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The influence of self-construals on young Korean consumers' decision-making styles

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between self-construals and decision-making styles of Korean college students. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A total of 872 Korean college students from three different Korean university campuses completed three-part questionnaires (self-construal, decision making styles and demographic information). Findings ‐ It was found that Korean college students' decision-making styles can vary according to their self-construals. Research limitations/implications ‐ Although data were collected from three different universities located in different geographic locations, the study was conducted using a convenience sample rather than a random sample. Therefore, a randomly selected, diverse and geographical sampling is recommended to be able to generalize results from such a study to the total Korean college student population. Practical implications ‐ Findings suggest that high-end luxury imported goods might appeal to Korean college students with Independent self-construals. Even though there is an emerging new group of students with an independent self-construal, the majority of Korean college students still hold a higher interdependent self-construal than independent self-construal. Therefore, different marketing strategies should be developed according to the different market segments among the Korean college students based on the different clothing product categories and quality. Originality/value ‐ Despite the growing global market and importance of studying cultural differences, little information about the influence of culture on consumer behaviour is available. The findings of the dual-self concept within the Korean culture and their close relationship with decision-making styles contribute to the theoretical knowledge base of contemporary consumer behaviour.
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Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Consumers; Decision making; South Korea; Young adults

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 27, 2009

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