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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Richard Elliott and Nick Jankel‐Elliott

This paper describes how ethnographic and quasi‐ethnographic research methods can be used in order to address the problems of the “limitations of asking” and that “people…

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16019

Abstract

This paper describes how ethnographic and quasi‐ethnographic research methods can be used in order to address the problems of the “limitations of asking” and that “people don’t always do what they say”, and to develop a “thick description” of the lived experience of consumers. A range of approaches are discussed and examples of their use in consumer research are given. Two case studies of ethnographic methods being used in strategic commercial research projects are described in detail. The implications for utilising ethnography in order to obtain managerially actionable insights are discussed.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Bernard Cova and Richard Elliott

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the contents of the special issue and to clarify and extend conceptual and managerial debates concerning interpretive consumer…

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5168

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the contents of the special issue and to clarify and extend conceptual and managerial debates concerning interpretive consumer research (ICR).

Design/methodology/approach

A discursive approach is adopted. The arguments are supported by quotes from authoritative publications in the field.

Findings

Researching the consumer has progressed far beyond the research for managerial implications and has become a major focus for the social sciences. In the field of qualitative market research, interpretive approaches to studying consumer behaviour are playing an increasing role. However, the economic and psychological heritage of consumer behaviour impedes appreciation of their aims, analytic logics, and methodological contributions. Ten issues about ICR are detailed in order to provide an integrative overview of what ICR is or is not.

Originality/value

Provides an insider's view and serves as a useful overview of debates and developments in the field.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Book part
Publication date: 7 June 2007

Eric Arnould and Craig Thompson

At both ACR 2004 and EACR 2005, Richard Elliott and Fuat Firat queried the need for CCT, and the thrust of their concerns seemed to be concerns with imposing CCT as a…

Abstract

At both ACR 2004 and EACR 2005, Richard Elliott and Fuat Firat queried the need for CCT, and the thrust of their concerns seemed to be concerns with imposing CCT as a totalizing narrative. The major instigator of this totalizing concern is probably the singularizing semantics of CCT we adopted, which can be read – despite our original emphasis on the internal diversity of its constituent research traditions – as a call for a unified body of theory that is grounded in a vernacular of normal science and its epistemic goal of making incremental contributions to a system of verified propositions (Kuhn, 1962). It is worth noting that, for better or worse, this normal science orientation and its quest for a unified theory is taken as a normative goal (not a threat) by consumer researchers who work outside the CCT tradition. CCT, however, has emerged in the liberatory glow of the sociology of scientific knowledge (LaTour, 1988), reflexive critiques of power relations that are encoded in scientific narratives hailing from feminist, poststructural, and postcolonial critiques (see Bristor & Fischer, 1993; Haraway, 1994; Rosaldo, 1993; Thompson, Stern, & Arnould, 1998), and marketing's positivist–relativist debates (Anderson, 1986; Hudson & Ozanne, 1988). All have significantly problematized conventional notions of objectivity and the modernist project of totalizing theorizations.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-984-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Emma N. Banister and Gayle J. Booth

We discuss the use of creative qualitative techniques for research studies focusing on young participants and encourage the development of what we term a “child‐centric”…

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5356

Abstract

Purpose

We discuss the use of creative qualitative techniques for research studies focusing on young participants and encourage the development of what we term a “child‐centric” approach. We hope that by sharing our experiences we can help move forward the discussion of child‐centric approaches and methods, providing a useful starting point for researchers considering conducting qualitative research with children, and food for thought for those experienced at researching the lives of young consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

We begin our paper with a general overview of approaches to childhood as a social category, discuss methodological approaches to research with children and review the literature that informed our methodological approach. In the second part of the paper we focus on an empirical investigation, outlining a methodology with which we sought to embrace children's active participation. Our qualitative approach incorporates the following: quasi‐ethnographic methods; interviews; projective techniques and photography.

Findings

It is suggested that by shifting our research focus from a top‐down perspective into one that embraces childhood as a culture in its own right, we can greet children within their own language, using terminology they understand, and ultimately providing the context for a more fruitful and exciting data collection process. Our research design was effective in providing children with a voice with which to relate their experiences, and in this way we saw ourselves as facilitators, letting children tell us their own story in their own words.

