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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2022

Farnoush Reshadi and Julian Givi

This study aims to add to the gift giving literature by examining how the wealth of a recipient impacts giver spending. The authors tested the hypotheses that givers spend…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to add to the gift giving literature by examining how the wealth of a recipient impacts giver spending. The authors tested the hypotheses that givers spend more on wealthy (vs unwealthy) recipients, partially because givers anticipate a greater difference in gift-liking across expensive and cheap gifts when the recipient is wealthy, and partially because givers are more motivated to signal that they are of high financial status when the recipient is wealthy. The authors also tested whether givers’ tendency to spend more on wealthy (vs unwealthy) recipients attenuates when the recipient is someone with whom the giver has a negative (vs positive) relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Eight experimental studies tested the hypotheses. These studies had participants act as givers, consider giving a gift to either a wealthy or unwealthy recipient and indicate how much money they would spend on the gift. Some studies included additional measures to test potential mediators, while another included an additional manipulation to test a potential boundary condition.

Findings

Gift givers spend more on gifts for wealthy (vs unwealthy) recipients, for two main reasons. On the one hand, givers are influenced by an other-oriented motive – they wish for their gift to be well-liked by the recipient and anticipate a greater difference in recipient gift-liking across expensive and cheap gifts when the recipient is wealthy. On the other hand, givers are influenced by a self-oriented motive – they wish to signal to the recipient that they are of high financial status, but this desire is stronger when the recipient is wealthy. Critically, givers are relatively unlikely to spend more on wealthy (vs unwealthy) recipients when they have a negative (vs positive) relationship with the recipient.

Research limitations/implications

The authors studied how the wealth of the gift recipient influences givers’ gift expenditure, but they did not examine the recipient’s perspective. Future research could address this by exploring whether recipients’ gift preferences vary based on their wealth.

Practical implications

Gift purchases account for a significant portion of worldwide consumer spending, making gift giving an important topic for consumers and marketers alike. The present research sheds light on a factor that has a notable impact on how much consumers spend on a gift when faced with a gift giving decision.

Originality/value

This manuscript contributes to the gift giving literature by exploring an important aspect that influences consumer gift expenditure (the wealth of the recipient), demonstrating a novel gift giving phenomenon [that givers spend more when giving to relatively wealthy (vs unwealthy) recipients], and shedding new light on the psychology of consumers in gift giving contexts (namely, how givers’ perceptions of recipient gift-liking, their desire to send signals of high financial status and their relationship with the recipient can influence their gifting decisions).

Details

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2012

Valérie Guillard and Céline Del Bucchia

Purpose – The present article explores a relatively new way for consumers to dispose of items they no longer use, namely free recycling websites. Online recycling is based…

Abstract

Purpose – The present article explores a relatively new way for consumers to dispose of items they no longer use, namely free recycling websites. Online recycling is based on an encounter with an unknown recipient to give something away ‘in person’.

Methodology – A phenomenological approach was used to understand the meaning of giving through free recycling websites. Placing the focus on the donor's perspective, we analysed Internet postings and conducted 27 in-depth interviews.

Findings – Our research shows that (1) when the object is given, the online giver is less concerned about the risk of refusal, since the recipient has deliberately made the choice to take the item; (2) when the item is received, the encounter with the recipient removes the anonymity of charities and (3) in return, the encounter with the recipient offers the giver acknowledgement for the gesture without committing them to a relationship with the recipient in the way a gift to kith or kin might do.

Research implications – While former literature has highlighted certain tensions in the gift economy, this study shows how free recycling websites can help to alleviate such tensions.

Social implications – The research highlights how this system of object disposition enhances social interactions between two strangers that share an interest in the same object.

Originality – The article shows how this new form of gift-giving relationship is both rewarding and liberating: it is rewarding thanks to the interaction with the recipient (unlike donations to charities) without necessarily creating a bond of dependence (unlike giving to someone you know).

