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Does the country of origin matter for sustainable products? A comparison of European sporting goods producers.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


Title: Does the Country of Origin Matter for Sustainable Products? A Comparison of European Sporting Goods Producers

Level: Final assignment for Master Degree in Business Administration

Author: Edith Anna Voithofer

Supervisor: Jonas Kågström, Ph.D.

Date: January 24, 2013

Aim of study: The brand name and its country of origin is information that is used from consumers to make purchase decisions. Although existing research discusses several country of origin – aspects from other industries, literature within the sporting goods industry is still spare. Environmental pollution is an important topic nowadays, and the sporting goods industry is trying to include more “green” aspects within their business strategy, or is already quite successful in doing so. To fill the research gap, this thesis focuses on sustainable producers with a very good sustainable reputation in order to analyze the importance of the country of origin effect within the sustainable outdoor industry.

Methodology: For this paper a conclusive research design was taken, as it is more formal, and used to test specific relationships. The quantitative research included respondents from two sustainable outdoor brands (originally from Sweden and Germany) who answered an online survey. Basis for the selection process was the independent bluesign® standard, a strong and global sustainability standard. The survey included five constructs to quantify the dimensions of brand equity and overall brand equity.

Results: Both respondent groups are similar regarding their demographic data characteristics and their opinion when it comes to the quality of outdoor goods and its brand association. In particular, they seem to feel strongly connected towards the brands; they were proud and very loyal. Nevertheless, differences were identified. Sustainable products seem to be valued higher from Swedish respondents, whereas loyalty seems to be more important for German participants.

Contribution of the study: Although existing research discusses several country of origin related aspects from other industries, relevant literature within the sporting goods industry, and here specifically the sustainable outdoor industry is still sparse. These topics are covered in this study.

Keywords: Country of origin, Sustainability, Sporting Goods Industry, Outdoor Industry

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
country of origin, sustainability, sporting goods industry, outdoor industry
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-13813Archive number: FE1: 6/2013OAI: diva2:604322
Subject / course
Business administration
Educational program
Business administration – master’s programme (one year)
2013-01-24, Embla, Kungsbäcksvägen, Gävle, 10:59 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-04-04 Created: 2013-02-09 Last updated: 2013-04-04Bibliographically approved

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