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A goal-directed interactionist perspective of counterfeit consumption: The role of perceived detection probability

Gavin Jiayun Wu (Broadwell College of Business and Economics, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA)
Richard P. Bagozzi (Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)
Nwamaka A. Anaza (Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois, USA)
Zhiyong Yang (Bryan School of Business and Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 8 July 2019

Issue publication date: 8 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

To provide a keener understanding of consumers’ decision-making processes and motivations regarding deliberate counterfeit consumption, this paper aims to integrate insights from several theoretical perspectives and the relevant literature. It proposes an overlooked yet important goal-directed interactionist perspective and identifies and tests a novel construct called consumers’ perceived counterfeit detection (PCD) in a proposed model.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a comprehensive review of the literature to justify its proposed perspective, PCD construct and model, followed by in-depth interviews and survey data to test its proposed model and hypotheses.

Findings

Besides the theoretical insights derived from the proposed goal-directed interactionist perspective, empirical results demonstrate the important role that PCD plays in counterfeit consumption. In fact, PCD not only negatively and directly affects consumers’ intentions to deliberately purchase counterfeits but also weakens the positive effect consumers’ attitudes have on their purchase intentions.

Research limitations/implications

This research makes several theoretical contributions. First and foremost, differing from other approaches (e.g. personal, economic and ethical), this research justifies an overlooked yet important goal-directed interactionist perspective and develops a refined and substantive framework including its proposed PCD construct. This framework provides opportunities to investigate behavior as an interpretative and dynamic process, vitalizing the domain of counterfeit-consumption behavior studies in particular and ethical behavior research in general. Second, at the construct level, the proposed hypothetical construct of PCD comprises the building blocks for knowledge advancement. Finally, rather than testing theories incrementally (such as the theory of planned behavior and the theory of reasoned action), this research fosters the development of new ideas regarding our proposed goal-directed interactionist perspective and PCD construct, which can be applied to other contexts and constructs that share the same or similar mechanisms and features.

Practical implications

According to the proposed goal-directed interactionist perspective, this research offers insights regarding why understanding consumers’ different goals (e.g. social-adjustive vs value-expressive; attainment vs maintenance) is important for marketers; how consumers’ goals interplay with their choices through their actions and consumption (e.g. compete vs substitute); and why, how and when their goals interact with their actions, choices and situations during their goal-setting, goal-striving and goal-realization stages that may lead to unethical behavior. At the construct level, the better marketers understand PCD, the more effectively they can use it. At the level of relationships and procedures, this research can offer important insights for businesses that look for “best practices” in the fight against deliberate counterfeit consumption.

Originality/value

First, by integrating insights from goal-directed behavior, self-regulatory theories and interactionist theory, this paper proposes its own goal-directed interactionist perspective. It then develops and tests a refined and substantive model of counterfeit decision-making in which PCD stands as a novel construct. The paper’s proposed perspective and model provide opportunities to investigate behavior as an interpretative and dynamic process, taking the domain of ethical behavior research (e.g. counterfeit-consumption behavior) from descriptive frameworks to testable theories.

Keywords

Citation

Wu, G.J., Bagozzi, R.P., Anaza, N.A. and Yang, Z. (2019), "A goal-directed interactionist perspective of counterfeit consumption: The role of perceived detection probability", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 53 No. 7, pp. 1311-1332. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-07-2017-0455

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited