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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Sally Riad

In the last few years, signs of material excess by organizational and political leaders have often evoked public outcry. The paper aims to argue that there is insight to…

Abstract

Purpose

In the last few years, signs of material excess by organizational and political leaders have often evoked public outcry. The paper aims to argue that there is insight to be gleaned from drawing together strands from the leadership literature with the literatures on moral economy and conspicuous consumption. The premise is that views of leader conspicuous consumption are shaped by their moral economy, the interplay between moral attitudes and economic activities. The paper seeks to juxtapose tales of Cleopatra and Antony's display of wealth with current media accounts to contribute to the leadership literature on ethics, specifically its intersection with power and narrative representation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts an analytic approach, with an international orientation and an interdisciplinary perspective. It acknowledges the role of narrative representation in shaping leadership and the psychological ambivalence with which societies approach their leaders' practices, focus here on desire-disdain and discipline-decadence. Cleopatra and Antony's conspicuous consumption generated a legacy of condemnation for millennia. Drawing from the retellings of their story, four moralizing representations – by Plutarch, Shakespeare, Sarah Fielding and Hollywood – are analyzed and juxtaposed with current media accounts. Altogether, the paper combines the interest in leadership across history with moralizing perspectives on the display of wealth by leaders.

Findings

The intersection of the literatures on leadership, moral economy and conspicuous consumption draws together several dynamics of relevance to leadership. First, evaluations of the display of wealth on the part of a leader are contextual: they change across time and place. Second, interpretations of conspicuous consumption involve aesthetic judgment and so sit at the nexus of morality and taste. Third, following tragedies, tales of leader conspicuous consumption offer critics another knife to dig into the fallen tragic hero. Fourth, views of conspicuous consumption are gendered. Last, conspicuous consumption by leaders attracts condemnation through support for social responsibility and sustainability.

Originality/value

The paper establishes a novel articulation between the literatures on leadership, moral economy and conspicuous consumption.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 13 December 2019

The market for luxury goods in China.

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DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB249416

ISSN: 2633-304X

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Geographic
Topical
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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2007

Garry D. Carnegie and Stephen P. Walker

Beyond the public world of work, the home provides an arena for examining accounting and gender in everyday life. This study aims to examine household accounting in…

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2840

Abstract

Purpose

Beyond the public world of work, the home provides an arena for examining accounting and gender in everyday life. This study aims to examine household accounting in Australia from the early nineteenth to around the mid‐twentieth century.

Design/methodology/approach

The study comprises two parts. The first part, as reported in this paper, presents evidence on household accounting as prescribed in the didactic literature in Australia, and evidence of actual accounting practices based on the examination of 76 sets of surviving Australian household records available in public repositories. The second part adopts a microhistorical approach involving the detailed scrutiny of 18 sets of accounting records and relevant biographical and family data on the household accountants involved.

Findings

The study indicates that household accounting was an instrument for restraining female consumption, particularly during times of crises, and that accounting in Australian homes focussed on maintaining records of routine transactions as opposed to the preparation of budgets and financial statements. Household accounting in Australia was performed by women and men. The surviving records examined suggest that while areas of financial responsibility were defined by gender there was little evidence of formalised hierarchical accountability between spouses as has been found to be the case in Britain.

Originality/value

The study extends knowledge of household accounting and gender. Most historical investigations on this subject draw on instructional literature. The current investigation also examines accounting practice in the home.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2009

Kenneth Alan Grossberg

The world economy is likely to worsen because of the consumer's fears created by a cascade of financial and business catastrophes. To adapt their marketing approach

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6168

Abstract

Purpose

The world economy is likely to worsen because of the consumer's fears created by a cascade of financial and business catastrophes. To adapt their marketing approach, executives need guidance on how to respond to the sea change in the attitudes of individual customers during this current Great Recession. this paper aims to investigate this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Given that experts believe that we have entered a period of austerity marketing, which is defined as marketing to consumers who do not want to spend, the paper shows how companies can reconcile consumers' fear, their aspirations for comfort, and their new reluctance to flaunt extravagance. His research indicates that marketers will have to include reassurance as part of their appeal.

Findings

Some businesses think that the fail‐safe approach is to emphasize great value, but this will require them to understand their evolving customers' value system better than ever in order to sell to them successfully; in particular their need for self‐respect, status and self‐fulfillment.

Research limitations/implications

The author, a professor of marketing at Waseda University in Tokyo has also been a senior marketing executive for major global businesses. Much of his research is based on first‐hand observation.

Practical implications

In the consumer markets of the USA, Japan and Europe, one new marketing approach that addresses consumers' higher needs is that of indulgent parsimony, or frugal indulgence. The theory is that recession‐shocked consumers are shopping for less costly goods and services but nonetheless want their purchases to provide comfort and relief from stress.

