese brands mostly have a cheap or a reasonable price for their products, their product quality and specs are not low, and some are even better than other brands (Custer, 2018).

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, one of the Chinese brands, Xiaomi, can secure the second place in the market share with 20.13% (GlobalStats, 2021). Xiaomi can continue growing and be successful because of its strategy, which is called anti-Apple (Huang, 2018). Apple is well-known as a premium brand targeting high-class people and people with brand awareness (Dudovskiy, 2018). Meanwhile, the Chinese brands aim to sell their products as cheaply as possible to gather as many customers as they can (Dudovskiy, 2018). Chinese brands can survive with a small profit margin on their products by cutting the costs from the rent, commercials, and sales commissions (Kapoor, 2017).

The problem arises due to a negative attitude that many Indonesians have towards Chinese products (Sebastian, 2017). Most of them have a perception that the Chinese product can be cheap because they sacrifice the quality of the products while their durability is low (Dusharme, 2018). Chinese products have already been known to have a negative perception in the minds of Indonesians. However, this contradicts the fact that the Chinese smartphone still dominates the smartphone market in Indonesia (Khoirunnisa, 2018).

Consumer ethnocentrism is negatively related to a particular country’s brand image in developed and developing countries (Jin et al., 2015). The early study by Sumner (1906) defined consumer ethnocentrism as the point of view in which one’s group is at the centre of everything, and everything else is scaled and assessed about it. The consumer with high ethnocentrism can be identified with patriotism and conservativeness with less world-mindedness (He & Wang, 2015). Consumer ethnocentrism itself is affected by three variables which are animosity, allocentrism, and religiosity. Based on the study conducted in 2015, animosity positively affects consumer ethnocentrism, which means that the more unlikeable one country, the higher the ethnocentrism level is. (Giang & Khoi, 2015). Surprisingly, Indonesians still have quite good perceptions of China as a country, which can be proven by the INSP (Indonesia National Survey Project) data showing that 77.3% of Indonesian respondents believe that China is an essential country for Indonesia and 76.7% agree that they still admire China (Herlijanto, 2017). However, these results are the lowest among other countries in Southeast Asia surveyed by the INSP.

Allocentrism is defined as a personality attribute when a person pursues the group goal rather than the individual goal (Wang et al., 2015). It is also found that allocentrism affects consumer ethnocentrism (Huang et al., 2008). In Indonesia, there are many opinions regarding the country of China, and quite many are pessimistic. The resentment towards China began when Indonesia was still colonized by the Dutch when many Chinese were brought to Java and Sumatra to help the Dutch build the city. As the Chinese became prosperous, the Dutch provoked the locals to attack the Chinese, finally starting the anti-Chinese prejudices in Indonesia (Yan, 2017). Nowadays, the anti-Chinese sentiment still exists primarily from the hard-line Islamists group (Bland, 2017). The Chinese in Indonesia are resented and discriminated against because of envy for the economic success and the perception of being China’s fifth column (The Conversation, 2017).

Furthermore, religiosity is defined as a person’s loyalty to attending religious services and the strength of a personal belief towards a transcendent reality (Rohrbaugh & Jessor, 2017). Religiosity is found to positively affect consumer ethnocentrism (Sevim et al., 2016). Indonesians mainly recognize China as a country whose citizens are atheists or do not have religion, even though some of China’s citizens have beliefs (Albert, 2018). In Indonesia, atheism is still not entirely accepted by the citizens and is viewed as a threat to their faith and the disruption in social harmony (The Conversation, 2017).

Based on the explanation above, it can be assumed that the possible negative sentiment against a foreign country, in this case China, can influence consumers’ purchase behaviour. The animosity, lingering negative thoughts about particular groups or countries, and the allocentrism or social ties have been found to affect consumer ethnocentrism in prior studies (Giang & Khoi, 2015; Wang et al., 2015). While Indonesia is a country that supports globalism, Indonesian people also believe that their country can be self-reliant and do not need other countries (Kim, 2016). The trend shows that ethnocentrism exists in Indonesia, and it may influence the global brands in Indonesia, including the Chinese brands.

