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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Mohammadali Zolfagharian, Roberto Saldivar and Jakob Braun

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of consumer ethnocentrism and country of origin across different immigrant communities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of consumer ethnocentrism and country of origin across different immigrant communities.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was used to collect data from immigrants in the USA and Mexico.

Findings

For immigrants with high levels of ethnocentrism, the bias for home and host country products interacts with the country of origin effect and creates multiple scenarios where the two effects move in the same or opposite directions. For immigrants with low levels of ethnocentrism, on the other hand, the country of origin effect alone is salient.

Research limitations/implications

The authors used a modified version of CETSCALE. Future research should revisit the content and dimensionality of consumer ethnocentrism in immigrant and other multicultural settings.

Practical implications

Both scholars and practitioners should exercise caution when working with ethnocentrism and country of origin as today’s societies are increasingly multicultural, which requires major modifications to the theories and tools.

Social implications

Similar to ways in which the US Census Bureau enabled multicultural consumers to assert their mixed identities, scholarly and business circles should embrace multiculturalism and empower immigrants.

Originality/value

Previous studies of consumer ethnocentrism and country of origin in multicultural contexts have restricted themselves to only one pattern of migration: consumers who move from developing to developed countries. The paper addresses this limitation by investigating various patterns of migration (including lateral, upward and downward) in multiple first-generation immigrant communities in two countries.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2018

Mohammadali Zolfagharian, Fuad Hasan and Pramod Iyer

Focused on multicultural service encounters, this paper aims to argue that the interplay between customer language preference, employee choice and use of language affects…

Abstract

Purpose

Focused on multicultural service encounters, this paper aims to argue that the interplay between customer language preference, employee choice and use of language affects perceived interaction quality, which in turn influences loyalty, customer brand identification and positive word-of-mouth.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Mexican Americans (Spanish) as the focal ethnic group (language), a 3 (contexts: Fast food-English; Post office-English; Post office-Spanish) × 4 (scenarios: customer language preference adhered to; adapted to; mixed; ignored) between-subject scenario-based experiment was conducted.

Findings

Customers perceive a higher, or at least equal, level of interaction quality when the employee choice of language adheres to their preference than when the employee switches to their preferred language after missing it initially. Both of these scenarios lead to significantly higher interaction quality compared to when the employee ignores customer language preference or combines elements from two languages throughout the interaction. The adverse effects of ignoring customer preferred language or mixing it with another language are accentuated among customers with low ethnic identification and those with low level of bilingualism. Prior findings regard the interplay among interaction quality, and the remainder of outcomes variables were also corroborated.

Research limitations/implications

The findings add to the literature that examines the dynamics of intercultural service encounters and draws attention to employee choice and use of language and its impact on a host of service outcomes, with interaction quality serving as a key mediator.

Practical implications

This study highlights the need for service firms to consider customer language preferences and train and empower employees to meet customer expectations. To the extent that the increasingly viable segments of minority customers remain underserved in most developed markets, this study provides insights into cultivating a profitable customer segment.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates the role of employee choice and use of language and its consequences.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 August 2018

Mohammadali Zolfagharian and Atefeh Yazdanparast

This paper aims to delve into the complexity and multiplicity of consumer experiences in relation to mobile and virtual technology, and provides a lived-experience account…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to delve into the complexity and multiplicity of consumer experiences in relation to mobile and virtual technology, and provides a lived-experience account of the Consumer Immediacy Pandemic (CIP) and related consumer experiences and responses.

Design/methodology/approach

Using open-ended, in-depth interviews, as well as personal essays, the research questions are addressed through the interpretive hermeneutic approach.

Findings

The CIP is an important, multifaceted consumer shift, whose ramifications are traceable in consumer behavior. It encompasses three consumer problem-solving styles (i.e. real-time, mobile and virtual problem-solving). Consumers adapt to the CIP through such strategies as unbundling of presence, temporal gain and synchronization, task continuity, work-fun integration and multi-tasking.

Research limitations/implications

With conventional theories ineffectively explaining consumer experiences with such products as smart phone, social media and selfie stick, this paper provides fruitful directions for studying consumer-technology relationships.

Practical implications

The findings point to untapped and novel needs rooted in consumer experience with mobile and virtual technology such as the needs for personal information management and/or professional counseling.

