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Intellectual Capital (Ic) and Customer Value in a Retailing Context

Description: Intellectual Capital (IC) is the intellectual capability of an organization; it drives the usage of other productive resources and adds value to the business structure. Although the expanding literature on IC has enhanced our understanding, the effects of IC with relation to consumers have not been explored in the marketing literature. Thus, this study fills this void by approaching the notion of IC from a customer perspective. Customer value also has attracted extensive attention in recent years. However, the lack of agreement among scholars with respect to the conceptualization of customer value has resulted in inconsistent empirical measures. Furthermore, despite extensive research focus on IC and customer value separately, there is a void in the literature as far as investigating the relationship between the two is concerned. Thus, this study also empirically investigates the predictive relationships among the various dimensions of IC and perceived customer value. This dissertation delineates three dimensions of IC (i.e., Human Capital, Structural Capital, and Relational Capital) available to a retail store in creating value for customers. This study tests the psychometric properties of scale items for measuring these three resources in an apparel retailing context. It also tests the effects of IC on customer value using both a student sample and a consumer sample. This study makes several important contributions to the literature and has the potential to improve marketing practices. First, this study revisits the conceptualization of IC in relation to consumer’s perception and to value creation in an apparel retailing context. Second, this study investigates the multidimensional nature of IC and the relative influence of different dimensions on customer value. Lastly, marketing practitioners and retail managers can learn, based on these results, that the types of resources and their utilization affect the perception by consumers of the value of retail stores.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Jeon, Sua
Partner: UNT Libraries

Internal and External Drivers of Consumers’ Product Return Behaviors

Description: Product return is a necessary part of the exchange process between companies and customers. It accounts for approximately 16% of total sales and a reduction in retailer / manufacturer profits by 3.8% on average. However, industry data also indicates that a significant portion of products are returned for reasons other than product failure – e.g., change of mind, found a lower price elsewhere, or fraudulent and unethical reasons. Consequently, many firms (e.g., REI) have altered their generous return policies to protect their profits. However, it’s been found that the restricted return policy could also reduce customer satisfaction, increase the perceived risk, and thus negatively affect customers’ loyalty towards a particular store or firm. Thus having a restrictive return policy does not help either. Extant literature mainly focuses on return policies. Little attention has been devoted to the product return behavior itself, thus missing the consumer’s perspective. This study, therefore, focuses on understanding consumers’ return behaviors, including different types of return behaviors, and the drivers and consequences of these different return behaviors. Towards this goal, this study first categorizes all possible types of consumers’ return behaviors into two broad categories - legitimate return behaviors and opportunistic return behaviors. Second, both internal (i.e., variety seeking, impulsiveness, perceived uniqueness, materialism, level of morality, and self-monitoring) and external drivers (i.e., product compatibility, returning cost, perceived risk, complexity of procedure, and social group influence) of consumers’ product return behaviors are identified. Third, the relationship between these drivers of return behavior and the type of return behavior are examined. Finally, the influence of these two different types of return behaviors on consumer’s re-patronage intention is examined. This study uses a survey method to collect data in two phases - pilot phase and main study. In the pilot phase, data were collected from students and used to ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Pei, Zhi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Saving Face: A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Retail Patronage in Consumers' Skincare Purchase Decisions

Description: The skincare sector is among the fastest growing consumer branded products, boasting unprecedented growth rates in emerging markets, as well as steady growth in developed and post-developed markets. Yet, a more relevant question to marketers of branded skincare products is what factors influence consumers’ decisions about where to buy such products, and whether or not to spread positive word-of-mouth (WOM) about products and store preferences. Sirgy’s (1982, 1985) self-congruence theory postulates that the greater the match between a consumer’s self-image and the image of a retailer’s typical patron, the greater the likelihood that the consumer will prefer and patronize that retailer. However, a review of the literature on self-image congruence shows a lack of consensus with respect to: 1) the effect of self-image congruence on retail patronage, and 2) the relative strength of the four dimensions (i.e., actual/ideal self- and social/ideal social self-image) of self-image congruence on consumer preferences and choices (e.g., Ibrahim & Najjar, 2008; Kang, Tang, Lee, & Bosselma, 2012). Further, Sirgy, Grewal, and Mangleburg (2000) suggested that the more a consumer matches a retailer’s store attributes with those of an ideal store, the more likely the consumer will prefer and patronize the retailer. Thus, an integrative model (Sirgy et al., 2000) that captures the effects of retail environment and self-image congruence on retail patronage served as the theoretical foundation of this study. The purpose of this study was to examine interactively the effects of retail environment and self-image congruence on retail shopping experience and patronage behavior of Generation Y-aged (Gen Y) consumers with respect to skincare products (i.e., a sub-sector of cosmetics). Primary data were collected through online surveys from 336 American and 325 Chinese Gen Y consumers. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to test the hypothesized relationships between self-image congruence, functional congruence, retail shopping experience, ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Dai, Bo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Using Your Imagination to Pursue Goals: Diminishing the Effects of Visceral Temptations

