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Factors affecting consumers’ intention to purchase counterfeit product: Empirical study in the Malaysian market by Farzana Quoquab, Sara Pahlevan, Jihad Mohammad, Ramayah Thurasamy.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Factors affecting consumers’ intention to purchase counterfeit product: Empirical
study in the Malaysian market
Farzana Quoquab, Sara Pahlevan, Jihad Mohammad, Ramayah Thurasamy,
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affecting consumers’ intention to purchase counterfeit product: Empirical study in the Malaysian
market", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 29 Issue: 4, pp.837-853, https://
doi.org/10.1108/APJML-09-2016-0169
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Factors affecting consumers’
intention to purchase
counterfeit product
Empirical
study in the
Malaysian
market
Empirical study in the Malaysian market
837
Farzana Quoquab
IBS, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sara Pahlevan and Jihad Mohammad
Received 13 September 2016
Revised 8 November 2016
4 December 2016
Accepted 6 December 2016
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IBS, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia, and
Ramayah Thurasamy
Faculty of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Malaysia
Abstract
Purpose – Most of the past studies have considered social and personal factors in relation to counterfeit
product purchase intention. However, there is a dearth of research that linked ethical aspects with such kind
of product purchase intention. Considering this gap, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the direct as
well as indirect effect of ethical aspects on the attitude of consumers’ counterfeit product purchase in the
Malaysian market.
Design/methodology/approach – A total of 737 questionnaires were distributed in China Town, Low Yat
Plaza, as well as a few “pasar malam” (night markets), which yielded 400 completed usable responses.
Partial Least Square Smart PLS software and SPSS were utilised in order to analyse the data.
Findings – The results revealed that the ethical aspect in term of religiosity, ethical concern, and perception
of lawfulness directly and indirectly affect consumers’ behavioural intention to purchase counterfeit products.
Practical implications – It is expected that the study findings will enhance the understanding of marketers
as well as policymakers about consumers’ purchase intention of such fake products. Eventually, it will help
them to come up with better marketing strategies to purchase counterfeit products and to encourage them to
purchase the original product.
Originality/value – This is relatively a pioneer study that examines the effect of ethical aspects of
consumers in term of their religiosity, ethical concern, and perception of lawfulness on their attitude towards
buying counterfeit products. Additionally, this study examines the mediating role of consumer attitude to
purchase counterfeit product between ethical aspects and behavioural intention, which is comparatively new
to the existing body of knowledge. Last, but not the least, this research has examined these relationships in a
new research context i.e., Malaysian market, which can advance the knowledge about consumer behaviour in
the East Asian context.
Keywords Counterfeit product purchase, Ethical concern, Lawfulness, Malaysian consumers, Religiously
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
In recent years, counterfeit product purchase became a global issue due to its threat to the
global economy, as well as to the social and cultural aspect. Counterfeit products are
unauthorised products that use other registered goods’ trademark (Chaudhry and
Zimmerman, 2009). Counterfeit products can be categorised into different aspects, such as
CDs and DVDs, watches and accessories, shoes and handbags, clothes, electronic products,
medicines, textiles, and pesticides Chaudhry and Zimmerman (2009). Such fake products
abuse the high brand value, logo, package, and trademark of the original brand. The
International Chamber of Commerce reported that by adding the amount of pirated digital
instruments to counterfeit goods, the sum was worth $650 billion in 2008 alone (Marcelo, 2011).
Furthermore, research conducted by The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) (2009)
showed that international counterfeit products’ value will increase to $1.7 trillion by 2016,
Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing
and Logistics
Vol. 29 No. 4, 2017
pp. 837-853
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1355-5855
DOI 10.1108/APJML-09-2016-0169
APJML
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838
which is equal to 2 per cent of the current global economic output. Moreover, the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2009) estimated that the counterfeit
market’s value is 5 to 7 per cent of the global trade. Another negative impact of counterfeit
products is the unemployment rate which is associated with missing tax revenues. The
unemployment cost, missing taxes revenue, and welfare spending due to counterfeit trade was
$125 billion in developed countries. Statistics from the US Chamber of Commerce in 2006
mentioned that more than 750,000 individuals were unemployed due to the counterfeit product
business (Marcelo, 2011). Considering threatening impact on the global economy and
sociocultural aspects, the counterfeit product purchase phenomenon received significant
research attention (see Kassim et al., 2016; Tang et al., 2014). Therefore, the present study
attempts to investigate the factors that can influence customers’ purchase intention towards
counterfeit products in the Malaysian market.
