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- Alternative Information Processing Formats for Overcoming Information Processing Deficits in Senior Adults
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The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of alternative advertising presentation formats, and the quantity of information presented in advertisements in overcoming possible information-processing deficits in senior adults that could affect their recall of ad attributes and brand name, the cognitive responses generated, and attitude toward the ad. In addition, the study examined the effectiveness of retirement status as a classification or segmentation variable in comparison with the use of the more traditional classification variable, chronological age. A convenience sample of senior adult volunteers from church groups, social clubs, and civic organizations from the local area were randomly assigned to one of nine experimental conditions. The experiment utilized a simulated magazine to test the effects of presentation formats (3 levels), and quantity of information (3 levels) on senior adult's recall, cognitive responses and attitude toward the test ads. Covariates (gender, wealth, education, activity level, health, and income) were used to reduce variance. The findings clearly indicate that the presentation format of the can ad adversely affected the memory of some senior adults. In addition, the results were significantly different across the different age levels. Retirement status was less beneficial than chronological age in the current study, but did reveal a marginally significant difference between seniors due to the number of attributes contained in the test ads. The implication of findings for advertisers and those who design marketing communications for seniors are numerous, and relate to the marketer's communication goals. Senior adults may prefer print media, but the inappropriate use of presentation format and the number of product attributes in the ads could have an adverse and significant impact when communicating with senior adults. Recognition of the information-processing differences of senior adults would result in more effective marketing communications for this rapidly growing and important segment of our society.
- An Analytical Model of the Determinants and Outcomes of Nation Branding
- Nation as a brand represents the intangible assets of a country, encompassing various dimensions such as politics, economics, culture, history, and technology. However, much of extant work in nation branding has been limited to the empirical investigations of its positioning and implementation for specific countries, while other scholarly works in nation branding are conceptual. Various factors associated with nation branding are discussed in the literature, but there is no organizing mechanism to connect these factors to explore the dynamics underlying nation branding. To fill this gap, this dissertation attempts to identify the relevant factors underlying the deployment of nation branding, and to develop models to assess the association among these factors. Hunt and Morgan's resource advantage theory serves as the theoretical foundation of this dissertation's framework. After establishing panel data models that link the factors of building and developing the nation brand, the strategic implications of nation branding are discussed. Archival data were used for economic factors such as economic development, tourism, export, and inward foreign investment, and cultural, political, infrastructural, and geographical factors. The primary data were collected for qualitative factors perceived reputable brand and perceived reputable industry. The Anholt-GfK Roper's 2008 Nation Brands IndexSM was incorporated into the model as a moderating variable to test its impact on the relationship between the dependent variables and the independent variables. A total of 24 nations were analyzed to build and validate the models. This dissertation makes several contributions to the nation branding literature. First, it clarifies the definition of nation brand and nation branding. Second, it builds a predictive econometric model to connect the critical determinant and outcome factors of nation branding. Finally, it discusses nation branding strategies in terms of resource advantage theory and provides crucial insights on the development and management of a nation brand that can be used by researchers, marketing managers, and stakeholders of the nation brand to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of nation branding.
- An Assessment of Consumers' Willingness to Patronize Foreign-Based Business Format Franchises: An Investigation in the Fast-Food Sector
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This study aimed to address consumers' stereotypical categorizations in the form of essentialist views about foreign cultures and their effect on individual consumers, including their negative or aroused emotions and subsequent retail patronage behaviors. The research mission was to empirically assess the salient dimensions of consumers' states of mind (positive and negative affect, psychological essentialism, epistemic curiosity), states of being (store atmospherics), and states of action (retail patronage behaviors) in a cultural context based on Mehrabian-Russell theory of environmental psychology. Specifically, the retail patronage setting was selected as foreign-based fast-food franchises because it represents both a relevant and timely situational context for consumer behavior. This dissertation makes several contributions to international retail patronage literature. First, it frames curiosity as an aroused emotional state and finds support for the relationship between consumer epistemic curiosity and retail patronage. Second, it provides support for the linkage between consumer affect and retail patronage in an international retail setting. Third, it reveals that affect has a greater impact on retail patronage than epistemic curiosity. The overarching finding of this study is an inability to tie the cultural elements in retail atmospherics, including signs, symbols, and artifacts, to consumer emotions. In addition, we were unable to frame psychological essentialism as a personality trait that would reduce the levels of affect and curiosity in retail store environments characterized by foreign-cultural elements.
- Civility Matters
- While the proliferation of literature on the subject of growing incivility in society demonstrates the increasing importance given to civility by corporate America, there has been little academic investigation of the concept. The limited number of academic studies on civility reveals immense negative consequences for uncivil behavior. One question for marketers of businesses is whether lack of civility among front-end personnel can negatively influence sales. This dissertation is an attempt to fill this research gap by exploring responses to uncivil behavior under the theoretical framework of attribution theory. Using the CDSII scale based on attribution theory, experimental research design was used with current civil and uncivil behavior by the store employees and past experiences (positive, negative, and no-experience) with the store as stimulus. The consumers' perception of civility, attributions and behavioral intentions were measured and used as dependent variables. The results of the experiment showed that when a customer discerns employee behavior to be uncivil, the customer's perception of the level of the ability of the employee to control his own behavior decreases. The results of the study enhance the knowledge of two important consumer behaviors, namely complaining and switching behaviors by empirically studying their antecedents in a particular market interaction context. The results imply that it is important to eliminate or minimize any experience that the customer may construe as negative at a store. If practitioners can work towards eliminating or decreasing certain attributions of consumers, they can reduce the switching behaviors and thus impact customer retention rates and future sales. Though this study contributes to marketing theory and provides vital insights to practitioners, this study is but a starting point for further examination of the role of civility in consumer behavior and decision making.
- Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Safety: An Application of Ethics Theory
- Safety is an important aspect of ethical, socially responsible logistics. Current U.S. motor carrier (MC) safety research topical coverage includes the effects of individual and environmental influences, carrier safety management, and regulatory compliance on carrier safety and driver fatigue/safety performance. Interestingly, little research on the subject of truck drivers' safety attitudes and behaviors exists and the underlying decision-making processes that guide drivers' safety-related behaviors have received little attention. Furthermore, researchers have not provided an integrated framework that explains individual, organizational, and regulatory factors' impact on drivers' safety decision-making and performance. Truck drivers' safety judgments, decisions, and actions must adhere to societal safety norms. To that end, ethical decision-making theory that draws from the deontological and teleological traditions in moral philosophy provides a theoretical foundation and integrated framework necessary to better understand drivers' safety decision-making processes. The current research sought to determine how drivers rely on safety norms and perceived consequences in forming safety judgments and behavioral intentions. Furthermore, the study was designed to explore how various factors (i.e., individual, organizational, and regulatory) influence drivers' safety decision-making processes. Specifically, the study sought to answer the broad question, "How do commercial motor vehicle drivers make safety-related decisions, and how do individual, organizational, and regulatory factors influence drivers' safety decision-making processes?" An experimental two-factor design (2×2) was used to manipulate safety norms (i.e., "deontologically unsafe situation" and "deontologically safe situation") and consequences (i.e., "positive consequences" and "negative consequences"). Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that drivers primarily rely on deontological evaluations in forming safety judgments. Furthermore, drivers primarily relied on safety judgments when forming behavioral intentions. Drivers' attitudes toward unsafe actions and the effectiveness of driver-related safety regulations were also influential to drivers' judgments and intentions, respectively. The empirical findings demonstrate to managers that communication and education of safety norms may be highly effective to improve safety in unique occupational contexts where employees are given high levels of responsibility with little physical supervision, and where judgment errors can have devastating consequences for multiple stakeholders.
- Connective technology adoption in the supply chain: The role of organizational, interorganizational and technology-related factors.
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Supply chain management (SCM) is an area that offers organizations significant opportunities for both cost reductions and revenue enhancement. In their article, "Supply Chain Management: Implementation Issues and Research Opportunities," Lambert, Cooper and Pagh defined SCM as the "integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders." Adopting and implementing appropriate technology has emerged as a source of competitive advantage for supply chain member firms through the integration of business processes with suppliers and customers. It is important to understand the factors influencing an organization's decision to acquire such technology. In the context of this study, connective technologies are defined as wireless communication devices and their accompanying infrastructure and software which may enhance coordination among supply chain partners. Building on previous literature in the areas of supply chain management, marketing strategy, and organizational innovation, a model was developed to test the relationships between organizational, interorganizational, and technology-related factors and the adoption of advanced connective technology, using radio frequency identification (RFID) as the test case, in the supply chain. A Web-based survey of supply chain professionals was conducted resulting in 224 usable responses. The overall model was statistically significant with four of the predictors significantly influencing the adoption of RFID in the supply chain. Size, centralization, new product advantage and time to achieve targeted ROI were significantly related to adoption of connective technology (RFID). Interorganizational related factors were not significant predictors of connective technology adoption. The study contributes to theory by testing scales from marketing and management in a supply chain context in order to better understand behavioral dimensions of supply chain management and logistics. The conceptualization and measurement of market orientation at the interfirm level advances the market orientation literature. Finally, the study contributes to the technology adoption literature by considering organizational-related, interorganizational-related, and technology-related factors that influence adoption of connective technology in the supply chain.
- Consumer Perception of Brand Equity Measurement: a New Scale
- Brand equity is perhaps the most important marketing concept in both academia and practice. The term came into use during the late 1980s; and the importance of conceptualizing, measuring, and managing brand equity has grown rapidly in the eyes of practitioners and academics alike. This has resulted in several often-divergent view-points on the dimensions of brand equity, the factors that influence it, the perspectives from which it should be studied, and the ways to measure it. Many different definitions and ways to measure brand equity have been proposed, and most of them are based upon the definition: the added value with which a given brand endows a product. The two most influential conceptualizations of brand equity are Aaker and Keller. Aaker defines brand equity as a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name and symbol, that add to or subtract from the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or to that firm’s customers. Keller defines consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) as the differential effect of brand knowledge on consumer response to the marketing of the brand. Currently, all research on brand equity has used the same conceptualization of the construct based on previously determined dimensions with no attempt to argue their validity. Given the importance of the concept of brand equity in marketing, as well as the need for the measurement of brand equity, the literature lacks an empirically based consumer-perceived brand equity scale. Since the brand is the consumer’s idea, the consumer is an active participant in the creation of equity for the brand. So if we want to understand and manage the intangible equity directly, we have to have the consumer’s help. This dissertation enriches and strengthens the current knowledge on brand equity by developing a new conceptualization and scale determined by dimensions that consumers perceive. The new Consumer-Perceived Consumer-Based Brand Equity Scale is made up of five dimensions: quality, preference, social influence, sustainability, and leadership. Previous conceptualizations of brand equity have discussed dimensions that are consumer descriptors. Since perceived brand equity is the value that consumers perceive in the brand, this conceptualization presents dimensions that are brand characteristics. The new robust scale contributes both to the theoretical understanding of consumer-based brand equity measurement, as well as assisting managers, or brand ambassadors, in measuring brand equity and developing successful brand strategies. The value of a consumer-perceived, consumer-based brand equity scale suggests a number of new directions for study and elaboration in what is certain to be a compelling stream of research with vast implications for both theory and practice.
