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Book part
Publication date: 28 December 2018

Aboozar Hadavand

This chapter focuses on an important aspect of economic inequality – the question of how people perceive inequality and whether these perceptions deviate in any meaningful…

Abstract

This chapter focuses on an important aspect of economic inequality – the question of how people perceive inequality and whether these perceptions deviate in any meaningful way from statistical measures of inequality. Using a novel approach, the author investigates whether individuals across different countries are able to correctly estimate the shape of income distribution of the country where they reside. The author further investigates whether individuals have the distribution of a particular reference group in mind when they answer questions on inequality. The author finds that perceptions of inequality are frequently shaped by reference groups such as those formed according to educational attainment, age, and gender.

Details

Inequality, Taxation and Intergenerational Transmission
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-458-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 April 2022

Karen Ruckman and Daniela Blettner

When managers set aspirations for their firms, they typically compare their own firms' performance to past aspirations as well as to the performance of social reference

Abstract

Purpose

When managers set aspirations for their firms, they typically compare their own firms' performance to past aspirations as well as to the performance of social reference groups. The authors explore how firm generic strategy affects managers' adaptation of firm aspirations in response to feedback from three social reference groups that vary in terms of breadth (population average, strategic group, and one direct rival).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose that firm generic strategy (low-cost or differentiation) functions as an organizational information filter through with managers interpret performance feedback. The authors test for whether generic strategy has a moderating effect on the influence of performance feedback from social reference groups.

Findings

Based on a longitudinal sample of US airlines, the study shows that all firms are influenced most strongly by their strategic groups. Low-cost and differentiation generic strategies differ in terms of which social reference group motivates a larger reaction when overperforming: low-cost firms are more influenced by the population average which is contributed to by the entire industry than are differentiating firms, while differentiating firms are more swayed by the narrow focus of their direct rivals than are low-cost firms.

Originality/value

Although firm strategy represents a core decision at the firm level, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, performance feedback research, surprisingly, has not yet integrated generic strategy into its models.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Article
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Kimberley D. Preiksaitis and Peter A. Dacin

This study aims to examine how brands attempt to extend their customer set not through the typical route of adding brands, but through the strategic extension or…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how brands attempt to extend their customer set not through the typical route of adding brands, but through the strategic extension or enlargement of their target customer set. Building on theories from both reference group perceptions and brand identification, this research explores the impact of strategic customer extensions on current target market consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

Two scenario-based experiments explore strategic customer extensions for a packaged goods brand and a well-known retail brand. The analysis involves both analysis of variance and SEM methods.

Findings

Current target market consumers’ evaluations of strategic customer extensions are informed by reference group perceptions relating to the proposed customer extension. When current target market consumers perceive strategic customer extensions as potentially attracting a dissociative reference group, consumers have weaker evaluations and brand identification measures and, subsequently, weaker future intentions towards the brand.

Originality/value

The brand identification literature is augmented by incorporating theories from the reference group literature to demonstrate how to reference group perceptions drive a current target market consumers’ evaluations of strategic customer extensions to affect the strength of the identification that current target market consumers have with a brand. Brand identification is also demonstrated as mediator customer evaluations and subsequent intentions towards the brand.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 August 2009

Long‐Yi Lin and Yeun‐Wen Chen

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the influence of purchase intentions on repurchase decisions, and also to examine the moderating effects of reference groups and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the influence of purchase intentions on repurchase decisions, and also to examine the moderating effects of reference groups and perceived risks.

Design/methodology/approach

The travelers on Taiwan tourist trains were surveyed. Convenience sampling was used to collect primary data. A total of 1,200 questionnaires were distributed and 1,155 effective samples were collected. The effective return rate was 96 percent. Regression analysis was used to test hypotheses.

Findings

The paper finds that; purchase intentions will have a positive effect on repurchase decisions: the higher the informational reference group influence, the greater the positively moderating effect between purchase intentions and repurchase decisions; the higher the value‐expressive reference group influence, the greater the positively moderating effect between purchase intentions and repurchase decisions; and the higher the psychological risk, the greater the negatively moderating effect between purchase intentions and repurchase decisions.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of the study are: the research targets the travelers on tourist trains. Consequently, it is less efficient in external validity due to the limited scope; the conceptual limitation needs to be elaborated more; and, since the research adopts the cross‐sectional research method without longitudinal section study it may be limited in the generalization. The moderating effects of reference groups and perceived risks have been examined on the inconsistency between purchase intentions and repurchase decisions in the study.

Practical implications

In tourism, reference group influence can provide the opportunity for individuals to communicate with group members in sharing the experiences of a destination and selection of a particular purchasing decision. The sole moderating effect of psychological risk has been verified among three dimensions. Therefore, the measurement and enhancement are critical for marketers to handle future business.

Originality/value

The extra value of the paper is to combine theory and practice together, and verify the moderating effects of reference groups and perceived risks between purchase intentions and repurchase decisions.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 64 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Manfred Hammerl, Florian Dorner, Thomas Foscht and Marion Brandstätter

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role played by both, self-brand connection and reference groups, in attributing symbolic meaning to a brand. Current studies…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role played by both, self-brand connection and reference groups, in attributing symbolic meaning to a brand. Current studies focus either on the influence of reference groups or on the role of self-brand connection. We demonstrate that both interact in attributing symbolic meaning. To explain interactions between the consumer, the brand and the reference groups, we draw on Heider’s balance theory.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was developed which included scales on self-brand connection, reference group belonging and symbolic brand meaning. Data were collected through an online survey and analyzed with factor analyses, analyses of variance and correlation analyses.