Although the sales and purchase of counterfeit products became a global issue, the reasons
for consumers’ behavioural intention to purchase counterfeit product is not fully uncovered
yet. Most of the prior studies examined the counterfeit product purchase intention in relation
to social factors as well personal factors (Cheng et al., 2011). However, there is a dearth of
studies that have examined this phenomenon in relation to religiosity and consumers’ ethical
concern. It was argued that religious people tend to be more cautious regarding the cost, price,
and quality effectiveness of counterfeit products compared to less religious individuals
(Vida et al., 2012). In another study, Vitell and Paolillo (2003) indicated that intrinsic religiosity
could affect personal belief significantly. Again, it was also suggested that individual tend to
support moral philosophies that are idealistic rather than relativistic (Forsyth et al., 2008).
In another study, Casidy et al. (2016a, b) found significant differences between religious and
less religious individuals in terms of their attitude towards digital piracy. Therefore, it is
expected that religiosity, ethical concern, and perception towards lawfulness can be
considered as the drivers of consumers’ counterfeit product purchase intention.
It is reported that China, Thailand, India and Malaysia are named as “Home for piracy”
and “world’s worst violator of intellectual property rights and worst counterfeit offender”
(Haque et al., 2009). Havoscope Global Market Index study (2010) shows that, in Malaysia
counterfeit product value has increased to RM 378 million by recent years. On the other
hand, Congressional International Anti-Piracy “Top 10 Copyright Piracy Nations” meeting
announced Malaysia as “precedence copyright fake watch list for extra scrutiny to seize the
counterfeit products” (Top 10 Copyright Piracy Nations, 2010). However, Domestic Trade
and Consumer Affairs Ministry has taken serious steps in order to increase the awareness
about fake products through main media and advertisements. But demand of counterfeit
products did not change which is a big threat for Malaysian economy.
Considering this, the present study aims to predict the direct and indirect effects of
religiosity, ethical concern, and attitude towards lawfulness in relation to consumers’ attitude
towards buying counterfeit products. The rest of the paper is organised as follows.
First, relevant literature is reviewed and the conceptual framework is developed. Next, the
adopted methodology is discussed followed by the results, findings, and discussion. Lastly, a
conclusion is made and implications, limitations, and future research directions are highlighted.
Theoretical framework and hypotheses development
Counterfeit products
Counterfeit goods are unauthorised products with low quality and standards that the
original producer did not manufacture (Nordin, 2009; Staake et al., 2009). These kind of fake
products affect authorised companies’ products by decreasing their profit, devaluing their
R&D research, and incurring legal fees (Nash, 1989). The range of product categories that
were counterfeited has also shifted from luxury goods as practiced a few decades ago to all
kinds of consumer goods, including not only software, music, spare parts for vehicles and
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aircraft, cosmetics, razor blades, washing powder, and clothes, but also food and
pharmaceuticals, DVDs, CDs, electronic devices, textiles, military items, wine, cigarettes,
pesticides, and fertilisers (Mohamed, 2012).
The present study focusses on fashion and electronic devices. This is because the
purchase of counterfeit electronics devices has increased significantly in the last decade
(Haque et al., 2009; Taylor et al., 2009). Moreover, fashion has the highest rank of being
counterfeited. There are different qualities in the counterfeiting of designer brands in the
fashion industry. Most of the time, the purpose is only to fool the unsuspecting buyer
who only sees what is written on the label, but there are occasions in which the forger tries
to imitate the details for which the particular designer is famous (Nordin, 2009; Yoo and
Lee, 2009). It is common knowledge among forgers that the buyer does not really care
about the originality, but only wants to buy branded-looking products with comparatively
cheap price (Hidayat and Diwasasri, 2013).
According to Prendergast et al. (2002), counterfeiting is classified into two main categories:
deceptive (when a consumer is not aware of buying unauthorised and fake goods and he/she
thinks that the product is original), and non-deceptive (when consumers purchase counterfeit
goods intentionally and knowingly). In the first type of counterfeiting, the consumer cannot be
included for measuring behaviour and attitude towards buying counterfeit goods because the
consumer is not aware about the fact (Bian and Moutinho, 2011). Therefore, for the present
study, the non-deceptive counterfeiting issue is considered.
In the East Asian Region, Malaysia is one of the countries that have a high potential risk
for producing, exporting, and selling counterfeit products. The counterfeit product business
is a significant threat to Malaysia due to its economic and unemployment rate.
By considering its bad impact, the domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry of
Malaysia has attempted to control counterfeit products by implementing and enforcing
strict rules and regulation. For example, if the police arrests a seller who is selling unlicensed
software, he/she has to pay a fine of 10,000 Malaysian Ringgit or face a sentence of up to five
years in jail, or both. Despite knowing the low quality and danger of using counterfeit
products, there are still high demands for counterfeit products among the consumer
(Albers-Miller, 1999). Therefore, it is pivotal to understand consumers’ attitude as well as
behavioural intention towards buying counterfeit products in the Malaysian market.
