The influence of patriotism on software product choice

The influence of patriotism on software product choice

Ook Lee

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the patriotism factor in consumer behavior toward software product choice. Unlike other industries such as automobiles, software industry never had to resort to patriotism in their marketing effort since there was no serious competition against globally dominant US firms such as Microsoft. Thus the patriotism factor is not obvious in US consumer behavior. However outside US the patriotism factor could be salient and play a role in consumer behavior. This paper presents a survey with Korean consumers regarding their attitude toward software product choice. Regression analysis shows that patriotism is a statistically significant factor in selecting software products among Korean consumers. This finding implies that software multinational companies should pay attention to patriotism of local population in marketing software products globally.

1. INTRODUCTION

Patriotism has been deemed to be a significant factor in consumer behavior for a long time. Especially during the declining years of 70s and 80s of US automobile industry due to strong Japanese expansion into the US auto market, public sentiment toward foreign products was negative and US automobile company like Chrysler tried to tap into patriotism of American consumers by showing advertisements emphasizing the fact that its products were made-in-America. Chrysler chose this marketing strategy appealing to the patriotism of American consumers based on independent market research clinics’ finding that American consumers responded most strongly to ideas centered on patriotism (Givens, 1981). Thus patriotism in the US of early 80s was an important concept that many marketers incorporate in their advertisements and promotions. For example, American Express and US Tobacco pledged donations to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Restoration Fund as a part of PR campaign. General Motors also conducted a similar PR campaign by sponsoring the 3-part George Washington mini-series on TV (Urbanski, 1984). Market research conducted in these days provided motivation for companies to pay attention to patriotism as a significant factor in consumer behavior (Hall, 1985). Especially stressing American ingenuity and American scientific capability in products was believed to create an advantage that could help insulate American-made products from foreign competition (Govoni, 1985). In addition this was not an isolated phenomenon only happened in US. British car maker, British Leyland, also resorted to advertisements stressing patriotism and the “Britishness” of its cars (Spandler, 1981). Even though the marketing campaign appealing to patriotism in the US disappeared since late 80s due to the economic prosperity, the plain truth about the role of patriotism in consumer behavior still stands in many different products as well as countries. Thus I posit that patriotism should be a significant factor in software product category especially outside US and present empirical evidence found from a survey with Korean consumers.

2. THE CONCEPT OF PATRIOTISM

Patriotism can be simply defined as positive emotional attachment to one’s own country and is wholly apart from discrimination against others (Blank & Schmidt, 1993; Doob, 1964). Patriotism is a formal construct that plays a significant role in many political activities of human beings. Political scientists came up with the formal instrument to measure the degree of patriotism of a particular nation. Patriotism is translated into combination of national pride and nationalistic sentiment that can be measured by the following items: its political achievements, its economic achievements, its scientific achievements, its history, etc. The finding using these measures shows that USA has 30.7 whereas Bulgaria has 26.1 as the mean level of patriotism of a nation (Dowley & Silver, 2000). In this survey with Koreans, I use some of measure items used in previous studies done by political scientists to obtain the value of patriotism construct.

However whether patriotism influences economic activities of people should need further investigation. Thanks to research done by economic psychologists, I found some evidences supporting the role of patriotism in economic activities. Economic psychologists found that one’s pride affects one’s decision to engage in certain economic activity. For example, some British unemployed workers showed reluctance to collect social security benefits due to pride (Lea & Webley, 1997). One’s pride includes national pride, i.e., patriotism that should be able to influence economic activities such as buying automobiles or software. There are empirical studies on national pride in which consumers take up certain attitude corresponding to the level of national pride or patriotism. The study on single European currency shows that people of higher national pride tend to be more against single European currency. For example, UK subjects showed higher degree of national patriotism with the mean of 3.80 compared to countries such as Austria, France, Germany and Luxembourg with the mean of 0.099. However in terms of their attitudes toward the euro, UK subjects showed much negative attitude with the mean of-0.205 whereas subjects from Austria, France, Germany and Luxembourg showed very positive attitude with the mean of 0.202 (Muller-Paters, 1998). This finding supports the proposition that patriotism should play a role in one’s economic or consumer behavior.