Description: Consumers consistently set goals for themselves. Despite good intentions, consumers often deviate from their goals. If consumers understand the benefits that arise from goal success, then why do most consumers fail to accomplish goals? Often, temptations are more appealing than achievement of goals; temptations are tangible while the benefits of a goal are difficult to grasp. An individual who uses his/her imagination to visualize goal success makes the goal more present-minded and attainable (Oettingen 2000). Thus, imagination facilitates self-efficacy, the belief in one’s ability to reach a goal. Higher self-efficacy, then, provides an individual with the willpower to achieve a goal (Taylor, Pham, Rivkin, and Armor 1998). Whereas previous work has examined temptations’ relationship with goals (e.g. Fedorikhin and Patrick 2010; Wilcox, Vallen, Block, and Fitzsimons 2009; Zhang, Huang, and Broniarczyk 2010; etc.), the scope of this dissertation study differs. Rather, the research aim is to identify how consumers can overcome visceral temptations. Thus, the main objectives include: contributing new perspectives on goal research by merging the literatures on imagination and visceral cues, outlining how imagination regulates the impact of visceral temptations, and identifying the underlying mechanism that explains how imagination regulates the relationship between visceral cues and ad-evoked thoughts, through self-efficacy.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Cowan, Kirsten
Partner: UNT Libraries

Belief Transfers in Co-branding and Brand Extension and the Roles of Perceptual Fit

Description: Existing co-branding and brand extension research generally coalesces around two important constructs: perceptual fit and attitude toward the brand. Studies in co-branding and brand extension to date have generally emphasized the transference of affective elements of attitude from parent brand to the extension. Researchers and practitioners clearly need to learn more about the transfer of belief, the cognitive elements of attitude. Too little is currently known about whether and how beliefs are actually transferred in co-branding and brand extension applications, particularly in terms of perceptual fit. This dissertation investigates belief transfer and the effect of perceptual fit on belief transfer in co-branding and brand extension scenarios and develops answers to the following research questions: 1.Are different categories of beliefs transferable from parent brand to theextension? 2.How do various sub-dimensions of perceptual fit affect belief transfers fromparent brands to the extension? 3.How do different categories of beliefs affect consumers’ intentions to purchasethe extension products? Categorization Theory was used as the fundamental theory to build the hypotheses. This dissertation involved qualitative studies, belief scale development, and experimental design studies. The results revealed that aesthetic and functional beliefs are positively transferred from parent brand to the extension. The transfer of aesthetic beliefs is affected by the level of brand fit while the transfer of functional beliefs is independent upon the level of any perceptual fit construct. Finally, cognitive structure based on the strength of extension beliefs is more predictive upon the purchase intention. Findings will extend the co-branding and brand extension literature, especially in terms of the pattern of belief transfers that unfold subject to the influence of various perceptual fit constructs. The results will also provide additional insights about the role that perceptual fit plays in influencing categories of consumer beliefs as those beliefs are also influenced by the specific perceptual fits ...
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Date: May 2015
Creator: Roswinanto, Widyarso
Partner: UNT Libraries

