Elucidation of the mechanism behind the influences of uncertainty avoidance on customer attitudes towards Japanese products and services

Björn Frank, Boris Herbas Torrico, Takao Enkawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Sparked by accelerating globalization, many studies have examined the influences of Hofstede's cultural scores on consumer attitudes. Past research suggested that high uncertainty avoidance, a characteristic of Japanese culture, leads to strict customer evaluations and low customer satisfaction. While researchers found clear evidence of this effect for uncertainty avoidance as a facet of country culture, they found mixed evidence for uncertainty avoidance as a personal cultural trait. Based on consumer data from ten industries in Japan, this article thus explores the mechanism linking personal uncertainty avoidance to customer satisfaction and its antecedents (perceived quality, perceived value and firm image). The results suggest that personal uncertainty avoidance does not influence customer satisfaction directly but indirectly through its antecedents. Moreover, this mechanism is much stronger for products than for services. These and other findings provide new insights about the effectiveness of personal cultural orientations as variables for market segmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Japan Industrial Management Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep 27



  • Culture
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Perceived quality
  • Uncertainty avoidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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