3. KOREAN SOFTWARE MARKET

3.1 BACKGROUND

As in most other countries in the world, US multinational companies such as Microsoft dominate South Korean software market. However there are pockets of application areas where domestic software makers control or controlled more market shares than foreign companies. Those areas include word processor software, PC communication software, and computer game software among others. The word processor software market is the largest one and a domestic company used to control almost all of it. However after Microsoft made a strong effort in expanding its own word processor software’s market share and also due to the financial problem with the Korean company, Microsoft was on the verge of taking over the entire Korean word processor market as it did in most of other countries. This didn’t happen because of Microsoft’s insensitivity toward patriotism as a factor in consumer behavior, i.e., by offering to buy out the domestic maker in return for stopping the production of its word processor software, Microsoft created a public relation disaster, which resulted in public denunciation of Microsoft that had to abandon a plan to dominate the Korean word processor market.

3.2 MULTINATIONALS VS. LOCALS

The management of multinational corporations requires extra effort in dealing with local environment (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 2000). Since a lot of multinational corporations are based in the advanced countries, people in developing countries often have negative perception on their business practices (Rondinelli & Berre, 2000). For a multinational corporation, social knowledge about the host country may be a valuable source of information to be used in operating a subsidiary in the host country. Social knowledge is defined as the ability to understand and predict the general behavioral patterns of others. It was found that multinational corporations with the lack of social knowledge on local environment could make an inappropriate decision that might be unacceptable by local people (Sohn, 1994). Microsoft which started out as an American domestic company has become a truly multinational corporation dominating advanced countries as well as developing regions (Bickers, 2000). However probably due to the rapid expansion into the developing markets of the world, Microsoft appeared to lack the social knowledge that was required for the adequate operation in the specific region. In other words, Microsoft concentrated on expanding and capturing the market share of developing country markets probably without much concern on acquiring social knowledge about the host country (Schlender, 1997). Without adequate social knowledge, the multinational corporation could conduct seemingly normal business activity by the Western standard that should be completely objectionable by local people.

In case of the existence of strong local competitors, local people will have multiple choices in product selection. While many mundane products do not incur emotional responses from local people, certain products are considered to be symbols of national pride. Usually these kinds of products are advanced technological products like automobiles, spacecrafts, computers, etc. Thus when a developing country happens to have a competitive local software product, the software product becomes a source of national pride and subsequently, any attempt to squash the product by West-based multinational corporations must invoke passionate reaction amongst local consumers. In South Korea Microsoft made a mistake of overlooking the sentiment of Korean people toward its action against a local software maker that occupied about half of the word processing software market of Korea. According to Kirk (1998), the incident involved two software makers that were Microsoft (MS) and Hangul & Computer (HNC). MS offered

US$20 million to HNC in exchange of not producing HNC’s AREA Hangul word processor anymore. Meanwhile a patriotic group of Korean investors whose utmost priority was said to keep AREA Hangul software alive offered US$10 million to HNC and asked for removal of HNC’s top management. HNC top management accepted the offer from Korean investors and renounced the previous deal with MS. It turned out that HNC’s top management could not resist the public pressure to preserve the AREA Hangul software (Sims, 1999). A similar example could be found in the case of Rolls-Royce; the British wanted to keep the British icon in the hands of the British company and subsequently, there was a group of investors who did try to make an unsuccessful bid on the ownership of the car manufacturer (Heller, 1998; Stewart, 1998). Unlike Rolls-Royce case, the Korean case was not just a group of investors but the entire public was mobilized to keep the indigenous icon of national pride from being eliminated by a powerful outsider. Unlike the British who had seen the glory days, Korean people were acutely aware of their history as the long-suffering victim of invasion and dominance by foreigners. They would have a negative perception of the products from a foreign company that seemed to destroy the indigenous product. Never before in the world, there was a mass movement to save a software product.

