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Outcomes of decision speed: An empirical study in product elimination decision-making processes

Paraskevas Argouslidis (Department of Marketing and Communication, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)
George Baltas (Department of Marketing and Communication, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)
Alexis Mavrommatis (Department of Marketing, EADA Business School, Barcelona, Spain)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 6 May 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider decision speed’s role in the largely neglected decision area of product elimination.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on an inter-disciplinary theoretical background (e.g. organisational, decision speed and product elimination theories), the authors develop and test a framework for decision speed’s effects on the market and financial outcomes of a stratified random sample of 175 consumer product eliminations.

Findings

In contrast to decision speed research that hypothesised (and often failed to confirm) linearity, results show inverted ∪-shaped decision speed-to-decision outcomes relationships, with curvatures moderated by product importance, environmental complexity and turbulence.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are suggestive of several implications for the above theories (e.g. contribution to the dialogue about performance-enhancing value of rational vs incremental decision-making; evidence that excessive decision speed may become too much of a good thing). Certain design limitations (e.g. sampling consumer goods’ manufacturers only) point at avenues for future inquiry into the product elimination decision speed-to-outcomes link.

Practical implications

Managerially, the findings suggest that product eliminations’ optimal market and financial outcomes depend on a mix of speed and search in decision-making and that this mix requires adjustments to different levels of product importance, interdependencies with other decision areas of the firm and environmental turbulence.

Originality/value

The paper makes a twofold contribution. It enriches decision speed research, by empirically addressing speed’s outcomes in relation to a decision area that is not necessarily strategic and represents the first explicit empirical investigation into outcomes of decision speed in product line pruning decision-making.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the anonymous EJM review team and the Associate Editor Dr. Amir Grinstein, whose comments on a previous version of this paper improved its contributions.

Citation

Argouslidis, P., Baltas, G. and Mavrommatis, A. (2014), "Outcomes of decision speed: An empirical study in product elimination decision-making processes", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 48 No. 5/6, pp. 982-1008. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-10-2012-0573

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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