Diluting Negative Country of Origin Stereotypes: A Social Stereotype Approach
The increase in global trade has prompted the need for managers to control the impact of negative country of origin (COO) effects on consumers' product evaluations. Yet, extant research in the area is limited and findings are mixed. This study empirically tests whether theories from the social stereotype change literature, known as subtyping and conversion theories, are effective in diluting consumers' negative country-oforigin stereotypes. Additionally, it examines the specific conditions under which dilution may take place. Two experiments were conducted utilizing mall intercept methodologies in the United States. Evidence suggests that conversion theory is an effective COO stereotype change agent. The results imply that international marketers may be able to reduce negative country-oforigin beliefs merely through exposing their consumers, under particular conditions, to disconfirming product information.