Date of Award

8-1-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Clark, Terry

Abstract

Advancements in communication and transportation have facilitated migration processes and extended the possibility of migration to many people who couldn’t afford it in the past. This movement of people from one place to another and the attached flow of human capital are potentially the most potent political and economic forces that are changing the world by promising worldwide opportunities and challenges in the century ahead. Immigration and immigrants are altering the sociocultural and economic fabric of societies across the globe, affecting the majority/minority balance and inducing profound changes in host countries. Moreover, these changes are causing friction between immigrant ethnic groups and local populations. Manifestations of these frictions may present themselves in the form of ethnic discrimination against immigrants by the dominant group in the host society. Based on an extensive literature review, a model was developed to investigate the effects of immigrant-perceived ethnic discrimination on the relationship with national brands. A multi-group structural equation modeling approach is used to test this proposed model and its hypotheses. Study findings suggest that immigrant perceived ethnic discrimination does have an effect on the immigrants’ (dis)identification with national brands and ultimately their decision to purchase national brands. This relationship is mediated by immigrants’ (dis)identification with national consumers. Moreover, findings corroborate the notion that the more perceived difference in the desired acculturation orientations between immigrants and their host society influences immigrants’ perception of ethnic discrimination. From an academic standpoint, this study contributes to two under-researched areas in the marketing literature: (1) Immigrant consumers, and (2) Effects of ethnic discrimination on consumer behavior. This study contributes to better understanding of these two areas through incorporating novel conceptualizations of acculturation orientations discordance, perceived ethnic discrimination and stereotyping into a multigroup analysis to study the effects of these phenomena on the immigrant consumer’s relationship with national brands. From a marketing practice standpoint, in an era of increased cultural pluralism and anti-immigration climate, this study informs marketers of influences on immigrant market behaviors and their relations with national brands.

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