Consumer’s attitude and behavioural intention towards counterfeit products
Attitude is a learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favourable or unfavourable
manner with respect to a given object (Ajzen, 1991). In general, the relationship between
attitude and behavioural intention can be supported theoretically by the Theory of Planned
Behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980). According to this theory, attitude is correlated
with an individual’s intentions, thus it could be a predictor to estimate the behaviour
(Ajzen, 1991; Phau et al., 2015). Following this norm, the present study assumes that when
the attitude towards counterfeit product is favourable, it is likely that a person will buy
counterfeit products; however, if the attitude towards counterfeit products is unfavourable,
the person may not buy counterfeit products.
This relationship is verified in many studies in various disciplines (Chiu and Leng, 2016;
Jee and Ernest, 2013; Allameh et al., 2015; Yang et al., 2012). Nevertheless, there is a dearth of
studies that has examined this relationship in an Asian context, such as Malaysia.
Therefore, the present study assumes that a consumer who has a favourable attitude
towards counterfeits ( fashion and electronic devise) is more likely to buy it. Based on this
assumption, the following hypothesis was developed:
H1. Consumers’ attitude towards purchase of counterfeit product will be positively
related to his/her behavioural intention.
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study in the
Malaysian
market
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Antecedent of consumers’ attitude toward buying counterfeit products
Ajzen and Fishbein (1975) are the ones who have suggested a positive direct link between
attitude and behaviour. The theory advocates that beliefs affect attitude which in turn affect
intention. Various beliefs have been developed around counterfeit products that influence
the attitude towards these products For example, social factors, personal factors, and
product factors (Phau et al., 2009; Riquelme et al., 2012; Tom et al., 1998; Wong and Ahuvia,
1998). Nevertheless, there is a paucity of studies that examined the effect of ethical aspects
on consumers’ attitude towards purchasing counterfeit product. As such, the current study
focusses on addressing this gap in the literature.
The ethics of buyers could be known as moral rules, standards and principals that lead
individual behaviour in the purchase, selection, usage, sales of goods and services (Vitell
and Muncy, 1992). For this study, three kinds of ethical aspects were considered: religiosity,
ethical concern, and consumer’s perception towards lawfulness.
Religiosity
Worthington et al. (2003) defined religiosity as individual’s adherence to his/her religious’
beliefs, values and practices and to which extent he/she uses them in every aspect of his/her
life. Religiosity is considered an important personal aspect based on the model pioneered by
Hunt and Vitell (1993). In this model, religiosity is assumed to have impact on the ethical
beliefs of consumers in a positive manner. It implies that the ones who have higher
spirituality/religiosity are likely to be more ethical in relation to their ideas and beliefs. It is
evident that religion has a key ethical role in contemporary living (Graafland, 2015). Indeed,
all of the deity’s laws are considered to be pure, which forms the whole life of a person.
Faith instead of reason, secular knowledge and institution are the basics of moral life in all
religions (Shukor and Jamal, 2013).
Giorgi and Marsh (1990) demonstrated that both religion and the degree of an
individual’s religious fervour have a positive impact on their personal ethics. Moreover,
McCabe and Trevino (1993) noted that unethical behaviour is negatively related to severity
for penalties, such as the ones in the hereafter. Therefore, fear of God’s punishment in life
and afterlife causes religious people to maintain morality and virtue. Again, Kennedy and
Lawton (1998) identified a negative relation between religion and desire to do unethical
actions (Vitell et al., 1993). Therefore, it is expected that fear of God’s punishment prevents
individuals in this life from choosing an unethical path. Based on this assumption, the
present study proposes that religiosity is negatively related to consumer attitude toward
buying counterfeit products. Therefore, the following hypothesis is developed:
H2. Religiosity will be negatively related to consumers’ attitude towards purchasing
counterfeit products.
Ethical concern
The notion of ethics could be mentioned as principles, moral rules, or the standards that guide
the behaviour of a group or person in the purchase, selection, selling and use of services or
products (Riquelme et al., 2012; Vitell et al., 1993; Vitell and Paolillo, 2003). An individual’s
ethical concern helps decrease unethical behaviour by considering the ethical aspect. It is a
value that a person possesses and could be interpreted to be the enduring idea (Schwartz, 2001).
It can be defined as the degree to which the buyers believe the questionable behaviours are not
wrong or wrong, or unethical and ethical (Vitell and Muncy, 1992).
