Cross-cultural e-commerce design guidelines for American and Chinese college student populations: Results from an empirical comparative study

by Carlin, Michael S., Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, BALTIMORE COUNTY, 2009, 250 pages; 3359072


Unprecedented business opportunities have arisen after China’s acceptance into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. China’s accession to the WTO is significant considering that the World Bank estimates China’s share of world trade to increase to 9.8% by 2020 making them second only to the United States. With this prospect have come difficulties as Western businesses attempt to interact with Eastern cultures which have unique and possibly significantly different views of business, peers, family, and, most importantly, shopping. Previous research indicated that cultural differences impact the design and implementation of e-commerce web sites between nations. The goal of this research was to develop a set of cross-cultural guidelines that would aid in the successful development of cross-cultural e-commerce sites between China and the United States and to identify remarkable differences between both nations. Based on the literature, seven cultural dimensions and nine shopping dimensions were identified as affecting overall e-shopping behavior. This research examined the interaction of cultural dimensions identified by Hofstede (1998), Hall (1976), and Trompenaars (1994) with aspects of e-shopping in order to implement them in a cross-cultural e-commerce shopping model. Based on these dimensions, a structured 55-question online survey was developed in both English and simplified Chinese.

The survey was administered online to 192 Chinese and 201 American college students. The overall internal reliability was 0.73 based on Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. A factor analysis was performed which resulted in four factors (buying decision; trust relationship; price logistics; habits) for China and three factors (transaction & trust; budget & environment; impulse purchasing) for the United States. These seven factors in conjunction with the ANOVA and correlation analysis aided in the creation of twelve guidelines for China and nine guidelines for the United States. These guidelines can be used to establish successful e-commerce web sites by taking into full consideration the cross-cultural complexities that exist between the United States and China.

AdviserAsim A. Ozok
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsCultural anthropology; International law; Information science; Higher education
Publication Number3359072

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