Cross-cultural and cross-national consumer research: psychology, behavior, and beyond

Globalization leads to a need to understand consumer behavior across national boundaries. The call for this special issue noted: “Consumers from different countries and cultures may be similar on some dimensions but differ on others. This provides researchers with the opportunity to explore how changes in multiple aspects of the cultural and national context can influence consumer theory.” This special issue is particularly relevant given the blurring of geographic cultural boundaries and the reshaping of society though global flows relating to mediascapes, ethnoscapes, ideoscapes, technoscapes, and finanscapes (Appadurai, 1990). The blurring of boundaries and the associated emergence of a ‘global consumer culture’ (Cleveland and Laroche, 2007; Zhou et al., 2008) allows companies to standardize their branding and communication strategies. Nevertheless, meaningful cultural differences can still be found in consumer psychology and behavior across countries (e.g., Walsh et al., 2014).