This study investigates the determinants of consumer purchase intention of Chinese brand smartphones by incorporating consumer ethnocentrism and brand image. This study contributes to the body of knowledge of consumer ethnocentrism in Indonesia by assessing the three variables: animosity, allocentrism, and religiosity. Besides, to the best of the researchers’ knowledge, this study is the first study investigating the ethnocentrism of Indonesian consumers towards the purchase of Chinese brands through the mediation of brand image. This study also provides managerial implications for the Chinese companies in Indonesia to minimize the possible ethnocentrism issues that may arise in the future.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Consumer Animosity

Consumer animosity can be defined as the remnants of negative feelings toward a specific group or country caused by military trauma, economic and political events (Ferrin et al., 2015). Consumer animosity can also be referred to as the members’ attitudes from one country towards the other country’s products, especially the country with a bad image or past relationship with one’s country (Souiden et al., 2018). Consumers with the attitude of animosity will usually try to avoid purchasing the products from that particular country that they hold a negative feeling about (Quang et al., 2017). The animosity caused by war will leave an emotional attachment to the related group and even those who do not experience the conflict personally. Meanwhile, the animosity caused by an economic situation will arouse the economic tension from a particular group, including the fear of several threats occurring to the group, such as business loss and unemployment (Lee et al., 2017).

Based on the research conducted by Shoham and Gavish (2016) on Jewish-Israeli consumers, animosity is strongly influenced by authoritarianism, while it is less significantly influenced by empathy. Meanwhile, another study that assessed the role of Japan’s product involvement on Americans’ purchase intention showed that animosity is influenced by cosmopolitanism and susceptibility to normative influence (Park & Yoon, 2017). Generally, animosity has several dimensions: economic, political, people, religious, historical, and military (Campo & Alvarez, 2017). The research conducted by De Nisco et al. (2016) in Germany found that animosity positively correlates with consumer ethnocentrism. They noted that consumers are inclined to choose domestic products to boost the national industry and avoid the possibility of external economic supremacy if they hold anger toward a foreign country that exercises economic dominance or hostility toward the home country. Another study suggested that animosity will appear and influence consumer ethnocentrism not only because of economic issues but also due to political tension (Giang & Khoi, 2015). In addition, Giang and Khoi (2015) found that the Vietnamese consumers who hold grudges against China over national issues will refuse to buy Chinese household appliances and instead choose domestic goods. Lately, Indonesian consumers have shown a rather negative sentiment towards China due to political and economic issues (Rakhmat & Aryansyah, 2020; Tarahita & Rakhmat, 2019). Thus, it is essential to investigate if the current sentiment affects consumers’ perception of Chinese brand goods. Based on the relationship between the variables above, this study posited the following hypothesis:

H1: Consumer animosity influences consumer ethnocentrism.

2.2 Religiosity

Religiosity comes from the word religion, which means creed or faith (Deb & Sinha, 2015). Religion can also be defined as the symbolic practices, rituals, and beliefs people sustain to express their dedication or be closer to what they feel is sacred for them (Dekhil et al., 2017). Religiosity itself can be defined as the portrayal of how a person can fulfil the teaching or principle of his/her religion in life (Sevim et al., 2016). According to Haque et al. (2015), religiosity can be defined as decisions made by a person with the guidance of his/her religion. Religiosity in people’s life can be divided into two types, i. e., intrinsic, which means that the person will be motivated to apply their religion’s principles to all aspects of their life, and extrinsic, which indicates that people will less apply their religion’s principles in their life (Sari et al., 2017).

According to Deb and Sinha (2015), religiosity is shaped by several factors, which are uncertainty avoidance, power distance, and masculinity. Meanwhile, anger, anxiety, intimacy, and consistency affect religiosity (Weber et al., 2016). A prior study proved that religiosity would positively affect consumer ethnocentrism (Sevim et al., 2016). The people who follow a religion, not just those who have a cognitive or emotional connection to their faith, are more likely to consume domestic products (Sevim et al., 2016). Deb and Sinha (2015) also supported the validity of this relationship and noted that religious people in India were more ethnocentric than cosmopolitan Indians. The study also investigated the difference between Hindus and Muslims in India and found that Hindus, as the majority in the country, are more ethnocentric towards their nation (Deb & Sinha, 2015). However, the situation in Indonesia is somewhat different, as Islam makes up the majority. Hence, it is crucial to further examine religiosity towards ethnocentrism in the different market settings. Based on the relationship between the variables above, this study posited the following hypothesis in the Indonesian context:

H2: Religiosity influences consumer ethnocentrism.

