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Consumers' alliance encounter satisfaction, attributions, and behavioral intentions

Ning Li (George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
William H. Murphy (University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 28 October 2013




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between consumers' alliance encounter satisfaction (AES) and their behavioral intentions toward standalone platforms of host and guest partners, and the moderating effects of consumer AES attributions on AES-to-behavioral intention relationships.


This paper extends attribution theory and satisfaction literature to the brand alliance context. The study used 1,470 survey responses from consumers, each having had purchase experiences with one of 16 brand alliances, to test hypotheses.


AES spills over to favorable behavioral intentions toward each alliance partner as a standalone brand. This spillover effect is strengthened by a carryover effect. Intriguingly, if a partner outshines the other and solely receives AES attributions, there is a significant contrast effect adversely affecting the spillover effect for the non-attributed partner.

Practical implications

The findings provide advice on partner selection and alliance resource commitments. Choosing partners well and working synergistically to attain AES is essential for gaining behavioral intention uplift for alliance partners. Brand managers are advised to select partners with comparable rather than superior capabilities. Also, since outcomes of alliance encounters lead to greater gains (or losses) for host brands, hosts are called to be particularly thorough when making alliance resource commitments.


There are few studies of actual consumer experiences with alliances, since most consumer-focused alliance research uses experimental designs. This paper is among the first to examine the effects of actual consumer alliance encounters on behavioral intentions toward each alliance partner as a standalone firm.



Li, N. and H. Murphy, W. (2013), "Consumers' alliance encounter satisfaction, attributions, and behavioral intentions", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 517-529.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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