- Developing an Integrated Supply Chain Costing Approach for Strategic Decision Making
- The supply chain management discipline suggests that information sharing is paramount when attempting to achieve cost reductions and quality improvements. In many cases, the traditional accounting data used to support strategic decisions reflect inaccurate supply chain costs. This research explores the applications of managerial costing techniques, and how they can be used to improve the decision making capabilities of firms in the aerospace and transportation industries. The methodology used to address the research questions consisted of a hybrid of the grounded theory and multiple-case study methods. The objective of this research was to present the antecedents and barriers associated with implementing supply chain costing, and the impact that costing approaches have on strategic decision making. The research identifies a theoretical model that can be used to explain the relationships and themes associated with supply chain costing and strategic decision making. Evidence suggests that there is some movement to implement managerial accounting techniques within these two industries to capture supply chain costing information. However, the reliance on traditional financial accounting suggests that the overarching principles of supply chain management and information sharing amongst of partner firms has yet to be realized.
- An Empirical Examination of Service Dominant Logic: The Theory of the Network
- Marketing scholars question the ability of the 4Ps to explain higher order phenomena in modern marketing. Scholars contend that marketing's historical framework, based in product centric economic theory, constrains the 4Ps ability to form a foundation for a general theory of marketing. The focus on value embedded in product fails to explain knowledge-based intangible sources of competitive advantage. In response to this concern a new dominant logic for marketing called service-dominant logic (S-D Logic) has been proposed. However, not all scholars are supportive of S-D Logic. Still nescient, S-D Logic lacks a theoretic model, operationalized constructs, and relationships between those constructs. This study addresses those deficiencies by: (1) generation of a grounded theory of a performance-oriented network; (2) empirical assessment of the S-D Logic literature; and (3) development of an inductively generated theory of S-D Logic to include constructs, relationships, outcomes, and hypothesis. This investigation provides an important set of research findings. The resultant service-oriented network theory suggests a theoretic structure for S-D Logic. Use of grounded theory provides a strong empirical foundation based in a leading edge multi-national market segment composed corporations and programs worth hundreds of billions of dollars. The analysis drew upon 44 field interviews and follow-up exchanges. Multiple member checking sessions generated practitioner confirmation of the research conclusions. The work provides actionable theoretical and practical implications. This investigation provides a link between S-D Logic as a foundation for a general theory of marketing and initial model of suggestive of such theory. For the practitioner the service-oriented network model provides actionable constructs. The antecedents identified are largely influencable by inter-firm leadership and provides them a mechanism to tailor the specific service-oriented strategy to support the desired network value propositions.
- An empirical investigation of how perceived devaluation and income effects influence consumers' intended utilization of savings from coupon redemption.
- Coupons are one of the most popular and attractive tools of promotion. Redeeming coupons makes shoppers feel that they are doing something good for their family's budget, because coupons offer 'savings.' On the other hand, a coupon might have several negative effects on purchase behavior as well, which might 'devalue' the promoted product in the consumer's perception. But a review of the literature shows a lack of attention afforded to the above-mentioned aspects of coupon redemption. In addition, the consumer's coupon redemption behavior is moderated by several factors drawn from research in the fields of market pricing, economics and psychology, each of which have contributed to the current study in their own way. Finally, there does not exist any substantive research as to why coupon redemption rates have been on the decline, despite an increase in distribution of coupons. Therefore, this research not only fills existing gaps in the literature but also enriches it by synthesizing views from different academic disciplines. This dissertation concentrates on grocery products. Data is collected from about 2500 adults, primarily residing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The conceptual framework is based on the theory of reasoned action, which suggests that an individual's beliefs influence his/her attitude towards the consequences of actions, and attitudes, in turn, influence the individual's actions. Toward this end, the model incorporates intention to redeem coupons, intention to keep or spend savings and intention of how to spend savings from coupon redemption as the dependent variables, and several other independent variables. Behavioral independent variables are measured using items borrowed from established scales, as well as those developed exclusively for the current study. Standard statistical tools such as factor analysis and accepted measures of reliability and validity (Cronbach's alpha) are applied and reported, while structural equation modeling has been used to re-validate certain findings. Multivariate regression is applied for testing the hypotheses. Results indicate that several psychological (e.g. arousal-seeking, novelty-seeking tendency), socio-economic (e.g. income effect, opportunity cost) and behavioral factors (e.g. savings propensity, switching behavior) influence the individual's intention to redeem a coupon. The current research offers several academic and managerial implications, while providing promising prospects for further studies.
