A comparative study of Australian-born and Asian-born consumers’ decision-making styles in high involvement purchase situations: A case of automobile purchasesa case of automobile purchases

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The research aims to establish, firstly, what the most common decision-making styles are for Asian-born and Australian-born consumers and, secondly, if cultural dimensions have an influence on consumer decision-making styles for high involvement purchases. While there has been considerable research on the relationship between cultural background and consumer decision-making styles with regard to low involvement purchases, not enough research has been done on consumer decisionmaking styles with regard to high involvement purchases, for example, of automobiles. An established measure of individualism-collectivism was used to identify the differences between two cultural groups and an adapted version of the widely used Consumer Styles Inventory (CSI) was used to measure eight consumer decision-making styles. CSI item content was adapted to refer to the purchase of a high involvement commodity: automobiles. For the purpose of this study several hypotheses were developed, and the hypotheses were tested using t-tests and Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) with one between-subjects factor (country of birth: Asia, Australia) and six dependent variables (consumer decision-making styles of perfectionist, high-quality conscious; brand conscious; rational, price conscious; confused by overchoice; habitual, brand loyal and innovation conscious).

There were no differences in individualism observed between Australian-born and Asian-born respondents; however there were differences in collectivism observed between Australian-born and Asian-born respondents, such that Asian-born respondents scored higher on collectivism. While there were some differences in the consumer decision-making styles of Australian-born versus Asian-born respondents, these differences were not accounted for by the cultural value dimensions of individualism and collectivism. Results indicated that Asian-born consumers scored significantly higher than Australian-born consumers on brand conscious and confused by overchoice decision-making styles. There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of the perfectionist, high quality conscious, habitual, brand loyal and rational, price conscious and innovation conscious decision-making styles. Managers could consider using different strategies when communicating with Eastern and Western consumer groups. More importantly, these consumer groups seem to have clear needs associated with their characteristics which marketers might engage with when designing new or refining existing automobiles. Possible strategies for Asian-born consumers include focusing on exclusivity of the brand and the status which consumers are able to obtain by buying expensive and prestigious automobiles. Automobile companies could train dealers to best communicate with potential and current consumers within this cultural group as Asian-born consumers are likely to develop a personal association with dealers when buying automobiles. If products and services can be better designed to meet consumer needs, then consumer behaviour could be better predicted decreasing uncertainty for organisations, and giving marketing managers more confidence in marketing strategies. Greater insight into consumer behaviour may facilitate economic stability.

This research has contributed to consumer behaviour theory, practices, and research methodology. The limitations and directions for further studies, which build upon either the theoretical framework, the methodology, or the findings, were also acknowledged.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Swinburne University of Technology
Award date12 Jul 2012
Place of PublicationWestern Australia
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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