Cross-cultural validation of switching costs: a four-country assessment

Dahlia El-Manstrly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


– The purpose of this paper is to develop a cross-cultural scale of customers’ perceived switching costs (PSCs). Customers’ PSCs function as a powerful defensive marketing tool that restrains customers from switching.

– Four sets of survey data were collected in the UK, Egypt, Germany, and China. An overall response rate of 86 percent was achieved across the four countries. Cross-cultural equivalence of the PSCs scale was assessed using multi-group confirmatory factor analysis.

– Tests of configural, metric, and factor variance invariance confirmed that the PSCs scale is appropriate for meaningful cross-cultural comparisons.

Research limitations/implications
– Data were collected in four countries from the financial service context. Future researchers should test the short-form PSCs (PSCs-S) scale across different cultural and industrial contexts to enhance its generalizability.

Practical implications
– The cross-cultural PSCs-S scale presented here will enhance international marketing researchers’ ability to test theory containing customers’ PSCs as central variables, and provide managers with a measurement tool that they can use to better segment and manage their customers.

– This study is one of the first to develop a cross-cultural PSCs scale. Despite the growth of research into customers’ PSCs, research on the topic has been limited by the lack of a cross-cultural measurement instrument. The latter now furnishes the research community with the opportunity to gain a fuller understanding of switching behavior, to establish the scale's generalizability, and to make meaningful comparisons of PSCs across cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-437
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014


  • international marketing
  • measurement invariance
  • switching costs


Dive into the research topics of 'Cross-cultural validation of switching costs: a four-country assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this