2.3 Allocentrism

Allocentrism is the condition where a person will try to match his/her action, preference, and way of thinking with the people around the environment rather than oneself (Selli & Kurniawan, 2014). Allocentrism is also defined as the condition where a person needs dependence on other people and will try to maintain or increase social ties with other people (Park et al., 2016). The person who has an allocentrism tendency will try to ensure that the interests of a social group such as family and friends will be more dominant than his/her interests (Pickavance et al., 2018). A person with a high level of allocentrism will likely have a higher level of ethnocentrism because of a stronger sense of belonging to the social environment such as country, nationality, or religion (Town et al., 2017).

The research conducted in Taiwan shows that allocentrism does have a positive relationship with Taiwanese consumer ethnocentrism towards Korean products (Huang et al., ). Huang et al. (2008) emphasize that allocentrism towards parents and friends can influence purchase intention through consumer ethnocentrism. Based on Park et al. (2016) research, allocentrism can be influenced by several factors: family integrity, interdependence, distance from in-groups, and self-reliance. This study identifies the inconsistent hypotheses and findings across different research in previous studies. Most prior research agrees that allocentrism would increase ethnocentrism (Huang, Phau, Lin, Chung, & Lin, 2008; Park, Oh, & Kang, 2016). However, Selli and Kurniawan (2014) found that allocentrism did not significantly influence Indonesian consumer ethnocentrism towards Malaysian products due to the phenomena of idiocentrism or individualism. As a result, the goal of this study is to see whether the previous hypothesis is confirmed in the Indonesian context:

H3: Allocentrism influences consumer ethnocentrism.

2.4 Consumer Ethnocentrism

Consumer ethnocentrism can be defined as a consumer’s belief in the appropriateness and morality of buying foreign-made products (Roth et al., 2015). According to He and Wang (2015), consumer ethnocentrism can also be defined as the negative sentiment toward the other groups or countries, especially in terms of economic emphasis. Consumer ethnocentrism comes from ethnocentrism, which defines a group of people who have great pride in their beliefs and think that other groups other than them are inferior (Siamagka & Balabanis, 2015). Consumers with an ethnocentric perspective will prefer to buy their own country’s domestic product because of the sense of loyalty to their own country and guilt of betrayal for purchasing imported products (Sharma, 2014).

Previous researchers found that consumer ethnocentrism is affected by consumer animosity, allocentrism, and religiosity (Tabassi et al., 2012; Cheahe et al., 2016; Deb & Sinha, 2015; Selli & Kurniawan, 2014). Moreover, the study on Chinese consumers’ purchase intention on hybrid products (i.e., Japanese brands, but made in China) showed that consumer animosity and ethnocentrism are distinct but positively correlated constructs (Cheah et al., 2016). Cheah et al. (2016) also noted that the higher the consumer animosity, the lower the intention to buy the hybrid product. The research conducted to determine consumers’ attitudes toward foreign apparel shows that consumer ethnocentrism is positively affected by religiosity, while it is negatively influenced by cosmopolitanism (Deb & Sinha, 2015).

Research in Pakistan revealed that consumer ethnocentrism influences brand image and brand loyalty through the mediation of product judgment (Chaudhry et al., 2020). The relationship between consumer ethnocentrism that can influence purchase intention through brand image has also been discussed in many previous studies (Lo et al., 2017; Chaudhry et al., 2020; De Nisco et al., 2016) showing a positive correlation between consumer ethnocentrism and a global brand image. For instance, multidimensional products, i.e. , products that are produced in country A, but assembled in country B may result in the rejection of ethnocentric consumers to use the product and only consume the products made domestically (Neese & Haynie, 2015; De Nisco et al., 2016). The fact that such multidimensionality also applies to smartphones, especially Chinese brands assembled in Indonesia (Amin, 2015), could confuse ethnocentric consumers. Hence, this study formulated the following hypothesis in the Indonesian context:

H4: Consumer ethnocentrism influences the brand image of Chinese brands of smartphones.

2.5 Brand Image

Brand image can be defined as the meaning or message representing a brand (Cho et al., 2014). Brand image is usually associated with a brand’s impression towards the product or service from this particular brand (Kinnunen et al., 2017). According to Kim et al. (2017), the brand image also shows how customer perception towards a brand will permanently be engraved in the customer’s memory. A brand with a good image will usually be more favourable and gain more advantages in the market, such as strengthening its position and performance, and protecting the brand from rivalry (Nyadzayo & Khajehzadeh, 2016; Tulangow & Kusumawardani, 2020).