Social implications

The paper provides evidence as to a deep-seated shift in the role of technology in consumer life. Underestimating the ongoing and future success and power of mobile and virtual technology can be too costly for society at large.

Originality/value

This study exposes the dialogical interplay between consumer agency and structural influences that compels consumers to internalize immediacy as a taken-for-granted expectation. Such pandemic alters the ways consumers go about satisfying their needs and wants. The findings can help understand the twenty-first century consumer, theorize product agency and chart marketing and policy directions.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 March 2022

Arash H. Zadeh, Maryam Farhang, Mohammadali Zolfagharian and Charles F. Hofacker

This research (1) investigates value cocreation behavior and the underlying activities on social media; (2) examines the motivational values and psychological predictors…

Abstract

Purpose

This research (1) investigates value cocreation behavior and the underlying activities on social media; (2) examines the motivational values and psychological predictors of cocreation intention on social media via uses and gratification paradigm (U&G) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB); (3) investigates an underlying mechanism linking the motivational values to cocreation intention, via attitude.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and the mediation analysis are used to test the data from 417 Facebook users.

Findings

Cocreation intention is (1) robustly influenced by extrinsic motivational values, such as purposive value; (2) indirectly affected, through attitude, by intrinsic motivational values such as entertainment and social enhancement; and (3) not associated with subjective norms, behavioral control and self-discovery. The latter is a likely result of this study's focus on explaining value cocreation rather than social media usage.

Research limitations/implications

This study is one of the first to identify antecedents of cocreation intention on Facebook, using an integrative model of TPB and U&G. Attitude serves as a key construct, mediating the effects of motivational values on cocreation intention, with mediation being partial for some values and complete for others. The existence of direct and indirect effects of motivational values and the mediating role of attitude points to the illustrious yet contested value–attitude–behavior hierarchy and offers explanations as to why some of the motivational values were not linked to the cocreation behavior on Facebook (Pelletier et al., 2020).

Practical implications

Firms should strive to influence the attitude of their users toward cocreation intention as it links the influence of motivational values on value cocreation. Managers should strive to prepare an appropriate platform where customers can easily interact with one another and communicate different value propositions. The goal should be to enable customers to derive extrinsic values as they interact with corporate-sponsored social media content. More specifically, purposive value, followed by socializing value, should be emphasized during social media content design. For example, the content should feature concrete and convenient informational and instrumental benefits (purposive value) and provide customers with tools that enable them to create social support, friendship and intimacy (socializing value). In addition, entertainment value should not be dismissed.

Originality/value

This research builds upon the emerging social media literature and a robust decision-making model to investigate value cocreation, predictors and an underlying mechanism explaining the relationships.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Mohammadali Zolfagharian, Fuad Hasan and Pramod Iyer

The purpose of this study is to explore how service employee choice and use of language to initiate and maintain conversation with second generation immigrant customers…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore how service employee choice and use of language to initiate and maintain conversation with second generation immigrant customers (SGIC) influence customer evaluation of the service encounter, and whether such employee acts may lead customers to employee switching, branch switching (i.e. switching from one to another location within the same brand) and/or brand switching (switching to another brand altogether).

Design/methodology/approach

A scenario-based between-subjects experiment of 4 (employee: match, adapt, bilingual, no adapt) × 2 (fast food, post office) × 2 (English, Spanish) was used to examine the SGIC response to service encounters in different contexts arising from employee choice and use of language. These scenarios were complemented with a series of measurement scales. The instruments, which were identical except in scenario sections, were administered on 788 second-generation Mexican American customers, resulting in 271 (fast food) and 265 (post office) effective responses.

Findings

In both service contexts, when employees initiated conversation that matched (English or Spanish) the customer expectations, the SGIC perceptions of interaction quality was higher as compared to other scenarios, leading to subsequent satisfaction and lower switching intentions (employee and branch). Similarly, interaction quality was higher for adapt scenarios as compared to bilingual or no adapt scenarios. Bilingual customers perceived higher interaction quality in bilingual/no-adapt scenarios when compared to monolingual customers. In both contexts, service quality and satisfaction were associated with employee switching and branch switching, but not with brand switching.

