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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

When country competence backfires: Stereotype-driven emotions and the dark side of envy

Published: May 28, 2019


Georgios Halkias, University of Vienna; Adamantios Diamantopoulos , University of Vienna; Arnd Florack, University of Vienna


Country-of-origin; Stereotype Content Model; emotions


We draw from stereotyping research in social psychology to investigate the mediating role of country-triggered emotions in the relationship between country stereotypes and brand responses. In two empirical studies employing multiple, well-known brands from different product categories and countries, we show that country-triggered admiration and contempt uniformly mediate favorable and unfavorable brand responses respectively. However, the indirect effects through the ambivalent emotion of envy are conditioned on the exact configuration of the stereotype content dimensions such that in the absence of warmth, competence backfires and damages the brand. Findings imply a promotion–prevention function for the two stereotype dimensions, with competence mainly promoting favorable responses, whereas warmth primarily preventing negative affect transfer. Implications of the findings are discussed and future research direction are identified.


The authors acknowledge the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for supporting this study (Research Grant: P26740)