The previous studies found that brand image shows a positive relationship with the purchase intention as the more favourable a brand is, the higher probability for a customer to purchase the product from that specific brand (Porral & Lang, 2015; Lien et al., 2015). Yangci (2001) argues that the most influential factor in predicting attitude toward the perception of product quality and purchase intention is the brand image. When a foreign brand possesses a high-brand image, regardless of where the product is made, it has a positive consumer perception due to its consistency of quality and value worldwide (Yagci, 2001). Moreover, in collectivist marketplaces, customers favour brands linked with a higher level of social acceptability, for instance, the brand image in their purchase decision (Yoo & Donthu, 2001; Erdem et al., 2006). The relationship between brand image and purchase intention has been discussed in a study by Fakharmanesh and Miyandehi (2013), which suggested that consumers who have a positive perception of a foreign brand are more likely to purchase that brand. Based on the relationship between the variables above, this study put forward the following hypothesis in the context of Indonesian consumer towards Chinese brands of smartphones:

H5: The brand image of Chinese brands of smartphones influences purchase intention.

2.6 Purchase Intention

Purchase intention can be defined as the probability or plan to buy a specific product in which the final decision relies heavily on and will be made by the customers (Dehghani & Tumer, 2015). According to Younus et al., (2015), purchase intention can also be defined as choosing a customer to purchase a particular product. A higher level of purchase intention will lead to a higher probability of purchasing the product, but the low level of intention to purchase does not necessarily mean that the customer will not buy the product (Wang & Tsai, 2014). The purchase decision is a complicated process and generally relates to the customers’ attitude, perception, and behaviour (Mirabi, Akbariyeh, & Tahmasebifard, 2015).

Based on previous research conducted in 2012, several factors influence the purchase intention, namely brand image, brand attitude, brand attachment, and environmental consequence (Shah, et al., 2012). A previous study comparing the view of Filipinos and Japanese found that country of origin indirectly influences purchase intention through the mediation of a sense of pride, self-expression, self-satisfaction, and product quality (Bautista et al., 2020). In terms of electronic marketing for cell phone brands, purchase intention can be measured by brand image and electronic word of mouth (Torlak et al., 2014). Lastly, research conducted in China on purchasing a global brand smartphone shows that purchase intention can be measured by a brand image and perceived face (Li, 2016).

This study integrates all factors that can affect consumer ethnocentrism, animosity, religiosity, and allocentrism (Tabassi et al., 2012; Selli & Kurniawan, 2014; Nervik et al., 2018) to predict the purchase intention of Indonesian customer, mediated by the brand image. The new research framework provides a comprehensive view of how consumer ethnocentrism influences the behaviour of the customer. Thus, it offers a novel standpoint to develop the right approach to specific market segmentation.

3. Methodology

This study has the purpose of finding out the relationships between animosity, religiosity, and allocentrism with consumer ethnocentrism in affecting Indonesians’ attitude toward Chinese smartphone brand image that will later lead to the purchase intention. The dependent variable in this study framework will be purchase intention. The mediating variables will be brand image and consumer ethnocentrism. Lastly, the independent variables will be animosity, religiosity, and allocentrism. The framework of this study is shown in Figure 1.

202781.png 

Figure 1. Theoretical framework

3.1 Research Instrument and Measures

The authors used a questionnaire to collect the data. The questions used in this paper questionnaire were gathered from various qualified journals related to the variables used in this study. The questionnaire applies a Likert scale to measure each of the variables’ questions ranging from 1, indicating very strongly disagree, to 7, indicating very strongly agree. The researchers will use a seven-point Likert scale as this type of scale can represent a broader range of respondents’ opinions (Joshi et al., 2015). This study uses IBM SPSS Statistics to determine the validity and reliability of the framework variables. This software is also used to do hypotheses testing and assess the model fit of this study.

The research instrument consists of 31 items derived from past studies, and all sources can be found in Appendix 1. Animosity measurement consists of economic, historical, and overall view, which accounted for six items adapted from Tabassi et al., (2012), Campo and Alvarez (2017), and Shosam and Gavish (2016). A total of three statements were intended for religiosity based on Weber et al., (2016), and Deb and Sinha (2015). Allocentrism consists of four items based on Selli and Kurniawan (2014) and Park et al., (2016), while consumer ethnocentrism has eight measures based on Tabassi et al., (2012); Selli and Kurniawan (2014); Deb and Sinha (2015). Both brand image and purchase intention consist of five questions, while brand image measures are based on Nervik et al. (2018), and Farooq and Ali (2018), purchase intention is from Li (2016) and Tabassi et al., (2012). The complete questionnaire can be found in Appendix 1.

