Ricks, Jr., Joe M.
08 April 2002
There are many objectives for corporate philanthropic activity beyond altruism. Financial gain, increased image, and thwarting negative publicity have been suggested as potential objectives for corporate giving. This dissertation develops a 2X2 classification schema as a framework for empirical investigation and managerial decision making. Additionally this dissertation examines current models of corporate philanthropy and develops a new model for the use of philanthropy in crisis management using stakeholder theory. Finally it presents experimental assessments of various types of philanthropy based on the classification schema. Philanthropic activity is assessed in the context of two controlled experiments. The first experiment examines the perceptions of African-Americans versus other ethnic groups based on philanthropic activity directed toward African-Americans versus the general population. These perceptions are also examined in the context of a crisis (after a firm has been found to be discriminatory toward African-Americans) versus a good will gesture. A second experiment will conduct a closer examination of philanthropic activity in the crisis context by replicating the crisis conditions in the first experiment with modified experimental manipulations based on the results of the first study. Results indicate philanthropy is an effective strategic option for corporate or brand image objectives, but ineffective for brand evaluation and purchase objectives. In addition philanthropy directed toward a particular segment also has a positive effect on consumers outside of that segment. Finally, philanthropy as a part of a recovery strategy appears to have a consistent but marginal effect on consumer perceptions of brand equity variables.
For a Good Cause: The Effects Pf Cause Importance, Cause Proximity, Congruency and Participation Effort on Consumers' Evaluation of Cause Related MarketingLandreth, Stacy 19 April 2002 (has links)
In the past several years, companies have discovered the importance of strategic social alliances, particularly in the form of cause related marketing (CRM) programs. Varadarajan and Menon (1988) describe the key feature of CRM as is that the firms contribution is linked to consumers engagement in revenue producing transactions with the firm. It is essentially a way for a firm to do well by doing good and provides several benefits to both the firm and the non-profit organizations receiving the donations. In general, academic researchers have found favorable consumer attitudes toward the firm, products and the non-profit organization involved. Consumers were more likely to switch brands and retailers to support socially responsible companies. Other researchers have examined several elements of a CRM campaign such as product type, donation size, gender, and perceived motivation of the firm. This dissertation examines prosocial behavior and the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM) to explain consumers decision to participate in the CRM offer. In addition, this research examines several factors that potentially influence a consumers decision to participate in CRM programs including cause importance, cause proximity, congruence and participation effort. Two pilot studies and one main study tests the influence of the four independent variables on attitudes and intentions. They examine the influence of these variables using skin cancer as the cause and fictitious brands. Results from student subjects provide evidence of the relationship between cause importance and cause proximity to affect elaboration. Additionally, congruency is perceived as more effective and a segment of consumers is identified based on their participation level. The main study uses bone cancer and fictitious brands. Results from non-student subjects provide further evidence of the relationship between cause importance and cause proximity and highlights the effect of elaboration and congruency on consumer attitudes. Additionally, the research finds an initial point where consumers consider participation effort to be too high. Overall, this research should help firms determine the best partners for strategic social alliances and how to best design them for maximum participation. It offers insight into variables that have mixed results and the identification and study of a new variable participation effort.
Garity, Carolyn Popp
07 November 2012
Consumers often find themselves faced with conflicting evaluations in which they identify both positive and negative aspects of a purchase or consumption experience. A paradox occurs when the individual is aware of the conflicting evaluations and experiences tension as a result. While there are strong potential implications of paradox, marketing research has been slow to study consumption paradoxes. As a result, many deficiencies exist in the literature, including no consensus as to the definition of consumer paradox, insufficient quantitative measurement, and limited knowledge of the antecedents and consequences of paradox. This dissertation was conducted to address these shortcomings. Essay one was conducted to develop a basic understanding of consumer paradox and examine the similarities and differences between paradox, ambivalence and mixed emotions. As such, it integrated divergent literature streams and developed a new definition of paradox, distinct from ambivalence and mixed emotions. Furthermore, a hermeneutical interpretive approach was used to interpret in-depth interviews that replicated existing paradox research and identified a new technology paradox. Essay two was conducted to develop a measurement technique for capturing the presence of paradox in consumption situations. Four pretests and two studies were conducted to develop and test this new measurement technique that captured the two conditions for paradox: the recognition of two opposing, irreconcilable evaluations and the feeling of tension brought about by the opposing evaluations. Additionally, factor analysis was employed to determine the overall structure of the various types of paradoxes. Essay three was conducted to delineate and test a theoretical framework of consumption paradox. It was the first to empirically test antecedents and outcomes of paradox, and found that antecedents and outcomes exhibited different relationships under different technology paradoxes. The research failed to find any evidence that coping mediates the proposed model. This research offers contributions by defining paradox as distinct from ambivalence and mixed emotions, developing a comprehensive measurement protocol for assessing paradoxes, and delineating and empirically testing a conceptual framework of paradox. It offers managers insight into the underlying causes of paradox, the associations between paradoxes, and possible strategies to reduce the occurrence of paradox.
