Understanding the Role of Political Relations in Consumer Decision Making: A Grounded Theory Approach

  •  Tariq Halimi    
  •  Clare D'Souza    
  •  Gillian Sullivan-Mort    


Previous animosity studies have been conducted in single-target contexts where the effects of hostility towards one product’s country of origin were examined. This current study is an attempt to investigate the animosity construct in the multi-target boycott case of the Middle-East conflict where more than one party (countries and companies) are involved in the political conflict, as reports show that consumers have inconsistent reactions to these involved parties. One-on-one in-depth interviews, supported by documentation, were conducted with Arab consumers who are presumably involved in the conflict. It has been found that animosity is multi-level which belongs to the political relations (there after POLR) continuum and performs as a product attribute. POLRs’ effects on the consumer are subject to parties’  involvement level in the conflict and consumer prioritized needs. Research findings imply that “political positioning” can be applied by brands with “good quality” POLR, while others need to highlight other product attributes.

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