Resource Utilization of Salespeople and Prospecting Performance

Description: Every day, salespeople span boundaries, coordinate internal and external expertise, leverage social capital, mobilize the tangible and intangible resources of their firm, and try to create value for all stakeholders. Recognizing the important roles of salespeople, Evans et al. (2012) and Lassk et al. (2012) call for more research on the usage of skills, knowledge, people, strategies, expertise, and other resources of salespeople to produce the desired outcomes. Responding to their calls, this study specifically focuses on how salespeople utilize their available and finite resources across four types of customers (new customers, short term customers, long term customers, and win-back customers) to identify and qualify new sales opportunities during the prospecting stage. The dissertation focuses on seven types of resources (capturing both internal and firm related resources) available for salespeople: (1) firm tangible, (2) firm intangible, (3) firm market based, (4) present resources, (5) skills, (6) knowledge, and (7) accumulated successes. The study further explores the moderating roles of organizational identification, competitive intensity, and customer dependence on the relationship between resources utilized and performance during the prospecting stage. The resource utilization scale is developed and tested for robustness. Next, using a final dataset of 346 responses from salespeople, the results reveal that salespeople adaptively utilized various resources across new customers, short-term customers, long-term customers, and win-back (lost) customers. Overall, performance during prospecting stage are more strongly influenced by utilization of internal resources (presence, knowledge, skills and success) than firm related factors. Further, successful prospecting performance requires the usage of skills and knowledge resources with new customers, only skills resources with short-term and long-term customers, but present resources, knowledge, and firm tangible resources with win-back customers. In addition, organizational identification and competitive intensity moderate the relationship between resource utilization and prospecting performance for all customer types, whereas customer dependence is an ...
Date: December 2014
Creator: Nguyen, Thuy D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creating Value by Enhancing Innovative Capability: the Role of Absorptive Capacity and Institutional Framework

Description: Innovations as a source of economic wellbeing and social prosperity has been well researched, albeit primarily done in the context of developed economies. However, of late, interest in the effect of innovation on economic performance and quality of life has been renewed as the world observes the rise of emerging economies, and at the same time, the prolonged recession in the more developed economies (i.e. North America and European countries). There has been a marked increase in the quantity and quality of research and development, spawn by innovative companies from emerging economies that are making their mark in global marketplace. These phenomena challenge the traditional concept that innovation flows from the resource rich developed countries to less developed countries, and that the latter are at a disadvantage in terms of knowledge, technology and competitiveness. Existing studies on national innovation highlight the relationships between innovative capability and its outcomes; however, few have tried to explain the determinants of a nation’s innovative capabilities. Using a sample of 95 countries and panel data analysis covering 28 years of observation, this study attempts to model the determinants of innovative capability at national level, and focuses on absorptive capacity and institutional framework as the main determinants of innovative capability. Further, this study identifies different aspects of absorptive capacity: creation and exploitation of innovation. Findings offer support on the importance of various sources of external knowledge in the creation of innovation, with FDI inflow and High Technology Export as the strongest sources. Corruption as institutional factor has negative effect on innovative capability, whereas openness shows no effect. National absorptive capacity moderates the effect of external knowledge on innovative capability, except on FDI outflow in which a negative effect on trademark application as a measure of innovative capability. The findings suggest that innovative capability and moderating role ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Suryandari, Retno Tanding
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigating E-servicescape, Trust, E-WOM, and Customer Loyalty

Description: Old Spice cleverly used a handsome actor to play the Old Spice Man character for a Super Bowl commercial in 2010. After the game, this Old Spice commercial was viewed more than 13 million times on YouTube, a social media video-sharing site. This viral marketing campaign, also known as electronic word-of-mouth (E-WOM), propelled the Old Spice brand into the forefront of consumers’ minds, increased brand awareness, and inspired people to share the video links with their family, friends, and co-workers. The rapid growth of E-WOM is an indication of consumers’ increased willingness to convey marketing messages to others. However, despite this development, marketing academics and practitioners do not fully understand this powerful form of marketing. This dissertation enriches our understanding of E-WOM and how e-servicescape may lead to E-WOM. To that end, stimulus-organism-response theory and the network co-production model of E-WOM are applied to investigate the relationships between e-servicescape, trust, E-WOM intentions, customer loyalty, and purchase intentions. Two forms of E-WOM were examined, namely emails and social network postings. E-servicescape is defined as the online environmental factors of a marketer’s website. E-servicescape is composed of three main dimensions, including aesthetic appeal, financial security, and layout and functionality. This study used cross-sectional customer data from a single e-tailer. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the responses. Customer reviews was added as an additional sub-dimension of e-servicescape. The findings suggest e-servicescape positively impacts trust, which in turn positively influences E-WOM and customer loyalty. Moreover, two groups of customers were compared using multi-group analysis, where one group of users received emails and the other group received social network postings from the same e-tailer. Overall, the results indicated emails had a stronger impact on e-servicescape, E-WOM, and customer loyalty. Social networking site postings had slightly greater influence on trust, and two sub-dimensions of ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Tran, Gina A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Phantom Menace: the Effect of Narcissism on Word-of-mouth Communications