3.2 Sampling and Data Collection

The population of this study is Indonesian users of a Chinese brand aged 13 years and older who live in Greater Jakarta (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi) area. The minimum age of 13 years old is considered to be the ideal age to be the respondent’s minimum age based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia, and it is also the minimum age to have a social media account (Sicca, 2018; Brigham, 2018). A pre-test was carried out to ensure face validity by spreading the questionnaire to various age groups, including junior and senior high school students aged 13–17 years old. Three hundred six respondents answered the questionnaire of this study which had been spread through WhatsApp groups, direct messages to the Indonesian followers of the Chinese smartphone brands in Twitter and Instagram, and personal chat to the 721 researchers Line contacts. From the 306 respondents who participated, a total of 215 qualified responses were obtained.

This study uses a non-probability sampling technique. Non-probability sampling can be defined as the technique where the researchers choose the samples based on specific requirements or judgments (Stephanie, 2016). From several types of non-probability sampling, the researchers decided to use purposive sampling. In this sampling technique, the researchers selected the samples based on the intended purpose of the study and population characteristics (Crossman, 2018). The purposive sampling method is applied by giving the respondents four screening questions at the beginning of the questionnaire, which are 1) Indonesian citizen; 2) 13 years old or older; 3) I live in Greater Jakarta (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi) area; 4) I have ever used/purchased a Chinese smartphone brand for the last two years. The respondents’ data can be seen in Table 1.

3.3 Data Analysis

After the data had been collected, the target participants were confirmed to be qualified. The next step was to analyse the data by using statistical software. The first step, the validity test, is the measurement to determine whether the research instruments can represent what is to be measured or not (Prabowo, 2015). The validity test consists of several types: content validity, construct validity, criterion validity, and others. In this study, face/content validity is used in the literature review and constructs measurement. The constructs measurement from previous research is used as the foundation for making this study’s questionnaire items.

This study adopts the construct measurement from previous studies and modifies the questionnaire items to fulfil the research need. Criterion validity can be defined as validity testing, including comparison of previous results to predict future results (Shuttleworth, 2009). In this research, the construct validity with convergent and discriminant validity was considered enough as the measurement without criterion validity. Construct validity shows the suitability of the construct measurement to the object of research. There are several criteria used to do the validity tests. The KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin) should be more than 0.5, the value of Bartlett’s test of sphericity should be less than 0.05, the value of communalities should be higher than 0.4, the value of total variance should be more than 60%, and lastly, the value in the table of the rotated component matrix should be higher than 0.4 (Stephanie, 2016).

Table 1. Demographic Characteristics of Respondents

 

Frequency

Percentage

Gender

Male

103

47.91%

Female

112

52.09%

Age

13 – 17

15

6.98%

18 – 22

147

68.37%

23 – 30

47

21.86%

31 – 40

4

1.86%

41- 50

2

0.93%

Occupation

Employee

43

20.00%

Entrepreneur

15

6.98%

Freelancer

6

2.79%

Student (Elementary – University)

150

69.77%

Unemployed

1

0.47%

Other than a smartphone, what Chinese product have you ever purchased/used? (Multiple answers)

Fashion

138

64.19%

Electronics

137

63.72%

Household sundries

76

35.35%

Beauty & personal care

38

17.67%

Musical instrument

33

15.35%

After the validity has been tested, the second step is to do a reliability test. The reliability test can be defined as the tool used for assessing whether the results from the scale are consistent or not. The reliability of the variables can be measured by the value of Cronbach’s α of each variable equal to or higher than 0.6 (Statistics Solutions, 2018).

Model fit shows how a model from research fits the data (Wolfram, 2017). Several criteria are used to measure whether the proposed model will pass or not: the value of CMIN should be less than 5, the values of Incremental Fit Measure (IFI, TLI, CFI, AGFI) should be more than or equal to 0.9, the value of GFI should be more than or equal to 0.9, and lastly, the value of RMSEA should be less than 0.08 (Hooper et al., 2008). Hypotheses testing can be defined as determining whether a hypothesis is accepted or rejected (Weisstein, 2004). A hypothesis will be accepted if the p-value is less than 5% or 0.05; meanwhile, the hypothesis with a p-value of more than 5% will be rejected (Hair et al., 2010). Lastly, the R square can be defined as the values that indicate the percentage of the dependent variable’s variance related to the independent variable (Bartlett, 2013). The closer the value to 1, the more of the variance can be explained by the model.

