Whatsapp! does culture matter to persuasive system design and brand loyalty?

Serri Faisal, Kamaal Allil, Nor Aziati Abdul Hamid, Nor Hazana Abdullah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The traditional paradigm prioritizes local culture in application design; however, popular applications with persuasive systems design (PSD) like WhatsApp appeal to a global audience beyond local cultural attributes. The purpose of this study is to test the moderating role of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions on PSD and the relationship to loyalty in the context of WhatsApp. By employing an online survey, data were collected from the Netherlands, Germany, KSA, and Malaysia (N = 488). Using regression moderation analyses, the hypotheses were tested. Findings suggest that only two cultural dimensions, namely power distance and individualism, have a moderating role: power distance in Germany, and individualism in both KSA and Malaysia. This implies that managers must consider the possible influence of some cultural dimensions on loyalty. The study contributes to the literature by focusing on smartphone apps in countries with varying cross-cultural dimensions scores and utilizing the user’s perspective instead of the designer’s perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5800
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Cross-cultural dimensions
  • Loyalty
  • Persuasive system design
  • Smartphone applica-tions
  • WhatsApp


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