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Iranian consumer animosity and U.S. products: A witch's brew or elixir?


  • Bahaee, Mahmood
  • Pisani, Michael J.


This research investigates the animosity of more than 900 Iranian consumers toward the U.S. and their propensity to purchase U.S.-made products/brands in the context of a prolonged hostility between the two countries. Our results suggest that the antecedent demographic variables of education, age and foreign travel experience are inversely related to consumer animosity whereas women and students tend to hold greater consumer animosity feelings than men and non-students. Additionally we found a strong and significant inverse relationship between Iranian consumer animosity and intention to buy U.S.-made products, but no moderating effects based upon product importance or product necessity were uncovered in our consumer animosity model. The major managerial implications of our study are threefold: (1) MNCs are well advised not to ignore or underestimate the economic value of hostile markets; (2) within hostile markets, MNCs ought to be proactive and pursue alternative oversight strategies when constrained by national institutions; and (3) local and foreign competitors may exploit such animosity to better position their own products against the products of a country that is a target of consumers' animosity.

Suggested Citation

  • Bahaee, Mahmood & Pisani, Michael J., 2009. "Iranian consumer animosity and U.S. products: A witch's brew or elixir?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 199-210, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:18:y:2009:i:2:p:199-210

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Singh, Tanuja & Schoenbachler, Denise D., 2001. "Communication strategies for technology products in Singapore: a content analysis," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 551-570, October.
    2. Siew Meng Leong & Joseph A Cote & Swee Hoon Ang & Soo Jiuan Tan & Kwon Jung & Ah Keng Kau & Chanthika Pornpitakpan, 2008. "Understanding consumer animosity in an international crisis: nature, antecedents, and consequences," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(6), pages 996-1009, September.
    3. Michael J. Pisani & David W. Yoskowitz, 2005. "Grass, Sweat, and Sun: An Exploratory Study of the Labor Market for Gardeners in South Texas," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(1), pages 229-251, March.
    4. Ling-yee, Li & Ogunmokun, Gabriel O., 2001. "The influence of interfirm relational capabilities on export advantage and performance: an empirical analysis," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-420, August.
    5. Bahaee, Mahmood & Pisani, Michael J., 2009. "Are Iranian consumers poised to "buy American" in a hostile bilateral environment?," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 223-232, May.
    6. Jill Gabrielle Klein, 2002. "Us Versus Them, or Us Versus Everyone? Delineating Consumer Aversion to Foreign Goods," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 33(2), pages 345-363, June.
    7. Amine, Lyn Suzanne, 2008. "Country-of-origin, animosity and consumer response: Marketing implications of anti-Americanism and Francophobia," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 402-422, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fong, Cher-Min & Lee, Chun-Ling & Du, Yunzhou, 2013. "Target reputation transferability, consumer animosity, and cross-border acquisition success: A comparison between China and Taiwan," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 174-186.
    2. Alvarez, Maria D. & Campo, Sara, 2014. "The influence of political conflicts on country image and intention to visit: A study of Israel's image," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 70-78.
    3. Kashmala Latif & Abdul Hameed Pitafi & Muhammad Yousaf Malik & Zara Latif, 2019. "Individual Cultural Values and Consumer Animosity: Chinese Consumers’ Attitude Toward American Products," SAGE Open, , vol. 9(3), pages 21582440198, August.
    4. Cheah, Isaac & Phau, Ian & Kea, Garick & Huang, Yu An, 2016. "Modelling effects of consumer animosity: Consumers' willingness to buy foreign and hybrid products," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 184-192.
    5. Fong, Cher-Min & Lee, Chun-Ling & Du, Yunzhou, 2015. "Consumer animosity and foreign direct investment: An investigation of consumer responses," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 23-32.


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