4. Results

4.1 Validity and Reliability

The validity and reliability of each variable in this research paper were tested using IBM SPSS Statistics 25. Several criteria were used to determine the validity of the variables in the research, including KMO and Bartlett’s Test, communalities, total variance, and the rotated component matrix. The variables whose validity was tested in this research are divided into two groups. The first group only consists of the independent variables (X); meanwhile, the second group consists of the mediating variables (Y) and the dependent variable (Z). Table 2a includes the independent variables (X) of this research paper, which are animosity (AN), religiosity (R), and allocentrism (A.L.). Based on Table 2A, the value of the KMO for the first group is 0.824. The results for Bartlett’s values are 0.000, which indicates that the first group of this research paper can meet the expected requirements (KMO ≥ 0.5 and Bartlett’s test of sphericity ≤ 0.05). Table 2b includes the mediating variables (Y), which are consumer ethnocentrism (C. E.) and brand image (B. I.), and also the dependent variable (Z), which is purchase intention (P. I.). As shown in Table 2b, the value of KMO for the second group is 0.893, and the result for Bartlett’s value is 0.000.

A variable is recognized as reliable if the value of its Cronbach’s α in the reliability test should be equal to or higher than 0.6. Table 3 shows the value of Cronbach’s α for every variable in this research paper. Based on Table 3, the values of Cronbach’s α for independent variables include animosity (0.915), religiosity (0.824), and allocentrism (0.752). The values of Cronbach’s α for mediating variables are 0.921 for consumer ethnocentrism and 0.869 for brand image. Lastly, the value of Cronbach’s α for the dependent variable, purchase intention, is 0.898. In conclusion, all of the variables in this research paper pass the reliability test.

Table 2a. Validity Test for Independent Variables

Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy

.824

Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity

Approx. Chi-Square

1541.287

df

78

Sig.

.000

Table 2b. Validity Test for Mediating and Dependent Variables

Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy

.893

Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity

Approx. Chi-Square

2630.552

df

153

Sig.

.000

Table 3. Reliability Test Results

Construct

Cronbach‘s Alpha

Number of Items

Animosity (AN)

0.915

6

Religiosity (R)

0.824

3

Allocentrism (AL)

0.752

4

Consumer Ethnocentrism (CE)

0.921

8

Brand Image (BI)

0.869

5

Purchase Intention (PI)

0.898

5

4.2 Model Fit

This research paper used SEM (Structural Equation Model) to analyse the model. SEM was also used to consider the hypotheses and relationship among variables. This research used AMOS 22 to test the Model fit. The data from Table 4 shows that the model used in this research can fulfil five out of 7 criteria for a good model, which are CMIN=1.938, IFI=0.837, TLI=0.900, CFI=0.913, RMSEA=0.66. Meanwhile, the values of AGFI=0.761 and GFI=0.804 are considered mediocre. Overall, the model of this research is considered a good fit.

Table 4. Model-fit Indices

 

Recommended value

Measurement model

CMIN

3.000 or below

1.938

IFI

0.900 or above

0.837

TLI

0.900 or above

0.900

CFI

0.900 or above

0.913

RMSEA

0.070 or below

0.66

AGFI

0.800 or above

0.761

GFI

0.900 or above

0.804

4.3 Hypotheses Testing

A hypothesis that is accepted should fulfil two main requirements, which are p-value, which should be equal to or less than 0.05 (p ≤ 0.05), and Critical Ratio (C.R.), which should be equal to or greater than 1.96 (CR ≥ 1.96). Table 5 shows the results of hypotheses testing in this research.

Table 5. Hypotheses Testing

Hypothesis

Estimate

S.E.

C.R.

P-value

 

Animosity → Consumer Ethnocentrism

.365

.056

6.468

.000

Supported

Religiosity → Consumer Ethnocentrism

.328

.089

3.671

.000

Supported

Allocentrism → Consumer Ethnocentrism

.390

.112

3.478

.000

Supported

Consumer Ethnocentrism → Brand Image

.183

.051

3.604

.000

Supported

Brand Image → Purchase Intention

1.069

.100

10.738

.000

Supported

All of the hypotheses in this research are accepted. In the next step, multiple R squares show the relation between the dependent and independent variables. Consumer ethnocentrism and brand image explain 63.2% of the variation in purchase intention. The test results show 37% of the variance in consumer ethnocentrism, 6.8% of the variance in brand image, and 63.2% of the variance in the purchase intention. The percentage of variance for the brand image that only reaches 6.8% may be caused by other factors acting as the predictor for the brand image, which are not included in this research model. Another explanation for this condition is that the respondents in this research have already established their perceptions toward a particular brand, which cannot be disturbed by other factors.

