Country of origin effect and the image of Third World manufactured goods exporters: an example from Zimbabwe

PhD Thesis

Dakin, John 2006. Country of origin effect and the image of Third World manufactured goods exporters: an example from Zimbabwe. PhD Thesis
AuthorsDakin, John
TypePhD Thesis

This thesis reports research in the Country-of-Origin (COO) area of international business, into the postulated phenomenon of Negative Image. Image has been regarded as a potential purchase decision influencing factor but to date not investigated in-depth. Research was carried out in the
business to business area, across cultures and between developed and developing countries, using an example from Zimbabwe. The primary research methodology comprised semi-structured elite interviews with Zimbabwean footwear exporters and UK footwear importers. A questionnaire
incorporating sections on topics related to the international image of manufactured goods exporters based in Third World countries was also administered to the UK footwear importers. This dealt with political, commercial and image aspects of importer-exporter relationships and also addressed directly the issue of Third World businessmen's image. Results
from the field work demonstrate that the Negative Image of Third World manufactured goods exporters directly affects importer decision making and that Negative Image has an exclusively negative impact. Data from inductive
analysis of interviews and supporting correlations arising from the questionnaire were used to construct a model of the relationships and formalise the concepts and constructs of Negative Image. These included disparities in exporter and importer expectations of quality, price, delivery and
performance. In addition unreliability, inefficiency, professionalism, lack of both marketing skills and social conversation contribute to the phenomenon. A potential conflict was identified at the individual level between personal and professional perspectives and a reciprocal Negative Image of importers was identified from the Zimbabwean exporters' perspective. Suggestions are made
regarding the key factors in exporter-importer relationship development and conclusions are then drawn suggesting that improvement to levels of importer-exporter contacts and information flows can be useful in ameliorating the Negative Image effect. Scenarios for image improvement are offered at
government, firm and individual levels. Finally, limitations of the research are discussed and recommendations for further research are given.

KeywordsMarketing; International marketing; Internationalisation; Cross cultural; COO; Country of origin; Negative image; Stereotyping; Africa; Developing country; Zimbabwe; Exporting; Importing; Footwear; Shoes; Dakin model; Level
PublisherUniversity of Derby
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Web address (URL)hdl:10545/224911
File Access Level
File Access Level
Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Deposited21 May 2012, 10:08
Publication dates2006
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