Category Archives: Marketing

Corporate Social Responsibility and Its Impact on Service Quality, Consumer Trust and Loyalty

Moonkyu Lee, Hae, Ryong Kim, Kwanghee Yoo, Lawrence Cunningham, and Namin Kim
Journal of International Marketing Strategy,Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 52-XX

This study investigates the effects of Corporate Social Responsibility (or CSR) fulfillment on consumer loyalty in the service market environment by comparing them with the effects of marketing mix strategies. This study also examines two potential mediating factors (i.e., service quality and consumer trust) in understanding how CSR relates to consumer loyalty. The results show that CSR performance builds customer trust, which leads to customer loyalty. CSR activities also affect customer perceptions of service quality although their effect is weaker than that of marketing mix strategies. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the study for researchers and marketers.

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The Influence of Open Source Software Volunteer Developers’ Motivations and Attitudes on Intention to Contribute

Chorng-Guang Wu, James H Gerlach, Clifford E Young
Open Source Software Dynamics, Processes, and Applications, pp. 231-259

This study differs from previous studies on open source software (OSS) developer motivation by drawing upon theories of volunteerism and work motivation to investigate the motives and attitudes of OSS volunteer developers. The role of commitment is specifically interesting, which is well established in the volunteerism and work motivation literature as a predictor of turnover and positively related to work performance, but has been overlooked by OSS researchers. The authors have developed a research model relating …

The Eyes Have It: How a Car’s Face Influences Consumer Categorization and Evaluation of Product Line Extensions

Susan M. Keaveney, Andreas Herrmann,
Rene Befurt, and Jan R. Landwehr

Psychology and Marketing Vol. 29, Issue 1, pages 36–51

This research focuses on a previously unexamined risk associated with the widely used new product development strategy of line extensions. Specifically, it explores consumer reactions when line extensions become too visually similar and examines both short-term and longer term strategies for solving the problem. Examined in the context of consumer durables, specifically, automobiles, the results show that consumers who make categorization mistakes when trying to distinguish between two visually similar product lines have more negative attitudes not only toward the product but also toward the parent brand. The results of Study 1 confirm that providing a design vocabulary that articulates the car’s design features is effective in reducing consumer’s categorization mistakes. In addition, results of Study 2 indicate that changes to the car’s “eyes” (headlights) are more effective than changes to the car’s “mouth” (grille) in helping consumers to differentiate among cars in the line.

Do satisfied customers bad-mouth innovative products?

Parthasarathy, Madhavan and Forlani, David
Psychology & Marketing; Dec. 2010, Vol. 27 Issue 12, pp. 1134-1153

For many years marketing academics have recommended, and practitioners have implemented, organization-wide programs that measure customers’ levels of satisfaction with a firm’s offerings because it is believed that satisfied customers are both more likely to continue using a previously adopted product and less likely to engage in negative word-of-mouth communication. Given the ubiquity of product-review forums resulting from today’s increasing levels of e-commerce, this paper pairs cause constructs from the diffusion literature with effect constructs from the satisfaction and services literatures to reconsider that perspective. Specifically, it examines the relationships bet-ween six perceived innovation attributes known to influence a new product’s diffusion process and two post-adoption behaviors, satisfaction and negative word-of-mouth communication. The results quash previous assumptions that satisfaction mediates negative word-of-mouth communication and reveal that satisfied customers do speak ill of previously adopted products. Implications for both theory and practice are also presented.

Do satisfied customers badmouth innovative products?

Madhavan Parthasarathy, David Forlani
Psychology & Marketing,Vol. 27, Issue 12, Pages: 1134-1153.

For many years marketing academics have recommended, and practitioners have implemented, organization-wide programs that measure customers’ levels of satisfaction with a firm’s offerings because it is believed that satisfied customers are both more likely to continue using a previously adopted product and less likely to engage in negative word-of-mouth communication. Given the ubiquity of product-review forums resulting from today’s increasing levels of e-commerce, this paper pairs cause constructs from the diffusion …
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A longitudinal exploratory study of changing perceptions toward an iconic brand in a developing country

Madhavan Parthasarathy, MaryLee Stansifer, and Rajeev Kumra
Journal of Indian Business Research, Vol. 2 Iss: 3, pp.138 – 152

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the changing perceptions of an iconic American product, namely Levi Jeans, in a rapidly developing country, namely Costa Rica, over a 20-year period from 1988 to 2008.

