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Perceived consumption vulnerability of elderly citizens: A qualitative exploration of the construct and its consequences

Subhadip Roy (Department of Marketing, Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur, India)
Shamindra Nath Sanyal (Department of Business Management, Institute of Engineering and Management, Kolkata, India)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 11 September 2017




This study aims to explore the dimensions of perceived consumption vulnerability (PCV) for the elderly citizens (EC) in India and its consequences. Consumer vulnerability is a recent and important construct for marketers and policymakers to understand the consumption behavior of the EC.


To achieve the study objectives, the authors conducted 50 in-depth interviews and six focus group discussions of ECs in two large cities in India. The authors used grounded theory methodology to understand the PCV construct.


The findings suggest a five-dimensional formative PCV construct with the dimensions being Physical, Financial, Social, Technological and Service Vulnerability contributing to PCV. The findings also suggest a relationship between PCV and consumption variables such as search cost, choice evaluation, consumption and overall satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The major contribution of the present study is the exploration of the PCV construct for the EC and its dimensions. The propositions developed in the study could be tested in future studies using a quantitative approach.

Practical implications

The findings call for compassion from the marketers while dealing with the ECs and a separate service strategy that addresses the specific needs of the ECs.

Social implications

The findings call for public policy action to protect the consumption rights of the ECs to reduce their consumption vulnerability.


The present study is a novel attempt to explore the PCV construct and its role in defining consumer behavior of the ECs.



Roy, S. and Sanyal, S.N. (2017), "Perceived consumption vulnerability of elderly citizens: A qualitative exploration of the construct and its consequences", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 469-485.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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