3.3. THE RISE AND FALL OF INDIGENOUS SOFTWARE COMPANY

HNC used to be worshiped by young programmers and venture businessmen for being simply very profitable since it almost monopolized the Korean word processor market for personal computers. HNC’s dramatic rise was largely due to government action. South Korea moved quickly to change the legal system to accommodate the demand of US government which was in fact representing corporate interest of software industry such as Microsoft. South Korea implemented a copyright law on software products during late 80’s thanks to the pressure from US trade representatives; but US trade representatives did not believe in just establishing laws, i.e., they believed that the law must be enforced. The government of South Korea has been long dominated by military officers who ruled the country for more than a quarter century had no real democratic support from people; fundamentally the regime was oppressive and only interested in its own survival even at the expense of its own people. This type of government frequently appeared in Latin American countries which were heavily subsidized by the US. South Korea was no exception. In other words, the support from US government was so essential in maintaining the grip on the power that it was in a position to follow whatever order US might give. In general, the oppressive military regimes of Asia and Latin America were able to hold onto power only through the support of US since the resistance by the people against these regimes always posed a significant threat. Thus when US made a pressure on South Korean government to implement the copyright law on software, South Korean government acted quickly and defended the action by insisting that the purpose was ostensibly to nurture the growth of local software industry. But the law was rarely enforced in the beginning since the police and prosecutors were not educated about this aspect of law and did not bother to enforce it. This fact was something that US government noticed and put enormous pressure on South Korean government to enforce it. Reluctantly just to show that South Korean government was serious about enforcing the copyright law on software product, it ordered a very spectacular arrest of many people who were involved in illegal copying of software products, which then somehow satisfied the US government and the transnational software company like Microsoft. This period of threat of instant arrest for using illegally copied version of software lasted until the end of the military regime which was replaced by a civilian government in 1992. During this period of several years, something unexpected happened as a byproduct of transnational corporate system’s forced change in the legal structure of the dependent nation. Namely, none other than indigenous Korean software company called Hangul and Computer Company was benefited enormously.

In the past this start-up company which sold a word-processing software for Korean character called AREA Hangul word processor was not able to make any notable profit since most of users just copied a version of AREA Hangul wordprocessor from friends, vendors, and just about anybody. But after the government implemented a copyright law on software and started arresting people who were using copied versions of software product just to impress the US trade representatives, amazing thing happened. It turned out that the most popular software product that was used illegally was the AREA Hangul wordprocessor of Hangul and Computer Company. Before Microsoft introduced the Korean language version of MS-word wordprocessor, this indigenous wordprocessor of Korean language was used in almost every office of companies and even government departments. What happened was the windfall of back-payment to Hangul and Computer company by those companies and government departments which were using the illegally copied version of AREA Hangul wordprocessor rather than purchasing the original version of AREA Hangul wordprocessor from Hangul and Computer company because the regime arrested a few people to show off the fact that it was actually serious about enforcing the software copyright law. Under the threat of being arrested, many institutional users had to pay back the right price for the AREA Hangul software to Hangul and Computer Company. Suddenly Hangul and Computer Company became a multi-million dollar enterprise with soaring net profit in just several years. The structural change that was demanded by the transnational corporate system gave birth to a strange byproduct which was an instant success of an indigenous company.

