Independent and Interdependent Self-Views in an Emerging Market

Millan, Elena and Reynolds, Jonathan (2011) Independent and Interdependent Self-Views in an Emerging Market. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 39 (3). pp. 162-182.


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of individualism and collectivism at an individual level, in the context of an emergent market economy of Eastern Europe. More specifically, the effects of the psychological constructs of independent/interdependent self on a number of clothing-related consumer behaviour phenomena are examined.

Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through a home-based face-to-face survey of some 1,000 Bulgarian respondents.

Findings – Evidence was found supporting the notion that the relationship between individualism and collectivism is complex, and individualist and collectivist values do not characterise two opposing cultural dimensions. Additionally, being autonomous or being interrelated with important, others were found to play an important part in consumer preference for self- and social-symbolic meanings of clothing artefacts, as well as on shopping attitudes held and actual purchase behaviour.

Research limitations/implications – Conclusions and implications of the research are limited to the factors considered in the conceptual model. The use of face-to-face interviews can lead to the interviewer's intentional or unintentional influencing of the survey results. The use of self-reporting measures in the structured interview can result in acquiescence.

Practical implications – Findings suggest that marketers and retailers will benefit from individualising their activities.

Originality/value – The paper develops further our understanding of the effects of the independent/interdependent self-concept on diverse consumption phenomena and provides empirical evidence in support of the proposed conceptual model using a nationally representative sample.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Bulgaria; Consumer behaviour; Emerging markets; Individual psychology; market economy
Subject(s): Retail
Centre: Oxford Institute of Retail Management
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2012 11:53
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2018 15:33

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View