Title: The effect of country of origin on the perceived quality of e-services

Authors: Zhuofan Zhang; Fernando R. Jiménez; Shuang Yang

Addresses: 220 College of Business Administration, Texas A&M University, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA ' 219 College of Business, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968-0539, USA ' Zhejiang Gongshang University, 18 Xuezheng Rd., Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310018, China

Abstract: A vast amount of research shows that country of origin information can influence consumers' evaluations of perceived quality. However, most investigations of country of origin effects have been conducted in the realm of tangible goods. Scant research has investigated whether country of origin influences consumers' evaluations of perceived quality in the context of intangible electronic services, (i.e., e-services), such as mobile applications, websites and video games. This article fills that void. Based on categorisation theory, we propose that the effect of country of origin information on perceived quality is mediated by the activation of stereotypical attributes associated with tangible products. Accordingly, when country of origin information triggers tangible stereotypical attributes, country of origin effects will not be diagnostic for evaluations of e-services. Thus, country of origin effects observed in tangible goods will not spill over to e-services. The results of an experimental study support this claim. The implications for country of origin spillover effects as well as for managers of e-services are also discussed.

Keywords: country of origin; perceived quality; electronic services; e-services; spillover effect.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2022.125584

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2022 Vol.13 No.4, pp.411 - 424

Received: 07 Oct 2020
Accepted: 07 Apr 2021

Published online: 16 Sep 2022 *

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