Originality/value

We argue that it is only by recognising and taking on board some of the recommendations that have emerged from the debate concerning research with children that consumer researchers will discover a fuller appreciation of the participants we seek to understand. Lessons from this approach can also be fruitfully used to enhance the experiences of research involving participants other than children who should also benefit from more participant‐centred research designs.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1998

Susan Auty and Richard Elliott

This study considers the importance of fashion involvement in the interpretation of brands of jeans as measured by Snyder’s revised self‐monitoring scale, which…

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12159

Abstract

This study considers the importance of fashion involvement in the interpretation of brands of jeans as measured by Snyder’s revised self‐monitoring scale, which discriminates between people who are highly motivated to respond to social cues and those who remain “true to themselves”. Over 650 people in the UK aged 14‐34 were shown either a branded or unbranded stimulus. They were asked to record their attitude to 27 pairs of bipolar adjectives using a semantic differential scale. At the same time they completed Snyder’s scale. It was found that self‐monitoring is a significant mediator of meaning with regard to unbranded, but not branded, jeans. A model of choice by elimination of the unacceptable is suggested by high self‐monitoring responses. It has implications for the amount of advertising required to support a fashion brand.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Richard Elliott and Avi Shankar

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409

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1996

Richard Elliott

Focuses on discourse analysis, a recent development in social psychological methodology, concerned with how language is used to construct accounts of the social world…

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5605

Abstract

Focuses on discourse analysis, a recent development in social psychological methodology, concerned with how language is used to construct accounts of the social world which are used intentionally in attempts at persuasion and legitimization. Views language as the site of contradiction, paradox and contested power and focuses on its social rather than linguistic organization. Describes the methodology and illustrates it through references to published work in psychology and consumer research. Proposes a wide range of possible applications in marketing and gives warnings in relation to difficulties in practice and validation.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Roy Langer and Suzanne C. Beckman

This paper discusses how netnography can be applied in order to conduct covert research on sensitive research topics. An analysis of a Danish internet message board on…

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16420

Abstract

Purpose

This paper discusses how netnography can be applied in order to conduct covert research on sensitive research topics. An analysis of a Danish internet message board on cosmetic surgery illustrates suggestions concerning modifications of netnography guidelines.

Design/methodology/approach

Owing to the relevance of studying sensitive research topics – in particular when access to informants is difficult – netnography has been applied in an analysis of cross consumer online‐communication about cosmetic surgery on a Danish internet message board. Methodological stages and procedures including entreé, data collection, analysis and interpretation have been followed. In terms of research ethics and member checks, however, the suggested guidelines have been modified.

Findings

Empirical findings verify that consumers use internet message boards in order to exchange information and advice about cosmetic surgery. Especially the opportunity to masquerade and to cover their identities allows them to express attitudes, opinions, and experiences freely – and hence to study these in order gain deeper insights into consumption motives, concerns, and experiences.

Originality/value

The paper suggests that netnography is a suitable methodology for the study of sensitive research topics, enabling the researcher in an unobtrusive and covert way to gain deeper insights into consumers' opinions, motives, and concerns. Based on a discussion of netnography's position in between discourse analysis, content analysis and ethnography, it is argued for the legitimacy of covert research, including a revision of existing guidelines for research ethics with regard to informed consent when conducting netnography.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Andrea Davies and Richard Elliott

An oral history to examine the evolution of the empowered consumer and brand consciousness from 1918 to 1965 as a critical analysis of mass consumer culture in Britain.

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6791

Abstract

Purpose

An oral history to examine the evolution of the empowered consumer and brand consciousness from 1918 to 1965 as a critical analysis of mass consumer culture in Britain.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors trace the changing experience of consumer empowerment and importantly show oral testimony (oral history) as a method able to reveal the complexities of this experience.

Findings

Women locate increased choice and responsibility within changing marketing and retailing systems (including self‐service, branding and the media). The authors show how increased choice and responsibility was often experienced (at least initially) as challenging or confusing.

Originality/value

The study identifies that empowerment is a complex or paradoxical process. It provides empirical support for a growing number of claims that have challenged the linear benefit assumptions given to increased choice arising from classic economic theory and outline a model of the paradox of the evolution of the empowered consumer.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Catharina Gylling, Richard Elliott and Marja Toivonen

In this paper the authors aim to introduce the perspective of shared meanings as a prerequisite for the formation of market‐focused strategic flexibility.

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1932

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper the authors aim to introduce the perspective of shared meanings as a prerequisite for the formation of market‐focused strategic flexibility.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply the ideas of co‐creation of meaning, which derive from research into the narrative process of strategy and the practice turn of strategy. The authors' view is illustrated with a case example from a Finnish property rental company. Using action research methodology, data were collected through interviews and workshops from the company, from its clients and from its subcontractors.

Findings

The case presented here shows that the lack of common understanding may lead to poor service quality even though the provider aims at meeting clients' needs. On the other hand, the results confirm that developing a shared understanding is possible in business practice. A common lexicon and the conscious use of human narrative capability facilitate the achievement of this goal.

Research limitations/implications

Since the empirical results are based on one case, the possibility for generalisations is limited. However, the study highlights important aspects of strategic flexibility that are worthy of further research.

Practical implications

The study shows that flexible market orientation needs shared meanings between all the relevant actors in a service chain. The study also suggests some ideas on how the co‐creation of meaning can be promoted in practice.

Originality/value

Linking the perspectives of co‐creation of meaning and market‐focused strategic flexibility is a new approach. The paper illustrates these topics in a subcontracting chain, whereas earlier studies have usually focused on companies.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 46 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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