Details

Research in Consumer Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-022-2

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 29 August 2017

Michel Dion

The side effects of disguised bribes are hidden by their apparent good consequences (as pseudo-gifts). The aim of the chapter is to unveil to what extent pseudo-gifts (as…

Abstract

The side effects of disguised bribes are hidden by their apparent good consequences (as pseudo-gifts). The aim of the chapter is to unveil to what extent pseudo-gifts (as disguised bribes) could distort the cultural, social, and communicational functions of gift-giving practices. We will firstly describe how disguised bribes could be analyzed from a Sartrean perspective, given that Sartre’s notion of bad faith could help to better understand the three basic kinds of substantive loss which follow from disguised bribes: (a) the loss of commonalities (the cultural function of gift-giving as distorted by disguised bribes: Malinowski’s notion of culture): we will analyze the phenomenon of guanxi; (b) the loss of social bonds (the social function of gift-giving as distorted by disguised bribes: Durkheim’s notion of culture); (c) the loss of communicability, and the arising of an empty truth (the communicational function of gift-giving as distorted by disguised bribes: Jaspers’ notion of truth claims). Gift-giving practices are culturally rooted. This is the first level of analysis (surface). Seizing the social and moral function of gift-giving practices unveils the second level of analysis (beneath-the-surface). Describing the communicational function of gift-giving practices opens the door to the third level of analysis (exchanges of truth claims). Bribery is the distortion of those basic functions of gift-giving practices. We are then facing an empty truth (the communicational function of culture is distorted).

Any concept of disguised bribes must be empirically tested. The way the cultural, social and communication functions of gift-giving practices are distorted could vary from one culture to another. Future research could check how such distortions arise in given societal cultures. It could then distinguish the side effects of disguised bribes, either from a cultural viewpoint, or from social perspective, or even from a communicational pattern of reference. Unveiling the multiple ways of distorting gift-giving practices could help decision-makers to better understand the frontiers between bribery and gift-giving. Emphasizing the various functions of gift-giving practices, from a philosophical and sociological perspective, could allow business decision-makers to raise their ethical awareness.

Details

The Handbook of Business and Corruption
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-445-7

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2022

Julian Givi and Yumei Mu

Gift-givers are often confronted with the possibility of choosing gifts that are inconsistent with their own attitudes (“attitude-inconsistent gifts”). For example, a gun…

Abstract

Purpose

Gift-givers are often confronted with the possibility of choosing gifts that are inconsistent with their own attitudes (“attitude-inconsistent gifts”). For example, a gun opposer may be faced with the possibility of choosing gun paraphernalia as a gift, and a vegetarian might be forced to consider the possibility of choosing a steakhouse gift card as a gift. This study aims to compare givers’ decision-making when they are confronted with the possibility of choosing attitude-inconsistent gifts with their decision-making when they are faced with the possibility of choosing gifts that are neither inconsistent nor consistent with their attitudes (“attitude-neutral gifts”).

Design/methodology/approach

Seven experimental studies test the hypotheses. These studies have participants make decisions as givers and use a variety of gifts, giver-recipient relationships, gifting occasions and dependent variables, as well as both consequential and hypothetical decisions.

Findings

Givers strategically avoid choosing attitude-inconsistent (vs attitude-neutral) gifts, even when they believe that these kinds of gifts are the ones that recipients desire the most. This aversion emerges because givers anticipate that choosing an attitude-inconsistent (vs attitude-neutral) gift would cause them to experience a higher level of psychological discomfort.

Research limitations/implications

This research documents a novel gift-giving phenomenon (givers’ aversion to attitude-inconsistent gifts), one of the most widespread forms of intentional preference-mismatching in gift-giving (givers’ avoidance of attitude-inconsistent gifts when they believe that these kinds of gifts are the ones that recipients desire the most), and a psychological mechanism that has a strong influence on givers’ decision-making but was yet to be explored in the gift-giving literature (givers’ anticipations of psychological discomfort). Collectively, these facets improve the field’s understanding of consumer gift-giving and call into question the assumption that gift-giving is aimed predominantly at pleasing the recipient.