09 November 2012
Empirical studies of online reviews have found that valence (average rating) has a consistently positive impact on consumers willingness to pay (WTP), but volume does not. Although two studies tried to explain this phenomenon using different perspectives (Wu and Ayala, 2012; Sun, 2012), neither study can fully accommodate the consumer behaviors observed by the other. This dissertation adopts a theoretical framework that can explain the consumer behaviors observed in both studies as well as the varying influence of review volume at the individual level. Specifically, several studies were conducted to investigate the relationship between bidirectional online seller reviews (e.g., the eBay review format) and consumers WTP. Essay 1 provides an extensive review of studies that investigate online consumer reviews at the market, product, firm, consumer, and message level; special attention is given to the outcomes of consumer reviews for both products and sellers. In addition, this essay establishes the importance of the current research topic. Essay 2 combines economic and behavioral theories of decision-making under uncertainty to develop a theoretical framework. The framework proposes that review volume and valence influence a consumers WTP through a weighting function of outcome probability. Consumers with different preferences towards uncertainty will have different preferences toward review volume, and for some consumers, such preference can change depending on the review valence. Based on this conceptualization, the framework reconciles the current literature by explaining the inconsistent influence of review volume both across and within individuals. The internal validity of the framework is tested with an experiment and analyses carried out at the individual level provide strong support for the proposed conceptual model. Essay 3 establishes the relevance of this research for managers by applying the framework to real market data. Due to the nature of the transactional data, a finite mixture model is used to estimate the weighting function, and hypotheses are tested at the group instead of the individual level. A simulation study demonstrates the validity of using a finite mixture model to estimate the weighting function and classify groups. The results of the hypotheses testing provide adequate support for the framework.
The Effects of Employee Service Quality Provision and Customer Personality Traits on Customer Participation, Satisfaction, and Repurchase IntentionsJohn, Jeannie Denise 12 November 2003 (has links)
This research investigates customer-employee interaction during service encounters, and whether the relationships between customer personality traits and quality of the employees service delivery will impact the customers participation, satisfaction, and repurchase intentions. Consumer personality is differentiated in terms of the self-monitoring (Snyder 1987) and locus of control (Rotter 1966) traits. Service quality provision is manipulated in terms of technical versus functional quality inputs, and whether these inputs are provided in a positive (i.e., good/superior) or negative (i.e., bad/poor) manner. These manipulations yield four combinations of service quality inputs: 1) positive technical and functional quality inputs; 2) positive technical, but negative functional quality inputs; 3) negative technical, but positive functional quality inputs; or 4) negative technical and functional quality inputs. It was hypothesized that the effect of service quality inputs upon customer participation, satisfaction and behavioral intentions will interact with individual differences. In particular, customers with high self-monitoring personality styles will prefer to participate most actively in situations where the service providers inputs are strongly differentiated in terms of positive functional quality, rather than technical quality. In contrast, customers with internal locus of control personality styles will prefer to participate most actively in situations where the service providers inputs are strongly differentiated in terms of positive technical quality, rather than functional quality. Moreover, customers will evaluate these encounters concomitantly. Thus, it was hypothesized that customer participation can have both positive and negative outcomes depending on the psychological style of the customer and on the type of service quality inputs. The study results indicate that components of technical and functional quality inputs into the service creation and delivery, and personality trait differences, can have varying impacts upon the overall service quality evaluations of customers, their generalized satisfaction with service encounters, and their repurchase intentions. This dissertation consists of the following sections: first, a gap in the literature is exposed that suggests a potential area of contribution; second, the conceptual framework for the study is provided; third, the study design is presented along with the results of the empirical research, and finally, the conclusions and managerial and research implications are discussed.
