Indian consumers and their mall patronage:Application of cultural-self and the theory of planned behavior to patronage intentions

Patney, Mansi
Major Professor
Linda S. Niehm
Committee Member
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Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

This study investigated Indian consumers' motivations and intentions to patronize contemporary retail formats, such as shopping malls. The study attempts to explain the effect of cultural-self (Brewer & Chen, 2007) on Indian consumers' shopping attitudes and subjective norms in addition to motivations on the intentions to patronize malls in India. In addition to the cultural-self, this study is also framed by the theory of planned behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1988, 1991). Data were collected from shoppers present in four different zones (i.e., north, south, west, and east) of New Delhi, India. Trained data collection staff approached 845 Indian mall shoppers at the various malls in New Delhi. Three hundred and one completed surveys were used for the statistical analysis.

Two phases of data analysis were conducted: preliminary analysis and model testing. Preliminary analysis of research data consisted of descriptive analysis, principal components analysis, internal reliability assessment of research variables using Cronbach's alpha coefficients, and correlation analysis. Confirmatory factor analysis for each construct and measurement model testing was performed using Mplus version 6 statistical software (Muthyn & Muthyn, 2000). Structural model testing was conducted through two steps: testing of the proposed model and alternative model testing. Model testing was performed through maximum-likelihood estimation procedures using Mplus statistical software (Muthyn & Muthyn, 2000).

An important contribution of this study is the identification of cultural groups based on the dimensions of cultural-self (Brewer & Chen, 2007). The emergence of five cultural clusters or groups in this study—"enthusiasts," "autonomous," "sociables," "affables," and "family-oriented"—confirm the multidimensionality of the individualism-constructivism construct (Bond, 2002; Fiske, 2002; Ho & Chiu, 1994; Triandis & Gelfand, 1998).

Overall results from this study confirm applicability of elements of the theory of planned behavior in a non-western cultural context. As proposed by Ajzen (1991), attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control were important predictors of behavioral intentions related to Indian consumers' mall shopping preferences and behaviors. Among the three antecedents of patronage intentions towards malls in India (i.e., subjective norms, attitude towards mall attributes, and perceived behavioral control), perceived behavioral control had the greatest effect on purchase intentions. This study provides useful insights into mall shopping behavior of Indian consumers. Mall managers and retailers in India will benefit from knowledge of Indian consumers' clusters. Theoretical contributions include an understanding of the multidimensionality of the cultural-self construct and the antecedents of Indian mall shoppers' patronage intentions. Results of this study provide a deeper understanding of the reasons Indian consumers go shopping, and specifically why they patronize malls. Findings from this research provide important insight for retailers' strategic marketing activities directed at different consumer groups. It is posited that effective marketing communication for different consumer groups could be improved by better understanding the cultural-orientation, mindsets, and shopping motives of Indian consumers.