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Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 11 (2004) 9–17

Refinement and re-assessment of the consumer decision-making style instrument
Vanessa Prier Wickliffe*
315B Erikson Hall, Lexington, University of Kentucky, Kentucky 40506-0050, USA

Abstract This study examined the psychometric properties of a popular instrument used to measure consumer decision-making styles. The findings of this study were compared to previous studies. An examination of psychometric properties of the instrument revealed that the instrument is not a reliable or valid measure of decision-making styles in both Korea and the United States. New constructs were identified that were in contrast with previous studies. Recommendations for future research are offered. r 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Instrument reliability; Decision-making styles

1. Introduction The development of valid and reliable instruments that measure a phenomenon cross-culturally is a difficult task in research projects (Green and White, 1976). The validation of an instrument in a cross-cultural setting has been traditionally addressed as either emic and/or etic. That is, the development of individual emic (culturally specific) measures for each culture or the creation of etic (culturally universal) measures for multiple cultures (Green and White, 1976; Van Raaij, 1978; Cavusgil and Das, 1997). Emic equivalence supports functional equivalence in individual cultures, while etic equivalence supports what Green and White (1976) call ‘formal equivalence’. Formal equivalence fosters the use of identical questions or items for all nations (Cavusgil and Das, 1997). Emic equivalence supports functional equivalence in that each instrument is developed to measure the phenomena in the manner in which it is manifested in various countries. Cavusgil and Das (1997) supports Green and White (1976) that most domestic research employs emic measures. These measures are then used in cross-cultural studies with little or no changes to the instrument. With that comes some concerns related to creating functional equivalence, instrumentation consideration, data-collection methodology, sampling design and data analysis
*Tel.: +1-859-257-7776; fax: +859-257-1275. E-mail address: vpwick0@pop.uky.edu (V.P. Wickliffe). 0969-6989/03/$ - see front matter r 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 9 6 9 - 6 9 8 9 ( 0 2 ) 0 0 0 5 7 - 7

(Adler, 1983; Sekaran, 1983; Cheng, 1989; Nasif et al, 1991; Samiee and Jeong, 1994; Parameswaran and Yaprak, 1987; Cavusgil and Das, 1997). These concerns, therefore, questions the usefulness and generalizability of findings. Mullen (1995) questions whether similarities and differences in cross-cultural studies are in fact real. Adler et al. (1989) suggest that researchers should examine whether the findings really are due to true cultural differences. The researchers further question whether findings may be prone to measurement and scaling problem. An example of an instrument used by many to examine and compare consumer shopping characteristics is that of the Consumer Styles Inventory (Durvasula et al., 1993; Fan and Xiao, 1998; Hafstrom et al., 1992; Lysonski et al., 1996). Sproles and Kendall (1986) initially developed the scale in an attempt to characterize consumer decision-making styles in the United States. Others have also used the Consumer Styles Inventory as a measure for segmenting consumers for the purpose of identifying consumer niches and to compare their findings to that of other researchers (Durvasula et al., 1993; Fan and Xiao, 1998; Hafstrom et al., 1992; Lysonski et al., 1996).

2. Research objectives Researchers believe that activities may have different functions in different cultures, and therefore cannot be

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used for comparative purposes (Davis et al., 1981; Parameswaran and Yaprak, 1987). Other research indicates that socio-cultural behavior patterns and sample induced differentials may effect comparative market studies (Parameswaran and Yaprak, 1987; Sekaran, 1983; Sekaran and Martin, 1982; Douglas and Craig, 1983). The literature indicates that cross-cultural research should follow a methodology that facilitates the production of reliable information (Churchill, 1979; Peter, 1979; Cavusgil and Das, 1997; Davis et al., 1981; Parameswaran and Yaprak, 1987). Churchill (1979) offers a framework for the development of instruments that have desirable reliability and validity properties. Both Churchill (1979) and Peters (1979) suggest that good reliability and validity of an instrument is important to the generalizability of findings. Peters (1979) suggests that reliability of constructs must be assessed before generalizability of findings can be determined, and suggest the use of statistical techniques such as factor analysis and coefficient alphas to purify an instrument. The reliability of findings in both cultures suggest that researchers could generalize that a particular phenomena exist in both cultures. Variations could suggest that perhaps the phenomena are assessed and/or exist differently in each culture. The problem with previous research using the Consumer Style Instrument is that it is emic in nature. That is, the instrument was designed for domestic use, but has been used in other cultural settings, and also all of the research uses the same sample units. This study attempts to evaluate previous research, and conduct research using varying samples to determine if it is feasible to use an emic style of research or an etic style of research when examining consumer decision-making styles cross-culturally. If the instrument is found to be reliable and valid measure of the concepts in both countries, then we can assume that perhaps an etic style of instrument can be used to measure decision-making styles in these countries. However, if variations in the

