The affective and cognitive components of country image Perceptions of American products in Kuwait

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1 The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at The affective and cognitive components of country image Perceptions of American products in Kuwait Amro A. Maher College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar, and Larry L. Carter Woodbury College of Business, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, USA Abstract Purpose The purpose of this paper is to utilize the BIAS map from the social psychology literature to operationalize and simultaneously examine the effects of the affective and cognitive components of country image. Design/methodology/approach The researchers collected survey data using a snowball sample of undergraduates from a prominent university in Kuwait. The final sample consisted of 410 Kuwaitis who were 18 years or older; 52 percent of the respondents were female. Findings The results of this study confirmed that affective country attitudes (i.e. contempt and admiration) relate to Kuwaitis willingness to buy American products. The results also support the conclusion that warmth and competence are positively related to admiration but negatively related to contempt. Research limitations/implications Future research should identify situations in which the affective dimensions of country image play the more dominant role in consumer decision making. The model should also be tested across other cultural samples to increase the generalizability of these results. Practical implications Managers must correctly prioritize the affective and cognitive components of country image, in order to either emphasize or downplay the country of origin, or when deciding to use foreign branding strategies. Originality/value This study provides a theoretical foundation for differentiating between the cognitive and affective components of country image and differentiates between the various dimensions of each of these components. The study further enables managers to determine whether country affect or cognition is the main driver of country-of-origin perceptions. Keywords Kuwait, Consumer behaviour, Country of origin, Cognition, Country image, Cognitive and affective attitudes Paper type Research paper Components of country image 559 Received April 2010 Revised October 2010, April 2011, July 2011 Accepted July 2011 Introduction Many articles have studied the impact of a product s perceived country of origin (COO) upon consumers attitudes toward purchasing products from that country (e.g. Roth and Romeo, 1992; Peterson and Jolibert, 1995; Verlegh, 2007). Previous studies of COO have shown COO to be an extrinsic cue that affects consumer preferences when choosing between otherwise identical products that come from different countries. However, more recent studies have shifted their focus to examine the factors that lead consumers to prefer products from certain countries (Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009). For example, consumers might have favorable evaluations of products from a specific country because they perceive that country to be highly competent. Such findings have led to the emergence of a construct, termed country image (COI), defined as the attitudes that consumers of one country hold toward another country. According to International Marketing Review Vol. 28 No. 6, 2011 pp r Emerald Group Publishing Limited DOI /

2 IMR 28,6 560 recent research, COI consists of two distinct yet interrelated components affect and cognition that have a causal impact upon country conations (Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009). The cognitive component captures the beliefs held of another country while the affective component captures consumers emotional reactions to another country. For example, the French might not view the Portuguese as highly competent (cognition) but might express their affinity (affect) for Portugal because of the kindness of its people (cognitive attitude). A variety of direct and indirect sources fuel these consumer attitudes, stemming from the perceived impact of current global events or the acquisition of indirect knowledge of foreign countries and cultures gained from family and peer groups as well as the media. Despite such advances, a review of the literature indicates a lack of consistency in operationalizing country affect (Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009). Researchers frequently use operationalize country affect using items that are also used to operationalize country cognitions. However, this is problematic; if researchers are to draw accurate conclusions about the antecedents and consequences of country affect, they need valid measures. Research shows that the affective and cognitive country components do not always have an equivalent effect on purchase intention. For example, affect tends to determine action tendencies toward hedonic objects while cognitions determine action tendencies toward functional objects (Verlegh, 2001). Research also indicates that affect has a greater effect on action tendencies when affect and cognition are not of the same valence (i.e. one is negative and the other is positive), whereas both cognition and affect have an equal effect if both are of the same valence (Lavine et al., 1998). The current study attempts to measure country affect by utilizing behavior from the intergroup affect and stereotype (BIAS) map within the social psychology literature (Cuddy et al., 2007). The BIAS map distinguishes among the cognitions, affect, and conations toward different groups, identifying the relationship among the three components. The BIAS map also operationalizes both cognition and affect as multidimensional concepts, viewing warmth and competence as cognitive dimensions and admiration, contempt, envy, and pity as affective dimensions. The results of studies that use the BIAS map are similar to the results related to the cognitive appraisal theory of emotion (Lazarus, 1991) in terms of defining the relationship among cognition, affect, and connation. Both the BIAS map and the cognitive appraisal theory of emotion argue that cognitions lead to affect and affect leads to connation. Thus, the current study integrates the findings from the BIAS map with the findings of the COO literature to examine the ways in which the cognitive and affective components of COI influence the perceptions of and preferences for products from a specific country. Previous research has not consistently measured country affect. The adoption of the BIAS map allows for the provision of valid measures of country affect, thereby relating country affect to country cognitions as well as perceptions of and willingness to buy products from that country. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to examine how country affect relates to country cognitions and a willingness to buy when utilizing valid measures of country affect. More specifically, this research examines, how country affect and cognition are related; how country affect is related to product-country images (PCI); and how country affect is related to willingness to buy. The current study adopts Kuwait as the context and the USA as the target country, as Kuwaitis are likely to have both positive and negative feelings about Americans. The USA involvement in the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq tends to lead to positive emotions (US Department of State, 2010). However, despite the relationships that

3 developed from this involvement, recent polls suggest that Kuwaitis positive attitude toward the USA has waned as American politics have taken a different direction. Thus, negative attitudes will likely emerge (PEW Research Center, 2007). The current study begins by reviewing the literature on COI and the BIAS map. Next, it presents the conceptual model, explains the research context of the survey conducted, offers research hypotheses, and presents the results. Finally, the discussion section reviews the findings, managerial implications, and limitations of the study and offers future research suggestions. Components of country image 561 Literature review COI Although previous research typically represents COI as a multifaceted concept, with cognition, affect, and conation as its components (Heslop et al., 2004; Papadopoulos, 2000), the current research subscribes to the view that COI consists of two components (affect and cognition) that are independent of one another and that have a causal impact upon country conations (Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009). The cognitive component captures the beliefs held of another country while the affective component captures the emotional reactions of consumers toward another country. However, COI is distinct from PCI, a term frequently used in the COO literature. PCI refers to the image that consumers have of products from a specific country (e.g. Roth and Romeo, 1992). Thus, for any country, COI refers to an attitude toward a country and its citizens; PCI is an attitude toward that country s products. For example, consumers might perceive another country s citizens as competent (cognitive component of COI) and admire such citizens (affective component of COI); those consumers may thus have favorable impressions of products from such a country (PCI). Therefore, the image of the country and the image of a product originating from a specific country are separate constructs. Previous research on COI has focussed on the cognitive component of a country s image. The cognitive component usually includes beliefs about another country s technological advancement, economic development, and political orientation (Papadopoulos, 1993; Martin and Eroglu, 1993; Pappu et al., 2007), as well as competence of its people (see Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009, for an extensive review of the scales used to capture this component). Studies have further found that cognitions of another country influence product beliefs (e.g. Papadopoulos, 1993; Heslop et al., 2004) and product evaluations (Heslop et al., 2004; Knight and Calantone, 2000) in addition to willingness to buy that country s products (Wang and Lamb, 1980). Despite the prolific assessments of the cognitive component of a country s image, researchers have paid less attention to the affective component (Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009), and any distinction between the affective and cognitive components of COI has been vague. To date, only six studies have examined both the affective and cognitive components of COI (Brijs, 2006; Haubl, 1996; Heslop et al., 2004; Laroche et al., 2005; Orbaiz and Papadopoulos, 2003; Verlegh, 2001). Table I summarizes the findings of these studies and lists the items used to measure the cognitive and affective components. A review of these findings reveals that, compared to the cognitive component of COI, the affective component tends to have a more immediate effect on purchase intentions (Brijs, 2006; Heslop et al., 2004, 2008; Orbaiz and Papadopoulos, 2003). Despite the advances in knowledge gained from recent studies, future studies need to address several areas of concern. One area relates to the measurement of the

4 IMR 28,6 562 Cognitive construct(s) items Consequences Cognitive evaluation of a country has a positive impact on the evaluation of a country s industry. Affective evaluation of a country has a positive impact on the evaluation of the model s appearance Cognitive evaluation of a country Competent, state-of-theart, reliable, successful All of the cognitive dimensions had a positive impact on both utilitarian and hedonic benefits. Negative feelings have a negative impact on hedonic benefits for both products. Positive feelings have a positive impact on utilitarian benefits for tomatoes Natural landscape A lot of unspoiled nature, many forests and natural areas Climate Sunny, warm Competence Hardworking, efficient, meticulous Creativity Creative, imaginative, artistic COI has a positive effect on product beliefs but not willingness to buy. Affect has a positive impact on willingness to buy COI Standard of living, wealth, technology level, education, stability Country description and people description have a positive impact on country evaluation. Country evaluation has a positive impact on the intention to engage in relationships (immigration, investment) Country description Stable, rights, quality of life, role in world politics, environmental protection People description Trustworthy, individualistic, friendly (continued) Table I. Studies reviewed Affective construct(s)/ items Country of survey COO Products Study Cars Affective evaluation of a country Pleasant*, friendly*, nice*, peaceful* Germany, Czech Republic Haubl (1996) Germany, France Positive feelings Positive feelings, pleasant feelings, enthusiastic Negative feelings Distrustful*, irritated, hostile Tomatoes, washing machines Verlegh (2001) Netherlands Netherlands, Italy, Germany People affect Trustworthiness*, desire for closer ties, attitudes toward more investment Products in general Spain France, Argentina, Basque country Orbaiz and Papadopoulos (2003) Country evaluation Like people, aligned* Products in general Canada USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina Heslop et al. (2004)

5 Cognitive construct(s) items Consequences When the affective component is greater than the cognitive component then COI has a stronger impact on country evaluations (willingness to buy) than on product beliefs Country beliefs Rich, technologically advanced, high level of education Country cognitions (both components) have an impact on country affect Socioeconomic component has a positive impact on intention to purchase. Positive affect has a positive on the intention to purchase Geocultural Language, landscape, climate Socioeconomic Politics, history, economy Country people character has an impact on country people evaluation. Country people competence has an impact on product evaluations. Country people evaluation has a positive impact on the preference for French products Country people character Ideal, safe, rights, democratic Country people competence Educated, industrialized, rich, stable Components of country image 563 Affective construct(s)/ items Country of survey COO Products Study People affect Trustworthy*, hardworking*, likeable Products in general USA Japan, Sweden Laroche et al. (2005) Positive affect Enthusiastic, interested, excited, inspired, proud, attentive Beer, DVD players Brijs (2006) Belgium Spain, Denmark Country people evaluation Like France, peaceful people*, trustworthy people* Australia France General preference measure Heslop et al. (2008) Note: *Cognitive items that are used to measure country affect Source: Adapted from Roth and Diamantopoulos (2009) Table I.

