Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Ann Marie Fiore

Second Advisor

Elena E. Karpova

Third Advisor

Mary Lynn Damhorst


Mass customization may deliver superior value to consumers compared to mass production because it provides personalized products with prices close to mass produced products. This assertion was made under the conditions and assumptions in Western societies where individual needs, rights, and interests are greatly valued. It is not known whether mass customization will deliver similar value to consumers in other societies, where different value systems exist. The purpose of the present study was to examine Chinese consumers' responses toward mass customization and the influence of Chinese cultural values on these responses.;This study focused on web-based apparel mass customization and investigated (a) the effects of product price and customization level on consumers' perceived value and (b) the effects of perceived value on consumers' behavioral intention. Additionally, this research examined the moderating roles of Chinese cultural values on the relationships between the marketing attributes (price and customization level) and perceived value and between perceived value and behavioral intention.;The study used a between-subject experimental design involving manipulations of price and customization level. Four different treatments of a t-shirt website, resulting from the combination of two price levels and two customization levels, were used as the stimuli. A total of 344 participants from China participated in the study. Each respondent browsed one of the four randomly assigned treatments and completed an online questionnaire. Structural equation models were used to test the hypotheses.;Results showed that higher price significantly reduced Chinese consumers' perception of economic value and efficiency, as hypothesized. Mass customization significantly enhanced consumers' perceptions of product quality, enjoyment, and escapism, as hypothesized. However, respondents did not perceive enhanced economic value from the mass customization treatments. As hypothesized, perceived value explained behavioral intention. The study also found that two Chinese cultural values, relational orientation and man-nature orientation, significantly moderated the relationships between marketing attributes and perceived value and between perceive value and behavioral intention. These findings provide information needed for decision-making about marketing strategies for companies that would like to implement mass customization in China.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Kun Song



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

119 pages