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Family decision-making in an emerging market: Tensions with tradition


  • Lien, Nguyen Huong
  • Westberg, Kate
  • Stavros, Constantino
  • Robinson, Linda J.


We explore the role of the extended family on family decision-making in the context of a high-involvement purchase decision in an emerging economy. Adopting a grounded theory approach, we conducted 33 in-depth interviews with 11 families across Vietnam, including both nuclear and extended family members. Our findings demonstrate that parents retain a significant, albeit evolving, role in the consumption decision-making of their adult children, acting as a facilitator, cultural mentor and/or patriarch. However, these roles, coupled with the broader macro-environmental transformation, have contributed to two key tensions with tradition for the younger generation: respecting and deferring to their parents versus fulfilling their own aspirations fuelled by socio-economic change; and, for women in particular, achieving a greater voice in decision-making versus adhering to the culturally entrenched norms of a patriarchal society.

Suggested Citation

  • Lien, Nguyen Huong & Westberg, Kate & Stavros, Constantino & Robinson, Linda J., 2018. "Family decision-making in an emerging market: Tensions with tradition," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 479-489.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:479-489
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.09.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schill, Marie & Godefroit-Winkel, Delphine & Hogg, Margaret K., 2020. "Young children’s consumer agency: The case of French children and recycling," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 292-305.


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