Individual’s ethical concerns in business arebeing studied since 1970s (Wilkes, 1978).
However, the ethical aspect of consumer behaviour has not received significant research
attention. Based on a different level of ethical concern, different individuals perceive the
same act differently. For example, in one study, it is reported that some consumers do not
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find buying counterfeit products to be unethical (Lysonski and Durvasula, 2008).
Contrastingly, Swami et al. (2009) found that older respondents were highly concerned and
had less intention to buy counterfeits compared to younger individuals. For the present
study, it is assumed that if an individual holds a high level of ethic related to idealism, he/she
will realise that purchasing counterfeit products is a wrong doing. Considering this, the
following hypothesis was developed:
Empirical
study in the
Malaysian
market
H3. Ethical concern will be negatively related to consumers’ attitude towards purchasing
counterfeit products.
841
Perception towards lawfulness
Individual’s perception towards lawfulness is linked with his/her moral rules, standards,
and principals that lead the behaviour of an individual and/or group to purchase, select, use,
and sell goods and services (Phau et al., 2009). According to Kohlberg (1976), consumers’
personal behaviour is the function of their sense of subjective justice. This means, the higher
the level of a person’s moral judgment, the lesser that person will conduct unethical
behaviour for personal gain or for business purposes.
In regard to counterfeit product purchasing, it is assumed that if a consumer’s perception
towards lawfulness is high, then there is a possibility that he/she will exert a negative attitude
towards buying the counterfeit brands of luxury goods (Phau et al., 2009). Conversely, if the
consumer’s perception towards lawfulness is not strong enough, he/she will tend to buy
the counterfeit brands of luxury goods. Therefore, the following hypothesis is developed:
H4. Consumer’s perception towards lawfulness will be negatively related to consumers’
attitude towards purchasing counterfeit products.
Mediating role of attitude
The proposed mediating role of attitude can be justified based on Ajzen’s and Fishbein
(1975) theory. According to this theory, beliefs influence attitude that in turn affect intention.
If consumer has positive beliefs about counterfeit products he/she is likely to develop
favourable attitudes towards counterfeits. As consequences there are more chances to form
favourable intention to purchase the counterfeit goods. Conversely, if the consumer holds
negative beliefs about this type of product, he/she is more inclined to develop unfavourable
attitudes. In each instance there are fewer chances to form favourable intention to purchase
the counterfeit goods.
Beside theoretical justification empirical, evidences also exist. For example, past studies
found that attitude towards buying counterfeit products mediate the relationship between
social, personal, and product factors and consumer intention to purchase counterfeit products
(Ang et al., 2001; Bian and Moutinho, 2009; Chaudhry and Stumpf, 2011; Phau et al., 2009).
Nevertheless, there is a paucity of research that has examined the mediating role of attitude
between ethical aspects and consumer intention to purchase counterfeit products. Therefore,
the following hypotheses are developed:
H5. Attitude toward buying counterfeit products mediate the relationship between
religiosity and consumer’s intention to purchase counterfeit product.
H6. Attitude toward buying counterfeit products mediates the relationship between
ethical concern and consumer’s intention to purchase counterfeit product.
H7. Attitude toward buying counterfeit products mediates the relationship
between perception toward lawfulness and consumer’s intention to purchase
counterfeit product.
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Conceptual framework
The proposed relationships among the study variables are shown in Figure 1.
Methodology
Measurement of the variables
All scales to measure the study variables were borrowed from past literature (see Appendix).
Behavioural intention was measured by using a five-item scale adapted from Zeithaml et al.
(1996), whereas attitude was borrowed from Phau et al. (2009). The religiosity was measured by
using five items adapted from Shukor and Jamal (2013). This scale was developed at two stages:
first, qualitative data were collected using face-to-face interview; and second, a quantitative data
was collected using a survey questionnaire. The findings of this study revealed that religiosity
can be measured as unidimensional construct that consist of five items. This scale found to be
valid and reliable and can be used by consumer researchers. Contrastingly, ethical concern and
perception toward lawfulness scales were borrowed from Chaudhry and Stumpf (2011) and
Lichtenstein et al. (1990), rrespectively. All scales are showed in Table AI. A seven-point Likert
scale was utilised, which ranged from 1 ¼ “strongly disagree” to 7 ¼ “strongly agree”.
Study location
The primary data for this study were obtained through the questionnaire survey. This study
focussed on two major categories of counterfeit products, i.e., fashion and electronic devices.
