Understanding consumer purchasing behaviour regarding luxury fashion-related goods in China

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Understanding consumer purchasing behaviour regarding luxury fashion-related goods in China

 

Author: Gao, Ling
Title: Understanding consumer purchasing behaviour regarding luxury fashion-related goods in China
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2009
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Consumer behavior -- China.
Consumers -- China.
Luxury goods industry -- China.
Department: Institute of Textiles and Clothing
Pages: xi, 178 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2321632
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4531
Abstract: Throughout most of human history, luxury goods consumption has been an important practice. Over recent decades, the global luxury goods market has grown dramatically; however, information on luxury goods consumption is limited in both the business press and research literature. Little, if any, research has addressed consumer behaviour regarding luxury goods in emerging markets, although many luxury goods companies have already set up businesses in these booming markets like China. This calls for more research to develop an analytical framework to help advance scholars" understanding of luxury goods consumption in emerging markets like China and to help practitioners develop marketing strategies suitable for these markets. The need for such research inspired the present study to explore consumer behaviour regarding luxury goods in China. The primary goals of this study are to examine whether Chinese consumers have a multidimensional cultural orientation, and evaluate how cultural orientation influence Chinese consumers" intentions to purchase luxury goods, with the aim of developing a behavioural framework for analyzing and explaining consumer behaviour regarding luxury goods within a specific cultural context. The literature shows agreement that luxury goods provide private value for consumers and symbolize social codes. Consumer behaviour regarding luxury goods is thus the result of social and self-expression motivations; therefore, research on consumer purchasing behaviour regarding luxury goods should be conducted under the assumption that consumers can gain both "inner" experience value and "external" social status by purchasing luxury goods. In order to analyze and explain purchasing behaviour regarding luxury goods, this thesis draws upon a social psychological theory, specifically the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991), as the theoretical basis of the research. This model takes into account both personal factors and social influence. The literature indicates that luxury goods consumption pattern can also be understood from a culture perspective and that, from this perspective, cultural orientation can best explain behavioural similarities and differences. A number of researchers point out that the conception of cultural orientation as uni-dimensional or bi-dimensional is inadequate, and researchers further propose that both individualist and collectivist may be either horizontal or vertical (Schwartz, 1990; Singelis et al., 1995; Triandis, 1995). One aim of this research was thus to test the application of multidimensional model to explain Chinese consumers" cultural orientation. The present research therefore further includes investigation of the impact of cultural orientation on Chinese consumers" intention to purchase luxury goods. A survey with an online questionnaire was conducted to collect data. The target population in this research is affluent Chinese urban residents. Structural equations modelling (SEM) was employed to test the proposed hypotheses. Results show that the cultural orientations of consumers of this group include various combinations of the horizontal versus vertical dimension and the collectivist versus individualist dimension. That is, the structure of cultural orientation for Chinese consumers is best represented by a multidimensional model. The findings also confirm the proposition that both individual motives and social pressure can influence consumers" intentions to purchase luxury goods. The empirical results indicate that attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control contribute to predicting intentions to purchase luxury goods; however, the results do not support the traditional view that the behaviour of consumers in a collectivist culture is more influenced by subjective norms than by attitudes. In addition, the findings suggest cultural orientation has indirect effect on consumers" intention to purchase luxury goods by influencing consumers"beliefs. This research is the first to employ consumer behaviour theories to analyze luxury goods consumer behaviour in the context of the Chinese market. The research focuses on testing and interpreting a theoretical model of consumer behaviour that scholars can apply in related empirical work. In addition, the research findings can be compared to those from research on luxury goods consumption in other emerging markets and in traditional ones. The project therefore has potentially significant value in the area of research and implications for the global marketing of luxury goods.

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