The mystique of macro-boycotting behaviour: a conceptual framework


Ibrahim Abosag, Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PB, UK. E-mail:


In spite of the aim of the World Trade Organization and other international organizations to foster international trade and development by lessening protectionism agendas worldwide, there has been a rise in consumer-boycotting behaviour at a macro level involving campaigns directed against foreign products from countries embroiled in conflicts in international relations, rather than against products from individual companies perceived to have engaged in a domestic egregious act. While campaigning at this level is becoming a more effective tool for consumer protest, as it negatively affects both the boycotted countries' macroeconomics and companies' micro-competitiveness, consumer motivation to participate in macro-level boycotts has so far been overlooked in the boycotting literature. This paper examines consumers' behavioural intentions to participate in macro-boycotting campaigns within the context of an Arab country, which has recently witnessed a number of campaigns of this nature. Using the theory of planned behaviour, the findings of an exploratory qualitative study of Egyptian consumers offer insights into the motives and barriers to individual macro-boycott participation. Findings are discussed together with managerial implications.