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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2022

Taeyoung Kim, Jing Yang and Myungok Chris Yim

This research aims to understand consumer responses to corporate social responsibility (CSR) during an unprecedented public health crisis. Specifically, two studies were…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to understand consumer responses to corporate social responsibility (CSR) during an unprecedented public health crisis. Specifically, two studies were conducted to investigate how companies’ different CSR initiatives in the early stage of COVID-19 would influence consumers’ advocacy intention according to their focus (i.e. targets of institutional CSR). The first study examined the moderating role of individuals’ CSR expectancy on the effects of companies’ CSR initiatives on consumers’ brand advocacy intention. The second study further extends the findings of Study 1 by examining the mediating role of perceived brand motive.

Design/methodology/approach

Two between-subject online experiments were conducted to explore the impact of three types of institutional CSR initiatives (i.e. community, employee and consumer-centered CSRs) on brand advocacy. Study 1 (N = 380) examined the moderating role of CSR expectancy in influencing consumer responses to institutional CSR initiatives. Study 2 (N = 384) explored the underlying mechanism through examining the mediating role of a company’s value-driven motivation in the process.

Findings

Study 1 indicated that institutional CSR, regardless of type, was more effective in generating a more significant brand advocacy intention than a promotional message, measured as a baseline. The impact of different kinds of institutional CSR on consumers’ brand advocacy intentions was significantly moderated by their CSR-related expectations. Specifically, individuals with moderate to high CSR expectancy showed higher brand advocacy intentions in both consumer- and employee-centered CSR initiatives than the promotional message. In comparison, those with low CSR expectancy only showed higher brand advocacy intentions in the community-centered CSR initiative. In addition, as individuals’ CSR expectations rose, the mediation effect of the perceived value-driven motivation became stronger.

Research limitations/implications

The current study includes guiding principles to help companies effectively respond to COVID-19 as corporate citizens by demonstrating the importance of individuals’ CSR expectancy across three CSR initiatives. This study used real-life examples of how leading companies were stepping up CSR efforts and suggested an approach that aligns CSR behaviors with the urgent and fundamental human needs of COVID-19.

Originality/value

In line with the CSR goal of maximizing benefits for stakeholders, this study’s findings signal that situational changes determine CSR expectations and that companies must be highly susceptible to the changes in consumersexpectations of CSR and their appraisal process of CSR motives to maximize its CSR value.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2021

Jing Yang and Juan Mundel

This study aims to explore the role of consumersexpectation violation in brands’ negative eWOM management on social media. The effects of brand feedback strategies (i.e…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the role of consumersexpectation violation in brands’ negative eWOM management on social media. The effects of brand feedback strategies (i.e. compensation and causal attribution) and brand type (i.e. full-service vs low-cost) in consumersexpectation violations and the impact of such violations on consumers’ satisfaction and responses to a brand (i.e. brand love and brand hate) were examined.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a 2 (causal attribution: external/brand) × 2 (compensation: present/absent) × 2 (brand type: low cost vs full service) × 2 (industry: airline and hotel) between-subjects experimental design.

Findings

Results indicated that the presence (vs absence) of compensation can result in positive consumer expectation violations, which can lead to consumer satisfaction and brand love. Alternately, the absence of compensation can result in negative consumer expectation violations, which can lead to consumers dissatisfaction and brand hate. Moreover, brand type (i.e. full-service vs low-cost) significantly interacted with the presence of compensation in influencing consumers’ responses. The attribution of the cause did not significantly influence consumers’ responses.

Practical implications

This study highlights the importance of knowing consumersexpectations when responding to negative eWOM on social media. Offering compensation is an effective strategy for restoring consumer satisfaction. Specifically, for low-cost brands, offering compensation can lead to even more favorable responses.

Originality/value

This study pioneers in exploring the roles of different brand feedback strategies and brand type in influencing consumers’ responses to brands’ handling of negative eWOM. This study revealed the underlying mechanism through the theoretical lens of expectancy violation and examined the impact of expectation violations on consumer satisfaction and brand love and brand hate.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Sangyoon Yi and Jae-Hyeon Ahn

Consumer expectation not only influences purchase decision but also post-purchase satisfaction and word-of-mouth (WOM). This study aims to develop theories of initial…

2032

Abstract

Purpose

Consumer expectation not only influences purchase decision but also post-purchase satisfaction and word-of-mouth (WOM). This study aims to develop theories of initial expectation management by suggesting when it is desirable for new products to raise or lower consumer expectations. It systematically examines the interplay of product value and consumer heterogeneity in the dynamic process of new product diffusion under competition.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on traditional diffusion and choice models, this study develops an agent-based model to formalize and analyze how consumers’ initial expectations of a new product influence the interdependent processes of product sales, consumer satisfaction and WOM. The simulation analyses in controlled settings help understand the underlying mechanisms in a stepwise manner.

