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Does Culture Really Matter?

Does Culture Really Matter?

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This study examines the effect of cultural values on consumer spending among U.S.-born consumers, and newly migrated Chinese and Indians consumers living in the U.S. Comprehensive research conducted by Geert Hofstede and Michael H. Bond (1988) suggests that value systems vary across different culture groups specifically with regard to balancing current and future goals. Charles Heath and Jack B. Soll's (1996) research shows that recent purchase activity results in underconsumption once mental budgets (or spending accounts) have been depleted. Joining these two propositions, Dr. Harris argues that differences in underconsumption levels among U.S.-born, Indian, and Chinese consumer groups occur due to differences in cultural values--specifically the long-term value orientation. Comparative analysis of results for each of these groups indicates that differences in underconsumption are driven by the strength of the long-term value dimension. It is suggested that managers consider cultural differences in addition to recent purchase activity when analyzing consumer spending patterns to ensure maximum benefit from promotional efforts.
Differences in Cultural Values and Consumer Choice