But thanks to this structural change, Microsoft was able to set up a subsidiary which could sell its software products without losing revenue from illegal copies. The subsidiary grew in size and revenue considerably as South Korean consumers adopted Window technology. Starting from 1992 when the civilian government was elected, the pressure from US on copyright issues became less severe and the civilian government of South Korea was not as ready to make concessions under the US pressure easily as the military government since it did have the popular support which the military government did not have. Besides, the necessary structural change for the transnational corporate system to operate well was achieved in the last regime, i.e., during the military regime. During 90s, thanks to Window technology and copyright law, Microsoft subsidiary in South Korea was able to expand and generate large revenue from selling windows operating system, and other software products that run on Microsoft windows such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. However in terms of wordprocessor market, AREA Hangul wordprocessor software was still dominant since most people who bought this product just stuck to the product and did not want to learn the Korean language version of Microsoft Word wordprocessor. In the early 90’s, the market share of Microsoft Word in wordprocessor software market in South Korea was dismal. However Microsoft gradually expanded the market share by giving it away for free. By the late 90’s, Microsoft achieved a considerable increase in the market share especially thanks to the introduction of Window’95 operating system. The reason was that AREA Hangul wordprocessor of Hangul and Computer company was originally written on MS-DOS operating system and the adjustment to Windows environment was not very successful due to lack of technological know-how. And when the Window’95 operating system came out in the market, Hangul and Computer Company had difficult time in creating a version of AREA Hangul wordprocessor that could effectively utilize features of the new Window’95 operating system, in the meantime, the Korean language version of Microsoft Word wordprocessor turned out to be much more versatile and powerful in Window’95 operating system environment. Thus the market share of wordprocessor market in South Korea started to change dramatically in favor of Microsoft. The ultimate demise of Hangul and Computer Company came in 1998 when it faced a bankruptcy due to the lack of revenue from sales of its flagship product, AREA Hangul wordprocessor. It was not because people suddenly changed from AREA Hangul to Microsoft Word, but because People no longer paid money to get a version of AREA Hangul software. In other words, the new civilian government did not have to go through the show-trials of makers and buyers of illegal copies of software just for the purpose of pleasing US government and transnational industry officials since even with less degree of support from US, it could sustain the grip on the power due to the fact that the government was supported by the will of majority of people. Thus it was very rare that anybody was prosecuted for software piracy, especially regarding AREA Hangul wordprocessor during 90’s. Thus people who already purchased a DOS version of AREA Hangul wordprocessor usually stuck to it, i.e., there were many people who did not switch to Window operating system just because they did not want to spend time and effort to learn a new system, and managers just did not see the need to move from a DOS machine to a Window machine when all the job they needed were done easily on a DOS machine. The job here usually meant word-processing. Many companies and government departments were happy with the use of a DOS machine in word-processing. Hangul and Computer Company was essentially a one-product company just like some US companies such as WordPerfect Corporation. When it could not generate new revenue out of sales of their flagship product, it was inevitable that the company ran into a financial trouble. The very structural change that made the miraculous success for Hangul and Computer Company possible paved the way to the graveyard for the company. In other words, the structural change that was forced by the transnational corporate system accidentally produced a byproduct of short-lived success of indigenous software company, but eventually as the dependency theory indicates, indigenous industry can not compete against the transnational corporate system and sooner or later, collapses, which is exactly what happened to Hangul and Computer Company of South Korea. Microsoft became the ultimate winner in this struggle for software hegemony.

3.4 THE SWEET OFFER FROM MICROSOFT

Hangul and Computer Company was the biggest maker of word processor software in South Korea and has been under severe financial difficulty due to the lagging sales for the last couple of years. As a brilliant stroke of genius, Microsoft offered to invest US$20 million in Hangul and Computer Company in exchange for Hangul and Computer Company’s giving up of its word processor. Since Microsoft knew that it would still take very long time to catch up with Hangul and Computer Company in terms of word processor market share in South Korea, it decided to exploit the weak point of the company, which was the lack of cash. The financial situation for Hangul and Computer Company was so bad that it was believed to be on the brink of bankruptcy.

Letting Hangul and Computer Company go bankrupt was not advantageous for Microsoft because it was likely that some other Korean firm which would be financed by banks which would take control of Hangul and Computer Company in case of bankruptcy would take the company over and keep producing “AREA Hangur” word processor. The desired goal of Microsoft’s operation in South Korea was to expand the market share in word processor software market and it saw an opportunity to achieve the goal rather easily by convincing Hangul and Computer Company to accept the sweet deal and stop producing AREA Hangul software anymore in return.

