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TitleThe Influence of Culture and Personality on Customer Satisfaction: An Empirical Analysis across
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size2.7 MB
Total Pages221
Table of Contents
                            Acknowledgement
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
List of Symbols
1 The Satisfied Customer in International Business An Introduction
2 Customer Satisfaction, Culture, and Personality – Definition of the Research Variables
	2.1 Customer Satisfaction and its Related Variables and Constructs – Definitions and Findings from Literature
		2.1.1 Customer Expectations
		2.1.2 Performance
		2.1.3 Disconfirmation
		2.1.4 Defining Customer Satisfaction
	2.2 Theoretical Approaches Explaining Customer Satisfaction
		2.2.1 Adaptation Level Theory
		2.2.2 Assimilation Theory
		2.2.3 Contrast Theory
		2.2.4 Assimilation-Contrast Theory
		2.2.5 Generalized Negativity Theory
		2.2.6 Prospect Theory
	2.3 Defining Culture and Personality in the Context of Consumer Behavior
		2.3.1 Culture and its Operationalization
		2.3.2 Personality and the Five-Factor-Model
		2.3.3 The Link between Culture and Personality
	2.4 Development of the Research Design in a Cross-Cultural Setting
		2.4.1 Challenges of Cross-National Customer Satisfaction Research
		2.4.2 The Design of the Research Project
3 Study I: The Structure of the Zone of Tolerance Across Countries and Individuals
	3.1 The Zone of Tolerance
	3.2 The Generalizability of the ZOT across Countries and the Potential Effects of Culture and Personality
	3.3 Description of the Method of Study I
		3.3.1 Questionnaire Design and Measures
		3.3.2 Cleaning the Data
		3.3.3 Aggregation of Importance Data
		3.3.4 Test for Normality, Reliability, and Validity
		3.3.5 Descriptive Statistics
	3.4 A Cross-National Investigation of the ZOT – Results of Study I
		3.4.1 The Position and the Width of the ZOT across Countries
		3.4.2 The Effects of Culture on the Determinants of the ZOT
		3.4.3 The Effects of Personality on the Determinants of the ZOT
		3.4.4 The Effects of Culture and Personality on the ZOT
		3.4.5 The Effects of Culture and Personality on Importance and Involvement
	3.5 Summary of Study I: Discussion of the Results, Implications, Limitations, and Future Outlook
4 Study II: The Confirmation/Disconfirmation-Paradigm in a Cross-Cultural Perspective – A Study across Countries
	4.1 The Process of Customer Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction Formation across Nations
		4.1.1 The C/D-Paradigm
		4.1.2 Cross-Cultural Applicability of the C/D-Paradigm and the Potential Effects of Culture and Personality
	4.2 Description of the Method of Study II
		4.2.1 Scenario Based Surveys for Research on Customer Satisfaction
		4.2.2 Scenario Formulation
		4.2.3 Questionnaire Design and Measures
		4.2.4 Data Collection, Entry, Cleaning, and Manipulation Checks
	4.3 A Cross-National Investigation of the C/D-Paradigm Results of Study II
		4.3.1 The C/D-Paradigm in Cross-National Comparison
		4.3.2 The Effects of Individual Cultural Values and Personality on the C/D-Paradigm A Micro-Perspective
	4.4 Summary of Study II: Discussion of the Results, Implications, Limitations, and Future Outlook
5 Summary, Conclusions and Future Outlook
List of References
Appendix
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

International Management Studies

Edited by

M. Gunkel, Bolzano, Italy
B. Wol� , Frankfurt a. M., Germany

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95


width of the ZOT. The desired performance levels of comfort and image are not affected by
collectivism. The results also revealed a significant positive effect of collectivism on the
ZOTs of these two product factors. Hence, individuals with higher values in collectivism have
a larger ZOT and accept more heterogeneity in the performance of a product. An explanation
for this is that individuals scoring high in collectivism are rather harmony seeking. They
might keep the minimum tolerable performance level low to avoid disappointment with a
product and the potentially resulting conflict. Large ZOTs indicate that these individuals are
more tolerant when assessing the actual performance of a product. These findings are in line
with the results of Chan, Wan, and Sin (2009).237 The authors proposed that collectivistic
(Asian) cultures are more tolerant with service failures than individualistic (Western) cultures.
They argued that collectivistic cultures show higher fatalistic tendencies which again help to
alleviate discontent. Donthu and Yoo (1998) argued that collectivistic customers would con-
form to and tolerate poor service due to their harmony seeking behavior.238 The study results
showed that the assumptions and findings of Donthu and Yoo (1998) and Chan, Wan, and Sin
(2009) are also applicable for complex products.

With respect to the width of the ZOT, Reimann, Lünemann, and Chase (2008) found that
customers from a culture with a higher degree of uncertainty avoidance do not accept a wide
variety in performance with respect to service delivery.239 Linking this to Johnston's (1995)
idea of the three interlinked ZOTs (Chapter 3.1), it was argued that the width of the tolerance
zones of an individual are negatively related to uncertainty avoidance. The results of the study
(as presented in Table 3-31) are not sufficient to generalize an influence of uncertainty avoid-
ance on the desired and minimum tolerable performance level as well as on the width of the
ZOT. An influence of uncertainty avoidance on the ZOT cannot be confirmed. The results
with respect to culture and the variables of the ZOT have to be handled with care. It was not
possible to conduct a multigroup CFA. Hence, the data was not tested for invariance which
limits the explanatory value of the findings for the pooled sample.

Research Question I.3 asked which personality dimensions do affect the variables of the ZOT
and how the potential influence can be characterized. Table 3-32 summarizes the findings.
The table presents the results for the effects of the personality dimensions extraversion, con-
scientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience on the desired and minimum
tolerable performance levels of the factors comfort, image, and trustability as well as on the
ZOTs of these product factors. Only a very few significant results (printed in bold numbers)
on the effects of the personality traits were detected. It is not possible to generalize an effect
of the personality dimensions on the desired and minimum tolerable performance level as
well as on the width of the ZOT based on the results. Still, as some effects are observable, one
cannot neglect the impact of personality on the research variables. More research is required
to verify the given effects of the four personality dimensions.


237 See Chan/Wan/Sin (2009), p. 292.
238 See Donthu/Yoo (1998), p. 181.
239 See Reimann/Lünemann/Chase (2008), p. 70.

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Table 3-32: Personality's Effects on the ZOT
BRA N = 24

CHN
N = 56

FRA
N = 103

GER
N = 111

SWE
N = 145

USA
N = 72

Pooled
N = 511

Attribute ß ß ß ß ß ß ß
EXTRA DES Comfort .10 -.07 -.04 -.10 .06 .04 .00
Image n.s. -.06 .03 -.22 * .16 † .06 .03
Trustability n.s. n.s. .11 -.05 .09 -.02 .02
EXTRA MINTOL Comfort n.s. -.10 -.02 -.20 ** .41 -.03 -.04
Image -.06 n.s. .09 -.09 .13 † .12 .02
Trustability -.32 -.05 -.04 -.21 ** .16 * .02 -.05
EXTRA ZOT Comfort n.s. n.s. .02 n.s. n.s. .10 .04
Image .17 .16 -.05 -.12 n.s. -.04 .03
Trustability .36 † n.s. .15 .15 † -.09 -.01 .06
CONS DES Comfort .17 .04 .06 -.08 -.00 -.08 -.01
Image n.s. .06 -.02 -.04 -.02 -.13 -.04
Trustability n.s. n.s. -.02 .02 .02 -.06 -.02
CONS MINTOL Comfort n.s. .01 .21 * -.01 .98 .09 .07
Image .29 n.s. .13 .02 .09 -.01 .05
Trustability .27 .08 -.01 -.02 .04 .11 .03
CONS ZOT Comfort n.s. n.s. -.14 n.s. n.s. -.16 -.08
Image -.15 .16 -.14 -.05 n.s. -.11 -.07
Trustability -.27 n.s. -.07 .04 -.07 -.15 -.05
EMOSTA DES Comfort .02 .10 .15 † .10 -.08 .25 ** .07 †

Image n.s. -.14 .10 .14 -.12 .32 * .04
Trustability n.s. n.s. .06 -.05 -.01 .06 .00
EMOSTA MINTOL Comfort n.s. .29 † .05 .04 .32 .07 .06
Image .43 n.s. .01 .11 -.13 -.01 -.00
Trustability .54 .03 .08 -.01 .01 .08 .05
EMOSTA ZOT Comfort n.s. n.s. .09 n.s. n.s. .16 .01
Image -.36 -.40 * .07 .03 n.s. .30 ** .04
Trustability -.05 n.s. -.05 -.04 -.03 -.04 -.05
OPEN DES Comfort .09 -.01 -.12 -.06 .04 -.05 -.02
Image .21 .02 -.07 -.01 n.s. -.10 -.04
Trustability n.s. n.s. .07 .06 -.04 .06 .04
OPEN MINTOL Comfort n.s. -.06 -.09 .06 .65 -.10 -.05
Image -.13 n.s. -.11 -.01 -.05 -.08 -.03
Trustability .54 .03 .08 -.01 .01 .08 .05
OPEN ZOT Comfort n.s. n.s. -.04 n.s. n.s. .03 .03
Image -.36 -.40 * .07 .03 n.s. .30 ** .04
Trustability -.05 n.s. -.05 -.04 -.03 -.04 -.05
Note: Unstandardized Regression Coefficients are displayed; †p < .10; *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001; n.s. = not
significant; BRA = Brazil; CHN = China; FRA = France; GER = Germany; SWE = Sweden; USA = United
States of America.

To obtain a complete picture of the potential effects of culture and personality, their influence
on the variables importance and involvement was also tested. Table 3-33 summarizes the
regression coefficients of collectivism and uncertainty avoidance as well as of extraversion,
consciousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience on the importance of the three
product factors.

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