6 IMR 28,6 564 affective and cognitive components of COI. Researchers often rely on items used in some studies to measure the affective component to measure the cognitive component. For example, Heslop et al. s (2004) study used trust to measure cognition whereas studies by Brijs (2006), Heslop et al. (2004), and Heslop et al. (2008) used trust to measure affect (items mistakenly used to assess country affect are indicated in Table I). Furthermore, only a few studies have examined the interaction between the affective and cognitive components of COI (Brijs, 2006; Haubl, 1996; Heslop et al., 2004, 2008; Laroche et al., 2005). Although the majority of studies have concluded that the cognitive component is a precursor to the affective component (e.g. Brijs, 2006; Heslop et al., 2004, 2008), Haubl (1996) argues that the affective component influences the cognitive component. Another concern relates to the multidimensionality of country affect. Only two of the studies reviewed for the current study (i.e. Brijs, 2006; Verlegh, 2001) examined the multidimensionality of country affect. Both of these studies suggest that two dimensions emerge: positive affect and negative affect. Brijs (2006) only examined the impact of positive affect on the intention to purchase while excluding negative affect, arguing that the study respondents did not experience negative affect toward the countries studied. Verlegh (2001) examined the impact of both positive and negative affect on PCI, both utilitarian and hedonic. However, Verlegh (2001) found that only three out of eight hypothesized relationships between affect and PCI were significant. These results are in line with the literature on animosity (e.g. Ettenson and Klein, 2005; Klein et al., 1998), which argues that affect does not influence PCI but rather willingness to buy. Thus, studies have not sufficiently examined the relationship between willingness to buy and country affect when positive and negative aspects of country affect are accounted for. Based on the areas of concern in the literature, this study proposes that the BIAS map might serve as a valid conceptual foundation for operationalizing COI. The BIAS map The BIAS map explains how action tendencies toward groups form from cognitions (stereotypes) about and affect toward such groups (Cuddy et al., 2007). Therefore, this study selected this framework to resolve any conflict in operationalizing the cognitive and affective components of COI. According to this framework, cognitions serve as antecedents to affect, both affect and cognitions about a group influence action tendencies toward a group, affect is a stronger antecedent of action tendencies toward a group, and affect mediates the effect of cognitions on action tendencies (see Figure 1). This assertion is similar to the cognitive appraisal theory of emotions (Lazarus, 1991), which the marketing literature has used frequently (e.g. Nyer, 1997; Ruth et al., 2002; Watson and Spence, 2007). The cognitive appraisal theory of emotion asserts that consumers will appraise a situation (i.e. cognition), which will lead them to experience Cognitions (stereotypes) Affect Action tendencies Figure 1. BIAS map Warmth Competence Admiration Contempt Envy Pity

7 certain emotions (i.e. affect); consumers associate these emotions with certain action tendencies (Lazarus, 1991). The BIAS map extends the stereotype content model (SCM) (Cuddy et al., 2007). The SCM asserts that individuals as members of a group evaluate another group based on the perceived intentions of the latter group (warmth) as well as the ability of that group to act on its intentions (competence). The warmth dimension captures the favorability of another group s intentions toward one s own group; the competence dimension captures the perceived ability of another group to act on its intentions. If another group s intentions toward one s group are perceived as unfriendly (or friendly), then this other group is perceived as lacking (or possessing) warmth. When the other group is viewed as capable of acting upon its intentions, then it is perceived as possessing competence; if that group is viewed as incapable of acting upon its intentions, it is perceived to be lacking competence. Researchers have validated the SCM in the USA (Cuddy et al., 2007) as well as in 20 non-student samples across 17 nations in Europe, East Asia, Latin America, and Israel (Cuddy et al., 2008, 2009; Glick et al., 2006). Researchers have also applied the SCM to the evaluation of groups within a country and the evaluation of other countries as a whole. Glick et al. (2006) offered supporting evidence for the cross-cultural validity of the SCM model by studying the image of the USA within 11 other nations. Cuddy et al. (2009) also studied how citizens within seven European Union countries evaluated other European Union countries. Although researchers have not applied the SCM in a marketing context, Chattalas et al. (2008) suggested in their literature review that the SCM is applicable to the examination of COO perceptions. They posited that the warmth dimension should play a larger role in determining COO evaluations of hedonic goods whereas the competence dimension should play a larger role in determining COO evaluations of utilitarian goods. These researchers have argued that competence is a cognition while warmth is an affect. However, the current study examines warmth and competence as antecedents of emotion, as previous research established that these are cognitive dimensions (Cuddy et al., 2007). The BIAS map builds upon the SCM by identifying the different emotions that result from various combinations of high and low ratings on both the warmth and competence dimensions, as well as the different action tendencies that result from these emotions. Cuddy et al. (2007) utilized social comparison and attribution models of emotion to explain how warmth and competence elicit emotional reactions toward other groups. According to these authors, perceptions of high competence and high warmth lead to the highest levels of admiration toward a group, whereas perceptions of low competence and low warmth result in the highest levels of contempt toward a group. The authors also found that perceptions of high warmth and low competence relate to the highest levels of pity, while perceptions of low warmth and high competence lead to highest levels of envy. This study examines contempt and admiration but excludes pity and envy. It does not evaluate envy because of its weak association with any action tendencies. Cuddy et al. (2007) found that envy affects action tendencies as mediated through anger and that envy is more likely to affect action tendencies in stressful societal conditions and during severe competition between groups. One example includes scapegoating the Jews in Germany in the aftermath of Second World War. The current study also excludes pity because a preliminary investigation revealed that Kuwaiti consumers are unlikely to experience pity due to high levels of Components of country image 565

