Terence Motsi

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration


Monte Ahuja College of Business

First Advisor

Park, Ji Eun

Subject Headings

Business Administration


Multinational companies often make use of country stereotypes in their marketing efforts. Volkswagen used the tagline “That’s the power of German engineering” to utilize the positive stereotype of German efficiency as well as its positive country image. Academic research has recognized the importance of the country of origin cue (COO) in consumer decision making but research addressing the use national stereotypes as an antecedent to COO evaluation is relatively sparse.

The stereotype content model (SCM) contends that national stereotypes describe traits associated with a group of people through the dimensions of competence and warmth. Existing research on the antecedents of the COO effect has not appropriately partitioned the construct into the country image and product country image even though the constructs have been used separately in the research. Therefore, our research proposes the dimensions of competence and warmth as the drivers of country of origin evaluation at two levels, the general macro level (country image), and the micro level (product country image). This dissertation uncovers the drivers of a decomposed country of origin construct primarily within the context of inter-group relations. Moreover, this dissertation uses personal and consumer values to investigate the context under which stereotypes enhance or diminish COO evaluation as moderators. Social identity theory and consumer culture theory are adopted to show how group level identification affects the use of national stereotypes in COO evaluation. The distinction between in-groups and out-groups is a key driver of COO evaluation.

We collected data on the perception of the image of two emerging economies, India and China. Stereotypes of competence are more likely to be generalized to the image of the country as a source of production. Stereotypes of warmth are a key driver of a general image of the country. We found that the insignificant relationship between perceived warmth and COO evaluation can be explained by a mediating role of macro image between perceived warmth and product related micro image and product evaluation. We also found that national identity and consumer ethnocentrism had a contrasting moderating effect on the relationship between national stereotypes and COO evaluation.