The study was carried in China Town or alternatively known as, “Paradise of fake products”
(named by tourists), Low Yat Plaza; and a variety of local markets (pasar malam or night
market, day market, etc.). In these markets, one can find plenty of branded and also pirated
footwear, bags, clothes, toys, accessories, watches, and electronic devices.
Data collection procedure
Since it was difficult to get a list of all elements of the population, non-probability sampling
more specifically judgmental sampling was employed. Using this type of sampling is a good
choice because it permits a theoretical generalisation of the findings (Calder et al., 1981;
Mohammad et al., 2010). With respect to sample size, Churchill (1991) contended that the
number of surveys in a regional consumer study should range between 200-500 responses.
Since this study chose individual as the sampling unit, the sample size was needed to fall
within that range. Therefore, obtaining 400 valid questionnaires would be sufficient to
analyse the data. Additionally, respondents were required to be at least 18 years old since
this group is sufficiently knowledgeable to make decisions and have purchasing power
(Norzalita et al., 2009). Moreover, it is expected that respondents who are 18 years old are
well informed about counterfeit products in different ways, such as media, friends,
Ethical aspect:
• Religiosity (RE)
• Ethical concern
(EC)
Figure 1.
Proposed conceptual
framework
• Attitude towards
lawfulness (ATL)
Attitude towards
buying counterfeit
products (ATT)
Behavioural intention
to
purchase counterfeit
products (INT)
advertismnet, etc. In total, 737 questionnaires were distributed, in which 450 questionnaires
were returned and finally, 400 valid questionnaires were found usable for further analysis.
SPSS version 21 and SmartPLS 3 were utilised to run the analysis.
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Profile of the respondents
As shown in Table I, the male frequency is 199 or 49.8 per cent of the total, while female
frequency is 201 or 50.2 per cent. The minimum frequency from the total 400 respondents is
equal to 32, and relevant to the age group of 56 and higher. In addition, the highest level of
frequency was 128 for the group aged from 26 to 35. The next question of demographics is
for the educational background according to six different groups. The minimum level of
frequency from the total 400 participants is 10 from the doctorates. In addition, the highest
level of frequency is 125 from the diploma/technical school certificate group.
Empirical
study in the
Malaysian
market
843
Result
SmartPLS 3.0 software was used (Ringle et al., 2015) to analyse the model developed.
Following the recommended two-stage analytical procedures by Anderson and Gerbing (1988),
Number of respondents (N ¼ 400)
%
Gender
Male
Female
199
201
49.8
50.2
Age
Below 25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56 and above
80
128
104
56
32
20.0
32.0
26.0
14.0
8.0
Ethnicity
Malay
Chinese
Indian
Others
201
123
53
23
50.2
30.8
13.2
5.8
Marital status
Single
Married
Divorced
Widow/widower
168
203
22
7
42.0
50.8
5.5
1.8
Educational background
Primary school certificate
Secondary school certificate
Diploma/technical school certificate
Bachelor degree or equivalent
Master degree
Doctoral degree
75
83
125
81
26
10
18.8
20.8
31.2
20.2
6.5
2.5
Income
Below 2,000
2,001-3,000
3,001-4,000
4,001-5,000
Above 5,001
65
126
108
67
34
16.2
31.5
27.0
16.8
8.5
Demographics
Table I.
Demographic profile
of the respondents
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this study tested the measurement model and the structural model (see Hair et al., 2014;
Mohammad et al., 2015; Ramayah et al., 2013). In order to test the significance of the
path coefficients and the loadings, a bootstrapping (resampling ¼ 5,000) method was used
(Chua et al., 2016; Hair et al., 2014).
Common method variance needs to be examined when data are collected via self-reported
questionnaires and in particular, both the predictor and criterion variables are obtained from
the same person (Podsakoff et al., 2003). Harman’s single factor test was used, whereby all
items are loaded in a factor analysis and if one factor emerges explaining the majority of the
variance, then common method variance exist. Our analysis returned a 5-factor solution
( χ2 ¼ 25,679.91, po0.01) explaining a total variance of 73.107 per cent. The first factor only
captured 32.32 per cent variance, thus we can conclude that method variance is not a serious
problem in this study.
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Measurement model
First, convergent validity was confirmed when the loadings (W0.70), composite reliability
(W 0.7) and average variance extracted ( W0.5) as suggested by Hair et al. (2014) and as
shown in Table II were achieved. Next, discriminant validity was assessed using the Fornell
and Larcker (1981) method, which requires the square root of the variance extracted to be
higher than the correlations. This was also achieved in Table II. Therefore, with these two
tests, we have shown that the measures in this study have sufficient convergent and
discriminant validity.
Structural model
Assessing the structural model involves evaluating R2, β, and the corresponding t-values
with predictive relevance (Q2) (Hair et al., 2014; Mohammad et al., 2016). The R2 of attitude
was 0.508, i.e. all of the predictors explained 50.8 per cent of the variance in attitude, whereas
Intention had an R2 of 0.685, which indicates that attitude can explain 68.5 per cent of the
variance in intention.
First we looked at the predictors of attitude, religiosity ( β ¼ −0.225, p o0.01), ethical
concern ( β ¼ −0.220, po 0.01), and perception towards lawfulness ( β ¼ −0.212, p o0.01)
were negatively related to attitude. Attitude was positively ( β ¼ 0.525, p o0.01) related to
intention to purchase. Therefore, H1, H2, H3, H4, were supported.
Next we looked at the mediation effect of attitude on the IV-DV relationship.
Religiosity → attitude → intention ( β ¼ −0.118, p o 0.01, BC0.95 LL ¼ −0.0189 and
UL ¼ −0.043), ethical concern → attitude → intention ( β ¼ −0.116, p o 0.01, BC0.95
LL ¼ −0.165 and UL ¼ −0.046) and perception towards lawfulness → attitude → intention
( β ¼ −0.111, po 0.01, BC0.95 LL ¼ −0.190 and UL ¼ −0.042) were significantly mediated by
attitude. Moreover, as suggested by Preacher and Hayes (2004, 2008), the indirect effects did
not straddle a 0 in between, indicating that there is mediation. Therefore, we can conclude
Mean
Table II.
Descriptive,
convergent and
discriminant validity
of measures
1. ATL
2. ATT
3. EC
4. INT
5. RE
Note: Values
SD
AVE
CR
3.73
1.39
0.67
0.89
4.43
1.09
0.51
0.86
3.69
1.31
0.70
0.87
3.94
1.39
0.68
0.91
3.78
1.46
0.74
0.85
in the diagonal italicized are square root of
1
2
3
4
5
0.82
0.66
0.71
0.81
0.56
0.83
0.62
0.52
0.50
0.82
0.8
0.62
0.76
0.60
0.86
AVE while the offdiagonals are correlations
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that the mediation effect is statistically significant, indicating that H5, H6, H7, were
supported (Table III).
Hair et al. (2014) suggested that the blindfolding procedure should only be applied to
endogenous constructs that have a reflective measurement (multiple items or single item).
If the Q2 value is larger than 0, the model has predictive relevance for a certain endogenous
construct and otherwise if the value is less than 0 (Hair et al., 2014; Fornell and Cha, 1994).
In this study we can see that all of the Q2 values are more than 0 for attitude (Q2 ¼ 0.325) and
intention (Q2 ¼ 0.167), suggesting that the model has sufficient predictive relevance.
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Discussion
The objective of this study was to investigate the factors that affect consumers’ attitude and
behavioural intention towards purchasing counterfeit products in the Malaysian counterfeit
market. To address this crucial matter, a research model based on the TPB was developed to
provide a more comprehensive understanding about the effect of ethical aspects on
consumer intention to purchase counterfeit products. Additionally, the relationship between
attitude and behavioural intention to purchase counterfeit products was also examined.
From the results, the ethical beliefs that impact attitudes towards counterfeits among
Malaysian consumers who have purchased counterfeits are: religiously, ethical concern, and
attitude toward lawfulness. Overall, the findings of this research indicate that all hypotheses
were supported, and were consistent with the findings of other studies regarding counterfeit
products using TPB (Hernan et al., 2012; Perez et al., 2010). Moreover, the predictors of
consumer attitude to purchase counterfeit product explained 0.508 per cent of the variance,
while the predictor of behavioural intention explained 0.685 per cent of the variance.
In explaining hypotheses, data demonstrated supports for the link between beliefs,
attitudes, and behavioural intention to purchase counterfeit products, which is consistent with
TPB and past studies (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980; Phau et al., 2014). It implies that consumers’
attitude towards buying counterfeit products is an important factor that has significant and
positive impact on behavioural intention to purchase. In the context of counterfeits, it is
expected that consumers with a more favourable attitude toward buying counterfeit products
will have more favourable behavioural intention to purchase counterfeit goods.