8 IMR 28,6 566 competence held toward Americans. The BIAS map predicts that contempt and admiration are subsequently associated with certain action tendencies. Individuals are more likely to cooperate and help admired groups but are more likely to fight, attack, exclude, and demean groups that are targets of contempt. Therefore, admiration will likely have a positive effect while contempt will likely have a negative effect on an individual s willingness to buy products that originate from the country that is the target of such emotions. Conceptual model The current study draws upon an adaptation of the flexible model of consumer COO perceptions (Knight and Calantone, 2000) as it accounts for the effects of both COI and PCI (Laroche et al., 2005) (see Figure 2). The model presented herein is similar to the model advocated by Laroche et al. (2005) in that individuals conceptualize COI as a multidimensional concept. In the proposed model, like Laroche et al. (2005), consumers simultaneously process attitudes about a country (COI) as well as its products (PCI); both components have a direct impact on consumers willingness to buy. This model also accounts for the direct impact of COI upon PCI. However, unlike Laroche et al. (2005), whose study conceptualized COI as a high-order construct with country cognitions, country affect, and country conations as its facets, the current study conceptualizes COI as a set of affective and cognitive interrelated components. The current study uses the BIAS map to operationalize these two components. The cognitive component, according to the BIAS map, consists of two dimensions (warmth and competence) while the affective components consist of four dimensions (admiration, contempt, pity, and envy). Therefore, Figure 3 presents the final conceptual model tested, excluding the two dimensions of envy and pity. Research hypotheses Relationship between COI and PCI Previous studies have focussed considerable attention on the impact of a country s cognitive image upon consumer perceptions and decisions (e.g. Heslop and Papadopoulos, 1993; Heslop et al., 2004, 2008; Pappu et al., 2007). Pappu et al. (2007) found that a macro-coi consisting of three dimensions (i.e. technological, economic, and political dimensions) positively influences perceived quality, brand associations, and brand loyalty. Moreover, marketing literature has examined the degree of competence exhibited by a country s inhabitants. Heslop et al. (2004, 2008) found that perceptions of higher competence among people from a specific country are associated with more favorable PCI. Therefore, perceptions of competence and warmth will likely lead to a more favorable PCI. Consistent with Han (1989), the current study argues that COI will produce a halo effect on the PCI. Since both warmth and competence are dimensions of cognitive COI, both are likely to be accessible to a consumer and diagnostic to the formation of PCI (Feldman and Lynch, 1988). Similar to the findings Figure 2. Flexible model of consumer COO perceptions Country image Productcountry image Source: Knight and Calantone (2003) Attitude

9 Cognitive country attitude Country image (COI) Affective country attitude Product-country image (PCI) Components of country image Competence H3 + Admiration H H4 H5 + H1 + H2 + Product - country image Willingness to buy Warmth H6 Contempt H7 Figure 3. Conceptual model of the animosity literature in marketing (e.g. Klein et al., 1998; Nijssen and Douglas, 2004), the current study expects that admiration and contempt, as dimensions of country affect, will not relate to PCI. Studies have found that animosity negatively relates to willingness to buy, but not to PCI. The BIAS map (Cuddy et al., 2007) and the cognitive appraisal theory of emotions (Lazarus, 1991), which assert that emotions relate to specific action tendencies, also support these assertions: H1. Perceived competence of citizens of another country is positively associated with the PCI of that country. H2. Perceived warmth of citizens of another country is positively associated with the PCI of that country. Relationships between affective and cognitive dimensions of COI According to Cuddy et al. (2007), admiration occurs when consumers perceive groups as warm and competent. Highly competent groups that are not perceived as a threat to one s own group fall into this category (e.g. reference groups and allies). Upward assimilative comparisons (i.e. perceptions of similarity) occur when one s group views these groups as desirable; thus, an inherent motivation to identify with these groups exists. Consequently, the consumers perceive the out-group s highly deserved and controllable success as their own, resulting in pride and admiration (Cuddy et al., 2007). The COO literature also suggests that positive affect toward a country results from more positive descriptions (e.g. trustworthy and friendly) of that country (Heslop et al., 2004). Admiration is very similar to the construct termed consumer affinity. In their qualitative study, Oberecker et al. (2008) argued that consumer affinity, as a form of positive affect, exists and positively relates to consumers willingness to buy products from a country that is a target of affinity; however, they did not empirically test this assertion. Consumer affinity is a feeling of liking, sympathy, and even attachment toward a specific foreign country that has become an in-group (Oberecker et al., 2008, p. 26). Thus, admiration and consumer affinity are similar as positive emotions that result when members of one country perceive members of another nation as belonging

10 IMR 28,6 568 to the same group as members of their own country. However, admiration does not include sympathy in its conceptualization, which instead falls under the pity dimensions of affect proposed by Cuddy et al. (2007). Thus, admiration is a more specific emotion. Consumers experience contempt toward groups that they perceive as incompetent and lacking warmth. They do not consider such groups to have good intentions, but they do not view these groups as a threat because of their lack of competence (Cuddy et al., 2007). Examples of such groups in the USA include Arabs, Turks, feminists, and welfare recipients (Cuddy et al., 2007). Downward contrastive comparisons (i.e. distancing themselves) occur when individuals perceive such groups to be responsible for their own misfortunes (Cuddy et al., 2007). The resultant emotion is contempt: H3. Perceived competence of citizens of another country is positively associated with admiration felt toward that nation. H4. Perceived competence of citizens of another country is negatively associated with contempt felt toward that nation. H5. Perceived warmth of citizens of another country is positively associated with admiration felt toward that nation. H6. Perceived warmth of citizens of another country is negatively associated with contempt felt toward that nation. Relationship between COI and willingness to buy Previous research in the marketing literature supports the conclusion that country affect relates to willingness to buy; however, researchers have typically focussed more on negative affect toward countries than positive affect. One emotion receiving considerable attention in the marketing research is animosity, defined as the remnants of antipathy related to previous or ongoing military, political, or economic events (Klein et al., 1998, p. 90). Previous research suggests that consumers are less willing to buy products originating from a country that is a target of animosity (e.g. Ettenson and Klein, 2005; Klein et al., 1998; Klein, 2002; Nijssen and Douglas, 2004). For example, Chinese consumers were less willing to buy Japanese products due to Japan s perceived economic dominance and wartime violence that Japan inflicted upon China (Klein et al., 1998). In addition, France s nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific made Australians more likely to boycott French products (Ettenson and Klein, 2005). Dutch consumers animosity toward Germans, due to economic and war animosity, also resulted in a reluctance to purchase German products (Nijssen and Douglas, 2004). Meanwhile, previous studies have not emphasized positive affect as much as they have negative affect. Oberecker et al. (2008, p. 23) asserted, [The] impact of countryspecific favorable attitudes is virtually unexplored. Previous research assessing positive affect toward other countries has also found that affect positively relates to the willingness to buy products from countries to which consumers direct the positive affect (e.g. Brijs, 2006; Heslop et al., 2004, 2008). According to Brijs (2006), Belgian students were more likely to express a willingness to buy products from Spain and Denmark when they expressed a positive attitude toward these countries. Heslop et al. (2004) also found that positive affect toward a country relates to the desire to engage in

11 business (e.g. exports, imports, and/or investments) with that country; however, they did not test its impact upon willingness to buy products. Australian consumers positive affect (referred to as a country-people evaluation) toward the French had a positive effect on the willingness to buy French products (Heslop et al., 2008). Based on these assessments, this study proposes the following hypotheses: H7. Contempt felt toward a country is negatively associated with the willingness to buy products from that country. Components of country image 569 H8. Admiration felt toward a country is positively associated with the willingness to buy products from that country. Method Research context The current study uses Kuwait as the country of interest due to the expected coexistence of admiration and contempt toward the USA. The involvement of US forces in the liberation of Kuwait in 1991 created positive relationships between the USA and Kuwait (US Department of State, 2010). Polls indicate that 63 percent of Kuwaitis had a favorable view of the USA in 2003 (PEW Research Center, 2007). However, more recent polls have shown that the percentage of Kuwaitis having a favorable view of the USA declined after 2003, dropping to 46 percent in Furthermore, in 2007, only 31 percent of Kuwaitis thought that the USA had considered Kuwait s interests, down from 61 percent in 2003 (PEW Research Center, 2007). These figures suggest that Kuwaitis currently perceive the USA with less warmth, which would drive up feelings of contempt. The current study also selected the USA as a target country because of the high visibility of American products within Kuwait, which is largely due to the USA role as the largest exporter of goods and services to Kuwait (US Department of State, 2010). It is unlikely that Kuwaiti consumers will view foreign products as a threat to their economy given the limited domestic production in Kuwait (Meyer et al., 2007). Measures The current study culls measures for the constructs used from both the marketing and social psychology literature (refer to Appendix for the measures). Although the marketing literature includes several scales for assessing the cognitive image of a country (e.g. Parameswaran and Pisharodi, 1994), most scales capture the cognitive component of COI without incorporating the affective component. The current study relies on the scales used by Cuddy et al. (2007), which capture cognition as well as affect. The current study further adopts measures for competence, warmth, admiration, and contempt from Glick et al. (2006). The researchers asked respondents to indicate the extent to which 20 specific traits were characteristic of Americans on a five-point scale that assessed warmth (e.g. warm, friendly, and sincere) and competence (e.g. competent, efficient, and skillful). The researcher subsequently asked respondents to indicate the extent to which they felt nine specific emotions toward Americans on a five-point scale that captured contempt (e.g. anger and resentment) and admiration (e.g. admiration and respect). Although contempt and admiration may be bipolar dimensions of the same construct (Barrett and Russell, 1998), other research has suggested that negative and positive emotions can exist simultaneously (Bagozzi et al., 1999; Williams and Aaker, 2001).

