Consumer Ethnocentrism and Conspicuous
Consumption of Domestic and Foreign
Consumer Goods in Mozambique, a
Less-Developed SADC Country
ANNA V. JOHN*,1 AND MALCOLM P. BRADY*
he focus of this study is on implications of consumer ethnocentrism and conspicuousness on buyers’ behaviour in one of the least researched but rapidly growing economic
groups in the world – the SouthernAfrican Development Community (SADC). This study
examines how ethnocentric tendencies and conspicuousness of foreign products inﬂuence
consumer preferences in the context of imports from South Africa, the most developed
SADC state, into Mozambique, the least developed SADC state. The survey involved 273
representatives of different ethnic groups. Structural equation modelling was employed
totest the model and hypotheses (using LISREL 8.8). The paper suggests that the outcome of the consumer dilemma between ethnocentric consumption of domestic products
on the one hand, and conspicuous consumption of foreign products on the other, depends
upon the consumption mode of products – whether products are publicly or privately
Key Words: Mozambique; South Africa; consumerethnocentrism; conspicuousness
The rapid pace of integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
has revealed new opportunities and challenges for international marketers in the region. A
free trade area was established for the twelve member states of the SADC in January 2008,
resulting in a signiﬁcant reduction of tariff barriers (Free Trade Area, 2008; SouthernAfrican
Development Community, 2009). However, new non-tariff and intangible barriers have
been re-enforced by national governments. One such barrier is consumer ethnocentrism.
* DCU Business School, Dublin City University
42 Consumption of Domestic and Foreign Consumer Goods in Mozambique
A factor of domestic product bias, consumer ethnocentrism isused by the least developed SADC states as a powerful tool in ‘buy local’ campaigns aimed at supporting national
industry while competing with intra-regional imports. However, the effects of consumer
ethnocentrism in the least developed SADC states may be mitigated by the conspicuousness of products imported from the more developed SADC states.
This study examines how ethnocentric tendenciesand conspicuousness of foreign products inﬂuence consumer preferences in the context of imports from South Africa, the most
developed SADC state, to Mozambique, the least developed SADC state (Free Trade Area,
2008). Although the primary focus of the study is on the variables of consumer ethnocentrism and conspicuous consumption (CC), an additional variable of susceptibility to
interpersonalinﬂuence is embedded into our analysis to trace the origin of conspicuous
consumption of foreign products in the Mozambican context.
The choice of the countries is justiﬁed for three major reasons. First, the two countries
have geographic proximity and thus are closely related to each other economically. Second,
the countries exemplify two extremes of economic development in the SADC region:
SouthAfrica is the most developed state and Mozambique is the least developed state
(Free Trade Area, 2008). This may inﬂuence the impact of ethnocentrism and conspicuousness on attitudes of Mozambican buyers towards products imported from South Africa.
Finally, the two countries have strong trade bonds. South Africa is the largest importer
into Mozambique, with 33 per cent of Mozambican imports.Additionally, Mozambique
is a key market for South African produce as it accounts for 20 per cent of South African
exports to the SADC (Instituto Nacional de Estatística, 2007a; Instituto Nacional de Estatística, 2007b; Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa, 2010).
The objective of the study is twofold: (1) to show the validity of a proposed model of
consumer ethnocentrism and...
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