Originality/value

For the next few years, marketers should encourage guilt‐free (and altruistic) gratification by customers. A potentially successful marketing approach could articulate this customer mindset: “I'm worth it … because I've examined all the alternatives and this one gives me the best value for something I really do need”. Indulgent parsimony – offering reassurance, value and self‐esteem at bargain – may prove most effective.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1970

WHAT is the justification for the jet business aircraft? By some it is considered to be an extravagance, while others think that only a jet can measure up to the status…

Abstract

WHAT is the justification for the jet business aircraft? By some it is considered to be an extravagance, while others think that only a jet can measure up to the status and prestige of their own organisation: still others believe that the high rate of productivity offered by the company‐owned jet will pay positive dividends in terms of time saved, energy conserved and business expansion. Where lies the truth?

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 42 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1986

Harry Henry

Properly conceived, conducted and interpreted, motivation research can be an extremely powerful management tool, designed to help the manufacturer or advertiser to sell…

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5658

Abstract

Properly conceived, conducted and interpreted, motivation research can be an extremely powerful management tool, designed to help the manufacturer or advertiser to sell more goods. Its aim is to expose the market situation, explain it and suggest courses of action which will lead to desired changes. It is a way of looking at a problem rather than a collection of specialist techniques and is strictly practical. Hence it can be used alongside other market research tools for the solution of marketing problems and can be applied to a wide range of business activities. Much of its development has been in the advertising field but it can also help in the formulation of production policy, solving packaging problems and marketing operations. It is examined here in all these contexts. The idea of motivation research, the reasons for its use and the techniques by which to apply it are discussed, as well as the pitfalls that are likely to occur. New and imaginary case studies are used throughout to illustrate points. A review of the subject literature is included.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 4 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 16 April 2018

Zhihong Gao

This paper aims to examine how the official discourse of frugality evolved in China between 1979 and 2015.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how the official discourse of frugality evolved in China between 1979 and 2015.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses historical and textual analysis. It divides the Chinese official discourse on frugality between 1979 and 2015 into four periods: 1979-1992, 1993-2002, 2003-2012 and 2013-2015.

Findings

A Chinese official discourse on frugality persisted between 1979 and 2015, even though during the same period, China transformed from a socialist economy of central planning and insufficient supply to a market economy of excessive supply and weak consumer demand. The intensity of this official discourse frequently vacillated, adjusting to both economic and political conditions of the time as part of the larger political-economic contestation between competing ideas and policies.

Originality/value

There have been calls for more studies on how frugality discourses have evolved in international markets, especially in terms of how they are shaped by local historical antecedents and long-standing tensions. Through the Chinese case, this article illuminates why some traditional values persist and obtain a paradoxical co-existence with consumerist ethos in our modern society.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1971

ILL‐INFORMED comment on the Concorde has led to many accusations of extravagance. These have now been largely shown up as false with the publication of the findings of the…

Abstract

ILL‐INFORMED comment on the Concorde has led to many accusations of extravagance. These have now been largely shown up as false with the publication of the findings of the Centre for the Study of Industrial Innovation.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 43 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

Ian Stronach and Elizabeth Smears

Thus far, we (consensual not colonial) have addressed a transcendent, metonymic sense of touch, curative of bodies and meanings, accepting Turner's hypothesis that ‘the…

Abstract

Thus far, we (consensual not colonial) have addressed a transcendent, metonymic sense of touch, curative of bodies and meanings, accepting Turner's hypothesis that ‘the contemporary problem of the body in society is a legacy of the Judaeo-Christian discourse of the body as flesh’ (Turner, 1997, p. 103). Then we outlined the detour of meaning, its extravagance. But there is a more immediate kind of touch. In terms of touch, we agree with Nancy and Hutchens – there is a peculiar reflexivity to touch:The sense of touch feels itself feeling itself. (Hutchens, 2005, p. 55, citing Nancy)It is by touching the other that the body is a body, absolutely separated and shared. (Nancy, 1993a, p. 205)

Details

New Frontiers in Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-943-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1935

IN this number we make some commemoration of the twenty‐five years so happily achieved by the King‐Emperor. As our contributors show, the cardinal event of the whole of…

Abstract

IN this number we make some commemoration of the twenty‐five years so happily achieved by the King‐Emperor. As our contributors show, the cardinal event of the whole of the Reign, so far as libraries were concerned, was the passing of the Public Libraries Act of 1919. The generations change rapidly, and there are few to‐day who remember acutely the penury and struggle which were involved in the fact that all public library expenditure had to be kept within “the limit of the penny rate.” It is possibly true that the average community has taken no very intelligent advantage of the breaking of its financial fetters; in no town in the British Empire can it be said that there is anything approaching generosity, let alone extravagance, towards libraries. Even in the greatest cities, where they have built fine buildings and opened them with much ceremony, the rate allocation for their maintenance is not nearly of the scale that finds acceptance, or did find acceptance, in the United States. That is because we are young people in an old country. The tradition dies hard that education is a luxury and that libraries, which in the eyes of many are only remotely related to education, are an even greater luxury. We heard it said recently that many local authorities regarded the libraries as a sort of joke, and delighted to cut down their expenditure upon them. This lugubrious way of opening our remarks upon the Jubilee is only by way of pointing out that to‐day, at any rate, we have the power to go ahead if we convince our authorities that it is desirable to do so.

Details

New Library World, vol. 37 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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