3.5 DEPENDENCY THEORY AND MICROSOFT

In order to understand this phenomenon in a more profound way, following philosophical approach is proposed. I propose that dependency theory should be the one of critical theories that can expose the contradictions and conflicts in a global scale in the context of information systems. In this age of globalize capitalist world, the information systems have become globalize too. Especially the package software product has become the major product of the transnational corporate system. In other words, multinational corporation such as Microsoft has become a part of the transnational corporate system that governs the contemporary societies of the world. This world which is governed by the transnational corporate system is a world in which underdeveloped nations depend on transnational corporations whose base is in developed countries such as USA, Europe, and Japan. Namely, multinational corporation like Microsoft can not only drive its domestic competitors out, but also indigenous competitors of developing countries too.

Dependency theory can be summarized as following. This theory views the current world economy as the one dominated by transnational corporations, creating a situation where less developed societies are pushed to modernize as dependent capitalist economies. Sunkel, alongside Dos Santos, Cardoso and Faletto, are representatives of the main tenets of what Latin American sociological tradition addresses as “dependency theories”. In this paper, I subscribe particularly to Sunkel’s idea since his idea is more relevant in explaining the behavior of multinational corporations. Sunkel(1985)’s idea of dependency is well expressed in his own words as following. “There are some crucial questions relating to the TNC which one cannot begin to understand, much less to answer, if one does not have a more realistic picture of contemporary capitalism. The so-called market has in fact been superseded to a significant degree by public and private planning. To a very large extent, the visible hands of the State and the TNC have long replaced the mythical invisible hand of laissez-faire capitalism, if it ever existed. It is not really the individual institution of the TNC as such that is the object of so much attention. There have been individual instances of large world-wide business organizations in the past which have not aroused such great concern. The focus is rather on the emergence of a transnational business system with such a great potential for socially uncontrolled power and influence that international society finds itself forced into a profound reorganization in order to accommodate it. Interest in the TNC has been aroused because it has become so obviously visible, owing mainly to the political, financial, environmental and other incidents in which it has been involved. But it should be recognized that this is only the tip of the iceberg, the visible emerging representative part of a system in the process of structural transformation. It should be easy to recognize that both in the developed and in the developing countries a kind of dual but closely interrelated segmentation of the economy is taking place. On the one hand, there is the oligopolistic economy and competition of the transnational giants. On the other, we have the traditional market economy of medium-sized and small producers. To this second economy we must add the vast mass of the semi-capitalist (marginal, informal) economy in the developing countries and the growing segments of structural unemployment and the underground economy in the industrial countries. The traditional and new sectors of small capitalistic and semi-capitalistic producers participate partially or totally in markets characterized by oligopolistic price competition in which the individual producer has little power. They have to abide by the rules of a game imposed from above by government and the transnational oligopolistic segment. The managerial class of the transnational business system, in contrast, possesses sufficient power and influence to set the rules of the game, either by trying to induce or force the authorities to adopt the rules which TNCs require for their growth and expansion, changing the authorities if necessary, or by circumventing established rules. This kind of corporate behavior must therefore be considered normal and not exceptional.”

From this perspective, one can easily infer that IS industry is no exception. The software for PC industry is almost monopolistic even in developed country like US, which is dominated by Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft also dominates in the world market for PC software, which is a clear indication that Microsoft is a transnational corporation which is based in a developed country. Thus it is normal that Microsoft behaves just like other transnational corporations such as forcing the underdeveloped country to adopt the structure that transnational corporations find comfortable to conduct business. Unlike other transnational corporations such as oil and paper industries which consume natural resources of the underdeveloped nations, Corporations like Microsoft which sells software do not need to have physical infrastructure of the underdeveloped country changed to accommodate its product. Instead, it needs to force a change in the underdeveloped countries’ legal system so that it can prevent software piracy in these countries. And forcing change in legal systems of these countries cannot be done without the pressure and influence from the US government itself. First of all, software industry made the host country such as US itself change its legal system so that they can protect profit. And software industry also forced other nations which were mostly underdeveloped countries to adopt the new legal system by using US government as the bully. The change in the legal system that is mentioned here refers to the copyright law on computer software. In other words, in the beginning there was no law to protect the copyright of software even in the US. But copyright protection of software was essential for the growth of software industry and US changed the copyright law and enforced the copyright law to ensure the profit of software industry.

