K-Wave Fans and Non-Fans: Culture-Specific and Collective Responses to Korean Country and Product Image


Nathan, Robert Jeyakumar and Soekmawati, Soekmawati and Jeong, So Won and Jin, Byoungho Ellie (2023) K-Wave Fans and Non-Fans: Culture-Specific and Collective Responses to Korean Country and Product Image. International Journal of Business and Society, 24 (2). pp. 846-866. ISSN 1511-6670

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Purpose – Malaysia is a multicultural society, comprising ethnic Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other ethnic minorities. Its culture has complex interactions among multicultural and multi-lingual people, with diverse faiths and religions. This study investigates how a multicultural and multi-religious society responds to the influx of Korean products in the market and explores the differences in responses between fans and non-fans of the Korean Wave. Design/Methodology – Using the Online Focus Group Discussions (FGD) technique, qualitative research was conducted with ten participants to investigate multicultural Malaysians’ response to Korean country and product image. Findings – Through questions asked during the FGDs, themes that explain Malaysians’ perceptions of the Korean country image, Korean culture, and Korean products were identified. “Valuing relationship”, “Asian compatibility”, “natural and authentic”, “creativity and innovation”, “projection of boldness and confidence”, “cautious followers”, and “protective and caring culture” were primarily identified, representing positive attributes; “cosmetic surgery” was viewed negatively. Originality/value – Studies about the influence of culture and religion on Malaysian consumers’ responses toward Korean products are scarce. The findings of this study would provide insights into Malaysian consumers from diverse ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Understanding how foreign products enter and remain successful in a country like Malaysia could provide valuable insights to other countries and SMEs planning to enter new multicultural markets.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Korean Country Image, Online Focus Group, Multicultural, Malaysia, Thematic Analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD9000-9999 Special industries and trades
Divisions: Faculty of Business (FOB)
Depositing User: Ms Nurul Iqtiani Ahmad
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2023 01:18
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2023 01:18
URII: http://shdl.mmu.edu.my/id/eprint/11918


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