12 IMR 28,6 570 The current study also adopted Bagozzi et al. s (1999) approach that admiration and contempt are unipolar constructs since treating them as bipolar dimensions of one construct might obscure differences between the two constructs. PCI is measured using items adapted from Leong et al. (2008). The PCI captured perceptions of workmanship, color, design, reliability, and value. This study also used Leong et al. s (2008) willingness to buy measure. We translated the measures from English into Arabic and then back translated them (Douglas and Craig, 2005). The researchers then made adjustments based on the translation to ensure that respondents appropriately understood the item measures. Sampling Due to the difficulty of obtaining a representative sample in Kuwait using probabilitysampling techniques, the current study relied on a convenience sample. The researcher asked undergraduate students to collect data at a major university in Kuwait. The researcher informed these students about the purpose of the study and provided them with a detailed data collection protocol. Students collected five questionnaires from neighbors, parents, or other people close to them who were at least 18 years of age. Researchers typically use such a sampling approach to obtain samples in countries with an inadequate infrastructure for data collection using probabilitysampling approaches (e.g. Cleveland et al., 2009). In total, the students collected 507 questionnaires. The researcher eliminated 84 that were completed by non-kuwaitis and 13 incomplete questionnaires; 410 questionnaires remained for analysis. Among the respondents, 51.8 percent were female and 48.2 percent were male (see Table II for the statistics). The sample s average age was skewed toward younger age groups, which is consistent with the overall population of Kuwait (CIA, 2009). The sample was also relatively well educated, with percent of the sample holding an undergraduate or graduate degree. Results The conceptual model was tested with structural equation modeling (SEM), using the two-step approach advocated by Anderson and Gerbing (1988). Common method variance is often a problem in behavioral research, especially when all of the data is collected at one point of time using the same method (Podsakoff et al., 2003). To address this issue after data collection, Podsakoff et al. (2003) recommend a single-commonmethod-factor approach in which all of the indicators in a confirmatory factor analysis are allowed to load on their respective constructs as well as one single latent factor to capture the common method variance. If the inclusion of this single latent factor improves the fit of the model, then the study suffers from common method variance and the factor should therefore be included in the analysis (Podsakoff et al., 2003). Several items were eliminated after testing the initial measurement model due to low factor loadings on their respective constructs. The items eliminated are identified in Appendix. The measurement model was estimated and yielded an acceptable fit (w 2 ¼ 427, df ¼ 195, po0.001, CFI ¼ 0.94, RMSEA ¼ 0.05) (Hair et al., 2006). Adding the single common factor to the model resulted in a better fit (w 2 ¼ 322, df ¼ 173, po0.001, CFI ¼ 0.96, RMSEA ¼ 0.05). Even though common method variance was detected, it was not deemed serious because it did not change the significance of the paths in the structural model when the single common factor was included. It was decided to keep the single common factor when analyzing the structural model because the strength of

13 Characteristic Frequency (%) Gender Male Female Age þ Education Less than high school High school Two-year college degree Four-year college Graduate degree Components of country image 571 Table II. Sample characteristics the relationships might be exacerbated due to the common method variance (Podsakoff et al., 2003). Convergent validity was established since the composite reliability for each construct exceeded the minimum cutoff value of 0.7 and the average variance extracted (AVE) for all of the constructs exceeded the cutoff point of 0.5 (Fornell and Larcker, 1981) (see Table III). Discriminant validity was established since the AVE for each construct exceeded the squared correlation between the construct and every other construct in the model (Fornell and Larcker, 1981). The structural model was then tested and also achieved adequate fit (w 2 ¼ 349, df ¼ 176, po0.001, CFI ¼ 0.95, RMSEA ¼ 0.05). The explained variance for the constructs is reported in Table III. Hypothesis testing For results refer to Table IV. The data supported H1 since competence is positively associated with PCI (b ¼ 0.36, po0.01), while the data did not support H2 since warmth is not associated with PCI (b ¼ 0.09, p40.05). In addition, the data supported H3 since competence is positively associated with admiration (b ¼ 0.23, po0.01), while the data did not support H4 since competence is not associated with contempt (b ¼ 0.07, p40.05). The data supported H5 and H6 since warmth is positively associated with admiration (b ¼ 0.57, po0.01) but negatively associated with contempt (b ¼ 0.38, po0.01). H7 and H8 dealt with the relationships between the affective components of COO and willingness to buy; the data supported these hypotheses since contempt is negatively related to willingness to buy (b ¼ 0.27, po0.01) while admiration is positively related to willingness to buy (b ¼ 0.29, po0.01). Further tests The data indicated that neither warmth (b ¼ 0.09, p40.05) nor competence (b ¼ 0.09, p40.05) related to willingness to buy, while admiration (b ¼ 0.07, p40.05) and contempt (b ¼ 0.02, p40.05) did not relate to PCI. Tests of mediation conducted in accordance with the procedures suggested by Baron and Kenny (1986) confirmed that the relationship between warmth and willingness to buy is significant in the absence of