Practical implications

This research suggests that if gift-givers want to be more financially efficient, they should refrain from contemplating the feelings of psychological discomfort that they would experience from choosing an attitude-inconsistent gift and instead focus on selecting the gift that the recipient desires the most. Moreover, it indicates that gift-givers’ tendency to avoid preferred, attitude-inconsistent gifts can have undesirable social and well-being consequences. Finally, it suggests that firms’ bottom lines may be harmed by givers’ aversion to attitude-inconsistent gifts, and that firms selling products that are likely attitude-inconsistent for segments of consumers should think carefully about advertising those products as gifts.

Originality/value

The gift-giving literature has recently documented multiple cases of givers intentionally refraining from choosing the gifts that they believe best match recipients’ preferences. Yet, the present work shows that there was a considerable gap in this segment of the gift-giving literature. Specifically, the present research documents a previously unexplored, but highly common, instance in which intentional preference-mismatching in gift-giving occurs: whenever a potential gift is attitude-inconsistent. Moreover, this work sheds light on a psychological mechanism that plays an important role in givers’ decision-making but was yet to be explored in the gift-giving literature: givers’ anticipated feelings of psychological discomfort.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 56 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Matteo Corciolani and Daniele Dalli

Through an empirical analysis of a consumption community, the purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the theories of gift-giving, sharing and commodity exchange…

2268

Abstract

Purpose

Through an empirical analysis of a consumption community, the purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the theories of gift-giving, sharing and commodity exchange should not be kept separated but integrated into a unifying model.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides new evidence about Bookcrossing.com, whose members share and give books as gifts; that is, physical goods rather than digital ones as in most of the communities considered in the literature. This community is analysed with qualitative tools, such as netnography, personal interviews and participant observation.

Findings

The main result of the analysis of Bookcrossing is that gift-giving is not the only process responsible for value creation and distribution in consumption communities: sharing and commodity exchange also play a role. Furthermore, the paper provides new evidence about aspects of gift-giving and sharing that have received limited attention in the literature: collective reciprocity and anonymous sharing.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations are related to the intrinsic properties of the methods employed (netnography, personal interviews and participant observation) and to the paper, which analyses only one community and one product category. The implications refer to the role of gift-giving in consumption communities and its relationships with other processes: consumer gift systems are not only gifting platforms, but they and the elements of sharing and commodity exchange need to be integrated.

Practical implications

The empirical evidence and implications matter for the organisation and management of collaborative consumption platforms and the way in which traditional business models could and should interact with these platforms in an increasing number of businesses.

Originality/value

The paper adds new evidence of and original insights into gift-giving and collective forms of exchange. Moreover, it provides managerial implications of the analysed community for the book publishing industry.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 52 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 April 2016

Ruth Segev and Aviv Shoham

This study aims to explore the dual identity role of joint gift-giving among adolescents. Studying this phenomenon through the lens of impression management theory enabled…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the dual identity role of joint gift-giving among adolescents. Studying this phenomenon through the lens of impression management theory enabled us to analyze private and group motives, drivers of these motives (givers’ public self-consciousness and self-monitoring and group cohesiveness) and the influence of group motives on the joint process. The characteristics of the joint process reflect a mutual social activity that enables adolescents to strengthen social group ties and define and nurture group identity. This research showed how a mutual consumer process, specifically, joint gift-giving, enhances the outcomes of social resources by defining groups’ mutual extended selves.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, quantitative tools were used. Selection of constructs for the study was based on a literature review and existing qualitative research. To test the validity and the reliability of the scales, a convenience sample of 103 adolescents (13 to 16 years old) was used in a pre-test survey. In the main study, a convenience sample of 129 adolescences was used. Self-report questionnaires were distributed to adolescents (aged 13-16 years). The survey included scales covering private and group motives for joint gift-giving, givers’ personality, group cohesiveness and the characteristics of the joint process.