hypot-2.png 

Figure 2. Hypotheses Testing Results

5. Discussion

5.1 Theoretical Contribution

The findings show that animosity has a significant and positive influence on consumer ethnocentrism. This hypothesis is supported by Selli and Kurniawan (2014), who also found that animosity significantly influences consumer ethnocentrism. Nisco et al. (2016) found that animosity has a positive and significant influence on consumer ethnocentrism. Lastly, Hypothesis 1 is also supported by Giang and Khoi (2015), who found that animosity influences consumer ethnocentrism positively and significantly. In conclusion, the higher the level of animosity of a person or the more a person hates a particular foreign country, the higher the level of his/her consumer ethnocentrism. In other words, this person will prefer local products or think that his/her local product is better than the product from the foreign country that he/she has animosity for.

Next, Hypothesis 2 is “Religiosity has a significant influence on consumer ethnocentrism.” The test results show that religiosity has a significant and positive relationship with consumer ethnocentrism. Tabassi et al., (2012) found that religiosity positively and significantly influences consumer ethnocentrism. This hypothesis is also supported by Sevim et al., (2016) and Deb and Sinha (2015). In conclusion, the more religious a person or the higher the level of faith, the higher the level of his/her consumer ethnocentrism will be. This means that this person will prefer or think that his/her local product is better than the product from another country. The majority of the Indonesian population is Muslim, whose religion requires some restrictions or regulations to be followed by product producers, especially foods and cosmetics that need to be verified as Halal to be safe and compatible with Islam’s laws. From this phenomenon, it can be seen that if a person is more religious, then the consciousness to purchase a product that will not break his/her religion’s law will also be higher. As Indonesia is a Muslim majority country, this results in most of the products sold in Indonesia being suited to the law of Islam. Hence, very religious people will prefer to purchase the local product verified to suit Islam’s rules instead of import product that has not been confirmed to have passed Islam’s laws.

Hypothesis 3 of this research suggests that “Allocentrism has a significant influence on consumer ethnocentrism.” The result shows that allocentrism influences consumer ethnocentrism significantly and positively. This hypothesis had been supported by Huang et al., (2008), who also found that allocentrism has a significant and positive influence on consumer ethnocentrism. In conclusion, the higher the level of allocentrism of a person or the more a person values a group’s importance than himself/herself, then the level of his/her consumer ethnocentrism will also be higher. This person will prefer or think that his/her local product is better than the product from another country. A person’s belonging to a group of people, whether family and friends from the same country, will likely increase the person’s national identity, resulting in preference to purchasing the local product.

Hypothesis 4 proposes that “Consumer ethnocentrism has a significant influence on the brand image of Chinese brands of smartphones.” Based on the testing, consumer ethnocentrism has a significant and positive influence on Chinese brand image. The finding of this study is in line with the previous studies, which stated that consumer ethnocentrism influences brand image (Lo et al., 2017; He & Wang, 2015). Although Chinese brands are perceived poorly at the international level (Smith, 2019) and Indonesia (Debora, 2017), the smartphones dominate the market. This can be seen from the Chinese smartphone market share in Indonesia’s smartphone industry as large as 74% (Muthiariny & Bhwana, 2020; Jakarta Globe, 2019).

Lastly, Hypothesis 5 says “Brand image of Chinese brands of smartphones has a significant influence on the intention to purchase.” The results of the test showed that brand image influences purchase intention positively and significantly. This hypothesis was supported by Porral and Lang (2015) and Lien et al., (2015), who found that brand image has a significant and positive effect on purchase intention. In conclusion, the better image a brand has, the more people are willing to purchase the product from this particular brand.

5.2 Practical Implications

All the hypotheses are supported in this study. The results indicate that animosity, religiosity, and allocentrism play roles in shaping consumer ethnocentrism, which later can influence the purchase intention through the mediation of brand image. Animosity is the biggest factor in defining consumer ethnocentrism based on the findings of this study (CR= 6.468; β= 0.365; p-value < 0.001). The result should give an idea to the business that the negative feeling towards certain products from a particular country still influences people’s decision to purchase, especially if it has a negative image or history with the consumer’s community. Hence, an appropriate brand image should be applied to avoid consumer animosity being the filter of consumer purchase intention.

