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Evidence of a secular trend in attitudes towards the macro marketing environment in India: Pre and post economic liberalization

Lysonski, S., Durvasula, S. and Ayyagari, M. (2012) Evidence of a secular trend in attitudes towards the macro marketing environment in India: Pre and post economic liberalization. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 29 (7). pp. 532-544.

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India has undergone dramatic changes since the economic liberalization of 1992. This study aims to provide an historical analysis to determine if consumer attitudes towards marketing practices and consumerism in India have changed measurably from 1990 to 2009.


To measure consumer attitudes towards marketing and consumerism, an established research instrument was administered with 39 Likert scaled items measuring seven dimensions. Two samples were compared: 1990 vs 2009.


The paper finds that 22 items exhibited significant differences. The mindset of Indians has evolved over the last two decades. Many of the changes were positive. However, the study does not provide a completely clean “bill of health” to the business community.
Research limitations/implications

This paper used an urban sample; a rural sample would also be useful. Future research could examine other emerging economies such as Brazil, China, and Vietnam.

Practical implications

The Indian marketplace is operating in a much more open and uncontrolled way since liberalization. Businesses must heed some of the results of this study and continue to pursue practices that consumers see as fair and as transparent. The authors encourage the Indian business community to remain vigilant about the issues addressed in this paper.

Social implications

These consumer perceptions could be used for decision making by consumer welfare advocates and public policy makers. The lack of improvements in deficient areas may represent possible problems for business in the future. Firms must be concerned about their social responsibility regarding consumerism issues.


The paper offers a longitudinal view of India's consumerism movement. No other research has examined one of the BRICs in this context as this paper has done. Since India is now in the limelight, this research has contemporary value. The paper also provides a very good commentary on the changes in India's consumer markets. The paper has value to marketing managers and public policy advocates.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
Copyright: © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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