Original Research

Stemming the sportswear counterfeit tide: Emerging market evidence of rational and normative drivers

Manilall Dhurup, Asphat Muposhi
Acta Commercii | Vol 20, No 1 | a800 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v20i1.800 | © 2020 Manilall Dhurup, Asphat Muposhi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 June 2019 | Published: 09 April 2020

About the author(s)

Manilall Dhurup, Faculty of Management Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Asphat Muposhi, Department of Marketing Management, Midlands State University, Gweru, Zimbabwe


Orientation: Increasingly, there is an urgent need to curb the scourge of counterfeiting, which is fast becoming a global economic threat with severe implications on employment creation and societal well-being.

Research purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of rational and normative factors on consumers’ willingness to buy counterfeit sportswear in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: This study contributes input to the development of long-term strategies of curbing the escalating scourge of counterfeiting in the sportswear sector.

Research design, approach and method: The study was conducted in South Africa’s southern Gauteng region and Johannesburg central business district, which are considered to be amongst the major counterfeit sportswear promoting segments in South Africa. Cross-sectional data were collected from a convenient sample of 390 respondents. Study hypotheses were tested using standard multiple regression analysis.

Main findings: Perceived financial control and subjective norm emerged as the main factors that engender favourable attitudes towards counterfeit products. Furthermore, attitude towards counterfeits had a strong positive effect on consumers’ willingness to purchase counterfeit sportswear.

Practical/managerial implications: The findings of this study suggest that a combination of normative and rational strategies have the potential to change consumers’ attitudes and willingness to purchase counterfeit sportswear.

Contribution/value-added: The study findings highlight the importance of attempting to address the problem of counterfeiting not only from a regulatory perspective but also from a rational and normative perspective.


counterfeit; theory of planned behaviour; sportswear; South Africa; unethical consumerism


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