Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 198–215 | Cite as

An investigation of the cross-national determinants of customer satisfaction

  • Forrest V. MorgesonIIIEmail author
  • Sunil Mithas
  • Timothy L. Keiningham
  • Lerzan Aksoy


Many multinational corporations have implemented cross-national satisfaction measurement programs for tracking and benchmarking the satisfaction of their customers across their various markets. These companies measure satisfaction with the goal of maximizing customer loyalty and the financial benefits associated with loyalty. However, existing research comparing consumer satisfaction across nations is limited, with the few existing studies examining only a small number of countries or predictors of satisfaction, or a small group of consumers within a particular economic sector. To expand our knowledge of the determinants of cross-national variation in customer satisfaction, we study three sets of factors: cultural, socioeconomic and political-economic. We utilize a unique sample of cross-industry satisfaction data from 19 nations, including nearly 257,000 interviews of consumers. Consistent with our hypotheses, we find that consumers in traditional societies have higher levels of satisfaction than those in secular-rational societies. Likewise, consumers in self-expressive societies have higher levels of customer satisfaction than those in societies with survival values. We also find that literacy rate, trade freedom, and business freedom have a positive effect on customer satisfaction while per capita gross domestic product has a negative effect on customer satisfaction. We discuss the implications of these findings for policymakers, multinational corporations, and researchers.


Customer satisfaction International and cross-cultural marketing Multinational corporations Economic freedom 



The authors would like to thank Professor Claes Fornell of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for commenting on an earlier draft of this paper and for providing access to the data that made the study possible. Several ACSI international partners provided access to data and invaluable insight into their markets during our research, and we thank them for their support—Jan Eklöf in Europe, Bulent Kilincarslan in Turkey, Juan Pablo Granada in Colombia, and Marcus Lee in Singapore. Finally, thanks also to Dr. Irina Selivanova of EPSI Rating for help with the EPSI dataset, and to Robert Kalsow-Ramos of the University of Michigan for providing research assistance.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Forrest V. MorgesonIII
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sunil Mithas
    • 2
  • Timothy L. Keiningham
    • 3
  • Lerzan Aksoy
    • 4
  1. 1.American Customer Satisfaction IndexAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Robert H. Smith School of Business—University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.IPSOS LoyaltyMorris Corporate Center 2ParsippanyUSA
  4. 4.Schools of Business AdministrationFordham UniversityNew YorkUSA

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