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Korean and U.S. college women's fashion information seeking Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/00000334f

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  • The adoption process is an information seeking and information-processing activity (Rogers, 1983,p. 21). Fashion information which consumers receive from various sources directly affects their decision to adopt or reject a style (Sproles, 1979, p. 173). Research has shown that consumers vary in their use of fashion information sources during the adoption process based upon their level of fashion leadership and demographic characteristics such as age and sex. However, little is known about the influence of cultural values on the fashion adoption process. As apparel manufacturing and retailing companies increase global marketing efforts, further understanding of cross-cultural differences in consumer behavior during the fashion adoption process is needed. The present study explored the influence of cultural values on fashion information seeking during the adoption process. The purpose of the present study was to compare Korean and U.S. college women's fashion information seeking. Comparisons were made on two levels: (1) between fashion leaders and followers within each culture and (2) between Korean fashion leaders and U.S. leaders. The type of information sources (categorized as marketer dominated, consumer dominated and neutral sources) used at the selected stages of the adoption process model as depicted in Sproles model (1979, p. 197) (awareness of object, interest and evaluation) was investigated. Frequency of use and variety of fashion information sources used by consumers were also examined. The subjects of the present study were a purposive sample of 95 Korean and 82 U.S. college women, recruited from clothing and merchandising courses at Chungnam National University and Seoul National University in Korea and at Oregon State University during 1993 Spring term. Data were collected through the use of a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of four parts: (1) fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership scales, (2) questions asking fashion information sources used at the selected stages of the adoption process, (3) a scale to measure frequency and variety of fashion information sources used, and (4) questions asking demographic characteristics of the subjects. The questionnaire was first developed in English and translated into Korean. To confirm the equivalency of the two versions, the Korean questionnaire was back-translated into English. The questionnaire was also pre-tested for clarity with subjects from the same population as the sample. The data were analyzed by Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and chi-square analysis. Fashion leaders were those who were self-identified as fashion opinion leaders or fashion innovators. 31.6% of the Korean sample (n=30) and 47.6% of the U.S. sample (n=39) were classified as fashion leaders. Korean fashion leaders were found to use marketer dominated sources at the awareness of object stage more than did U.S. leaders. No differences were found in the type of information sources at the interest and evaluation stages between Korean fashion leaders and U.S. leaders. Through all the stages of the adoption process, the Korean leaders used foreign fashion magazines and non-fashion magazines (advertisements and fashion columns) as fashion information sources more than did U.S. fashion leaders. U.S. fashion leaders showed a greater frequency of use of consumer dominated sources than Korean leaders. No difference was found in variety of fashion information sources used by Korean fashion leaders and U.S. leaders. For both Korean and U.S. consumers, fashion leaders had a greater frequency of use and a greater variety of fashion information sources used than followers. Similar to what had been found with U.S. consumers, Korean fashion leaders may prove to be an effective target for fashion marketing efforts.
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