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Use and disposition of a gift and the recipient's feedback in a collectivist environment


  • Jorge Cruz Cardenas Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica


 The giving and receiving of gifts, due to its economic and social implications, has attracted the attention of different disciplines, Marketing and Consumer Behavior among them. The receiver as an important actor has aroused an increasing interest; however few studies have been oriented to study his/her behavior after the reception of the gift either in culturally individualistic or collectivistic environments. 

In order to help fill the knowledge gap, this study was carried out in Ecuador, a country characterized as highly collectivistic. The research conducted was qualitative in nature, and involved in-depth personal interviews with 24 individuals who received a total of 90 gifts for Christmas the year before. Based on the receiver`s satisfaction with the gift(s) and the freedom re: use/disposal of the gift(s) perceived to be permitted by the giver, four fundamental themes arose from the data: the gift as a (1) common; (2) special; (3) awkward; or (4) inadequate product. Within each of these themes, gift recipients revealed different attitudes and behavior concerning the use and disposition of their gift(s) and also of feedback to the giver.


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