This study hypothesised that the ethical aspect in terms of religiosity, ethical concern, and
perception towards lawfulness to be the antecedents of consumers’ attitude toward purchasing
counterfeit products. The finding demonstrated that all of these aspects have a significant
negative relation on consumers’ intention to purchase counterfeit product. In other words, the
higher the level of an individual’s moral judgment, a consumer is less likely to purchase the
counterfeit product. This is in line with the TPB. This theory assumes that individuals’
attitude towards a certain behaviour depends on his/her beliefs. More clearly, religious and
ethical individuals are more likely to restrain themselves from performing any action that is
Hypothesis Relationship
Std β
SE t-value Decision
BC 95%
LL
BC 95%
UL
H1
Attitude → intention
H2
Religiosity → attitude
H3
EC → attitude
H4
ATL → attitude
H5
Religiosity → Attitude → intention
H6
EC → attitude → intention
H7
ATL → Attitude → intention
Notes: *p o0.05; **p o 0.01
0.52
−0.22
−0.22
−0.21
−0.11
−0.11
−0.11
0.03 13.35** Supported
0.06 3.34** Supported
0.05 3.94** Supported
0.06 3.09** Supported
0.03 3.17** Supported
0.02 3.99** Supported
0.03 2.92** Supported
0.46
0.07
0.31
0.09
0.18
0.16
0.19
0.61
0.32
0.08
0.36
0.04
0.04
0.04
Table III.
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846
against their principles. Furthermore, the result of this study is in agreement with past studies
that found religious and ethical people to be more motivated to show positive and
ethical behaviour in terms of citizenship behaviour, commitment, satisfaction, and avoiding
unethical products and services, such as counterfeit products, drugs, alcohol, night clubs, etc.
(see Cohen and Johnson, 2016; Giorgi and Marsh, 1990; Mohammad et al., 2015; Osafo et al.,
2013; Sawatzky et al., 2009; Tan, 2002; Tufail et al., 2016).
The ethical aspect works as the moral rules, standards, and principals that lead
individual behaviour or a group in the purchase, selection, usage, and sales of goods
and services (Vitell and Muncy, 1992). As suggested by Hunt and Vitell (1986, 1993),
spirituality/religiosity is an important aspect that held on the ethical beliefs of consumers
in a positive approach. It indicates that the ones who hold higher spirituality/religiosity
may be more ethical in relation to purchasing counterfeit products. A possible explanation
for this result can be due to the fact that religious and ethical individuals have
constructive views and opinions that influence their attitudes positively in terms of love,
respect, appreciation, and fear of God, society, and law. These feelings restrain them from
committing unethical behaviour, such as lying, cheating, and/or promoting, buying, and
using illegal products and/or services.
It was also found that consumers’ attitude mediates the relationship between personal
aspects, ethical concern and consumers’ intention. This is consistent with the TPB, which
postulated that intention always mediates the relationship between attitude and behaviour.
The result was also in line with past studies that confirmed that behavioural intention can
mediate the relationship between attitude and actual behaviour (see Riquelme et al., 2012;
Chua et al., 2016). More particularly, religious, and ethical consumers are inclined to develop
a negative attitude about the counterfeit products since it is against and contradicts their
values and beliefs, and ultimately, they will not purchase these types of fake products.
Theoretical and practical contribution
This study contributes significantly to the theory and practice alike. Theoretically, this
study has developed relatively new linkages, i.e. the effect of religiosity, ethical concern, and
lawfulness on consumer attitude to purchase counterfeit products. Additionally, this is a
comparatively new study that tested the mediating role of consumer attitude between
ethical aspects and behavioural intention to purchase counterfeit products. This is likely to
contribute significantly to the theory of consumer behaviour regarding the consumption of
these types of goods in a non-western context. Most importantly, this study contributed to
the TPB by incorporating ethical beliefs as antecedent of consumer attitude. Past studies
focussed on three types of beliefs, i.e., normative beliefs, behavioural beliefs, and control
beliefs and less attention was given to ethical beliefs.
Practically, this study has tested the direct and indirect relationships in a new research
context, i.e., Malaysian counterfeit market. The output of this study emphasised on the
crucial role of ethical aspects in preventing a consumer from purchasing these types of fake
products that can have a harmful effect on individuals, groups, and all nations socially and
economically. Religious organisations in Malaysia, such as mosques, churches, and temples
are encouraged to practice their main duties in inculcating and cultivating the religious
values and beliefs that stress on implementing and practicing ethical behaviour, as well
as avoiding unethical deeds. Moreover, government, legislators, and decision makers in
Malaysia are recommended strongly to instil the ethical values, beliefs, and behaviour
through the education system at the school, college, and university level, to ensure better
behaviour from the current and future generations that can enhance, improve, and advance
the quality of life in Malaysia. Additionally, conferences, seminars, and public talks can be
organised by private and public organisations to address this phenomenon and to come up
with some strategies that can help to control and minimise its effects.