Findings

Givers’ public self-consciousness and self-monitoring were positively related to the motivation to engage in joint gift-giving to facilitate the development of desired private identities. High public self-consciousness and self-monitoring givers were motivated to enhance their private role in the group task and managed their impression among multiple audiences. We found that high-cohesiveness groups were motivated to nurture and strengthen social resources through joint gift-giving. Engaging in joint gift-giving is motivated not only by functional motives (e.g. saving money) but also by social motives that strengthen a group’s extended-self and social resources that all members enjoy.

Research limitations/implications

Although gift-giving is a three-stage process per gestation presentation and reformulation stage, the current study explored joint gift-giving behavior only in the gestation stage. Future research should include the other two stages. Also the current research concentrated on adolescents. Exploring joint gift-giving among adults is recommended as well. Comparing the two age groups should allow a better understanding of the special characteristics of adolescents and adults. Additionally, other personality characteristics could affect givers private identity in the group task and other group characteristics such as group size gender of members and group context in the workplace could affect identity.

Practical implications

This research can provide marketers with a deeper understanding of the joint gift-giving process. For example, marketers should recognize that joint gift-giving involves adolescent groups’ time-consuming activities in the joint process, i.e. gift selection effort, making handmade gifts and putting special efforts in gift appearance that enable them to define and nurture their group identity.

Social implications

Parents and educators should recognize the importance of social identity dual role in participating in joint gift-giving. Hence, we recommend them to encourage adolescents to participate in this joint consuming process to enable them to protect and define their identity.

Originality/value

Adolescents are an important market segment with unique cognitive, social and personality processes. While these processes have been explored in several consumer behavior studies, adolescents’ gift-giving has been largely ignored in the literature. This study contributes to an understanding of the drivers of private and group joint gift-giving motives, how sense of belonging and group identity are reflected in the social dynamics of joint gift-giving and how adolescents manage group and private impressions in the eyes of a single receiver and in the eyes of multiple peers participating in the group task.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

Peter Clarke

The act of giving a gift at Christmas is a form of consumption that invokes different levels of involvement. The purpose of this paper is to explore and measure…

6483

Abstract

Purpose

The act of giving a gift at Christmas is a form of consumption that invokes different levels of involvement. The purpose of this paper is to explore and measure involvement in parental Christmas gift giving and giving branded items as gifts.

Design/methodology/approach

The required information was gathered via a self‐administered survey method distributed to parents with at least one child between the ages of three and eight years. A questionnaire package was delivered to five participating schools and seven kindergartens for children to take home to their parents. As a result, 450 acceptable cases were subjected to a process of exploratory factor and confirmatory analysis.

Findings

The findings indicate that there is no significant relationship between involvement in giving gifts and involvement in giving brands as gifts, which suggests that it is important for parents to give gifts but not involving for parents to give popular brand names as gifts. In addition, the findings indicate that traditional measures of involvement require modifications that reflect semantic issues as well as reliability and validity issues.

Research limitations/implications

Children between the ages of three and eight years are most likely to be concerned with the Santa myth; it is also a time of concern for parents and has implications for promotional and marketing activities of brands targeted at children.

Originality/value

This research offers insights into involvement within the intangible context of gift giving and giving brands as gifts. It also contributes to the semantic differences between two forms of involvement and contributes to the ongoing involvement‐importance debate.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 July 2013

Ruth Segev, Aviv Shoham and Ayalla Ruvio

Previous research on impression management explored motives, the use of impression management tactics and the influence of personality characteristics on the tendency to…

2364

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research on impression management explored motives, the use of impression management tactics and the influence of personality characteristics on the tendency to engage in impression management. The purposes of this research are to examine giftgiving behavior among adolescents based on the building blocks of impression management theory, the ways that personality characteristics motivate gift‐givers to engage in active and defensive impression management and how the use of impression management tactics (i.e. similarity‐conformity and target‐enhancement) are reflected in their giftgiving behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

A convenience sample of 141 adolescences was used in a quantitative study. Self‐report questionnaires were distributed to adolescents of different ages (13‐16), with students from diverse social strata. Students were asked to recall a recent peer giftgiving experience and to refer to it when answering the questions which covered motives for giftgiving, personality characteristics, and the characteristics of the gift.