5.3 Implications for Asian Business

Even though this research found that Indonesians do not have a high level of ethnocentrism, it is also found that the Indonesian consumer ethnocentrism has a significant influence on brand image, which means that the Chinese brand smartphones still need to make an effort to be more engaged with its Indonesian customers. This effort is needed especially when something terrible arises between the two countries, which may negatively affect the brand’s image. The researchers recommend the brand choose the target market brand ambassador who is well-loved by the citizens, as in the study conducted by Crouch et al., (2016), who found that brand ambassadors do have a significant influence on brand attachment. It is also recommended that the brand should sponsor various events and participate in doing CSR. Because brand sponsorship significantly influences the brand image (Kwon et al., 2015), CSR significantly influences the corporate image and customer loyalty (Shabbir et al., 2018). Lastly, it is recommended that the brand open more official stores and service centres in the target market to maintain the relationship and hire more people in the target market in the future. Park and John (2018) show that when the company can build a closer relationship with its customers, growth of belief has a significant relationship with the self – brand connection.

6. Limitations

No study covers all aspects of the research problem. Future researchers could add more factors that influence brand image other than consumer ethnocentrism proposed in this research model. Addition of variables is needed, as it is found that there are some unobserved factors on the brand image. It is reflected in the percentage of variance for the brand image, which only reaches 6.8%. The future research may also refer to research by Nervik et al., (2018), who found that in addition to consumer ethnocentrism, the brand image is also influenced by country-of-origin image and recent consumer experience.

It is essential to point out that our study is limited to Chinese brands of smartphones and only focuses on Indonesian consumers. Previous studies have mentioned that consumer ethnocentrism and brand image effects vary based on the product category and even research location (Shoham et al., 2006; Shoham & Gavish, 2016; Chaudhry et al., 2020). Hence, future research could replicate this research with other product categories and different markets and product origins. Moreover, given significant age-related disparities in consumer views and actions, the results cannot be applied to the entire Indonesian population. Hence, future studies with larger samples can be carried out. The sampling method in this research uses the purposive technique, which includes only the Indonesian users of Chinese smartphones. Thus, generalization of overall Indonesian consumers towards Chinese brands of smartphones cannot be made.

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Appendix 1. Questionnaire Items

Variable

Adjusted Question

Source

Animosity

Chinese companies are not reliable trading partners.

(Tabassi et al., 2012)

Chinese companies are treating Indonesian customers unfairly.

I dislike China because of past historical events.

(Campo & Alvarez, 2017)

I dislike China because of its history of oppressing other countries.

Overall, I dislike China.

(Shoham & Gavish, 2016)

Overall, I have negative feelings towards China.

Religiosity

My religious beliefs influence many of my decisions and dealings in life.

(Weber et al., 2016)

I keep well informed about my local religious group and have an influence on its decisions.

(Deb & Sinha, 2015)

I enjoy participating in the activities of my religious organization.

Allocentrism

Before making a major decision, I discuss it with my friends.

(Selli & Kurniawan, 2014)

It is difficult to imagine life without friends’ support.

I will entertain visitors even if they drop in at odd hours.

(Park et al., 2016)

 

I will entertain the guests even if they are unwelcome.

Consumer Ethnocentrism

Indonesian consumers should always buy Indonesian-made products instead of imports.

(Tabassi et al., 2012; Selli & Kurniawan, 2014; Deb & Sinha, 2015)

Only those products that are unavailable in Indonesia should be imported.

Buy Indonesian-made products. Keep Indonesians working.

It is not right to purchase foreign products.

Real Indonesians should always buy Indonesian-made products.

We should purchase products produced in Indonesia instead of letting other countries get rich off us.

It is always best to purchase Indonesian products.

Indonesians should not buy foreign products because this hurts Indonesian business and causes unemployment.

Brand Image

The Chinese smartphone brand is well established.

(Nervik et al., 2018)

The Chinese smartphone brand has a clean image.

The Chinese smartphone brands have a distinct image in comparison with the other products/brands.

In comparison to other smartphone brands, the Chinese smartphone brands have high quality.

(Farooq & Ali, 2018)

Customers (we) can reliably predict how the Chinese smartphone brand will perform.

Purchase intention

I would buy the Chinese smartphone brand rather than any other brands available.

(Li, 2016)

I am willing to recommend others to buy the Chinese smartphone brand.

I intend to purchase a Chinese smartphone brand in the future.

I bought the Chinese smartphone brand when better-quality foreign smartphone brands were available.

(Tabassi et al., 2012)

I bought the Chinese smartphone brand even though cheaper foreign smartphone brands were available.