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Conclusion
Currently, counterfeit products are an important global issue because counterfeit and
pirated products are not only a threat to the global economy, as well as social and cultural
welfare, but are also harmful and dangerous to those who are not able to differentiate the
fake from the original. Increasing counterfeit products in the international trade market has
led to different problems around the world, and this issue is more significant because
counterfeit products have shifted from simple items, such as shoes and handbags to
chemical products, such as medicines and pesticides. In this instance, the present study
investigates the factors that affect consumers’ attitude and behavioural intention towards
buying counterfeit products.
It is hoped that both academicians and practitioners can benefit from this study finding.
As mentioned before, even with awareness of all the issues related to using unauthorised
goods, the number of consumers of counterfeit products is rising around the world. It is
expected that this study would help the original marketers to have a better understanding of
the consumers’ needs and wants, which will eventually help them to better strategize their
marketing efforts.
Although the present study has its merits in regard to testing reasonably new linkages
and to providing some useful findings regarding this issue, it is not beyond of some
limitations. However, the limitations of this study may serve as the future research
directions for other studies in the field. As suggestions for future studies, one could test the
model presented here in different product categories (such as CDs, DVDs, food, toys, etc.)
and examine for possible differences. It is also recommended that other variables can be
included in the model as moderator, such as consumer involvement with the product, gender
and ethnicity. This is because when consumers are more involved with the product, he/she
should be more worried about the buying decision and have a higher risk aversion. In a
nutshell, this study opens up the avenue for future researchers and calls for more relevant
studies to be conducted in this field.
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(The Appendix follows overleaf.)
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Appendix
Ethical concern
1
2
3
4
Counterfeiting infringes on intellectual property rights
Counterfeiting damages the original industry
Obtaining counterfeit goods is illegal
Obtaining counterfeit goods is unethical
Religiosity
4
6
7
8
9
I believe in God
I carefully avoid shameful acts
I always perform my duty to God
It is important for me to follow God’s commandments conscientiously
Religious beliefs influence all my dealings with everyone
Attitude toward lawfulness
10
11
12
13
A person should obey the laws no matter how much they interfere
with personal ambitions
A person should tell the truth in court, regardless of the consequences
A person is justified in giving a false testimony to protect a friend on trial
It is all right for a person to break the law if he or she does not get caught
Attitude toward buying counterfeit product
14
Generally speaking, counterfeit products have satisfying quality
15
Generally speaking, counterfeit products are practical
16
Generally speaking, counterfeit products are reliable
17
For me, to buy/use counterfeit products is virtue of thrift (economics)
18
For me, to buy/use counterfeit products is convenient
19
For me, to buy/use counterfeit products is wise
20
For me, to buy/use counterfeit products is proud
21
For me, to buy/use counterfeit products is guiltless
Table AI.
Adapted items
to measure the
study variables
Behavioural intention
22
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I say positive things about the counterfeit product to other people
I recommend counterfeit product to someone who seeks my advice
I encourage friends and relatives to buy counterfeit products
I consider counterfeit product as my first choice to buy compared to other
expensive original product
I shall buy more counterfeit products in future
About the authors
Farzana Quoquab is a Senior Lecturer at the International Business School, UTM. She has received her
Doctorate of Business Administration Degree from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She has
presented papers at international and national conferences and published articles in peer-reviewed
international journals such as Economics and Technology Management Review, Asia Pacific Journal of
Marketing and Logistics and Asian Academy of Management Journal.
Sara Pahlevan is an MBA Student at the International Business School, UTM. Her focus of the
research is consumer behaviour.
Jihad Mohammad is a Senior Lecturer at the International Business School, UTM. He has received
his DBA Degree from Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia. He has presented papers at various
international and national conferences and published articles in peer-reviewed international journals.
He has versatile career exposure. His current research interest includes organisational citizenship
behaviour, work ethics, and consumer behaviour. Jihad Mohammad is the corresponding author and
can be contacted at: [email protected]
Downloaded by 210.195.118.220 At 09:44 13 September 2017 (PT)
Ramayah Thurasamy is a Professor at the School of Management in USM. He teaches mainly
courses in Research Methodology and Business Statistics and has also conducted training courses for
the local government (research methods for candidates departing overseas for higher degree,
Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam). Apart from teaching, he is an Avid Researcher, especially in the areas
of technology management and adoption in business and education. His publications have appeared
in Computers in Human Behavior, Resources Conservation and Recycling, Journal of Educational
Technology & Society, Direct Marketing: An International Journal, Information Development, Journal of
Project Management ( JoPM), Management Research News (MRN), International Journal of
Information Management, International Journal of Services and Operations Management (IJSOM),
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management (ECAM) and North American Journal
of Psychology.
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Empirical
study in the
Malaysian
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