Findings

The authors' study shows that personality characteristics such as public self‐consciousness, self‐monitoring, and self‐esteem are positively related with giftgiving motives. Additionally, giftgiving motives are positively related with the use of similarity‐conformity and target‐enhancement tactics. Finally, the use of impression management tactics reflects adolescents' special characteristics, such as their tendency towards conformism, important role of peers in their lives, and their high need to protect and nurture these social resources.

Originality/value

This research explored the instrumental role of giftgiving among adolescents and contributes to the existing literatures on giftgiving, impression management, and adolescents' consumer behavior.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Clare D’Souza

This paper attempts to provide an understanding of giftgiving for a more systematic assessment of relationship building to succeed in an Asian realm. This study proposes…

3638

Abstract

This paper attempts to provide an understanding of giftgiving for a more systematic assessment of relationship building to succeed in an Asian realm. This study proposes to examine the underlying linkage between the intensity of giftgiving and constructing relationships. The goal is to provide both researchers and businesses an insight into how to successfully manage profitable relationships in a culture‐rich environment that is growing ever more demanding and complicated. Giftgiving is seen as an act of reciprocity, and often misconstrued as bribery by Westerners, yet it appears to be an important constituent of the Asian culture and can be seen as a form of relationship investment, that if cultivated well, can uplift interactions between businesses.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 15 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 February 2021

Reo Song, Risto Moisio and Moon Young Kang

Virtual gifts have emerged as a common feature of online communities, social gaming and social networks. This paper aims to examine how network-related variables and gift

Abstract

Purpose

Virtual gifts have emerged as a common feature of online communities, social gaming and social networks. This paper aims to examine how network-related variables and gift-seeding impact virtual gift sales. The network variables include gift-giver centrality and gift-giving dispersion, capturing, respectively, the relative importance of gift-givers in a network and their tendency to give gifts to a greater or lesser number of network peers. Gift-seeding tactics capture social network firms’ attempts to stimulate virtual gift purchases by awarding virtual gifts to network members.

Design/methodology/approach

This study develops and estimates a fixed-effects panel data regression model to analyze virtual gift purchase data for a large social network service.

Findings

Gift-giver centrality, gift-giving dispersion and gift-seeding increase virtual gift purchases. Increases in consumers’ receipt of seed gifts from social network firms (“direct seeding”) and from other consumers (“indirect seeding”) increases virtual gift purchases. However, the extent to which consumers give seed gifts to their friends in the social network (“seed mediation”) does not affect sales. Greater gift-giver centrality amplifies (attenuates) the positive effects of direct (indirect) seeding. At greater levels of gift-giving dispersion, the effects of indirect seeding and seed mediation become negative. Furthermore, gift-seeding has spillover effects on virtual good (non-gift) purchases.

Research limitations/implications

This study’s data, drawn from a South Korean social network service, offer unique and valuable social network information on actual virtual gift purchases and their seeding. Future research should replicate the results of the study outside the South Korean context.

Practical implications

Given the effects reported in this study, social network firms can facilitate the purchases of virtual gifts by improving the targeting of consumers in social networks and gift-seeding tactics.

Originality/value

This study uniquely examines the individual and interactive effects of network-related variables and gift-seeding on virtual gift sales. The study is seminal in its examination of how gift-seeding can be used as a marketing tactic to increase virtual gift purchases.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 18000