14 IMR 28,6 572 Table III. Intercorrelation matrix WTB PCI Contempt Admiration Warmth Competence WTB PCI Contempt Admiration Warmth Competence Construct reliability Explained variance Notes: WTB, willingness to buy; PCI, product-country image; COI, country image The AVE for each construct is presented in the diagonal The numbers below the diagonal are the correlations and the numbers above the diagonal are squared correlations Relationship Standardized estimate* CR Hypothesis testing Table IV. Results of the structural equation modeling Competence-product-country image H1: Supported Warmth-product-country image H2: Not supported Competence-admiration H3: Supported Competence-contempt H4: Not supported Warmth-admiration H5: Supported Warmth-contempt H6: Supported Contempt-willingness to buy H7: Supported Admiration-willingness to buy H8: Supported Contempt-product-country image Admiration-product-country image Competence-willingness to buy Warmth-willingness to buy Notes: *Italic po0.01 (one-tailed) both admiration and contempt (b ¼ 0.19, po0.05). This relationship becomes insignificant when including paths from contempt and admiration to willingness to buy (b ¼ 0.09, p40.05), indicating that country affect fully mediates the relationship between warmth and willingness to buy. This study further tested whether admiration and contempt mediated the effects of competence. The results indicated that the relationship between competence and willingness to buy is not significant (b ¼ 0.09, p40.05) in the absence of both admiration and contempt, which means that country affect does not mediate the relationship between competence and willingness to buy. These results are consistent with the assertions of the BIAS map (Cuddy et al., 2007), in that the results demonstrate that the warmth dimension is more important than the competence dimension in forming affect and behavioral intentions toward other groups (Cuddy et al., 2007). Evaluations of warmth precede competence, as a group judges the intentions of other groups toward one s group (i.e. warmth), whether positive or negative, before evaluating the capability of such groups to act on such intentions (i.e. competence). Thus, warmth positively relates to willingness to buy while competence does not.

15 Discussion and implications Theoretical implications Researchers have recently focussed increased attention on COI and its measurement in country-of-origin literature (Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009), but not on affective dimension as much as the cognitive dimensions. Researchers have highlighted the need to utilize valid measures of country affect (Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009). The current study uses the BIAS map from within the social psychology literature to operationalize country affect, identify its cognitive antecedents, and relate country affect to the willingness to buy products from a specific COO. The findings of this study suggest that the distinction between the cognitive and affective components is crucial if researchers are to draw conclusions about the relationships between the different facets of COI and the willingness to buy products from a specific country. The results indicate that the affective component of COI has a direct relationship with its consumers willingness to buy products and, when controlling for the affective component of COI, the cognitive component does not relate to willingness to buy. In this study, contempt and admiration, as dimensions of country affect, both relate to willingness to buy; however, competence and warmth do not. The results further support that the affective dimensions of COI mediate the relationship between warmth, as one of the cognitive dimensions of COI and willingness to buy. In addition, the results indicate that the affective component relates to willingness to buy, but its dimensions (i.e. admiration and contempt) do not relate in a similar manner. Contempt has a negative relationship with willingness to buy while admiration has a positive relationship with willingness to buy. This suggests that examining both constructs is important, especially in contexts where only one facet might have an effect, but not the other. Components of country image 573 Managerial implications The results of this research suggest several interesting managerial implications, as summarized Table V. The table depicts different combinations of high and low levels of warmth and competence, which ultimately determine whether COO is a liability or an asset. Companies that originate from countries with high levels of both warmth and competence should emphasize COO because both the affective and cognitive components of COI are favorable. Admiration is the dominant emotion leading consumers to desire products from the admired country. Competence is also high for these countries; therefore, the PCI are also favorable. However, companies originating from countries characterized by low competence and warmth should avoid COO associations. Not only are its products perceived as being of lower quality because of the lower competence, but emotions toward the country are negative, which directly affects the purchase intention of such products. Companies originating from countries located in the other two quadrants in Figure 3 face a dilemma. The cognitive dimensions of COI have opposing effects on PCI. Countries characterized by high competence but low warmth are able to leverage the effect of competence on PCI, but suffer in terms of lower warmth, leading to an unfavorable PCI, higher contempt, and lower admiration. These results are most consistent with the animosity literature, in which consumers have positive impressions of products from a country from which they are unwilling to buy due to the animosity they experience toward that country (e.g. Ettenson and Klein, 2005; Klein et al., 1998). Companies facing such conditions should lobby their governments to institute changes

