German and American Consumer Orientations to Information Technologies: Implications for Marketing and Public Policy

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Markets for the information technology industries are becoming global. The success of firms competing for a share of the global marketplace will increasingly depend on how well they understand and integrate consumer attitudes and behaviors toward these technologies. In order to contribute to that understanding, this paper reports a study of German and American consumers' attitudes toward familiarity with new information technologies. In general, German consumers are found to be less familiar than Americans with a number of information technologies. They also tend to be more skeptical regarding the contributions of technology to society, medical care, the environment, and human life. These differences are more pronounced for college age respondents than for the older groups. College students in the U.S. show considerably greater familiarity with technology than older Americans, but this difference does not exist among Germans. The data also suggests that gender differences regarding attitudes toward technology are not as strong as expected. Implications for intercultural marketing of information technology are discussed. © 1996 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of International Consumer Marketing