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Ethnocentrism is a belief that one’s own culture is superior to all others and the standard by which all other cultures should be measured. (Satterlee, 2009, p.39)
An article in Journal of Consumer Studies evaluates the ethnocentric preferences among consumers when purchasing wool blend sweaters, based on wool origin and the place of manufacture. The article also examines the impact such preferences have on the manufacturer’s profits.
A study was conducted to determine if there is such thing as consumer ethnocentric preferences when it comes to purchasing of wool blend sweaters. The experiment was conducted among consumers in three southern US states. Consumer’s choices for the wool origin were either US, Australia, or their specific US state. A choice of specific state was there to determine further an interest for not only national but especially local goods. As far as the manufacturing of the sweaters, the choices consisted of either US or China. The survey supplied to the consumers consisted of questions which would determine an average consumer ethnocentric tendency (CET) score. A median was then established which would put each consumer in either a High or Low CET group. Among the questions on the survey was a willingness to pay (WTP) a higher price for products manufactured nationally or locally, as well as for wool origin. The outcome of the study was that both, the High and the Low CET groups were willing to pay more for wool with a local origin rather than national; they were also willing to pay more for a national origin than Australian wool. Additionally ethnocentric consumers, unlike Low CET consumers were willing to pay significantly more for wool sweaters manufactured in US than for the ones made in China. Even though the majority of subjects studied were not High CET, the study concluded that it might be worth for producers to not outsource all of its products and services for the benefit of higher premium for their apparel products.