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Exploration of country of origin effect in services: A literature driven approach

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International liberalisation of markets has facilitated the availability of a wide range of products of foreign origin in developing economies. In consumer markets, product selection has always been a perception driven process, especially when it involves products manufactured in different countries. Country of origin (COO) is well researched, but COO in services becomes a completely different issue. Optimally positioning a service through COO attributes and keeping cognisant of cultural values and ethnocentric attitudes may help firms maximise positive evaluations, while avoiding resistance from possible conflict with prevailing norms in emerging markets. However, the feasibility of such a positioning strategy is quite unclear because of the lack of a systematic framework for linking COO to service evaluation in such settings. Due to features like intangibility, inseparability and no-ownership, services pose a different challenge to marketers globally and particularly in emerging economies. Under given circumstances, consumers gather cues (intrinsic-extrinsic) which can help minimise risks associated with their decision making. This is when an organisation can leverage COO to influence consumer decision making. This literature review looks at COO from a services perspective. The paper adopts snowball sampling for parsing previous research and offers an in-depth review of the relevant papers. It further explores existing concerns and suggests scope for future research.
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Keywords: CONSUMER DECISION MAKING; COUNTRY OF ORIGIN; DEVELOPING ECONOMY; ETHNOCENTRISM; SERVICE BRAND IMAGE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2015

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