본 연구는 제품범주에 따라 소비자가 특정 국가에 대해 느끼는 우발적 감정(이하 국가 감정)이 제품태도, 구매의도 및 원산지 효과에 어떤 영향을 미치는지 검증해보고자 하였다. 본 연구에서 주된 이론으로 사용한 사회기능적 접근법에 따르면 인간은 집단으로 생활하는 존재로서 자기 나라는 내內집단(in-group)으로, 다른 나라는 외外집단(out-group)으로 구분한다. 그런데 외집단이 자기 나라(내집단)에 경제적 자원이나 물리적 재산을 손상시키는 등 위협을 가하면 외집단에 대하여 분노의 감정이 발생하며 공격적 행동을 나타낸다. 반면에 외집단이라 하더라도 잠재적으로 내집단이 될 수 있는 가능성이 높은 집단이 천재지변 등 불가항력적 사태를 만나면 내집단은 외집단에 대하여 연민의 감정을 갖게 되며 외집단과 미래의 호혜적 관계를 유지하기 위해 친사회적 행동을 나타낸다. 본 연구는 국가 감정 중 서로 상반된 효과를 발생시킬 것으로 예상되는 분노와 연민의 두 감정에 초점을 두었다. 그런데, 국가 감정이 태도 및 구매 의도에 미치는 영향은 제품과 일반적 국가 이미지의 일치 유형-호의적 일치, 비호의적 일치, 호의적 불일치, 비호의적 불일치-에 따라 상이할 것으로 가정할 수 있다. 연구 경과에 따르면. 구매의도에 있어서 연민을 느꼈을 경우에만 원산지 효과가 나타났다. 그리고 국가 감정에 있어서 분노는 제품 구매의도에 부정적 영향을 미치고, 연민은 긍정적 영향을 미치는 것으로 나타났다. 또한 제품국가 이미지 일치 유형에 따라 그 영향이 다르게 나타났다. 연민은 실증연구 대상제품 중 매주에 대한 구매의도에 긍정적 영향을 미쳤지만, 노트북에 대한 구매의도에는 영향을 미치지 않았다. 본 연구에서는 추가적으로 구매지연의도에서 원산지 효과가 나타나는지 검증하였다. 결과에 따르면 분노의 경우 국가에 따라 구매지연의도에 차이가 없었으며 원산지 효과가 나타나지 않은 반면, 연민의 경우에는 국가 간 구매지연의도의 차이를 보여 원산지 효과가 나타났다.
There is a remarkable consensus in the literature about the country of origin (CO) effect that examines the effect of CO on product evaluation and buying intentions. While previous research on CO effect has mainly focused on cognitive factors, some recent research has begun dealing with the role of emotional factors in CO study. This study examined how emotions which consumers feel toward a country influence product evaluations and purchasing intention. This research also attempts to investigate the relationship between emotions toward source country and the CO effect. Particularly, this paper adopts the socio-functional approach of emotions to examine consumers` emotions toward a country. Based on a socio-functional approach, we suggested that consumers would perceive one country they belong to as an in-group and the other countries of which they are not members as an out-group. In addition, we specifically focused on two types of emotions, anger and pity. Anger is one of basic emotions while pity is one of more social and cognitive emotions. Anger is elicited when people face obstacles which prevent them from obtaining their desired outcomes. Thus, it is likely that anger occurs when an out-group takes away economic resources possessed by an in-group or when it destroys a physical property possessed by an in-group. As a result, individuals may engage in functionally appropriate aggressive behaviors. Pity, on the other hand, occurs when some countries which have potentials to become an extended in-group someday suffer from natural disasters such as earthquake or typhoon. These countries cannot maintain a reciprocity-based relationship because what happened to them is beyond their ability to control. This situation may provoke pro-social behavior so that they may pursue a reciprocity-based relationship in the future. Therefore, we propose that two types of emotions-anger and pity-which vary along the socio-functional dimensions may have differing effects. This study also hypothesizes that a product category may moderate the effect of emotions toward a specific country on consumers` decision-making processes. We identified four types of a relationship between products and the images of a country: favorable matches, unfavorable matches, favorable mismatches, and unfavorable mismatches. The effect of emotions on product evaluation and buying intentions will differ by these product-image (mis)matches. Our research design employed in this study was 3 emotions(anger vs. pity vs. control) * 2 countries * 2 product category(product-image match vs. mismatch). The pilot test was done to select stimuli used in this study. As a result, two countries, Japan and China which differed in perceived images of countries, were chosen. In addition, a notebook and beer were selected as two product categories which differed in the fit between a country image and a product. The results revealed that the effect of CO on buying intentions was significant only when participants felt pity toward a source country. As was hypothesized, different types of emotions had different effects on buying intentions. Buying intentions of participants in the anger condition was lower than those in the neutral condition. However, buying intentions of participants in the pity condition was higher than those in the neutral condition. The results also revealed that the effect of anger and pity on buying intentions differed depending on the degree of countries-products (mis)match. That is, the intention to buy beer was higher in the pity condition(vs. the neutral condition) while there was no significant effect in case of a notebook. We also attempted to investigate the effect of CO on the intention to delay purchasing. The findings showed that there was no significant effect of CO on the intention to delay purchasing when participants felt anger toward a source country. However, its effect was significant when participants felt pity. It implies that the effect of CO on the intention to delay purchasing takes place in the pity condition only. The reason may be due to the fact that pity triggers pro-social behaviors and leads to a quick decision to buy products made in a country toward which consumers have favorable images. It was also found that the effect of anger, one of basic and raw emotions, is stronger than that of pity. According to a socio-functional approach, this shows that anger is likely to be more directly associated with survival than pity. In conclusion we investigated the effect of consumers` emotions and the products-country image on product evaluation and buying intentions. We also confirmed the effect of emotions on the intention to delay purchasing. Thus, we may argue that this study has some merits in that it could clarify the impact of emotions and product categories on the CO effect by examining the differences between countries.
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