Findings

The results show that, although the optimal strategy for low-value products is to induce consumer expectations higher than product value, high-value products are better introduced with expectations formed close to it. The results also highlight an important drawback of “under-promising” strategies in reducing the base and volume of WOM. Further, the analysis illustrates how consumer heterogeneities in product valuation and initial expectation affect the effectiveness of expectation management. For high-value products, both heterogeneities reduce the effectiveness of the optimal strategy. For low-value products, however, value heterogeneity enhances the effectiveness, whereas expectation heterogeneity reduces it.

Practical implications

Firms introducing new products should be sensitive to how consumers value the product and form expectations about it. Different from firms that must rely on aggressive advertising to sell inferior products by building up high expectations, those with superior products can rely more on the power of consumer WOM, which is much less costly and thus gives them a competitive advantage. Firms should also pay attention to how diversified the consumers are in product valuation and expectation. The expectation management strategy is more effective when consumers form more similar expectations. Inferior firms may leverage this mechanism to neutralize their disadvantages.

Originality/value

The articulated mechanisms help push forward the research on new product diffusion and consumer expectation management. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first studies to systematically analyze the impact of consumer heterogeneity on the effectiveness of expectation management.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Lawrence O. Hamer

The paper seeks to provide a theoretical and empirical investigation of the relationship between consumer expectations and consumer perceptions of service quality.

5685

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to provide a theoretical and empirical investigation of the relationship between consumer expectations and consumer perceptions of service quality.

Design/methodology/approach

The theory of cognitive reference points, adaptation‐level theory, and assimilation‐contrast theory are used to formulate hypotheses concerning the relationships between perceived service quality, consumer expectations, and perceptions. These hypotheses were empirically investigated through an experiment that manipulated expectations and perceptions while measuring perceived service quality.

Findings

The principal finding is that consumer expectations are positive predictors of perceived service quality (i.e. higher expectations lead to higher perceptions of quality). Another finding is that the relationship between expectations and perceived service quality is much stronger than prior literature suggests.

Practical implications

The practical implication of this study is that practitioners should seek to actively manage their customers' expectations to increase those expectations.

Originality/value

This paper is valuable to practitioners who are seeking to use expectations to achieve higher perceptions of quality among their customers. It is also valuable to researchers who are seeking to understand the relationship between expectations and quality perceptions.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Cynthia Webster

Provides insight into the concept of quality in the service marketby investigating possible influences on consumer expectations of qualityand how these expectations may be…

1470

Abstract

Provides insight into the concept of quality in the service market by investigating possible influences on consumer expectations of quality and how these expectations may be better met. Reports on a study examining the effects of certain stimuli on expectations regarding different types of service. Discovers that significant differences were found regarding the nature of the expectations as the stimuli werevaried, differences which remained after involvement and the removal of personal need effects. Offers recommendations to service providers and includes an explanation of the methodology used in the study.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2020

Emma Tonkin, Julie Henderson, Samantha B. Meyer, John Coveney, Paul R. Ward, Dean McCullum, Trevor Webb and Annabelle M. Wilson

Consumers’ trust in food systems is essential to their functioning and to consumers’ well-being. However, the literature exploring how food safety incidents impact consumer

Abstract

Purpose

Consumers’ trust in food systems is essential to their functioning and to consumers’ well-being. However, the literature exploring how food safety incidents impact consumer trust is theoretically underdeveloped. This study explores the relationship between consumersexpectations of the food system and its actors (regulators, food industry and the media) and how these influence trust-related judgements that consumers make during a food safety incident.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, two groups of purposefully sampled Australian participants (n = 15) spent one day engaged in qualitative public deliberation to discuss unfolding food incident scenarios. Group discussion was audio recorded and transcribed for the analysis. Facilitated group discussion included participants' expected behaviour in response to the scenario and their perceptions of actors' actions described within the scenario, particularly their trust responses (an increase, decrease or no change in their trust in the food system) and justification for these.

Findings

The findings of the study indicated that food incident features and unique consumer characteristics, particularly their expectations of the food system, interacted to form each participant's individual trust response to the scenario. Consumer expectations were delineated into “fundamental” and “anticipatory” expectations. Whether fundamental and anticipatory expectations were in alignment was central to the trust response. Experiences with the food system and its actors during business as usual contributed to forming anticipatory expectations.

Originality/value

To ensure that food incidents do not undermine consumer trust in food systems, food system actors must not only demonstrate competent management of the incident but also prioritise trustworthiness during business as usual to ensure that anticipatory expectations held by consumers are positive.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 123 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2022

Bora Min

This study aims to draw on the malleable nature of processing fluency to identify the role of consumer expectation in generating diverging effects of metacognitive…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to draw on the malleable nature of processing fluency to identify the role of consumer expectation in generating diverging effects of metacognitive experiences on perception of product innovativeness and product evaluation. It also examines critical boundary conditions to offer a more sophisticated understanding of the interactive effect of expectation and processing fluency.