When this software industry became internationalized, i.e., selling software products overseas, it encountered the same problem that it had to fight in US in the first place. But unlike US legal system that can be amended by the congress which can be influenced easily by the industry, other nations have their own legal and power structure that needs some extraordinary pressure to change. As Sunkel rightly pointed out, the transnational corporations force a change in the underdeveloped countries by manipulating the governments of those underdeveloped countries. What software industry led by Microsoft did in order to protect profit from overseas was to use US government to put pressure on governments of underdeveloped nations whose ruling elite class are essentially not interested in protecting their own people’s interests. Thus US trade representatives and the likes of Department of Commerce of US were out to force the necessary change in the legal system of the underdeveloped countries where transnational corporations like Microsoft could make tremendous profit if the legal system protected its copyright on the software.

4. METHODOLOGY

4.1 SUBJECTS

A total of 260 questionnaires were distributed to MBA students in two universities in Korea. Two hundred and twenty-five questionnaires were returned. Eight of the questionnaires were discarded from further analysis due to incompleteness. This yielded a total of 217 usable questionnaires (a net response rate of 83.5%). They came from a wide variety of industries: 30% from manufacturing, 25% from the financial sector, 8% from transportation, 20% from retail, and the rest from other industries. The mean age of the respondents was 34.8 with a standard deviation of 6.1 years.

4.2 MEASURES

The operationalization of the constructs in this study was based on Szajna (1994)’s findings on which factors were influential in determining the acceptance of the particular software. New scales derived from Smith and Jarkko (1998)’s ten items were developed to measure patriotism. A copy of the survey questionnaire is presented in Appendix. The operationalization of the six constructs in the study is described below.

4.2.1 SOFTWARE PRODUCT PREFERENCE

I have developed a scale to measure the construct, software product preference. In this scale, subjects were asked whether they would consider buying the indigenous software called AREA Hangul over Microsoft Word assuming that the price and quality of both products were equal. A five-point scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5) was used. The Cronbach alpha for this scale was 0.88.

4.2.2 USAGE

To measure whether the subject used the indigenous software more than Microsoft Word, I developed a four-item scale that includes measures for the intensity of use, the frequency of use, and the variety of application. These measures were adapted from (Cheung et al., 2000). In other words, the scale was designed to measure whether the subject used the indigenous software in more hours, more times, and more variety of applications than Microsoft Word. A five-point scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5) was used. The Cronbach alpha for this scale was 0.85.

4.2.3 PERCEIVED USEFULNESS

Davis (1989) identified perceived usefulness as well as perceived ease of use as constructs that influenced user acceptance of software. Szajna (1994) showed that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use also determined the choice of specific software using Davis’ measures. My four-item scale for perceived usefulness was adapted from Davis’ measures. This scale measured whether the subject perceived the indigenous software to be more useful in accomplishing tasks quickly, easily, and effectively than Microsoft Word. A five-point scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5) was used. The Cronbach alpha for this scale was 0.86.

4.2.4 PERCEIVED EASE OF USE

Using Davis’ measures on perceived ease of use, I developed a four-item scale that measured whether the subject perceived the indigenous software to be easier to learn how to use, to get the work done, and to become skillful at than Microsoft Word. A five-point scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5) was used. The Cronbach alpha for this scale was 0.88.

4.2.5 PATRIOTISM

Adapting from Smith and Jarkko’s scale, I developed a four-item scale to measure the degree of patriotism of the subject. The scale included measures for pride in the nation’s scientific achievements, history, and economic achievements. A five-point scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5) was used. The Cronbach alpha for this scale was 0.81.

4.3 CONSTRUCT VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF THE INSTRUMENT

Discriminant validity was assessed using factor analysis. The 20 items measuring five constructs were subjected to factor analysis. All items were loaded into the expected factors as they initially designed. Factor loadings were all higher than 0.5 on its own factors; thus all the items were loaded statistically significantly on its own factor. This result of factor analysis supported the discriminant validity of the instrument. Cronbach’s alphas were used to assess the internal consistency or reliability of the instrument. All reliability coefficients were greater than 0.8, which was higher than the acceptable level of 0.7 for this kind of study (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994). These results confirmed that the instrument used in this study was not only valid but also reliable.

5. RESULTS

5.1 HYPOTHESES

Following hypotheses were tested. For all hypotheses, the dependent variable (represented by PREFER variable) was the one to measure the consumer’s preference to buy the indigenous software product. The values for PREFER variable were collected from the average value of a four-item Software Product Preference scale. The independent variables were derived from other constructs as following. The values for USAGE variable were collected from the average value of a four-item Usage scale. The values for P_USE variable were collected from the average value of a four-item Perceived Usefulness scale. The values for P_EASE variable were collected from the average value of a four-item Perceived Ease of Use scale. The values for PATRIOT variable were collected from the average value of a four-item Patriotism scale.

Following hypotheses were tested.

Hypothesis 1: Age influences consumers’ software product preference.

Hypothesis 2: Usage of the indigenous software product in comparison with the foreign software product influences consumers’ software product preference.

Hypothesis 3: Perceived usefulness of the indigenous software product in comparison with the foreign software product influences consumers’ software product preference.

Hypothesis 4: Perceived ease of use of the indigenous software product in comparison with the foreign software product influences consumers’ software product preference.

Hypothesis 5: Patriotism influences consumers’ software product preference.

5.2 STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

The statistical analysis method, stepwise multiple regression, was used to analyze the data as following(p < 0.05).

First Step: Independent Variables(USAGE, P_USE, AGE, PATRIOT, P_EASE) [right arrow] AGE is removed(see table 1).

Equation Number 1 Dependent Variable PREFER

Variable(s) Removed on Step Number AGE(Hypothesis 1 is rejected)

Second Step: Independent Variables(USAGE, P_USE, PATRIOT, P_EASE) [right arrow] P_USE is removed(see table 2).

Equation Number 1 Dependent Variable PREFER

Variable(s) Removed on Step Number P_USE(Hypothesis 3 is rejected)

Third Step: Independent Variables(P_EASE, PATRIOT, USAGE) [right arrow] P_EASE is removed(see table 3).

Equation Number I Dependent Variable PREFER

Variable(s) Removed on Step Number P_EASE(Hypothesis 4 is rejected)

Fourth Step: Independent Variables(PATRIOT, USAGE) (no variable is removed(see table 4).

Two independent variables(PATRIOT, USAGE) statistically significantly explain the dependent variable(PREFER). Hypotheses 2 and 5 are accepted. Table 5 shows analysis of variance of the two variable multiple regression equation in which the model is shown to be statistically valid(F=50.42778, Significance of F=.0000).

F = 50.42778 Signif F = .0000

The multiple regressions show that while patriotism is the most significant factor, factors such as age, perceived usefulness, and perceived ease of use are not significant. This empirical result confirms the claim that the patriotism can play a major role in determining software product buying choice. In other words, people in Korea appear to be more interested in buying the indigenous software product when they feel more patriotic.

6. CONCLUSION

This research tried to identify the role of Korean patriotism in choosing the indigenous software product by conducting a survey of 217 Korean consumers of diverse backgrounds. Factors such as perceived usefulness, consumers’ age, and perceived ease of use were not significant. The most significant factor was the tendency of people who were more patriotic preferring buying the indigenous product. Scholars never empirically identified the fact that a software product could be a symbol of the national pride and thus ignite patriotic passion. Therefore this research result can be a good lesson in global marketing practice of multinational corporations in software industry. Software multinational companies should pay attention to the sensitivity toward the national pride of the local people.

APPENDIX: QUESTIONNAIRE USED IN THE SURVEY

Background Information

1. What is your age?

2. What is your occupation?

% Check one number from the range of 1(strongly disagree) to 5(strongly agree) in each of the following statements.

