The paper “ Cultural Influences on Consumer Behaviour - Comparison of Consumers in the UK and Hong Kong” is a thoughtful example of the research proposal on marketing. It is widely accepted that culture influences almost every aspect of human activity. One such view is put forward by Soares, who notes that “ social sciences have long acknowledged cultural influences on human behaviour” . If such a proposition is true, then it implies that all activities in which human being are involved, including the consumption of different services and products, are impacted by different people’ s cultures.
This subject is however still debatable. For instance, according to Soares (2004, p. 1), how consumer behaviour varies across cultures is an issue that is still under debate. Soares (2004, p. 1) also argues that at the heart of this discussion is whether or not the decision and tendencies and preferences of buyers from different nations are varied. While some studies (based on sources cited by Soares (2004, p. 1)) have suggested that consumer attitudes and behaviours are converging, meaning that differences among consumers from different countries are fading and that differences among consumers do not really matter in marketing, others have pointed out that cultural differences still matter.
For instance, according to Doole and Lowe (2008, p. 80), culture influences consumer behaviour through various aspects including perceptions, communication regarding a given product, attitude, as well as differences in understanding of various products. According to the same author, these aspects have a major impact on how a consumer behaves in a buying process. Further, Doole and Lowe (2008) note that culture affects consumer behaviour through aspects such as religion, language, education and history, and that these elements convey indirect and direct messages to the consumers in regard to the choice of services and goods.
Thus, even though debatable, it is apparent that culture determines the choice that consumers make when shopping. Thus, is important to understand the cultural factors that influence consumer behaviour.
Akir, O & Othman, MN 2010, ‘Consumers’ shopping behaviour pattern on selected consumer goods: empirical evidence from Malaysian consumers (Kuching City)’ in J Esteves (ed), Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies, IE Business School, Madrid, Spain, 24-25 June 2010, pp. 1-10.
Albright, S, Winston, W, Zappe, C 2011, Data analysis and decision making, 4th edn, South-Western Cengage Learning, Mason, OH.
Bahl, S & Milne, GR 2006 ‘Mixed methods in interpretive research: an application to the study of the self concept’, in RW Belk (ed), Handbook of qualitative research methods in marketing, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK. pp. 198-218.
Beri, GC 2008, Marketing research, 4th edn, Tata McGrw-Hill, New Delhi.
Burns, P 2011, Entrepreneurship and Small Business: start-up, growth and maturity, 3rd edn, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, UK.
Carson, D, Gilmore, A, Perry, C & Gronhaug, K 2001, Qualitative marketing research, SAGE Publications Ltd, London.
David, M & Sutton, CD 2004, Social research: the basics, SAGE Publications Ltd, London.
de Mooij, M & Hofstede, G 2002, ‘Convergence and divergence in consumer behaviour: implications for international retailing’, Journal of Retailing, vol. 78 pp. 61-69.
de Mooij, M 2000, ‘The future is predictable for international marketers: converging incomes lead to diverging consumer behaviour’, International Marketing Review, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 103-113.
de Mooij, M 2011, Consumer behaviour and culture: consequences for global marketing and advertising, SAGE Publication, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California.
Dittmar, H 2008, Consumer culture, identity and well-being, Psychology Press, East Sussex.
Doole, I & Lowe, R 2008, International marketing strategy: analysis, development and implementation, Cengage Learning EMEA, London.
Hofstede, G 1984, Culture’s consequences: international differences in work related values, SAGE, California.
Jimēnez-Zarco, AI, Martinez-Ruiz, MP & Izquierdo-Yusta, A 2015, ‘Personally engaged with retail clients: marketing 3.0 in response to new consumer profiles’, in Information Resources Management Association (ed), Marketing and consumer behaviour: concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications, Business Science reference, Hershey, PA, pp. 2060-2079.
Kacen, JJ & Lee, JA 2002, ‘The influence of culture on consumer impulsive buying behaviour’, Journal of Consumer Psychology, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 163-176.
Kwan, VSY, Li, YJ, White, AE & Jacobson, RP 2015, ‘Cultural worldview and recognition’, in S Ng & AY Lee (eds), Handbook of culture and consumer behaviour, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 13-33.
Lau, T & Chan, KF 2002, ‘Managerial competence of SME owner/manager – does regional context matter?’ Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 77-93.
Milner, LM, Fodness, D & Speece, MW 1993, ‘Hofstede’s research on cross-cultural work-related values: implications for consumer behaviour’, viewed 7 May 2015,
Neelankavil, JP & Rai, A 2015, Basics of international business, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon.
Pressey, AD & Selassie, HG 2002, ‘Are cultural differences overrated? Examining the influence of national culture on international buyer-seller relationships’, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 354-368.
Soares, AM 2004, The influence of culture and consumers: exploratory and risk taking behaviour (PhD thesis, University of Minho), viewed 6 May 2015,
Woodside, AG 2010, Case study research: theory, methods, practice, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK