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Impact of the Consumer Culture on Mobile Phone Buying Behavior

Consumer Buying Behavior

Studienarbeit 2012 19 Seiten

Soziologie - Konsum und Werbung



1. Introduction
1.1 Mobile phones

2. Literature Review
2.1 The concept of culture
2.2 Power Distance
2.3 Individualism / Collectivism
2.4 Cultural Values
2.5 Buying Behavior Factors

3. Objectives

4. Methodology
4.1 Data collection
4.2 Sample size
4.3 Analysis

5. Analysis
5.1 Sample profile
5.1.1 Gender distribution
5.1.2 Age distribution of the sample
5.1.3 Occupational Status of the Sample
5.1.4 Social Status of the Sample
5.1.5 Income Levels of the Sample
5.2 Data Analysis

6. Conclusion


1. Introduction

Mobile phone has become an integral part of human daily and personal communication across the globe. Approximately 3.3 billion mobile phone users are found worldwide which is equivalent to a penetration rate of 49% of the last year (international telecommunication union, 2008). Mobile phone is an instrument with wide range of utility extended from communication value. Therefore vast varieties of products are available in the market. Consumer’s motivation of product and service choices as well as lifestyle could be shaped by cultural dimensions (Foxall, 1994). As a consequence, culture can influence an individual’s interaction with a product and ultimately the purchase. It is imperative that cultural attribute need to be taken in to consideration for marketing managers when investigating mobile phone purchasing behavior.

1.1 Mobile phones

Communication with others is the main purpose of mobile phone and it has shifted from being a ‘technological object’ to a key ‘social object’ in mobile phone purchasing (Srivastava, 2005). Technology of the mobile phone is developed rapidly. However, facilitating family or friend coordination and in intensifying social interaction are the crucial factors for using a mobile phone (Urry, 2007). Mobile phone is a milestone that indicates success, not only financially but also culturally in term of the integration within society. The “collective” identity has been identified through the use of mobile phone (Castells et al., 2007). Mobile phones affect social relationship and this is a disintegration of communities (Marquardt, 1999). Mobile phone usages have resulted in greater electronic interactions between friends and family at the expense of face to face interaction which have been dramatically reduced. Consequently, it could be proposed that mobile phones are changing individual cultural norms and values (Rauch, 2008)

2. Literature Review

2.1 The concept of culture

There are numerous definitions of culture. Culture is identified as the “collective mental programming” of people in an environment (Hofstede, 1980). Culture influences an individual’s behavior through the manifestations of values, heroes, rituals and symbols (Hofstede, 1997). However, it certainly has implications for individual behavior (Hofstede, 2001). Hence, an individual’s behavior is a result of that individual’s cultural value system for a particular context which are changed and developed over time (Luna and Gupta, 2001). Hall (1976) stated that culture is not genetically inherited, and cannot exist on its own, but is always shared by members of a society and is identified as a community level construct. Consumer culture is mainly related with power distance and individualism/collectivism.

2.2 Power Distance

Power Distance is an affecting factor of consumer culture. Power of distance is defined as the extent to which people accept that power is distributed unequally, and is related to conservatism and maintaining status (Yeniyurt and Townsend, 2003). The individuals are associated with acceptance of one’s positioning society when they are in high power distance societies (Hofstede, 1984) and a social value exists where everyone has his or her own impartial place in the society (Morsini, 1998). The low power distance societies are much more concerned about society values independence and competition. The powerful members seek to look less powerful and they believed that there are an equal rights and opportunities for everyone (Greg et al., 1995).

2.3 Individualism / Collectivism

Societies with Individualism, the ties between individuals are very loose (Hofstede, 2001). In contrast, collectivism is defined as a society where individuals are integrated into strong and cohesive in-groups. In individualist cultures, people tend to be motivated by their own preferences, needs and rights in order to achieve their personal goals (Lee and Kacen, 2008). On the side of “collectivist culture”, societies have a significant attitude toward building long-term relationships and the role of trust. Members of societies are often motivated by duties and norms of societies (Usunier, 2000). Triandis (2004) also demonstrated that collectivist societies” are more concerned with ‘interpersonal relationship’ than an individualist culture. The feature of Individualism / Collectivism of a society formulates influences on consumer culture.

2.4 Cultural Values

There are ten key cultural values that were defined by the motivational goal it serves namely; Power, Achievement, Hedonism, Stimulation, Self-Direction, Universalism, Benevolence, Tradition, Conformity and Security . In accordance with Lee et al., (2002) and Ros et al., (1999), a more parsimonious of Schwartz’s cultural value are employed which fit in well with the social used mobile phone (See Table 2.2).

Table 2.1 Cultural Values

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Rickman et al., (2003), Lee et al., (2002) and Ros et al., (1999)

2.5 Buying Behavior Factors

Cultural differences are seen as especially important for consumers’ choice of products and services (Kimberly et al., 1995). According to Roth (1995) the services that place emphasis on variety and hedonistic experiences can generate value to an individualist society. Also, Strabub et al., (1997) found that high power distance and collectivist societies would reject the communication media which do not support the social pressures. Whilst, Heine and Lehman (1997) stated that self concept of independent corresponds to the cultural concept of individualism, whereby people express themselves as inherently separate and distinct. Conversely, the cultural concept of collectivism is related with the interdependent self concept which concerned on contextual, relational, and socially situated. Further, Lee and Kacen (2008) discovered that subjective cultures tend to influence the buying intention of consumers. Page (2005) stated that promotional appeals have played an important role for international business practice. The study from Choi and Geistfeld (2004) showed that functionality design, feature images and brand images are highly positive correlated with cultural characteristics of the users.

Study on buying behavior and consumer culture is important for managers in marketing, promotion strategies, and product designing and specification development.



ISBN (eBook)
519 KB
Institution / Hochschule
University of Colombo – Ministry of Health - University of Colombo
impact consumer culture mobile phone buying behavior



Titel: Impact of the Consumer Culture on Mobile Phone Buying Behavior