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The distanced consumer's cognitive process in making relationship decisions

The purpose of the present research is to propose a cognitive process model which exhibits why and how distanced international sports consumers become loyal consumers, namely fans, of a sports team. Distanced sports consumers indicate those who are geographically and socioculturally distanced from their consumption object (sports team) which leads them to be isolated from any local and team influence throughout the consumption experience. The target population of distanced consumers selected for the present study is South Korean football fans who support European football teams. Building on a literature review ranging from relationship marketing to organisational behaviour, and taking into account the unique features of the sports product, industry and consumers, a cognitive process model is constructed and tested applying mixed research methods through three research stages (preliminary interviews, a web-survey and confirmatory interviews). The cognitive process model illustrates the associations between sports consumers consumption motives and their loyal behaviours which are mediated by emotional attachment. Hence, this model illustrates why/how distanced consumers are motivated and evaluate their relationship with the team to become loyal to it. The research model aims to demonstrate: 1) two psychological consumption motives (hedonic experience and communality) that exist as higher-level motives, which contribute to the understanding of the underlying dimensions of distanced consumers' selection of a sports team and supporting behaviours, and provide a conceptual basis for linking consumption goals and consumers' behavioural consequences as loyal consumers; 2) different types of emotional attachment (identification, affective commitment and normative commitment) as mediating mechanisms, which are identified to evaluate their separate role in the process model to predict different types of loyal behaviours (retention and membership behaviour); and 3) increasing levels of knowledge about the team contributes to encouraging identified consumers to affectively commit towards the team regardless of consumers' length of relationship duration. The results show that measuring levels of identification does not directly predict different loyal behaviours while affective commitment is able to predict consumers' membership behaviour and normative commitment can predict consumers intentions to stay in the relationship The findings of the present study explain how distanced international sports consumers develop and strengthen their relationship with sports teams as loyal consumers, and provide an opportunity for marketing practitioners to work on a strategy premise that may be applied across borders while still being tailored, where necessary, to the characteristics of the local market and specific socio-demographic segments. -
Date January 2008
CreatorsPark, Jee Seon
PublisherBirkbeck (University of London)
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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