16 IMR 28,6 574 Table V. The different combinations of warmth and competence High competence Low competence COO is a strength from a cognitive perspective but a liability in terms of affect Warmth and competence have opposing effects but PCI does not suffer because competence is high Contempt is high and admiration is low resulting in a lower willingness to buy Quadrant 1 COO is a liability from both a cognitive and affective perspective PCI suffers because warmth and competence are both low. Contempt is highest and admiration is lowest resulting in the lowest willingness to buy. Quadrant 3 Low warmth COO is a strength from both a cognitive and affective perspective PCI benefits because warmth and competence are both high Contempt is lowest and admiration is highest resulting in the highest willingness to buy Quadrant 2 COO is a strength from an affective perspective but a liability in terms of a cognition Warmth and competence have opposing effects but PCI suffers because competence is high Contempt is low and admiration is high resulting in a higher willingness to buy Quadrant 4 High warmth to improve perceptions of warmth. For example, the French government ran an advertising campaign that portrayed an image of warmth toward tourists (Kotler and Gertner, 2002). Finally, companies originating from countries with high warmth but low competence can leverage the warmth dimension of country cognitions. The PCI image of such countries suffers due to lower ratings of competence. This is important in light of competence having a greater effect on PCI than warmth and PCI having a greater effect on willingness to buy than either of the other two emotions. Companies associated with countries in this quadrant should lobby their governments to focus on improving competence dimensions. For example, advertisements emphasizing positive technological advancements may bolster the image of a country as being competent. This might not be of crucial importance if the products are not physical. These findings confirm that warmth is a more important predictor of emotions than competence, which is consistent with Fiske et al. (2002), who asserted that when judging other groups warmth is more important than competence. When people judge other groups, they first judge whether their intentions are friendly (i.e. warm), then judge whether such groups are capable to act on such intentions (i.e. competent). Therefore, managers should assess the stereotypes of warmth to determine the intensity of affect experienced toward their products COO. A key advantage in assessing COI using the methods identified in this study is that questions do not refer to past events (Heslop et al., 2008), which reduces any demand for artifact elicitations within the research instrument. For example, when Ettenson and Klein (2005, p. 224) assessed animosity toward France, items like, I will never forgive France for its nuclear testing in the South Pacific,, were used. Such items might bias the respondent and make the event of nuclear testing salient, even if it was not salient before administration of the research instrument. Managers should also assess the degree of competence associated with citizens of the products county of origin because it is a major determinant of PCI.

17 Future research and limitations The following study suffered from common method variance. We might have detected common method variance because several items in the study were intermixed, and because some of the scale items were positive while others were negative (Podsakoff et al., 2003). Due to the difficulty of collecting data in Kuwait, it was not feasible to collect the data at different time intervals. Future studies should attempt to reduce such bias when measuring COI by collecting data at different time intervals to reduce any bias that might occur from collecting all of the data at the same time. Future research should examine the conditions under which the affective dimensions might play a more prominent role, such as with hedonic product categories. Since certain emotions tend to drive hedonic-type purchases, further studies may reveal the type and magnitude of these emotional dimensions that play a substantial role in specific purchase situations. Future studies should also examine whether the results in the current study extend to the brand level. For example, do warmth and contempt affect brand purchase intention? Does the extent to which consumers associate a brand with a specific COO moderate this effect? This is particularly important, as previous research has established that consumers usually do not correctly identify a brand s COO (Balabanis and Diamantopoulos, 2008; Samiee et al., 2005). Another avenue for future research lies in examining the effect of admiration and contempt in a multi-cue study, where other cues like price and brand name are incorporated into the research design. Single-cue studies tend to overestimate the effect of the COO (Usunier, 2006). Since the current study examines country connotations, future studies should examine whether affect, as opposed to cognition, is also a proximal antecedent for actual behavior. In addition, future researchers should extend model testing across other cultures to increase the generalizability of the results of the current study and identify changes in the model that may result from cultural differences. Future research should use a more representative sample of the population of interest rather than relying upon some form of convenience sampling. Furthermore, researchers should examine potential confounding effects of multiple respondents from the same household unit. A more representative sample will further increase the generalizability of the findings within the study, creating a more robust approach with regard to sampling procedures. The current study does not test for the impact of consumer ethnocentrism on the different independent variables. Future studies should test the model presented in countries where consumer ethnocentrism might have a significant impact on consumers perceptions and preferences for foreign products. Finally, the current sampling approach resulted in a highly educated sample; 60 percent of the respondents held an undergraduate degree or higher. This might have led to the overestimation of the relationship between admiration and willingness to buy. Highly educated populations tend to be more receptive to foreign products (Al- Sulaiti and Baker, 1998), which might arise from their ability to travel abroad and interact with other countries, thus developing an appreciation for its people. Future research should examine such a possibility. Components of country image 575 References Al-Sulaiti, K. and Baker, M.J. (1998), Country of origin effects: a literature review, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp

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