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The role of constraints negotiation in understanding Malaysian Muslims’ travel behavior

posted on 20.09.2018, 23:48 by Siti Aqilah Binte Jahari
Muslim market is characterized as an emerging market with unique travel needs that is closely intertwined with religious beliefs. Religious obligations such as consuming Halal food may impose constraints on Muslims’ overall travel experience to non-Muslim countries (NMC), given that structural facilities could be absent or less established at NMC. Hence, traditional consumer behavior theory such as Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) is inadequate to explain their travel behavior that is believed to involve certain form of negotiation around religious requirements. To address this limitation, an integrated framework is proposed using a complementary process-oriented framework known as constraints negotiation theory (CNT), to understand how religion-related constraints are negotiated in order to achieve travel. Anchoring on Malaysia where Islam is the official religion, this study aims to investigate (1) the role of negotiation over the perceived lack of control in the planning process of Muslim tourists to travel to non-Muslim countries and (2) the moderating roles of religiosity and cognitive negotiation strategies on the integrated framework. This study employs a sequential mixed method approach. Considering that Muslims are heterogeneous in their perception of religion-related constraints, the purpose of conducting focus group discussion is to elucidate these factors specifically from Malaysian Muslims’ perspective. These religion-related constraints are identified to inform the structured survey questionnaire. A total of 600 Malaysian Muslims surveys were obtained from which the sample was randomly split into calibration (N=220) and validation (N=380) samples to perform exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) respectively. Results demonstrate that the relationship between PBC and constraints negotiation strategies is reciprocally related. Support for this relationship challenges conventional notion of unidirectional relationship between perceived behavioral control and constraints negotiation. Contrary to the notion that religious obligations may hamper Muslims’ intention to travel to NMC, this study found that Malaysian Muslims undertake effort to reduce cognitive dissonance in order to travel to NMC. Findings from this study provide new insights on processual nature of constraints negotiation in understanding Muslims’ travel behavior.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Chew Yin Teng

Additional supervisor 1

Ahmed Pervaiz Khalid

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Business and Economics (Monash University Malaysia)


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics