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This paper aims to outline the fundamental assumptions regarding the laddering methodology (Reynolds and Gutman), examine how some “hard” laddering approaches meet or…
This paper aims to outline the fundamental assumptions regarding the laddering methodology (Reynolds and Gutman), examine how some “hard” laddering approaches meet or violate these assumptions, provide a review and comparison of a series of studies using “soft” and “hard” laddering approaches to examine the hierarchical structure of means‐end theory, and assess if the discrepant conclusions from this series of studies may be attributed to violations of the fundamental assumptions of the laddering methodology.
A series of published empirical works using “hard” and “soft” laddering approaches, which aim to examine the hierarchical structure of means‐end theory (Gutman), are reviewed and compared to integrate research findings and to examine discrepancies. Discrepant conclusions, which appear to be attributable to violations of the assumptions underlying the laddering methodology, are explored through a reanalysis and reclassification of the content codes.
The paper validates the case for laddering and the care needed to gauge how conclusions can be affected when violations of fundamental assumptions of the laddering methodology occur.
Means‐end chain research and, more specifically, the laddering methodology are in need of investigations that assess the importance of its underlying assumptions. Additional work validating both the “hard” and “soft” laddering approaches is also needed.
Results of means‐end research are more interpretable and less ambiguous when the fundamental assumptions of the laddering methodology are met. In practice, means‐end theory benefits managers by providing a useful structure to aid in the interpretation of laddering data.
This paper outlines the fundamental assumptions regarding the laddering methodology to provide methodological guidelines for laddering researchers. This paper also reviews the academic literature examining the hierarchical structure of means‐end theory and explores how violations of the fundamental assumptions of the laddering methodology may impact research findings.
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the segmentation of voters based on decision‐making processes, using means‐end laddering research innovations and…
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the segmentation of voters based on decision‐making processes, using means‐end laddering research innovations and real‐time interactive online interviewing, can aid in the formation of political communications strategy, including theme and message development.
To demonstrate the application of these innovations in a political context, the paper uses data from a sample of 114 voters who were interviewed during the 2004 US presidential election campaign. The paper draws on three recent innovations to the means‐end laddering methodology: elicitation questioning techniques that allow for a decision equity analysis between targeted groups; decision segmentation analysis; and real‐time interactive online interviewing; and applies them to an electoral context. It provides an interpretation of the identified decision segments and an exposition of how these common networks of meaning can serve as the basis for targeted theme and message development.
These three innovations, in concert, were found to provide an efficient set of methods to serve as the foundation for the campaign message development process.
This paper provides deterministic research techniques for campaign strategists who want to understand voter decision making and demonstrates a combination of methodological and technological innovations that addresses the time, cost, and geographic limitations often associated with conducting voter decision making research.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between consumers’ purchase motivations to show support for university programs and the influence of merchandise…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between consumers’ purchase motivations to show support for university programs and the influence of merchandise quality cues on their purchase decision, and examine how one's affiliation with a university (official or non-official) moderates this relationship.
This research utilized a mail survey of university bookstore customers from the USA and Canada. The university, located in the USA, has an international reputation for its academic programs, its athletic teams, and its religious affiliation.
Our findings demonstrate the significance of athletic programs over academic programs and religious values in motivating purchases of licensed university merchandise.
These findings have significant implications for several stakeholders in the business of retailing licensed merchandise. In particular, university licensors and their bookstore retailers may consider managing their inventory of licensed products to reflect the greater relative importance athletic teams have in the purchase decision process.
This paper adds to our understanding of customer motivations to purchase university licensed merchandise, and the conditions when merchandise quality is a key decision driver.