Social norm compliance and involvement with Covid-19

Demographic differences in developing and developed countries




Covid-19; pandemic; demographics; involvement; social norms; consumer decisions; social norm compliance


Consumer decisions are influenced by various variables, including compliance with society’s social norms and by involvement by consumers with the issue under consideration. Both variables have influenced consumers’ actions during previous pandemics. Therefore, this study investigated involvement with the Covid-19 pandemic, together with social norm compliance (SNC), their mutual influence, and how demographic characteristics and country of residence influenced these three issues. The methodology involved a quantitative descriptive cross-sectional survey, with a quota sample of 1096 responses, based on age, gender, education, habitation, and income. The research was conducted with populations representing the consumers who patronize major retailers in a developed country (Germany) and a developing one (South Africa). Data was collected via questionnaires e-mailed to commercial consumer panels covering both countries. The findings showed that involvement is influenced by gender, age, education, habitation, and country of residence, but that SNC is not influenced by demographics but does differ according to country. Further findings were that involvement with Covid-19 strongly influences SNC and, similarly, SNC also strongly influences involvement with Covid-19. Furthermore demographics, excluding habitation, also influence these variables. However, the relationship between the involvement and SNC variables does not differ between the two countries. This study has provided a better understanding of consumers’ involvement with Covid-19 and SNC as components of consumer behavior, which is important since, during the Covid-19 pandemic, retailers have been instrumental in implementing health protocols. Therefore, understanding the relationship between involvement with Covid-19 and SNC, and how they are influenced by consumer demographics, is important.


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How to Cite

Mason, R., Corbishley, K. M., & Dobbelstein, T. (2022). Social norm compliance and involvement with Covid-19: Demographic differences in developing and developed countries. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 11(5), 406–422.



Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities & Social Sciences