Examining Gift-Giving Motives in a Cross-Cultural Context

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Ambwani, Vinita P.




The purpose of this research was to explore the gift-giving motives of migrants. The first objective was to develop statistically validated measures of the motives in the context of migrants giving gifts to their siblings or to those with whom they have a sibling like relationship, on the occasion of home country travel. The second objective was to examine the relationships between gift-giving motives, Schwartz’ basic human values, immigrants’ intention to return permanently to their home country, and their relative economic status.
The data came from South-Asian and Lebanese Canadian
samples. Data was collected in two stages via a self-administered survey which could be completed on-line or in a pencil and paper format. In Stage One, 207 and in Stage Two, 316 valid cases were obtained. The data in Stage One was subjected to exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses as well as reliability analyses to develop an eight-factor gift-giving motives measurement scale. In Stage Two the data were subjected to the same analyses to refine the measurement scale developed in Stage One.
Measures were successfully developed for the following eight theoretically driven constructs
representing gift-giving motives: agonistic, insurance, demonstrating achievement/seeking status, maintaining rituals, reciprocity, utilitarian, guilt, and maintaining social ties. Regression analyses supported theorized links between self-enhancement values and gift-giving motives of agonistic, insurance and demonstrating achievement and seeking status. Similarly, the hypothesized relationships between conservation values and gift-giving motives of maintaining rituals, maintaining social ties, and guilt were also supported. Self-transcendence values were found to predict utilitarian and
maintaining social ties motives of gift-giving and openness to change values were found to predict the agonistic motive, as theorized.
The relationships between self-transcendence values and guilt and between conservation values and insurance were not supported. The predicted relationships of self-transcendence and conservation values with the gift-giving motive of reciprocity was not supported, suggesting that this motive, in particular, needs further exploration in future research.
The findings of this research provide a comprehensive set of measures for gift-giving motives and insights
into their relationship with basic human values for continued conceptual, theoretical and empirical work on the topic of gift-giving.






Carleton University

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