Date of Award

12-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Major Professor

Youn-Kyung Kim

Committee Members

Ann Fairhurst, Heejin Lim, Rodney Runyan, Robert Ladd, Wanda Costen

Abstract

The emergence of ‘new luxury’ available at affordable prices has resulted in abundance of counterfeit products in the markets. As the extent of counterfeiting is increasing in almost every industry, it becomes critical to develop measures that can help to prevent buying and selling of counterfeit products. In exploring consumers’ buying behavior of counterfeit products, this study was designed to examine the influence of individuals’ characteristics or consumer orientations, both social and personal, on that generate the demand for counterfeit brands. This study employed four theoretical frameworks: (a) the Theory of Planned behavior, (b) Value-Attitude-Behavioral intention system, (c) Bandwagon effect in the theory of consumer demand, and (d) Aberrant consumer behavior.

Specifically, this study investigates consumers’ intention to purchase counterfeit brands based on their social consumer orientation (social conformity, status seeking, fashion consciousness, and price-quality schema) and personal consumer orientation (ethical value, social responsibility, and integrity), attitudes toward the purchase of counterfeit brands, subjective norm, and perceived control over the purchase of counterfeit brands. Further, this study aims to explore the role of price sensitivity as a moderator in understanding the relationship between attitudes and intentions to purchase counterfeit and original luxury brands.

This study was conducted in the context of fashion luxury brands that sell handbags and wallets. An online self-administered survey methodology was employed to collect the data from 500 subjects. The data were analyzed by maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) procedure using

structural equation modeling (SEM). Out of total 14 proposed hypotheses, 10 were significant, as expected. However, the rest 4 were not found to be significant. Status seeking was found to have an insignificant relationship with subjective norm to purchase a counterfeit brand. Fashion consciousness was found to have a negative influence on attitude while the relationship of price-quality schema with attitude was not found to be significant. Also, integrity was not found to significantly influence subjective norm. Price sensitivity did not act as a moderator due to non significant relationships between attitude and intensions to purchase counterfeit and original brands. Research and managerial implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research were drawn based on the results.

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