Description: Previous empirical research and anecdotal accounts suggest that “subclinical narcissism” or “average Joe’s narcissism” is one of the most prevalent social phenomena in many parts of the world. Research also suggests that there will be an unprecedented escalation “in average Joe narcissists” among future generations of consumers. The objective of this study is two-fold. The first objective of this study is to explore the moderating effect of the individual’s level of narcissistic personality on their word-of-mouth (WOM) communications. The second objective of this study is to explore the boundary conditions of the first objective. The data were collected from a large number of consumers through Amazon Mechanical Turk. The results support many of the hypotheses accordant with the characteristics of the subclinical narcissistic individual. Specifically, the moderating effect of an individual’s level of narcissistic personality trait on the decision to engage in different types of WOM communications varies across the tested contexts. This study is intended to respond to social scientists' recent call for studies that investigate the fundamental motives behind the individual’s propensity to engage in WOM communication as a function of individual characteristics. The results of this study provide some prescriptive guidance to help companies target appropriate consumers to increase the effectiveness of WOM communication. In addition, this study explores the effect of individual and contextual differences on consumers’ willingness to engage in different types of WOM communication.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Ngamsiriudom, Waros
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Scientometric Analysis of a Marketing Theoretician: “Good Will Hunting”

Description: Albert Einstein notably asserted that “It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.” Cast against the backdrop of Einstein’s assertion, the present research critically examines the enduring yet unresolved controversy regarding marketing as a science. Consider that the marketing discipline is nearing its first-century of inception, the Journal of Marketing is approaching its eighth decade of publication, and yet marketing academicians still debate the epistemology of marketing itself. Virtually all theories in marketing are adaptations of theory-development from other social science disciplines. The overarching research mission is to critically review a body of marketing theory using a meta-analytic approach to illuminate gaps in the epistemic foundations of marketing knowledge development. Grounded in the theory of composition, an entire body of Shelby D. Hunt's marketing literature – more than 130 effects encapsulating five of the most widely-cited marketing theoretical streams to date – is critically evaluated. Using scientometric analyses, the impact factors, citation indices, and the domain of references across the allied behavioral science literatures are empirically assessed. An epistemic inquiry to the marketing discipline is the only way that a discipline may be viewed as a science, and its importance lies in this being the way for a discipline to advance in theory and practice. Second, this study seeks to identify a body of theoretical development emanating from the marketing discipline that has been proffered by a single academician. The research aspiration was to potentially link the theoretician to the epistemic process in the marketing discipline. Toward this end, this dissertation empirically explored the impact of three marketing scholars who have the highest number of publications in the Journal of Marketing and compared their scientometric indexes ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Zuberi, Mel F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Innovation Teams: an Empirical Examination of the Relationship of Team Climate and Development Strategies in Consumer Packaged Goods Industries

Description: Companies’ new primary source for sustainable revenue growth comes from creating new innovations, rather than from mergers and acquisitions. Companies are finding it difficult to align internal support for the innovative creativity of teams with standard operating procedures. This research aims to discover how innovative teams contribute to forming development strategies that CPG firms use to create new products. Dimensions of the Theory of Team Climate in Innovation (TTCI) offer insight on the dimensions of development strategy. Specifically, by integrating the theories, a proposed model identifies the innovation team’s impact on the firm’s development strategies. Such understanding has the potential to increase firm profits, lower innovation costs, increase innovation speed, and support innovation training. To empirically test this model, employees responsible for product development in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries were surveyed. Structural modeling techniques were used to analyze the data. Findings indicate support for using TTCI to explain the compressed development strategy. Theoretical contributions include: 1) extending TTCI and its associated measures into tangible products industries, 2) refining and adding to TTCI measures, 3) extending the development strategies theory into tangible products industries, and 4) adding to the measures for development strategy. Future research appears fertile for methods and measures used in this study, and managers in CPG will benefit from an enhanced understanding of how to better structure innovation teams in alignment with a firm’s development strategy.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Mims, Tina C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Nonprofit Advertising and Behavioral Intention: the Effects of Persuasive Messages on Donation and Volunteerism