Research limitations/implications

By utilizing interaction adaptation theory to conceptualize the effects of employee choice and use of language, the study grounds the model and the hypotheses in theoretical bases and provides empirical corroboration of the theory. The study also contributes toward understanding the service encounters from the perspective of an overlooked group of vulnerable customers: second-generation immigrants.

Practical implications

Service research cautions service providers that a key factor in attracting and retaining customers is having detailed communication guidelines and empowering employees to follow those guidelines. The findings go a step further and underscore the critical role of communication from a managerial standpoint. It is in the interest of service organizations to develop guidelines that will govern employee choice and use of language during service encounters. So doing is commercially justified because unguided employee choice and use of language can result in customer switching and attrition.

Social implications

The juxtaposition between assigned versus asserted identities is an important one not only in social sciences but also within service research. As service encounters grow increasingly multicultural, the need to educate employees on multiculturally appropriate communication etiquette rises in importance. The findings should encourage service firms and local governments to develop formal communication guidelines that begin with multiculturalism as a central tenet permeating all aspects of employee–employee, employee–customer and customer–customer communications. Service providers ought to take precautionary measures to ensure customers will be empowered to assert their identities in their own terms, if they wish so.

Originality/value

The study demonstrates how employee choice and use of language during service encounters may thwart SGIC, who might view such employee behaviors as acts of identity assignment and, consequently, feel stigmatized, marginalized and offended; and links such customer experiences to switching behavior through mediatory mechanisms.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 September 2019

Mohammadali Zolfagharian, Roberto Saldivar and Jerome D. Williams

The purpose of this paper is to examine the cognitive and affective dimensions of COO and the owned-by/made-in cue combinations in first-generation immigrant markets.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the cognitive and affective dimensions of COO and the owned-by/made-in cue combinations in first-generation immigrant markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The cognitive and affective dimensions were manipulated in a scenario-based experiment administered on 261 Mexican Americans in three product categories.

Findings

The cognitive and affective dimensions each have a distinct impact. When the two dimensions combine, the effect is stronger within the specialty product category, followed by the shopping product category, and, to a lesser extent, in the convenience product category.

Research limitations/implications

The cognitive dimension was represented by the country’s degree of political, economic and technological development, whereas the affective dimension was traced by examining immigrants who identify with the emotional and symbolic meanings associated with countries involved in the country of origin (COO) message.

Practical implications

Managers should pursue emerging COO research whose concepts and designs are congruent with today’s global consumer culture. The authors find support for the stand-alone effects of made-in and owned-by COO cues, as well as the effects of the cognitive and affective dimensions of COO. When COO messages combine both made-in and owned-by cues, the cognitive and affective dimensions may work synergistically, depending on the product category.

Originality/value

This study adds to the nascent literature that recognizes the multiplicity of consumer identities, and bridges the gulf between the conventional COO research and the increasingly multicultural nature of the marketplace.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 July 2022

Samaneh Torkzadeh, Mohammadali Zolfagharian, Atefeh Yazdanparast and Dwayne D. Gremler

Customer engagement (CE) literature features divergent definitions and conceptualizations. To clarify its meaning, antecedents and outcomes, this paper aims to propose…

Abstract

Purpose

Customer engagement (CE) literature features divergent definitions and conceptualizations. To clarify its meaning, antecedents and outcomes, this paper aims to propose that psychological customer engagement (PCE) is the mechanism by which customers’ readiness to engage influences behavioral customer engagement (BCE) in the form of in-role and extra-role behaviors, which then affect customers’ goal attainment, satisfaction and retention.

Design/methodology/approach

Set in the fitness center industry, this study combines perceptual data (from customers) and behavioral data (from the fitness center) to reveal a hierarchy of effects: customer readiness to PCE to BCE to customer goal attainment, satisfaction and retention.

Findings

Customer readiness variables (role clarity, ability, motivation) influence in-role and extra-role BCE directly and indirectly through PCE. Extra-role BCE is associated with goal attainment and satisfaction, and the latter is linked to customer retention. In-role BCE is associated with goal attainment only.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed integrative model bridges the psychological–behavioral divide in CE literature and encourages the adoption of a broader nomological network that accounts for the effects of customers’ characteristics and actions on their goal attainment, satisfaction and retention.

Practical implications

Managers can enhance CE by improving customer role clarity, ability and motivation. Relative to in-role BCE, extra-role BCE appears more critical because it affects both goal attainment and satisfaction directly and retention indirectly.

