Extrinsic and intrinsic cue utilization: Effect of country-of-origin on consumer attitude. A synthesis approach

Date of Completion

January 1999


Business Administration, Marketing|Psychology, Cognitive




The objective of this study is to overcome the limitations prevalent in the present research work on country of origin by examining this phenomenon in a multi-cue and multi-dimensional 2 x 3 x 3 x 3 experimental setting. The study examines country of origin effect by considering both intrinsic and extrinsic cues along with product category familiarity, consumer ethnocentrism, demographic variables, and product category specific image of a country. It probes how consumers make trade-offs between the country of origin information and other product attributes to arrive at overall product evaluations. A new Synthesis approach is advocated which includes both an emotional affective response as well as a more cognitive response involving information processing. ^ The Synthesis model proposes that once a country-of-origin is available, clear and known, Product category image of that country leads to attitude change through an affective response. Country-of-origin cues are also part of a cognitive process where these cues along with other product attributes are processed to arrive at an attitude toward a particular product alternative. ^ Country of origin cue is composed of a branding country and a sourcing country. Branding country rather than brand names are used to isolate the effect of the country name the brand carries from the equity a brand name carries. Sourcing country is the country the product is manufactured. In the present global economy products may be partly manufactured in different countries and assembled in yet other country or countries. ^ This research work in its attempt to determine the consumers' perceptions of the country of origin effect, considers one country of manufacture, whose name appears on the made in label. It observes the consumers' evaluation of the product once they perceive the product to be made in a given country. The study uses three different levels of price and intrinsic quality information cues. Price and intrinsic quality can be of low, medium, and high. Branding country, sourcing country, and price are the extrinsic cues examined in this research. Various objective product quality features form the intrinsic cues. ^