- An empirical investigation of the salient dimensions of Baby Boomer and Generation Y consumers' health care decision choices.
- The purpose of this research is to empirically investigate consumers' health care decision choices in a dynamic market setting. The unprecedented demands on the U.S. health care system coupled with the mounting controversies surrounding health care reform suggest that consumers' health care decisions warrant empirical research attention. Toward this end, this dissertation empirically explored (1) the characteristics of consumers who possess a willingness to use non-conventional treatments over conventional treatments, (2) the characteristics of consumers who elect self-medication in lieu of health care practitioner-directed medication, and (3) the salient dimensions of consumers' channel choice for the procurement of health care products. Each of these decision choice factors were tested across two U.S. generational segments to assess whether differences existed across Baby Boomers' and Gen Yers' health care decision choices. The conceptual framework for empirical assessment is Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory. From Bandura's social cognitive theory, a general model of healthcare decision choice is proposed to assess consumers' states of mind, states of being and states of action (decision choice). Results indicate that social cognitive factors (e.g., self-efficacy, objectivism) play an important role in each of the decision domains explored in this dissertation. Moreover, health value was found to be an important moderator between the social cognitive factors and health care decision choices. The predictors of the health care decision choices were found to vary across the Baby Boomers and Generation Yers on several dimensions, confirming the notion that generational differences may be a salient dimension of consumers' health care decision choice. The research offers several implications for practitioners, academicians and policy makers. Both descriptive and normative implications are gleaned from the research findings. Most notably, the results indicate that consumers' social cognitive factors and health value may be mechanisms for managing health care decisions.
- An Examination of the Nature of a Problematic Consumer Behavior : Compulsive Purchasing as a Learned Adaptive Response, Addiction, and Personality Disorder
- The problem examined in this study was the nature of compulsive purchasing behavior. Three proposed models depicting this behavior as a learned adaptive response to anxiety and/or depression, an addiction, and a personality disorder were introduced and discussed in Chapter I. Background information concerning the areas examined in the models was presented in Chapter II. The research methodology was discussed in Chapter III and the findings of the research presented in Chapter IV. A summary, conclusions, implications, and recommendations were presented in Chapter V.
- Explaining Buyer Opportunism in Business-to-Business Relationships
- The interaction among firms in the supply chain is necessary for business process execution and relationship success. One phenomenon of great significance to buyer-supplier relationships is opportunism. Opportunism is defined as behavior that is self-interest seeking with guile. It is manifested in behaviors such as stealing, cheating, dishonesty, and withholding information. Opportunism negatively impacts relational exchange tenets such as trust, commitment, cooperation, and satisfaction. Furthermore, perceptions of opportunism negatively affect firm performance. In lieu of the known negative effects of opportunistic behavior on buyer-supplier relationships, why do agents continue to engage in opportunistic tactics with their exchange partners? A comprehensive examination is necessary in order to understand why sourcing professionals engage in acts of opportunism. Understanding why opportunism occurs will reveal how to deter it, and this remains a gap in the literature. Based on theories in economics, marketing channels, supply chain management, decision science, and psychology, a comprehensive model tested a set of factors hypothesized to drive the use of opportunistic tactics. Factors include buyer-supplier relationship-specific factors, environmental factors, individual personality-related factors, and situational factors. Data was collected via internet survey of sourcing professionals from private industry and government agencies. Common to many studies of ethics, respondents made choices based on two hypothetical vignettes. Two logistic regression models were used to test the hypotheses. Factors found to affect buyer opportunism included buyer power, corporate ethical values, pressure to perform, leadership opportunism, business sector, honesty/integrity, and subjective expected utility. This research contributes to theory by combining several disparate theories to best explain opportunism. A comprehensive evaluation should determine which theory explains the most variance in decision making. The study contributes to practice by identifying those important factors contributing to a sourcing professional's decision to use opportunistic tactics. The ability to manage these factors should improve the probability of relationship success. Additionally, the identification of these factors should help leaders to make more accurate estimates of transaction costs - key knowledge required to make an informed make or buy governance decision.
- An exploratory investigation of the effects of co-production and co-consumption on the characteristics and adoption of service innovations: the customer's perspective.
- Customers play an active role throughout the marketing process. This dissertation concerns itself with customer's co-creation of value for self (co-production) and for other customers (co-consumption) during service production and delivery. With the servuction system as its overarching framework, this study explains how changes in the customer's perceived co-production and co-consumption, caused by a service innovation, influence her perceptions of service innovation characteristics and modify her adoption behavior. It draws on a multidisciplinary body of knowledge and develops a conceptual framework and a set of substantive propositions. The empirical research was contextualized in three services: self check-out at grocery stores, Build-A-Bear stores, and meal assembly centers. It focused on members of Generations X and Y who were familiar with these services. The qualitative investigations and pilot study helped adapt the extant scales and construct new scales. In line with prior works, the focal service encounters were simulated through a series of consumption scenarios. The exploratory factor analysis in the pilot study and the confirmatory factor analysis in the main study indicated that the instruments were culturally informed, internally reliable, and construct-wise valid. The results indicate that co-production and co-consumption play important roles in explaining innovation characteristics and adoption decisions. More specifically, the focal customer's co-production of the service for self (CPS), other customers' co-production of the service for the focal customer (OCP), the number and the nature of other customers (crowding and homophily) can help to explain the focal customer's evaluation of service innovation characteristics as well as her adoption decision. The focal customer's disposition to participate (DTP) and its interaction with CPS are also useful explanatory constructs. Focal customer's co-production of the service for other customers (CPO) and its interaction with DTP emerged as non-significant. In comparing the high- and low-DTP groups, it was found that the former was more convenience-prone in two service contexts, and the latter in the third context.