Software Product Preference

If I am given two choices (AREA Hangul and MS-word) for my word processor software product purchase at the same price and quality,

(1) I prefer buying AREA Hangul to MS-word for the use at home.

1 2 3 4 5

(2) I prefer buying AREA Hangul to MS-word for the use at work.

1 2 3 4 5

(3) I prefer buying AREA Hangul to MS-word regardless of application.

1 2 3 4 5

(4) Overall, I prefer buying AREA Hangul to MS-word very much.

1 2 3 4 5

Usage

(1) I Use AREA Hangul more intensively than MS-word (more hours per

day).

1 2 3 4 5

(2) I use AREA Hangul more frequently than MS-word (more times per

day).

1 2 3 4 5

(3) I use AREA Hangul in more variety of applications than MS-word.

1 2 3 4 5

(4) Overall, I use AREA Hangul much more than MS-word.

1 2 3 4 5

Perceived Usefulness

(1) Using AREA Hangul in my job would enable me to accomplish tasks

more quickly than using MS-word.

1 2 3 4 5

(2) Using AREA Hangul would make it easier to do my job than using

MS-word.

1 2 3 4 5

(3) Using AREA Hangul would enhance my effectiveness on the job more

than using MS-word.

1 2 3 4 5

(4) I would find AREA Hangul more useful in my job than MS-word.

1 2 3 4 5

Perceived Ease of Use

(1) Learning to use AREA Hangul would be easier for me than learning to

use MS-word.

1 2 3 4 5

(2) I would find it easier to get AREA Hangul to do what I want it to

do than to get MS-word to do.

1 2 3 4 5

(3) It would be easier for me to become skillful at using AREA Hangul

than at using MS-word.

1 2 3 4 5

(4) I would find AREA Hangul easier to use than MS-word.

1 2 3 4 5

Patriotism

(1) I am proud of history of my country.

1 2 3 4 5

(2) I am proud of our country’s scientific achievements.

1 2 3 4 5

(3) I am proud of our country’s economic achievements.

1 2 3 4 5

(4) Overall, I am proud of my country very much.

1 2 3 4 5

Table 1. Result of Multiple Regression using 5 Variables

Variable B SE B Beta T Sig T

AGE -4.66060E-04 .011675 -0.002336 -.040 .9682

P_USE .027660 .062714 .02692 .441 .6569

P_EASE .41491 .064906 .04045 .639 .5234

PATRIOT .513622 .060240 .510233 8.526 .0000

USAGE .1542051 .050254 .178705 3.069 .0024

(Constant) 1.410451 .536341 2.630 .0092

Table 2. Result of Multiple Regression using 4 Variables

Variable B SE B Beta T Sig T

P_USE .027843 .062399 .027098 .446 .6559

P _EASE .041248 .064467 .040213 .640 .5230

PATRIOT .513428 .059904 .510041 8.571 .0000

USAGE .154581 .049245 .179141 3.139 .0019

(Constant) 1.394606 .359855 3.875 .0001

Table 3. Result of Multiple Regression using 3 Variables

Variable B SE B Beta T Sig T

P_EASE .031721 .060714 .030925 .522 .6019

PATRIOT .512552 .059759 .509170 8.577 .0000

USAGE .153122 .049044 .177449 3.122 .0002

(Constant) 1.502275 .266467 5.638 .0000

Table 4. Result of Multiple Regression using 2 Variables

Variable B SE B Beta T Sig T

PATRIOT .521669 .057057 .5182279 9.143 .0000

USAGE .154284 .048910 .1787963 3.154 .0018

(Constant) 1.538427 .256888 5.989 .0000

Table 5. Analysis of Variance

DF Sum of Squares Mean Square

Regression 2 121.43352 60.71676

Residual 214 257.66326 1.20403

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Ook Lee, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea

Author Profile:

Dr. Ook Lee earned his Ph.D. at The Claremont Graduate University in 1996. Currently he is a professor at the College of Information and Communications of Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea, and Program Chair of ICUC2003.

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