The Role of Socially Desirable Responding in International Services Research

M.J.H. van Birgelen, J.C. de Ruyter, M.G.M. Wetzels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, the contaminating role of socially desirable responding (sdr) in the investigation of “dark-side” aspects in international services marketing is examined. The main question to be answered is whether or not relationships between consumer ethnocentrism towards international services and its antecedents are biased by sdr, manifesting itself as impression management by respondents. The results of an empirical study confirm that conscious impression management indeed is likely to represent a serious threat in this type of consumer behavior-related research. The relationship between cultural openness and consumer collectivism on the one hand and consumer ethnocentric tendencies towards foreign services on the other hand was found to be biased by sdr. Such bias, however, could not be found for the other antecedents, namely patriotism and conservatism. This suggests that whether or not respondents engage in impression management depends on the conceptual character of the constructs being studied in international services research. Accordingly, the results have several implications for international services research practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-94
JournalAdvances in International Marketing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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