decision-making styles are found to exist, then perhaps an emic style instrument would be more feasible, and the researchers would have to identify statistical techniques that could compare the differences. Therefore, the objectives of this study are (1) to examine the findings of previous studies using the Consumer Styles Inventory, (2) re-examined the psychometric properties of the instrument using different samples, (3) provide a comparative discussion of findings of this study to that of previous studies, (4) offer recommendations for future research and CSI use.

3. Consumer decision-making styles instrument Previous studies agree that a consumer decisionmaking style is ‘‘a mental orientation characterizing a consumer’s approach to choices’’ (Sproles and Kendall 1986, p. 268). Many studies have used the scale to identify the decision-making styles of consumers in foreign markets (Durvasula et al., 1993; Fan and Xiao, 1998; Hafstrom et al., 1992; Lysonski et al., 1996) (see Table 1). Variations in these studies related to number of reliable factors item loadings and the decision-making styles of the groups sampled. The studies used principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation to identify the factors. A second statistical analysis used was that of Cronbach alpha coefficients to determine if the instrument was a reliable measure of constructs. The last analysis is a comparative of the actual identified decision-making style dimensions. Sproles and Kendall (1986) used factor analysis with varimax rotation, to identify the consumer decisionmaking styles of high school students, and Cronbach alpha to assess the instrument’s sub-scale reliabilities. The researchers used 0.40 as the cut-off for inclusion of a factor as a reliable measure of a construct. The Cronbach alphas for subscale items loading above 0.40 indicated that only the Perfectionistic, Brand Conscious, Novelty-Fashion, Recreational Shopping, Confused by

Table 1 Reliability assessments (Cronbach alphas) Variable Sproles and Kendall (1986) US Hafstrom et al. (1992) Korean Durvasula et al. (1993) US Perfectionist Brand Conscious Novelty-Fashion Recreational Price-Value Impulsive Confused by Overchoice Habitual, Brand Loyal Time-Energy 0.74 0.75 0.74 0.76 0.48 0.48 0.55 0.53 0.69 0.63 0.76 0.71 0.48 0.41 0.51 0.54 0.77 (7) 0.80 (11) 0.70 0.30 0.50 0.50 0.30 0.40 0.74 0.75 0.74 0.76 0.48 0.48 0.55 0.53 New Zealand 0.75 0.59 0.70 0.82 0.50 0.71 0.66 0.58 Lysonski et al. (1996) New Zealand Greek US 0.8 0.59 0.75 0.82 0.71 0.66 0.54 0.65 0.68 0.63 0.61 0.64 0.55 0.34 0.72 0.63 0.75 0.85 Fan and Xiao (1998) Indian Chinese 0.61 0.71 0.72 0.45 0.59 0.60 0.59

(3) (4) (5) (3) (3)

0.68 0.41 0.69 0.64 0.62 0.51 0.62

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Overchoice, and Habitual, Brand Loyal factors were considered to be reliable construct (see Table 1). The Price-Value Conscious, and the Impulsive sub-scales had reliability scores of 0.48. When the researchers reexamined the scales, using only the top three items, the results were the same. The Price-Value Conscious, and the Impulsive sub-scales were still at 0.48. The reliabilities of these two factors are marginal in that they are lower than the acceptable Cronbach alphas of 0.70, and 0.50 for exploratory studies (Hair et al., 1995). The researcher attributes this to the young age of the participants and the psychological nature of impulsiveness (Sproles and Kendall, 1986). Hafstrom et al. (1992) compared the decision-making styles of young Korean and American students. Hafstrom et al. (1992) confirmed all but one of the eight original constructs, which was identified as ‘‘Novelty-Fashion’’. The eight factors identified by Hafstrom et al. (1992) included Brand Conscious, Perfectionistic, Recreational shopping, Confused by Overchoice, Impulsive, Time-Energy, Habitual-Brand Loyal, and Price-Value Conscious. The researcher found that most Korean student sample were Brand Conscious Perfectionistic and Recreational Shopping consumers while the American student sample were Perfectionistic Brand Conscious and Novelty-Fashion Conscious consumers. A closer look at the reliabilities of the study indicates that the Time-Energy (0.35) Habitual-Brand Loyal (0.34) and Price-Value Conscious (0.31) were not reliable measures of the constructs. The newly identified Time-energy construct contains items from the Brand Conscious and Habitual Brand-Loyal decision-making styles found in US consumers. Korean consumers characterized as Time-Energy decision-makers tend to conserve energy by shopping the same stores and consult magazines and advertisements before they actually buy a product. Durvasula et al. (1993) examined the dimensionality of the scale and found that the factor loadings of the New Zealand sample were not entirely equivalent to the US sample (see Table 1). The eight factor model explained 56% of the variance for the New Zealand sample and 46% of the variance for the US sample. The factor analysis with varimax rotation revealed eight factors for both samples however the Cronbach alphas revealed that the Perfectionistic Novelty-Fashion Conscious and Recreational Shopping Conscious factors were found to be the most stable of all. Based on the Cronbach alphas the researchers found that the factors entitled Price-Value Conscious, Confused by Overchoice, and Habitual, Brand-Loyal require further refinement (Durvasula et al., 1993). The Brand Conscious factor showed lower reliability for the New Zealand sample than the American sample which may indicate underlying factors are influencing the outcome.

Lysonski et al. (1996) surveyed college students in two developed and two developing countries to determine if consumer decision-making styles are universal. The researchers found that the instrument was more applicable to the United States and New Zealand (developed countries) than to India and Greece (developing countries) (Lysonski et al., 1996). Internal consistency of each decision-making factor (Cronbach alphas) estimates were also calculated. Seventy-one percent of the New Zealand, Greek and Indian samples had alpha coefficients exceeding 0.60. All of the factors in the US sample had factor loadings of 0.60 (see Table 1). Fan and Xiao (1998) compared the number of factors identified, item loadings, and the profiles for Chinese consumers in their study with that of previous studies (see Table 1). Their research suggest that there were possible overlappings of the original constructs, and recommended some new ones. Fan and Xiao (1998) suggest that ‘‘Impulsive’’ overlaps with the ‘‘Habitual, Brand Loyal’’ construct, and the ‘‘Time Energy Conserving’’ construct overlaps with the ‘‘Recreational Shopping Consciousness’’ dimension. The researchers also recommended that the new dimension ‘‘information utilization’’ include the ‘‘confused by overchoice’’ construct. This factor describes how consumers use product information. Those that score low on this scale take advantage of product information, and those that score high seem to be overwhelmed by the abundance of information. Table 1 compares the scale reliabilities, and identified factors developed in each study. In summary, comparative of all of the previous studies indicate that the initial eight factors are not consistent in other cultures. Specifically, the Novelty-Fashion, Price-Value, and Time-Energy factors are not identified in some studies. Moreover, some of the constructs have higher reliability in some cultures, and lower reliabilities in others. Additionally, some studies identified new or overlapping constructs such as the informational utilization and Time Conscious constructs identified by Fan and Xiao (1998).

4. Methodology 4.1. Sample characteristics Samples of students and factory workers living in Korea, and American college students and factory workers were used for this study. Sixty percent of the American samples were female, with 71% being single, and over 40% having had some college education. The mean age of the American sample was approximately 30, with a mean income of approximately $25,000. Sixty-five percent of the Korean sample was female and married, with approximately 71% having had a

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12 V.P. Wickliffe / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 11 (2004) 9–17 Table 2 Demographic characteristics of American and Korean samples Variable Marital status Single Married Gender Male Female Income Less than $5,000 $5,000 –$9,999 $10,000–$24,999 $25,000 –$49,999 $50,000 –$74,999 $75,000–$99,999 $100,000–$149,999 Education High school degree College degree (2 years) University degree Master’s degree Mean age Mean income
a

American 70.6 29.4

Korean 64.5 34.1

questionnaires were returned, yielding a response rate of 80%. Seventy-four questionnaires were distributed to the Korean factory workers, and all of them were returned. A total of 300 questionnaires were distributed to Korean students in the United States, and 100 in Korea. Eighty-two useable questionnaires were returned, yielding a 21% response rate.

40.5 59.5

38.4 65.0

5. Data analysis
30.2 19.8 12.7 11.1 10.3 6.3 2.4 5.1 2.2 13.8 24.6 23.2 15.2 7.2

11.2 40.2 11.2 2.4 30 $25,427

10.1 2.2 52.6 22.5 33 $59,085a

Computed at 850 Won per dollar.

university degree. The mean age of the Korean sample was approximately 31 years, with a mean income of approximately $59,085. The Korean income was converted at 850 won per US dollar, the prevailing exchange rate at the time of data collection (Table 2). 4.2. Instrument The 40 item Consumer Styles Inventory scale was developed by Sproles and Kendall (1986) to identify consumer decision-making styles. The instrument used in this study was revised by Hafstrom et al. (1992). Using a five point Likert scale, respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement with the items (1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree). The questionnaire was double-blind translated into the Korean language for distribution in Korea. The instrument reliability was established in Sproles and Kendall (1986). Scale reliability was also established by other researchers (Fan and Xiao, 1998; Lysonski et al., 1996; Durvasula et al., 1993; Hafstrom et al., 1992) (see Table 1 for comparative). A total of 175 questionnaires were distributed to the American factory workers during their monthly meeting. A total of 46 useable questionnaires were returned, yielding a response rate of 22.3%. One hundred questionnaires were distributed to the American students at the end of their class period. Eighty useable

Functional equivalence in this study examines whether consumer behavior concepts related to this phenomenon have the same meaning in the two countries. Functional equivalence, in this case, is measured by determining if the decision-making styles existent in the United States are the same in Korea. Specifically, whether consumers in Korea have a particular type of decision-making style when approaching the market to purchase a product, and if those decision-making styles are similar to those identified in the United States. Previous studies used principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation to identify the consumer decision-making styles. The first part of the analysis for this study was therefore, an exploratory principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation. Measurement equivalence refers to whether an instrument can be a reliable and valid measure of constructs cross-culturally. Instrument equivalence in this case examines whether the pre-established scale is internally consistent when attempting to identify the decision-making styles of consumers. This study used samples of Korean and American students and factory workers. The analysis used for this part of the study was Cronbach alpha coefficients.

6. Results 6.1. Exploratory factor analysis The decision-making styles identified in this study are not consistent with those identified in previous studies. Table 3 and 4 reports the findings of the exploratory factor analysis using principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation for the American and Korean samples. Variation in the number of reliable constructs (decision-making styles) also is noted when compared to previous studies. Secondly, based on the factor analysis (factor loadings), the findings only incorporate the use of 17 of the original items for the American sample, and only 20 items for the Korean sample as compared to previous studies. Compared to previous studies, variations in the reliability (Cronbach Alphas) for the

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V.P. Wickliffe / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 11 (2004) 9–17 Table 3 Consumer decision making scale (factor loading and Cronbach alpha scores) American Sample Factor loading Factor # 1 Brand Conscious I usually buy the newest style. The higher the price of a product, the better its quality. I keep my wardrobe up-to-date with the changing fashions. Nice department and specialty stores offer me the best products. I usually buy well-known, national, or designer brands. Highly advertised brands are usually very good. The well-known national brands are usually very good. Alpha Factor # 2 Perfectionist, High-Quality Conscious My standards and expectations for products I buy are very high. When it comes to purchasing products, I try to get the very best or perfect choice. I make special effort to choose the very best quality products. I look carefully to find the very best value for the money. Alpha Factor # 3 Confused Impulsive Consumer Often I make careless purchases I wish I had not. I am impulsive when shopping. There are so many brands to choose from that often I feel confused. I should plan my shopping more carefully than I do. All the information I get on different products confuses me. Sometimes its hard to choose which stores to shop. Alpha 0.690 0.681 0.642 0.659 0.652 0.626 0.513 0.842 Factor # 1 Brand/Quality Consumer I usually buy the newest styles. I keep my wardrobe up-to-date with the latest fashions. I usually buy well-known, national, or designer brands. Nice department and specialty stores offer me the best products The more expensive brands are usually my choice. Highly advertised brands are usually very good. I enjoy shopping just for the fun of it. The well-known national brands are usually very good. Expensive brands are usually the best. When it comes to purchasing products, I try to get the very best or perfect choice. Its fun to buy something new and exciting. I make special efforts to choose the very best quality products. Alpha Factor # 2 Confused Impulsive Often I make careless purchases I wish I had not. I am impulsive when purchasing. All the information I get on different products confuses me. There are so many brands to choose from that often I feel confused. I should plan my shopping more carefully than I do. Alpha Factor # 3 Price-Value Conscious I usually compare three brands before shopping. The lower price products are usually my choice. I consider price first. Alpha 13 Table 4 Consumer decision making scale (factor loading and Cronbach Alpha scores) Korean sample Factor loading 0.702 0.691 0.661 0.646 0.644 0.612 0.565 0.584 0.564 0.562 0.536 0.383

0.800 0.734 0.698 0.637

0.839

0.659

0.675 0.637 0.612 0.604 0.569 0.622

0.758 0.682 0.663 0.660 0.629 0.609 0.718

0.585 0.555 0.551 0.563

constructs also exist for each of the factors for both samples. 6.2. The American sample Principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation revealed three major decision-making styles that describes the American sample in this study. They included Brand Conscious, Perfectionist, High Quality, and Confused Impulsive. Variations exist in all three relative to item loadings, scale development, and reliabilities (cronbach alpha computations). Factor one, entitled Brand Conscious, contained four of the items established in Hafstrom et al. (1992), and only three from the original Sproles and Kendall (1986) construct for Brand Conscious. These items dealt with the importance of nice department stores, national brands and price as indicators of quality. The other items in this factor reflected the consumers concern for highly advertised, well-known, national, designer brands, keeping their wardrobe up-to-date, and buying items that were the nicest of styles. The overall alpha for this factor was 0.842. Factor two, entitled Perfectionists, High-Quality Conscious, contained four of the original items from Sproles and Kendall (1986), and Hafstrom et al. (1992). All of the items deal with the importance of quality when selecting a product. Price was equated with quality among these consumers. The alpha coefficient for this factor was 0.659. Factor three, entitled Confused Impulsive Consumers, was identified as a new factor among this sample group. The items in this factor suggest that these consumers

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tend to get confused by too much information on products and brands, and may therefore impulsively shop. Purchases made may be regretful. These consumers also find it hard to choose which stores to shop. The reliability for this factor was 0.718. 6.3. Sub-group analysis Previous studies used samples of high school and college students as samples. This study used a combination of students and factory workers, and therefore offered a wider range in age. In order to compare findings, the samples were also separated and tested. The factor analysis identified three similar factors for the two sub-groups of the overall sample (factory workers and students). The Brand Conscious construct was found to be comparably reliable for both the student and factory worker samples. Cronbach alphas were 0.842 for the student sample, and 0.826 for the factory worker sample. The second factor, Perfectionist, High Quality was identified for both groups. However, the construct was found to be more reliable for the factory worker sample (a ¼ 0:802), than for the student sample (a ¼ 0:655). The third factor, Confused Impulsive, was somewhat more reliable for the student sample (a ¼ 0:748) than for the factory workers (a ¼ 0:601). The Confused Impulsive factor is somewhat similar to Fan and Xiao (1998), in that it examined the use of information by consumers. However, the new factor suggests that these consumers become impulsive when too much information is given. Because of the range in age of the sample, a test to determine if there was a relationship between age and Confused Impulsive factor was conducted. Pearson correlation indicated that as a consumer increased in age, their level of confusion and impulsive buying decreased. The study also showed that more participants under the age of 30 were characterized as Confused Impulsive than those over the age of 30. 6.4. Korean sample Factor one, entitled Brand/Quality Conscious is a combination of items from the Sproles and Kendall (1986) and Hafstrom et al. (1992) Brand Conscious and Perfectionist constructs. Three of the items were from the Perfectionist construct, and six were from the Brand Conscious construct. These items reflect consumers who are concerned about the newest styles, keeping their wardrobes up-to-date, and shopping at nice stores. These consumers are characterized as placing importance on choosing expensive brands because they consider them to be of good quality, and they put forth a special effort in purchasing these products. The alpha coefficient for this factor was 0.839, which suggest that this construct could be a reliable measure for brand quality conscious consumers in Korea.

The second factor, entitled Confused Impulsive is a combination of Sproles and Kendall’s (1986), and Hafstrom et al. (1992) Confused by Overchoice and Impulsive, Careless constructs. These consumers would be characterized as impulsive shoppers who make purchases they wish they had not, and also become confused when too much information and too many brands are available at one time. The range of factor loadings were 0.569 to 0.675. Based on the overall alpha of 0.622, this construct could be somewhat reliable when examining Korean consumers. Factor three, entitled Price-Value Conscious consists of one item from the Perfectionist, Price-Value, and Confused by Overchoice constructs developed by Sproles and Kendall (1986), and revised by Hafstrom et al. (1992). These consumers consider more than one brand while shopping, and are very price conscious. The alpha coefficient was 0.563. 6.5. Sub-group analysis The previously identified factors were examined using the combination of factory workers & students. The Brand, Quality Conscious consumer factor was found to be somewhat more reliable for the student sample (a ¼ 0:850) than for the factory worker sample (a ¼ 0:760). The reliability of the Confused Impulsive factor was somewhat more reliable for the factory worker sample (a ¼ 0:770) than for the student sample (a ¼ 0:694). The Pearson Product Moments correlation did not indicate that there was a significant correlation between age and the confusion and impulsive buying brought on by information flow. The final factor identified for the Korean sample is that of the Price-Value construct. The separation of the sample groups did not produce significant reliability in the construct for each group. The cronbach alphas for factory workers and the students were 0.203 and 0.229 respectively.

7. Discussion Marketers and retailers are concerned with whether results from cross-cultural research can be used to develop strategic plans for the establishment of businesses in foreign countries. Researchers indicate that the usability of research findings, may stem from methodological issues (Adler, 1983; Sekaran, 1983; Cheng, 1989; Nasif et al., 1991; Samiee and Jeong, 1994; Parameswaran and Yaprak, 1987; Cavusgil and Das, 1997). Because of these problems, researchers suggest that a specific methodology that facilitates the production of reliable information be used (Churchill, 1979; Davis et al., 1981; Peters, 1979; Parameswaran and Yaprak, 1987). Most researchers develop instruments that

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measure concepts domestically, and then use the same instrument to measure phenomena in other countries. This study sought to determine if using an emic/etic style of measuring decision-making styles should be used. The emic style of instrument development is supportive of developing instruments that are culturally specific. The etic style is supportive of universal measures that are culture free. First, this study sought to determine if the decision-making styles previously established were functionally equivalent. The second factor was measurement equivalence, which was used to determine if the instrument previously tested could be used to measure the decision-making styles of both Korea and American consumers. If the decision-making styles exist comparably in both countries, then perhaps an etic style of instrument development could be used to measure the concepts. However, if they do not, then an emic style would seem more feasible. All of the studies basically compared the number of factors identified, item loadings, and the profiles of consumer samples used, and then compared their findings to others. Churchill (1979) and Peters (1979) suggest that reliability and validity of an instrument could be measured using factor analysis and alpha coefficients. Principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation was used to examine the functional equivalence of the consumer characteristics crossculturally. First, the decision-making styles identified in this study do not completely support previous established constructs. The initial study by Sproles and Kendall (1986) identified eight decision-making styles. This study only identified three constructs for the American sample, and three for the Korean sample, but with varying constructs and items from the original constructs. The functional equivalence of the Brand Conscious Consumer decision-making style is somewhat supported. The construct is identified in both countries but with some variations. A comparative of the Brand Conscious and the Perfectionistic factors show that some crossing over of items exist, depending on the samples used. The original Brand Conscious factor identified by Sproles and Kendall (1986) characterizes consumers in this group as those that search and buy the most expensive, well-known national brands. They were also characterized as placing importance on nice stores, where brand names and higher priced items are found. The Brand Conscious consumers (American sample) identified in this study seemed to be characterized as such, except they indicated that higher prices suggest better quality. The American sample was also found to concerned with being fashionable, ‘‘I keep my wardrobe up-to-date with the latest fashions’’, and ‘‘I usually buy the newest styles’’. The Korean sample was found to enjoy shopping, and buying something new and exciting. They also prefer the most expensive brands

and attempt to make the very best choice when shopping. Another similar consumer decision-making style identified between the two groups was the Confused, Impulsive construct. It describes consumers who may become confused by information overload, and may further impulsively make purchases they may regret. This decision-making style is not consistent with any of the original (Sproles and Kendall, 1986) or revised (Hafstrom et al., 1992) decision-making styles. It is a combination of the Impulsive and Confused by Overchoice constructs. This factor is similar to Fan and Xiao (1998) factor identified as Information Utilization. These researchers suggest that consumers that score high on this scale may not know what to do with information given to them, and are overwhelmed by too many choices of products and stores available to them. Fan and Xiao (1998) also suggest that consumers that score low on this scale can take advantage of the available information and make better choices. The two items that did not load in their factor were, ‘‘I am impulsive when shopping’’, and ‘‘I should plan my shopping more carefully than I do’’. ‘‘Sometimes it is hard to choose which stores to shop’’, loaded on the Confused Impulsive factor for the American sample. The Korean sample was also characterized as being Price-Value conscious. This construct has been established in previous studies for other sample types, but with variations in the items loading in this factor. The original construct identified by Sproles and Kendall (1986) indicated that consumers in this category look for lower prices, and consider the best value for their money. In this study, only one item from the original factor loaded on this construct. The others included, ‘‘I consider price first’’, and ‘‘I usually compare three brands before shopping’’. These items still did not produce a reliability significant enough to be considered as a viable measure of the consumer characterization in Korea, and was not identified as an American decisionmaking style. The items suggest that Korean consumers usually compare brands before shopping, and consider lower price products as their choice. This is in contrast to the literature which indicates that Korean consumer’s equate price with quality, in that the higher the price the better the quality/prestige. When compared to previous studies, item variations existed with varying samples. Again, item loadings varied by samples used. Measurement equivalence was used in this study to examine the reliability of the constructs cross-culturally. Hair et al. (1995) suggests that an alpha of 0.70 is a sufficient alpha for determining reliability. The researcher also suggests that lower alphas may be used in exploratory studies. With reference to the Brand constructs, both samples had alpha coefficients above 0.80, suggesting that the items in the constructs could be

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reliable measures for brand conscious consumers in both cultures. In previous studies, the Brand Conscious, Perfectionistic, Novelty-Fashion, and Recreational Conscious constructs averaged 0.68 to 0.73 in cronbach alpha co-efficient. In this study, only the Brand Conscious and the Perfectionist constructs were identified as being similar to previous findings, and having significant reliabilities as measures. The Price Conscious construct previously established using student samples has not in the past produced significant reliabilities across various cultures. Previous studies produced reliability co-efficients ranging from 0.48 to 0.59. Although the items were not all the same, the Price-Value factor identified for the Korean consumers was still not found to be a reliable measure. Cronbach alphas for the overall sample were 0.421, and for the student and factory worker samples was 0.229 and 0.203 respectfully. The items were examined using the student and factory workers samples separately. The reliability for this factor was still not significant for either of the Korean samples. This suggests that perhaps the items need further review as a measure of the PriceValue construct cross-culturally. Although the construct was identified for the Korean consumers, it was not a main characterization of the American consumer sample. The newly identified construct, entitled, Confused, Impulsive had an alpha of 0.718 for the American consumer group and 0.622 for the Korean consumer group. Although this factor was found to be a reliable measure for the samples used, it was not identified in previous studies. Separating the samples of students and factory workers still produced significant reliabilities for both groups within the American and Korean samples. However, the construct seems to be more reliable for the American students, and the Korean factory workers.

psychographic factors). Splitting the sample groups showed that some variations do exist in the reliability of the constructs for the groups (older/younger). This indicates that, perhaps other factors should be considered as being influential to the development of decision-making styles within and across cultures. Future research should test other samples to determine if the decision-making styles exist intra-culturally and inter-culturally. This leads to the consideration of the type of instrument that should be developed to measure decision-making styles. Previous researchers make a supportive case for the use of emic and/or etic style instrument development for cross-cultural research (Green and White, 1976; Van Raaij, 1978; Cavusgil and Das, 1997). The results of this study implies that perhaps an emic (culturally specific) instrument should be established that would capture the actual decision-making styles of each culture. Future research should therefore focus on determining whether cultural differences exist, how these differences influence consumer decision-making, and then develop instruments that accurately measure consumer behavior issues.

References
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8. Conclusions Both Churchill (1979) and Peters (1979) suggest that good reliability and validity of an instrument is important to the generalizability of findings. This study found that the Consumer Styles Inventory as previously established is not a reliable and valid measure of consumer decision-making styles in the United States or Korea. The reliability of findings in both cultures suggest that researchers cannot generalize that a particular phenomena exist in both cultures. Variations could suggest that perhaps the decision-making styles are characterized differently in each culture. Variations were found as to the formulation of the decision-making styles, items loading, and reliabilities of the constructs. In making these comparisons, we find that samples used were comparable to the original study, but none seem to venture to test other samples (e.g. age groups, incomes,

ARTICLE IN PRESS
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