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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

Design for Social Presence and Exploring Its Mediating Effect in Mobile Data Communication Services

Description: The mobility, flexibility, convenience, and ubiquity of mobile data services (MDS) have contributed to their enormous growth and popularity with users. MDS allow users to communicate through mobile texting (mTexting), mobile Instant Messaging (mIM), multimedia messaging services (MMS), and email. A unique feature of MDS that enhances its popularity among its users is the awareness capability, which is revolutionizing the way MDS is being used to communicate today. It allows potential communication partners to socialize through these technologies. This dissertation explored the relationship between user experience, perceived richness, perceived social presence and satisfaction with MDS. A research model for examining the antecedent conditions that influence social presence, richness, social interaction and satisfaction with MDS was developed. Partial least square analysis showed that user experience influenced both social presence and richness. Also supported was the relationship between richness, social presence and satisfaction with MDS. Social presence mediated the relationship between user experience and richness. However, only one dimension of interactivity influenced social presence.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Ogara, Solomon Omondi

Exploring Critical Factors in Predicting Post-Adoptive Use of Facebook

Description: Social networking applications (SNAs) have experienced a boom in popularity in recent years. Sites like Facebook and MySpace continuously draw new users, and are successful in organizing groups of users around topics of common interest. Among SNAs, Facebook has demonstrably outgrown its rivals growing an estimated 157 percent from 2008 to 2009. Facebook is now estimated to be the fourth largest Internet site in the world, trailing only Google, Microsoft and Yahoo (Schonfeld 2009). This dissertation posits and tests a theoretical model composed of key factors that contribute to post-adoptive use of social networking applications and the relationship of those factors to one another. This study also identifies and clarifies new constructs that were not previously used to measure usage, and further refines the constructs that were previously used so that they better fit social networking applications. The results of this dissertation show that the critical factors of social capital, hedonic enjoyment, perceived usefulness, social influence, satisfaction and attitude have a positive influence on a post-adoptive user's intention to continue using Facebook. The results of this study yielded a structural model for predicting the post-adoptive use of Facebook. This work also developed an instrument for measuring constructs relevant to social networking applications.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Magro, Michael J.

Factors Influencing Post-adoptive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Utilization

Description: Organizations expend a great deal of time, effort and money on the implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. They are considered the price of entry for large organizations to do business. Yet the success rate of ERP systems is poor. IS literature suggests that one possible reason for this is the underutilization of these systems. Existing ERP literature is replete with research to improve ERP project implementation success; however, notably absent from these streams is the research that identifies how ERP systems are utilized by individuals or organizations. This dissertation posits that increased ERP utilization can result from increased software and business process understanding gained from both formal training and experiential interventions. New dimensions of system utilization (required vs. optional) are proposed. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine how these interventions impact ERP utilization. The results of this dissertation show that while software-training interventions are important to understanding, it is the business process training interventions that seem to provide the greater effect on understanding. This increased understanding positively affects utilization scenarios where a mixture (required vs. optional) of software features and business process tasks can be leveraged by end-users. The improved understanding of post-adoptive ERP utilization gained from this study benefits both researchers and practitioners.
Date: August 2011
Creator: McGinnis, Thomas C.

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