Religiosity, Generational Cohort and Buying Behaviour of Islamic Financial Products in Bangladesh
The role of religiosity on consumers‟ buying decisions is increasingly gaining the attention of researchers and practitioners. However, its role in consumer behaviour is not yet well established, particularly in the behaviour of Muslim consumers when buying financial products. The rapid growth of Islamic finance during the last 10 years across regions for various Islamic Financial Products (IFPs) provides opportunities and challenges to managers and researchers. Considering the rapid growth of IFPs and the limited research on Muslims‟ buying behaviour of such products, this research examined the relationship between religiosity, consumer buying attitude and purchase intention towards IFPs, to develop and understand how Muslims‟ religiosity impacts on their buying decisions. A conceptual model has been developed based on extant literature. The model is guided by the theoretical premise of religious consumer behaviour and the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). The model included key religious dimensions: religious belief, practice, knowledge, experience and consequences, to measure the overall religiosity of consumers. The model investigated the effect of religiosity on consumer buying attitude and purchase intention towards IFPs. The model also investigated the moderating effects of generation cohorts on the relationship between religiosity, buying attitude and purchase intention. The analysis is based on a sample of 1,292 Muslim consumers in five major cities from three different generational cohorts in Bangladesh. The data was collected through a questionnaire survey, which was dropped off and collected by the researcher. The main findings suggest that religiosity positively and directly influences consumer buying attitude and purchase intention towards IFPs. It also finds that consumer buying attitude mediates the effects of religiosity on purchase intention and generational cohort has a partial-moderating effect on these relationships. This research contributes to the literature in several ways. Firstly, it enhances the understanding of Muslim consumers buying behaviours of IFPs. It extends the current research by examining the complex mediating and moderating relationship. Thus, the findings suggest the mechanism of how religiosity influences Muslims‟ buying behaviour of IFPs. Secondly, it provides empirical support to the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) to understand religious-driven behaviours influenced by religious commitment. Thirdly, it utilised the generational cohort theory to identify generational cohorts in Bangladesh and extend the current research by examining their moderation effect on the relationship between religiosity and consumer behaviour. Fourthly, it enhances the understanding of the buying behaviour of Muslims from a democratic developing country, which is likely to differ from that of Muslims from Shariah-governed countries. The findings have implications for practitioners too as they provide an understanding of Muslim consumers in a more predictive and comprehensive manner, by considering religiosity as a predictor of consumer behaviour rather than simply as a correlate of product purchasing. The results of this study may help Islamic financial service providers to identify potential customers and segment the target market on the basis of religiosity and generational cohort in order to expand their services globally.