• Affect, Attitude, and Meaning: Assessing the Universality of Design in a Transnational Marketing Context

      Di Benedetto, C. Anthony; Eisenstein, Eric; Kotabe, Masaaki; Hamilton, Robert D. (Robert Devitt) (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)
      The present research investigates the universality of design in a transnational marketing context. Specifically, it looks into designers' expertise transfer and knowledge calibration across cultures and explores cross-cultural differences in consumer responses (affect, attitude, and meaning) to design in two studies. With 256 graphic designs created by 16 Chinese designers and 16 U.S. designers, study 1 explores the universality of design by comparing consumer responses in a series of surveys among Chinese and American college students. Study 2 involves 64 product designs created by 8 Chinese designers and 8 U.S. designers and investigates the effect of culture and expertise level on design responses of consumers from China and the U.S. The results suggest that universality of design is a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon. Affect and attitude appear to be universal while meaning of design seems less universal and is difficult to be transferred cross-culturally. The results suggest a mixed effect of culture on design expertise transfer. Design expertise can be transferred to another culture without decrease in order to elicit positive affect among consumers. However, design expertise transfer is moderated by culture with regard to attitude and meaning. Expert designers' designs receive less positive attitudinal responses in a foreign market than in the home market and can convey intended meaning much better in the home market than in a foreign market. When it comes to knowledge calibration, the results indicate that both expert designers and non-expert designers are poorly calibrated and overconfident. The paper also discusses theoretical and managerial implications as well as limitations and future research directions.