AbstractThere is an overwhelming consensus in the literature that Islamic banking has been suffering from a negative image. Surely, Islamic banking has been promoted in the Muslim world as an alternative to conventional banking with a strong positioning on Islamic Sharia law (Islamic Jurisprudence) compliance.
This reality is paradoxical in that Islamic banking’s premise and raison-détre is its congruence with Islamic law. One would expect Muslims to jump on the bandwagon of Islamic banking because it is Halal/lawful banking in comparison to conventional banking, which is perceived in Islam as a Haram/unlawful banking system because of its dealing with interest rate (usury).
Putting the ambivalent attitude of Muslim consumers towards Islamic banks into question, the purpose of the study was to shed some light on the reasons behind the unpopularity of Islamic banks in Muslim countries, from a behavioral perspective, taking the consistency theories as a theoretical background. For this purpose, as will be further explained, this study took two research phases to complete and used a mixed-mode research method by combining quantitative research design with qualitative research design (Creswell, 2014).
A proposed conceptual framework aligning with the aintegration assumption is created. It extends the framework to include the aintegration theory as a valid and another contributing perspective to understanding consumer behavior in paradoxical contexts.
The study has also practical implications. Based on the results of the two research phases, the following practical recommendations were made for Islamic banks to keep existing Muslim customers and potentially attract new ones: there is a real need for a strong positioning of Islamic banking as a “true” alternative to conventional banking, with a strong emphasis on Sharia compliancy, transparency, and trust in Islamic banks.
Overall, the analyses undertaken in this part of the study empirically supported the importance of perception, knowledge, religiosity, and attitude in predicting the patronage of Islamic banks or lack of it. Although these findings are important, they do not exhaustively explain the ambivalent attitude of Muslims towards Islamic banks. Therefore, the second phase of the research was undertaken to shed more light on this topic.
The qualitative findings revealed that the consumers who do not patronize Islamic banks but do business with conventional banks instead, consensually, acknowledge the inconsistency (cognitive consistency theory) but feel no discomfort with their behavior (balance theory).
|Date of Award||Sept 2023|
|Supervisor||Omar Moufakkir (Supervisor) & Sushil Mohan (Supervisor)|