Design/methodology/approach

Studies 1, 2A and 2B recruited 1,922 online participants, and Studies 3 and 4 recruited 644 college students. The authors manipulated product innovativeness expectation by exposing participants to expert reviews of new products, and processing fluency by presenting product detail in either easy-to-read font/color contrast or difficult-to-read font/color contrast. Subsequently, perceived product innovativeness and product evaluation including actual product adoption were measured.

Findings

When a product was expected to be innovative (ordinary), feelings of difficulty with processing its detail increased (decreased) perceived innovativeness and, in turn, interest in purchase. The observation occurred only when a credible external source (vs firms) generated the innovativeness expectation or consumers’ elaboration level was not high. Furthermore, when innovativeness became associated with negative implications, perceived innovativeness no longer enhanced but impaired purchase intention.

Research limitations/implications

Studies used incrementally new products only. Really new products involving a high adoption risk might produce a diverging effect. The findings need to be replicated with higher involvement products. An ideal level of difficulty with comprehending product information was not examined in the present research.

Practical implications

Results carry significant weight for firms who seek to draw consumer attention to their new products by choosing an optimal format of product presentation. The findings suggest that they can proactively administer a proper level of ease/difficulty with comprehending product detail depending on the extent of product innovativeness and target audience.

Originality/value

Extant research has not addressed how the malleable nature of processing fluency systematically affects innovativeness perception and product evaluation. The key contribution of this paper to the metacognition literature is the role of consumer expectation that alters the meaning of metacognitive experiences in relation to innovativeness perception. In addition, this is one of the first to empirically investigate perceptual processing fluency in the elaboration likelihood model theory.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1995

Kenneth E. Clow and John L. Beisel

Service firms operating on low margins per transaction mustgenerate a high volume of business to survive the competitiveenvironment of the 1990s. Firms must raise the…

2362

Abstract

Service firms operating on low margins per transaction must generate a high volume of business to survive the competitive environment of the 1990s. Firms must raise the expectations of consumers to increase patronage, then successfully meet these expectations. Examines the antecedents to consumer expectations of low‐margin, highvolume service firms, and gives managerial implications, illustrating how to manage a service firm, successfully operating on low margins successfully.

Article
Publication date: 29 May 2007

Mahesh S. Bhandari, Yelena Tsarenko and Michael Jay Polonsky

The purpose of this paper is to extend thinking on service recovery processes and satisfaction with service recovery, using multi‐dimensional consumer outcomes. The…

4613

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend thinking on service recovery processes and satisfaction with service recovery, using multi‐dimensional consumer outcomes. The objective of the work was to propose that satisfaction with service recovery should be based on customers' expectations of the recovery encounter, which would be shaped by their expectations of “non‐failed” encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a theoretical approach. Using the existing service recovery literature as well as the traditional services literature, the conceptual framework and associated research propositions are developed.

Findings

The proposed framework suggests that service recovery is a service encounter it its own right. The effectiveness of recovery encounters will be based on how encounters operate relative to customer expectations and experiences with regard to the recovery activity.

Research limitations/implications

The research propositions and proposed framework need further empirical investigation.

Practical implications

The proposed framework suggests that managing service recovery should be undertaken in a similar fashion to managing any service, and thus managers need to understand customers' recovery expectations. Organisations also need to consider how a recovery action impacts on a range of customer outcomes, as focusing on one aspect will not capture consumers' full set of behaviours.

Originality/value

The proposed model identifies that service recovery should be evaluated with regard to consumers' recovery expectations and satisfaction is not based on expectations with regard to non‐failed encounters.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1995

Amy R. Hubbert, Annette Garcia Sehorn and Stephen W. Brown

Boundary‐spanning personnel such as tax preparers, travel agentsand hairdressers interface directly with customers. In their uniqueposition, between the organization and…

3379

Abstract

Boundary‐spanning personnel such as tax preparers, travel agents and hairdressers interface directly with customers. In their unique position, between the organization and customer, these service providers market the service to consumers while they simultaneously carry out operational functions. Both the customer and the provider bring certain expectations to the service encounter. These expectations then shape the perceptions of the service encounter. The research reported uses script methodology to compare the expectations between boundary‐spanning service providers and consumers of the same service. Draws its theoretical foundation from the expectations and scripts literatures. In Phase One, scripts of the service were elicited in order to test hypotheses based on the discovery and comparison of consumers′ and service providers′ subgoals for a typical service encounter (H1). A hypothesis also tested the point at which providers and consumers enter their respective scripts of a typical service encounter (H2 ). In Phase Two, the subgoals mentioned most frequently in Phase One were used as stimuli to elicit the specific actions which comprise the complete script. These complete scripts enabled a comparison of the elaborateness of provider and consumer scripts (H3). The results of Phase One revealed that a portion of consumers′ subgoals for a service encounter are shared by providers of the service while other subgoals are unique, supporting H1. The point of activation of the script differed dramatically between customers and providers, supporting H2. The Phase Two findings provide support for the hypothesis that service providers have more elaborate scripts. Overall, the results support the notion that scripts operationalize expectations. Closes with implications for management and suggestions for future research.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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