- How componential factors and constraint enhance creativity in the development of new product ideas.
- New product ideation is the transformation of a raw idea into a robust concept with consideration of fit and feasibility of technologies, customer benefits, and market opportunity. Although the ideation process often involves ambiguous processes, it is the most critical activity in new product development (NPD). As a creativity task, the ideation process is considered heuristic rather than algorithmic. However, managing the ideation process as either a completely heuristic or an entirely algorithmic procedure leads to just conventional outcomes. Rooted in cognitive psychology, this study proposes that ideation activities in NPD should be pursued as Simonton's "constrained stochastic behavior." An ideation task not only needs good componential factors but also requires constraint to frame the task by precluding unwieldy ideas while promoting high variability of ideas. Focusing on the inputs and attempting to strike a balance between algorithmic and heuristic ideation process may provide the mechanisms to manage the psychological perceptions with an aim to stimulate and orchestrate the ideation staff's cognitive efforts to generate the creative idea. To achieve this goal, new product idea creativity is considered as the ideas that could turn out to be products that are novel to and useful for customers, and appropriate to firms' existing production systems. In addition, the study asserts that componential factors include two factors: specialization representing idea creators' depth of NPD knowledge, experience, and skills in a product domain, and diverse expertise representing the breadth of ideation team's knowledge, experience, and skills concerning the same domain of NPD. These factors are essential and collectively can enhance creativity in the development of new product ideas. Finally, goal constraint is defined, operationalized, and incorporated in the NPD ideation framework. This constraint encapsulates the overall criteria and stylistic principle for a particular product domain and reflects the frame of reference for new product idea development. The findings provide mixed results, and yield at least three new concepts. First, the process of new product idea development truly requires specialization and diverse expertise if its ultimate goal is creativity. Both componential factors are essential and together can enhance new product ideas on all important dimensions. Second, goal constraint exhibits a linear relationship, rather than an inverted U-curve relationship, with idea newness and usefulness-two dimension of creativity important for customers. Finally, goal constraint can enhance creative outcomes of new product ideas, especially in the ideation team exhibiting a low level of specialization.
- The impact of gender effects on consumers' perceptions of brand equity: A cross-cultural investigation.
- Despite a long-standing tradition to view gender as a unitary theoretical construct, there is an increasing approbation afforded to gender identity as a multifarious construct. Over and above physiological characteristics, gender identity is a psychological and a social construct. More than simply a biological classification, both gender and gender identity have been explored as portentous moderators of consumers' cognitive and emotive states, brand attributions and shopping behaviors. How might gender differences be manifested in building and sustaining brand relationships? This is the seminal question addressed in the present research. The overarching objective of this research is to address how the broadened conceptualization of gender impacts customer-based brand equity across U.S. and Chinese consumers. The focal populations of interest are related to markedly different levels of brand penetration in each a post-developed and transitional market setting. Furthermore, it provides a platform for investigating how gender identities may differ across two of the largest consumer buying groups in the global marketplace. Toward this goal, this research explores the multidimensionality of gender as a construct, and then empirically investigates how an extended view of gender may or may not impact consumer-based brand equity. Based on an integration of extant theories in gender identity and self-congruity, this study proposes a research framework to investigate the relationship among gender identity, brand connections, and consumer-based brand equity. An online survey was conducted to collect consumer panel data in the U.S. and China respectively. Results from regression analysis and path analysis suggest that physiological gender alone cannot adequately explain consumers' brand perceptions. The empirical analysis offers further support for including three unique gender related constructs (physiological gender, psychological gender traits, and gender role attitudes) to understand gender-related consumer behavior. The results also indicate that brand connections serve as important intermediate steps to understand the relationship between gender identity and consumer-based brand equity.