07 April 2004
Past research on consumer perceptions related to Low Price Guarantees (LPG) have primarily investigated effects of LPG on consumer search intentions, their perception of offer value and their purchase intentions. The present research had two major objectives: (i) to study the probable effect of LPG on consumers' intentions to search after the purchase and the boundary conditions of such effects; (ii) to study probable consequences of default of an LPG, that is, postpurchase discovery of lower prices in the marketplace despite promise to the contrary. It was shown that while LPG is likely to discourage prepurchase search it might encourage postpurchase search, subject to the level of penalty and consumer value and price consciousness. With respect to an LPG default, factors such as the location of the default ("within store" versus "between store"), the size of the default (the difference between the paid price and the later discovered lower price) and the time of the default (the period of time that elapsed between purchase and discovery of a lower price) are important and their effects on such consumer perceptions as attitude toward the retailer, perceived retailer credibility and repurchase intention were investigated subject to suitable boundary conditions. Two experiments were conducted to test proposed hypotheses. Theoretical and managerial contributions of the findings are discussed and suggestions for possible future research are provided.
What Irritates Consumers? An Empirical Examination of the Antecedents and Consequences of Consumer IrritationThota, Sweta Chaturvedi 05 April 2004 (has links)
This dissertation develops a model of consumer irritation in the context of consumer decision-making. Thus, the purpose is to describe and empirically test a model of the antecedents and consequences of consumer irritation. The model incorporates antecedents, moderators and consequences of irritation. It is suggested that irritation in consumers has a direct as well as an indirect influence, through retention of irritation in consumers, on the outcome variables such as attitude towards the advertised brand, and intentions to engage in negative word of mouth (NWOM) behavior. The central aim of this dissertation is to extend our understanding of the irritation construct beyond the earlier studies. In this regard, this dissertation makes several contributions in developing our understanding of consumer irritation in the context of consumer decision-making. First, the dissertation proposes a model of consumer irritation and identifies information characteristics used in marketing communication as antecedents of consumer irritation and the rationale behind the elicitation of irritation in consumers upon exposure to such information. Specifically, it is posited that information relevancy influences consumer irritation and that this effect is moderated by information expectancy. Second, the dissertation posits that consumers need to evaluate will moderate their responses to information that varies in expectancy and relevancy. Third, the dissertation examines whether irritation mediates the effects of information expectancy and relevancy on consumers attitudes toward the brand and intentions to engage in NWOM behavior. Finally, it examines how retention of irritation and information (after short and long delays) in consumers mediates the effect of incongruent information on consumers attitude towards the advertised brand and intentions to engage in NWOM behavior. Thus, the model posits that irritation has a direct effect on the outcome variables of consumer attitudes and intentions to engage in NWOM behavior and that this effect is mediated through consumers retention of their irritation.
Service Recovery and the Elusive Paradox: An Examination of the Effects of Magnitude of Service Failure, Service Failure Responsiveness, Service Guarantee and Additional Recovery Effort on Service Recovery OutcomesKerr, Anthony Hugh 16 April 2004 (has links)
Service failure and recovery remain critical issues for both academicians and marketing practitioners. Defined as a service providers response to a failed service, service recovery can mean the difference between a firms success and failure, for increasing customer retention and limiting customer defection are integral components of organizational growth and profitability. The purpose of this dissertation was two-fold: (1) to test the effects of magnitude of service failure, service failure responsiveness, and the presence of a service guarantee on customer satisfaction levels and other service recovery outcomes (Study 1); and (2) to test the effects of additional recovery effort and magnitude of service failure on customer satisfaction levels and other service recovery outcomes (Study 2). Additional objectives of Study 2 included examining the data for evidence of two posited phenomena: (1) the plateau effect, characterized by a leveling off effect in regard to the effects on the dependent variables as service failure recovery increases, and (2) the service recovery paradox effect, evidenced by increasing levels of satisfaction and repurchase intentions as recovery remuneration increases, to the point that levels of these criterion variables are higher among those experiencing a service failure compared to those who did not experience a service failure. The results indicated several findings. Magnitude of service failure had a very strong individual and moderating influence on all outcome variables. Service failure responsiveness can have positive effects on these outcome variables, but only under the condition of a low level of magnitude of service failure. Service guarantee was found to have little effect on service outcomes. Evidence was present to indicate that a plateau effect occurs as recovery remuneration increases, and very little support was found to support the contention that the recovery paradox effect should be present as recovery remuneration increases. This research has made a contribution to the study of service failure and recovery. It is hoped that there will be continued interest in examining additional constructs, trying different methodologies, and studying new effects in this field of marketing research.
09 June 2004
Research on partitioned pricing suggests that separating the surcharges from the base price of the advertised product may lead to a more favorable effect on consumers' evaluation of the offer compared to a combined presentation of the base price and the surcharge. In this dissertation we propose that partitioned price presentation may not always result in positive outcomes vis-à-vis combined presentation of prices. We propose that consumers' need for cognition and the perceived reasonableness of the surcharge are likely to influence their evaluation of partitioned versus combined prices. Based on cue diagnosticity, Persuasion Knowledge Model, and Characterization-Correction Model we develop process models of how consumers with differing need for cognitions evaluate partitioned and combined price information under reasonable and unreasonable surcharge conditions. The proposed hypotheses are tested across three studies, each consisting of two experiments. The three studies use different products and services and manipulate perceived reasonableness of surcharges in three different ways. The results of the first two studies provide support for the proposed hypotheses. The third study was designed to replicate the findings of the first two studies, examine the process models as well as measure the respondents' attitude toward the retailer under reasonable and unreasonable surcharge conditions. The results show strong support for the hypotheses and demonstrate that for high need for cognition individuals partitioned pricing leads to a higher perception of value of the offer and a higher willingness to purchase compared to combined pricing when the surcharges are perceived to be reasonable. These effects of partitioned pricing are completely reversed for high need for cognition individuals when the surcharge is perceived to be unreasonable. Low need for cognition individuals did not respond differently to the two pricing strategies.
Regret from Consumer Action Versus Inaction: The Effects of Post-Decision Information, Decisional Responsibility and Perceived Source ExpertiseDas, Neel 06 July 2004 (has links)
This dissertation proposes to examine regret arising from action versus inaction in consumer decision-making contexts. Although there has been extensive research in the area of regret, no extant literature in marketing has been found that has investigated the nature of regret arising from inaction, specifically in stockout conditions. The first study defines the concept of decisional action and inaction as the key sources of the regret emotion. Specifically, regret arising from inaction (and action) is investigated under sub-optimal and optimal conditions. Subsequently, circumstances are identified when inaction-driven levels of regret are likely to be higher than levels of action-driven regret and vice versa. It is posited that greater regret from action (than inaction) is likely to be experienced when there is a confirmation of the sub-optimal condition. Whereas, greater regret from inaction (than action) is likely to be experienced when there is a positive disconfirmation of sub-optimal condition. In the optimal conditions, greater regret is likely to be experienced from inaction when there is a confirmation of prior information. While negative disconfirmation of optimal conditions will probably lead to greater regret from action, and positive disconfirmation is likely to lead to greater regret from inaction. The intensity of regret due to inaction (versus action) is therefore proposed to be a function of the nature of confirmation/disconfirmation of prior information. The second study proposes that regret experienced due to action versus inaction is function of the type of decision, the perceived expertise of the source of information, and responsibility attributed for the decision. The subsequent behavioral intentions of switching and complaining are also examined. It is posited that when the responsibility for the decision is based on one's own volition and a negative outcome ensues, one is likely to experience regret regardless of the perceived expertise of the source of information. However, when the decision is made based on the recommendation of the salesperson the differential in regret experienced is likely to be a function of the perceived expertise of the source of information and type of decision. Furthermore, contrary to findings from previous research on regret, it is hypothesized that regret has an effect on complaint intention.
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