Description: Nonprofit organizations are dependent on donations and volunteers to remain operational. Most rely on persuasive communications to inform, educate, and convince recipients of their messaging to respond in order to raise funds and generate volunteers. Though the marketing and psychology literature has examined charitable giving and volunteerism, the effectiveness of persuasive messages to affect philanthropy, gift-giving, and fundraising is a gap in the cause marketing literature (Dann et al. 2007). Because consumers rarely enter a situation without preexisting attitudes or beliefs, it is expected that individuals exposed to an advertisement by a nonprofit organization will look for ways to compare the messages within the ad to their own beliefs and attitudes. Two theories help explain the processing that takes place in relation to attitudes, beliefs, and persuasive communications – elaboration likelihood model (ELM) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB). The research presented here combines these theories to answer questions regarding behavioral intention related to donating and volunteering when individuals are exposed to certain persuasive messages from a nonprofit organization. Results show that one’s involvement with the advertisement combines with one’s attitude toward donating to help determine propensity to donate and the amount of the donation. However, this is dependent upon the message in the ad. When messages indicate that others are supportive of the cause, donations increase when one is more involved with the ad and is generally agreeable to donating. But these messages have the opposite effect when one is not involved with the ad – donations decrease when the message indicates others support the cause. And when messages indicate that even a minimal donation is possible, the attitude driver has no effect on donation behavior. However, when involvement is low, one’s age plays a role in driving individuals toward action, with older people more driven to give ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Van Steenburg, Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social Exclusion and Green Consumption

Description: Social exclusion has garnered much attention from researchers across the social sciences, especially among social psychologists. However, given the fact that social relationships and consumption are two of the central activities in daily life, there is surprisingly little research on the impact of social connection threats within the realm of consumer behavior. This study examines the effect of social exclusion on proenvironmental behavior and green consumption. More precisely, the objectives of this study are threefold. The first objective is to examine whether the findings in social psychology literature on how excluded individuals respond to exclusion when they are exposed to proenvironmental consumption behavior. The second objective of this research is to find the underlying mechanism and to rule out some of the possible explanations (e.g., mood) for this effect. The final objective of this study is to establish some of the boundary conditions (individual differences and situational factors) for the proposed effect. The hypotheses of this study were developed based on two main theoretical bases borrowed from social psychology literature: empathy-altruism hypothesis (Batson 1991) and social reconnection hypothesis (Maner et al. 2007). Overall, it was proposed that while social exclusion decreases individuals’ inclination to engage in proenvironmental activities, socially excluded people are motivated to use green consumption behaviors to establish new social bonds with others. These propositions were tested and supported across four experiments. Across these experiments, the findings demonstrated that social exclusion causes people to express lower tendency to engage in proenvironmental behaviors. The findings also consistently suggest that mood does not explain why social rejection leads to negative environmental outcomes. Additionally, social exclusion appears to cause a temporary absence of empathic concern toward others, which leads to less green behavior with altruistic motivation. Further, the role of emotional empathy as a boundary condition was tested in this study ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Naderi, Iman
Partner: UNT Libraries

No-thought Shopping: Understanding and Controlling Nonconscious Processing in Marketing

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Fabrize, Jr., Robert O.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Quest for Perfect Appearance: an Examination of the Role of Objective Self-awareness Theory and Emotions

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Yazdanparast Ardestani, Atefeh
Partner: UNT Libraries

Regulatory Orientation, Message Framing and Influences of Fit on Customer Behaviors

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Tran, Trang Phuc
Partner: UNT Libraries

Consumer Perception of Brand Equity Measurement: a New Scale

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Baalbaki, Sally Samih
Partner: UNT Libraries

Civility Matters

Description: 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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Vahie, Archna
Partner: UNT Libraries

Developing an Integrated Supply Chain Costing Approach for Strategic Decision Making

Description: 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.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Knipper, Michael E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

"I Speak, Therefore I Am:" Identity and Self-Construction as Motivation to Engage in Electronic Word of Mouth

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2010
Creator: Taylor, David George
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An Assessment of Consumers' Willingness to Patronize Foreign-Based Business Format Franchises: An Investigation in the Fast-Food Sector

Description: 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.
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Date: May 2010
Creator: Ertekin, Selcuk
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An Analytical Model of the Determinants and Outcomes of Nation Branding

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Sun, Qin
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Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Safety: An Application of Ethics Theory

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Douglas, Matthew Aaron
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The impact of gender effects on consumers' perceptions of brand equity: A cross-cultural investigation.

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2008
Creator: Ye, Lei
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