- The Impact of Visceral Influences on Consumers' Evaluation of Weight Loss Advertising
- The weight loss industry has come under fire from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in recent years due to consumer claims that many firms, marketing weight loss products, are using advertisements in an attempt to deceive consumers. Illegitimate weight loss claims have created so much concern that a White Paper call-to-action to investigate misleading weight loss advertisements has been filed. Despite recent interest, little attention has been garnered concerning the understanding of why consumers respond to potentially misleading weight loss claims. Intuitively, an understanding of why consumers fall prey to weight loss claims may aid academics, practitioners, and policy makers as they make important decisions relative to the weight loss industry and its practices. This study fills that void by applying a theory of visceral influences (TVI) to the context of weight loss advertising. Loewenstein's TVI was developed to aid in explaining why consumers make decisions contrary to their long-term self-interest. Visceral influences are drive states that have a direct hedonic impact, have an effect on the relative desirability of various goods and activities, and consequently, have a strong influence over the decisions consumers make. Common visceral cues (cues associated with any reward linked to a visceral factor) include proximity of reward, vividness of reward, and visual priming. To adequately test TVI in the context of weight loss advertising, a two step approach was used. First, advertiser intent was assessed through content analysis of weight loss advertisements. Second, composite advertisements were created from the content analysis to assess subject response to visceral cues common in weight loss advertising. MANOVA results show that the presence of visceral cues affected subjects' thoughts, buying impulse, affective reaction, intentions, and product evaluation. This research makes the following contributions. First, it addresses an area of public policy where there is a need for research to shape future legislation. Second, it provides an initial empirical examination of the effects of visceral cues on subjects' providing a foundation for further application and theory building. Third, it reveals that visceral cues effects are moderated by an individual's level of involvement with a reward.
- The influence of sales force newcomers' met expectations on selected outcome variables: Development and testing of a model
- Sales management researchers and practitioners give considerable attention to early employment expectations, attitudes, and behaviors primarily because of a desire to specify the cognition process leading to performance and retention of salespeople. While a massive body of literature exists concerning turnover of employees and determinants of employee performance, more empirical study specific to the sales force as a research population is needed to assess the nature of turnover and performance. Because the bulk of salesperson turnover occurs in early employment, particular attention needs to be devoted to the cognitive process of newcomers to the sales force. The present work examines expectation-based and perception-oriented models of performance and retention for sales force new hires. Interests of this investigation focus on the initial expectations of newly hired sales representatives and on how the degree of fulfillment of these expectations relates to subsequent performance and retention behavior. Extant research suggests that the degree to which expectations are met positively influences mediating variables such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and indirectly influences outcomes such as job performance and retention of newcomers. Alternatively, some researchers contend that these results are due to improper measurement of met expectations. A longitudinal research design and alternative measurement methods are employed here to better assess the role of met/unmet expectations. The proposed study is based on theoretical research from a variety of academic disciplines, and the results of the study will have multi-disciplinary implications. Contributions include: (a) replication and extension of theoretical research concerning processes leading to performance and retention of sales force newcomers, (b) a thorough examination of met expectations as a precursor to early sales force outcomes, and (c) methodological advances in the measurement of met expectations.
- No-thought Shopping: Understanding and Controlling Nonconscious Processing in Marketing
- This dissertation explores how nonconscious thought processing might be affected and activated in ways that influence consumer decision making. To activate nonconscious thought processes, this dissertation relies on priming—the unobtrusive activation of mental representations by stimuli in a social context, which occurs without participants' conscious awareness. Three dimensions of consumer decision making are investigated: purchase intention, product evaluation and arousal. The dissertation is based on the auto-motive model of nonconscious goal pursuit and somatic marker hypothesis. The dissertation is driven by three experiments, which respectively explore crucial areas in priming effects and addresses the following research question: can primes be shaped or controlled by marketers? Specifically, the dissertation examines whether shopping behavior can be primed. Second, the dissertation also examines how facial primes displaying basic emotions (happiness, anger, contempt, disgust, fear, sadness, and surprise) can prime emotion and arousal. Finally the dissertation examines the effect of the interaction of the buying prime with the primes of faces displaying basic emotions on the dependent variables of purchase intention, product evaluation, emotion, and arousal. Results from three experimental studies show that shopping behavior can be primed, and primed participants will exhibit higher product evaluation than those exposed to a control prime. Second while exposing participants to primes of faces displaying emotions did not elicit those emotions, the priming with faces did reveal a marginal activation of arousal in the participants. Third priming with faces was not found to interact with primed buying behavior such that the interaction would affect the level of arousal. The results indicate that Bargh's auto-motive model of nonconscious goal pursuit can be applied to marketing. Thus priming shopping behavior can affect product evaluation though the effect of this prime appears to be too weak to be applied in the field. Priming with faces was found not to interact with primed shopping behavior and thus affect product evaluation. The impact of the findings on marketing practitioners suggests that more laboratory investigation is necessary. Further laboratory investigation should be used to raise the effect level of the prime and to find ways to shape and control nonconscious goal pursuit prior to attempting to bring priming into the field.
- Performance Implications of Multi-Channel Strategic Decisions by Incumbent Retailers: The Role of Order of Entry and Degree of Inter-Channel Coordination
- The rapidly intensifying adoption of the Internet channel for marketing and sales by incumbent bricks-and-mortar retailers underscores the importance of assessing the impact of the online channel strategies on firm performance in the dynamic competitive environment. At the time when store-based retailers increasingly dominate online sales the questions of when and how an incumbent retailer should adopt an online channel to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage are of utmost interest for both marketing scholars and practitioners. This dissertation investigates the role of two strategic decisions in affecting firm performance: (a) the order of adopting an online channel by incumbent retailers and (b) the degree of coordination between store and online sales channels. The resource-based view and the dynamic capabilities approach are used as theoretical foundations for the study. Following resource-based logic and applying a contingency perspective, this research proposes that firm-specific resource endowments determine the success of the order of online entry strategy for incumbent retailers. This dissertation utilizes the dynamic capabilities approach to propose that the strategy of inter-channel channel coordination leads to higher performance when core, unique dynamic capabilities pertaining to e-commerce are developed in-house, as opposed to being outsourced. By posing and answering the research questions regarding the role of strategic decisions of order of online entry and channel coordination in enhancing long-term financial and operational performance, this dissertation contributes to the development of strategic theory in the nascent areas of electronic commerce and multi-channel retailing, provides further empirical support to resource-based theory of competitive advantage, and assists managers in formulating more informed strategic objectives for achieving multi-channel competitive advantage.
