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Abstract

The growth of international trade and the formation of supranational economic and political trading blocks have noticeably widened the presence on the market of products of different national origins. This has stimulated interest in explaining the Country-of-Origin (COO) role in domestic and international markets and its consequences on consumer behaviour. Since the consumer purchasing decisions can be decisive to the success of a company`s strategy in domestic and foreign markets, the objective of this study is to present empirical evidence on the extent to which reputation of firms associated to a certain COO are related to consumer purchase intention. Additionally our study considers ethnocentrism as a variable that partially explains the rejection of imports products based on its foreign origin. The empirical application of the proposed model is related to the purchase of Korean automobiles which represents 5.7% of the national market share in Spain. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data collected from 202 personal interviews carried out in a large Spanish region. The results show that reputation of firms associated to a certain COO in an important factor to establish business relationships involving consumers and firms from different countries and increase intentions to purchase Korean products. Additionally, ethnocentric consumers prefer to purchase domestic products rather than foreign imports as an attempt to protect national economy however the negative effect of ethnocentrism is weaker than positive effect of firms reputation of a COO.

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