Originality/value

The novel integrative approach, combining BCE and PCE in a single model, also provides a consumer-oriented view on CE, which establishes a more comprehensive perspective, as summarized in the proposed model of consumer engagement.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 56 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 November 2021

Iryna Pentina, Mohammadali Zolfagharian and Aurélia Michaud-Trevinal

The objectives of the paper were to develop a theoretical framework of the online shopping experiences (OSE) concept, identify its constituent dimensions and…

Abstract

Purpose

The objectives of the paper were to develop a theoretical framework of the online shopping experiences (OSE) concept, identify its constituent dimensions and subdimensions, and propose and test a comprehensive measurement scale that would incorporate and reconcile existing fragmented approaches to the phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper utilized a mixed-method approach to conceptualize a complex phenomenon of online shopping experiences (OSE). Study 1 employed the grounded theory approach to understand the phenomenon, propose its comprehensive definition and a conceptual model. Study 2 developed and tested a comprehensive OSE measurement scale.

Findings

The study conceptualized OSE as a second-order construct with four mutually-connected constituent dimensions of OSE: practices, context, values and emotions, and their respective 21 subdimensions. It developed and validated a comprehensive scale that is superior to earlier proposed fragmented measures of OSE.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed theoretical framework can serve as a foundation for the OSE research stream and consolidate existing findings by providing a conceptual umbrella for different OSE aspects addressed in earlier research. The OSE measurement scale can be used to assess the impact of each OSE component on satisfaction and loyalty in different shopping situations.

Practical implications

The findings can assist retailers in evaluating usefulness of various tools in eliciting certain experiential effects, devising specific approaches to consumers at different touch points along their dynamic OSEs and developing engagement tactics for various shopping environments.

Originality/value

The study combined qualitative and quantitative approaches to offer a most comprehensive and unifying conceptualization and measurement instrument of OSEs.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2019

Mohammadali Zolfagharian and Iman Naderi

The purpose of this paper is to extend the current understanding of human resource management (HRM) challenges facing franchise businesses.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend the current understanding of human resource management (HRM) challenges facing franchise businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative investigation, including eight in-depth interviews and 66 semi-structured interviews with various franchise stakeholders as well as 42 participant observations, was conducted in North America to answer the research questions.

Findings

Six major conclusions emerged from the conceptual and empirical work. The findings, for instance, reveal that human resources in franchise businesses lacks in motivation and skills, and franchisees’ distance from the ideal mix of autonomy and risk-aversion determines psychological and financial distress in the system.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that when firms choose the franchising path as a means of leapfrogging resource constraints, they will experience new and more challenging HRM complications for several reasons. Therefore, decision-makers at both franchisor and franchisee firms need to address these new HRM challenges proactively by recognizing their possibility and emergence and by engaging in cooperative learning with one another.

Originality/value

While HRM practices can “make or break” franchise systems, some important research questions still remain unanswered in this context. In an attempt to narrow this gap, and using a qualitative approach, this work identifies and classifies the key HRM challenges facing the franchise industry. Based on the finding, a conceptual model is proposed and discussed.

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2020

Pramod Iyer, Arezoo Davari, Mohammadali Zolfagharian and Audhesh Paswan

The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which an organization’s pursuit of radical and disruptive innovations and refinement of existing processes and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which an organization’s pursuit of radical and disruptive innovations and refinement of existing processes and incremental innovations influence the brand management capability, and subsequently, the brand performance in business-to-business firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The key informant approach is used for data collection. Panel data are obtained using the services of a reputable research firm. Existing scales are used to measure all the focal constructs. Partial least squares based structural equation modeling is used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results of this study indicate positive associations of both exploitative and exploratory innovation types with brand management processes. These findings signify the need for organizations to balance both these innovation types to maximize their performance.

Research limitations/implications

This study prescribes an insight into the complex relationship that exists between organizational ambidexterity, brand management processes and brand performance, providing a framework that reconciles the seemingly conflicting goals of relevance and consistency in the development of brand management capability.

Practical implications

Given that very few firms can achieve ambidexterity, this study provides a means to maximize the potential of this organizational process.

Originality/value

This study borrows from the existing research on brand management to argue that organizations are required to balance both exploitative and exploratory innovation types to maximize their performance.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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