- The Quest for Perfect Appearance: an Examination of the Role of Objective Self-awareness Theory and Emotions
- Quality of appearance is important in nature and individuals have a basic need to establish the normality of appearance to confirm their acceptability to others. In daily inter-relationships of the same species, for instance, normal-appearing members of a species group reject or kill other members who appear abnormal. In human society, appearance is considered as one of the most direct sources of information about other people, and unattractiveness is often accompanied by negative judgments, which can cause emotional distress and isolation. Accordingly, humans tend to pay great attention to their personal appearance and make improvements to enhance their self-representations. The growth of the beauty and cosmetic surgery industries is an indication of an increasing willingness to enhance physical appearance. However, despite the growing demand for cosmetic procedures, the consumer research literature on this topic is extremely sparse. In fact, little is known about the attitudinal and motivational drivers that facilitate undergoing such procedures. This dissertation enriches our understanding of factors that affect consumers’ motivation to pursue cosmetic procedures and examines the role of emotions in such decisions. To that end, objective self-awareness (OSA) theory is applied and the interplay between the state of public OSA, beauty standards, and self-conscious emotions of shame and pride is explored. The results of two experimental studies indicate that access to beauty standards coupled with the state of public OSA generates self-standard comparison thoughts that may yield self-standard discrepancies. Negative emotions experienced due to such discrepancies move individuals into a self-regulatory cycle with the purpose of discrepancy reduction and impact their motivation to undergo cosmetic procedures. Pride and shame, two central self-conscious emotions, influence self-regulatory strategies and differently impact the approach to discrepancy reduction. These findings contribute to the research advocating the role of emotions in decision making and provide more insights about self-conscious emotions and their role in regulating goal pursuit behavior. The findings provide practical implications for marketers of cosmetics products and services, social marketers trying to encourage or discourage certain behaviors, and public policy makers. Moreover, the results have wide-ranging implications for structuring programs designed to contribute to consumer welfare.
- Regulatory Orientation, Message Framing and Influences of Fit on Customer Behaviors
- Existing literature on consumer behavior has argued that an individual’s regulatory orientation interacts with message framing. If there is a match between regulatory orientation (promotion versus prevention) and message framing, this results in positive attitudes toward a given advertisement. Conversely, if there is a mismatch, the effect is opposite, i.e., attitudes toward that advertisement are less positive and less favorable. This research extends the term of compatibility by examining how regulatory focus moderates the impact of two aspects of message framing (attribute framing and risky choice framing) on customer perceptions. It also examines whether regulatory fit is created when there are interactions between individuals’ regulatory orientation and message framing and how the fit changes customer perceptions about a message. Specifically, this dissertation provides answers to the following questions: (1) does regulatory fit take place when regulatory focus is compatible with two aspects of message framing (attribute and risky choice)?; (2) does regulatory fit take place when one aspect of message framing (attribute) is compatible with the other (risky choice)?; and (3) how do customer perceptions change if customers experience regulatory fit? The results show that the effects of utilitarian attributes and national brands are dominating and that both promotion- and prevention-oriented customers have higher perceptions of these attributes and brands. The findings of this study have both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, this study should enhance our understanding of regulatory focus theory. Practically, the results should provide marketers with more insights into the correlation between message framing and regulatory orientation and the effect of fit on message persuasion, enabling them to develop more effective marketing strategies.
- "I Speak, Therefore I Am:" Identity and Self-Construction as Motivation to Engage in Electronic Word of Mouth
- To paraphrase an old bromide, "you are what you consume." Consumers derive their sense of self through products, brands, performances and a host of other meaning-laden materials that they consume. The marketing literature has long recognized possessions as an extension of the self-concept. Although hundreds of studies have examined the linkage between consumption and the self, surprisingly few have examined a related phenomenon - the relationship between the self-concept and word of mouth (WOM). A handful of studies have demonstrated the use of WOM to enhance the consumer's self-image, but most extant research focuses on how the act of engaging in WOM is used to build the self-concept. To date there has not been an extensive examination of the process by which WOM transfers the meaning of a product, brand, advertisement or narrative from one consumer to another as part of identity construction. This dissertation attempts to answer the following research questions: 1. Do self-concept and identity motivate consumers to engage in electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM)? 2. Is there a conceptual model to represent the effects of message characteristics, product/brand characteristics and individual personality differences on the self-enhancement value of eWOM and resulting eWOM behaviors? A conceptual model was proposed and, using an experimental research design, hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). The results suggest that self-concept and identity indeed motivate consumers to engage in eWOM, and a number of brand and message traits comprise eWOM's self-enhancement value. This dissertation both contributes to the theoretical understanding of eWOM and assists managers in developing marketing strategy. The use of WOM for identity construction remains an understudied area in marketing when compared to the consumption of products as self-expression. This research provides suggestions for practitioners in harnessing the potential of eWOM as a marketing strategy through message development and targeting of lucrative segments with viral campaigns.
- Stereotypes in Retail Print Advertising: The Effects of Gender and Physical Appearance on Consumer Perceptions
- The retail sector spends millions of dollars each year advertising to consumers. This is a considerable investment for companies seeking effective ways to inform and persuade the consumer. Consequently, retailers need to develop creative message strategies and tactics that will positively affect consumer attitudes. One particular tactic available to retailers is the use of a spokesperson in the advertisement. Salespersons are used in numerous advertisements and can provide key benefits to an advertiser. However, to maximize these benefits, retailers need to carefully select the spokesperson that will be most effective for their store and product. This purpose of this research is to examine the characteristics that influence consumers' perceptions of print advertisements that include a spokesperson in the advertisement. Most of the past literature concerning spokespersons has concentrated on the consumer perspective of meeting and interacting with a living, breathing person. This research seeks to use the past research on salespeople to examine the spokesperson as a cue in a print advertisement. In this perspective, the consumer views the spokesperson from a visual-only perspective. The proposed experiment will utilize print advertisements from two retail businesses. More specifically the study will investigate how consumers react if the individual viewed in the advertisement is typical (matches with their preconceived stereotype) or if the salesperson is atypical (does not match with their preconceived stereotype). This research also examines how men and women are viewed differently in the spokesperson role and how changes in physical appearance may impact consumers' perceptions. The research also studies the influence of spokesperson stereotypes on consumers' cognitive responses.
- A Study to Determine the Significance of Market Penetration in the Consumer Electronic Products Industry
- The purposes of this study were to prepare an analysis of the size, growth, structure, and problems of the industry; determine the influence of imports on the general structure of the industry; determine the significance of market penetration to domestic manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and foreign manufacturers and importers; and examine the market penetration reporting mechanism, its accuracy, usefulness, promptness in feedback of data, and the advantages and disadvantages of maintaining secrecy of data.
- Supply Chain Network Evolution: Demand-based Drivers of Interfirm Governance Evolution
- Which form of exchange governance performs better in a dynamic environment? This remains an unanswered question in the transaction cost analysis (TCA) and relational exchange literatures. Some researchers purport that transactional governance provides superior performance by providing firms the flexibility to change suppliers. Others suggest that relational governance leads to superior performance because of the willingness of both parties to adapt. Reviews of TCA have turned up ambivalent empirical findings with regard to the effects of uncertainty despite a track record of strong empirical support for other predictions. Because most of TCA and relational exchange theories' predictions enjoy strong support, this research builds upon these theories to propose a theoretical modeling framework for a dynamic environment in a supply chain network (SCN) setting. This dissertation extends TCA and relational exchange to a dynamic, network environment. It uses the approach of building a simulation in order to study in detail the relationship between key exchange factors and the selection of transactional and relational exchange governance over time. This research effort extended TCA theory with a complex adaptive model of supply chain network governance evolution that attempts to link environmental, network, production, firm and exchange factors in a continuously evolving loop. The proposed framework expands transaction cost analysis' explanatory power. Results partially support past scholarly proposal that uncertainty functions as an antecedent of asset specificity rather than as an independent construct affecting governance outcome dependent upon which form of uncertainty is being considered. The successful simulation of supply chain networks as complex adaptive systems shift the focus from deterministic, confirmatory models of exchange to an exploratory, positive model. Instead of exchange governance as an outcome, it is the catalyst of the evolutionary process.
- Symbolic visuals in advertising: The role of relevance.
- Relevance has been applied to various conditions in the marketing literature but no single definition has been developed. A single clear definition will be helpful to researchers investigating relevance in the marketing and consumer behavior fields. Confusion also exists in the literature regarding to what extent a symbolic visual in an advertisement is relevant. Many researchers are also calling for empirical evidence of a linkage between relevance and response through a theoretical measure of relevance. The central theory used in this dissertation is Sperber and Wilson's (1995) theory of relevance (TOR). TOR can help researchers and marketing managers by explaining how consumers may interpret visuals in advertising. TOR explains why some visuals thought to be unconnected with the product become relevant in advertising. This study makes the assertion that TOR has been underutilized and even ignored by some researchers in past marketing literature. Thus, TOR is used to provide greater explanatory power of consumers' interpretation and response to advertising visuals than what is currently realized by researchers and marketing managers. A reliable measure of relevance was developed using TOR as a foundation. Experiments were conducted to empirically test TOR and support was found for most aspects of the theory. This dissertation makes several contributions to the consumer behavior literature. These contributions include: 1) clarifying the definition of relevance in advertising, 2) developing a tentative measure of relevance, 3) providing an explanation of how non-relevant visuals produce effects expected for relevant visuals as occurred in experiments conducted by Mitchell and Olson (1981) and Miniard, Bhatla, Lord, Dickson and Unnava (1991), 4) showing how relevance of symbolic visuals in advertisements relates to specific consumer responses, and 5) offering suggestions for how the theory of relevance can be used by researchers and marketing managers to gain a better understanding of consumers' interpretation of advertising visuals.