Findings

Our findings suggest that consumers may alter their beliefs about a brand depending on both, their self-brand connection and the influence of reference groups. If a consumer feels a strong connection with a brand and this brand is used by a dissociative reference group, the consumer will not attribute high symbolic meaning to that brand. The same is valid if the consumer’s in-group uses a brand which the consumer does not feel connected to.

Originality/value

The present study introduces Heider’s balance theory to the fields of reference group research and self-brand connection research. Balance theory has proved to be a valuable framework for analyzing the relationships of consumers, their brands and their reference groups in the context of attributing symbolic brand meaning. Building on these insights, researchers and practitioners may better understand the emergence of symbolic brand meaning hereafter.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 August 2020

Karina T. Liljedal and Hanna Berg

Co-creating consumers are often featured prominently in marketing communications for new co-created products. Previous research has only investigated the responses of…

Abstract

Purpose

Co-creating consumers are often featured prominently in marketing communications for new co-created products. Previous research has only investigated the responses of non-participating consumers by describing co-creating consumers in text. This paper aims to examine consumer responses to combinations of text descriptions and pictures of co-creating consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental study used a reference group perspective to explain non-participating consumer responses to communications about co-creation with consumers in new product development.

Findings

Pictures of co-creating consumers moderate the effects of texts describing consumer co-creation on brand attitudes. The brand effects of describing the co-creating consumer in text as belonging to a dissociative group are negative when the picture looks similar to the non-participating consumers. If the co-creating consumer looks dissimilar to the in-group, the reference group text has no effect. Self–brand connection mediates these effects on brand attitudes.

Research limitations/implications

A reference group perspective is introduced as a boundary condition to the research on the communication of consumer co-creation. The effects on brand attitudes depend on the pictorial representations.

Practical implications

Companies should be advised to avoid portrayals of co-creating consumers that could cause dissociation in relevant consumer groups.

Originality/value

Neither reference group associations nor pictorial descriptions of co-creating consumers, have hitherto been investigated with regards to consumer co creation, despite the frequent inclusion of consumer imagery in advertising for consumer co-created new products.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 37 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Heather Marie Schulz

This paper aims to analyse reference group influence through the imagined audience construct of the role theory. Prior research has shown the influential nature of…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse reference group influence through the imagined audience construct of the role theory. Prior research has shown the influential nature of reference groups on an individuals’ behaviour. The studied theatrical metaphor supplies a new perspective to the social phenomenon of reference group dynamics in consumer behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

Twenty face-to-face interviews were conducted utilizing a naturalistic research study design. The interviews took place in the participants’ homes, and participants were asked to create five outfits for various social situations. Then, the participants were asked about the outfits they created, and how that outfit aided in their role preparation process. An inductive analysis of the data resulted in narrative themes that align with several role theory constructs.

Findings

The consumer role rehearsal narratives that emerged describe the process individuals go through for anticipated social interactions. Depending on the social situation, role theory constructs such as role expectations, role location, role learning and role skill were highlighted. The imagined audience of various reference groups do impact the individual’s future behaviours.

Research limitations/implications

Future researchers could apply additional role theory constructs not only to reference groups but also to other aspects of consumer behaviour as well.

Originality/value

This paper supplies a role theory framework that can be used by future researchers when studying reference group influence on consumer behaviour.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2014

Gong Sun, Steven D’Alessandro, Lester W. Johnson and Hume Winzar

– The purpose of this paper is to highlight the problems in the measurement of culture in consumer studies and offers suggestions for remedies.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the problems in the measurement of culture in consumer studies and offers suggestions for remedies.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on literature from related fields, the paper discusses some general issues in the measurement of culture and draws consumer researchers’ attention to the flaws in the common cultural measures in consumer research. Implications for future research are also provided.

Findings

The paper highlights two main shortcomings of commonly used culture instruments which are seldom taken into account by consumer researchers. Specifically, the commonly used culture dimensions in consumer studies do not have clear conceptual boundaries. Moreover, important differences between the different approaches to culture measuring (self- vs group-referenced and values vs practices) are always overlooked. The paper suggests that consumer research needs more focussed and refined measures and discusses which approach is better in which context.

Originality/value

This paper explores the issues of conceptual ambiguity and approach inconsistency in order to draw consumer researchers’ attention to the flaws in common measures of culture. Only when one measures what one expects to measure will the relationship that one observe between these cultural dimensions and consumer behavior be valid.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1999

Suyun Shin and Kitty Dickerson

An understanding of consumer behaviour helps companies in catering more effectively to the needs and wants of their target markets. This better understanding of the…

Abstract

An understanding of consumer behaviour helps companies in catering more effectively to the needs and wants of their target markets. This better understanding of the consumer can lead to significant increases in a company's sales within a given market segment, and therefore can lead to increased profits (Dhalla and Mahatoo 1976). Accordingly, understanding the factors which contribute to consumer purchases and consumer satisfaction are among the most important functions a market researcher may perform (Vecchio 1991). Once manufacturers understand the characteristics of their particular target market segment, more effective promotion can be devised (Piirto 1990).

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2017

Karen Dodd, Christine Burke, Alex Gibson, Emma Hines, Patrick Howarth, Jo Jennison, Reiko Mackintosh, Alisdair Radcliffe, Filipe Vieira and Gisela Unsworth

The purpose of this paper is to explore the importance of equal access to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for people with intellectual disabilities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the importance of equal access to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for people with intellectual disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies barriers to access and shows how a reference group can work to solve the barriers and increase access.

Findings

The paper evaluates the authors’ progress to date and how the authors plan to continue to take the work forward.

Practical implications

The paper highlights some of the factors responsible for the authors’ success and gives information that will be helpful to other areas who are interested in facilitating equal access.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates how the focus of a reference group can drive improvements across services to improve access for people with intellectual disabilities to IAPT services.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 11 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

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