Design/methodology/approach – Changing perceptions were measured with regard to product attributes (e.g. relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, observability, and risk), and experience-related attributes (e.g. product durability, fit, comfort, and price). Further, the changing influence of these variables on repurchase intentions was measured. Data collected in 1988 and again in 2008 at a large Costa Rican university were compared.

Findings – The results suggest that globalization, increased competition, and cultural individualization have reduced Levis’ attribute advantages and thus brand equity. Implications for branding in other developing countries, especially India, are provided.

Practical implications – Modern Indian consumers are more picky, and are more concerned with lifestyle fit and observability issues. This combined with the growing affluent youth market in India leads to specific suggestions on how Levi can approach marketing strategy in the Indian market.

Originality/value – The paper is unique in that it is a longitudinal study of changing perceptions with data collected over a 20-year time period. Further, it provides specific recommendations for apparel manufacturers aiming to enter the Indian and other rapidly developing markets.

A comparison of consumer views of traditional services and self-service technologies

Lawrence F. Cunningham, Clifford E. Young, James Gerlach
Journal of Services Marketing Vol. 23, Issue 1, p. 11-23

Purpose – Few marketing studies look at service classifications for self-service technologies (SSTs) and none directly compare consumer-based perceptions of traditional services to SSTs. To fill this gap, this study aims to examine how customers perceived traditional services and SSTs on service classifications criteria proposed by Lovelock, Bowen and Bell.
Design/methodology/approach – In two separate studies consumer ratings for each classification method on each service were obtained. Using multi-dimensional scaling (MDS), 13 traditional services and 12 SSTs were separately mapped onto a perceptual space of service classifications.
Findings – The comparison of the two perceptual spaces reveals that consumers viewed the classifications of convenience, person/object, and delivery for SSTs differently than that for traditional services. The classifications of traditional services were represented by two dimensions of customization/standardization and person/object. In contrast, the classifications of SSTs were represented by two dimensions of customization/standardization and separability/inseparability. Thus the description of the underlying dimensions of services varied by traditional services or SSTs.
Research limitations/implications – It is possible that the results of the MDS were influenced by the use of preset classifications. Results may also be influenced by the authors’ choice of MDS method. Further research is needed regarding the classification of SSTs and the use of these classifications for SST design.
Originality/value – This research extends previous consumer-based classification research by including SSTs. The findings identified separate typologies for SSTs and traditional services. The typologies should be of interest to both researchers and managers who are interested in how SSTs are perceived by consumers.

The blame game: An attribution theory approach to marketer–engineer conflict in high-technology companies

Keaveney, Susan M.
Industrial Marketing Management; Vol. 37 Issue 6, p. 653-663

Marketer–engineer conflict is a pervasive and as-yet unresolved problem of critical importance to high-technology companies. This study updates and extends marketing literature by applying qualitative research methods including the critical incident technique to examine the causes of conflict between marketers and engineers in high-technology companies. Narratives from both marketers and engineers are interpreted from an attribution theory perspective as well as in the context of recent management research on interfunctional conflict. Results draw attention to a high proportion of personal attributions, indicating high levels of relationship-conflict; these results are in contrast to the task-conflict typically addressed by the marketing literature. Discussion highlights the changes in high-technology organizational culture since first by described by Workman 15 years ago [Workman, J. (1993). Marketing’s limited role in new product development in one computer systems firm. Journal of Marketing Research, 30 (4), 405-421.], and recommendations for managers are offered.

Managerial risk perceptions of international entry-mode strategies: The interaction effect of control and capability

David Forlani, Madhavan Parthasarathy, Susan M. Keaveney
International Marketing Review Vol. 25 Issue 3, p. 292-311

Purpose – The primary purpose of this paper is to investigate how opportunity for control and firm capability interact to moderate the amount of risk that managers associate with various international entry-mode strategies. A secondary goal is to investigate how managers perceive the need to retain control over three core functional areas (marketing, production, and R&D) when making entry-mode decisions.
Design/methodology/approach – A field experiment design was implemented in a sample of US business owner/executives. Using an online data collection method, the study asked a sample of small-business owners and managers to assess the amount of risk they associated with three modes of entering the Japanese market: non-ownership (export), equal partnership (50/50 joint-venture), and sole-ownership. They were also asked how much control they needed to retain over R&D, production, and marketing for the venture to be successful.
Findings – Ownership-provided control interacts with capability to influence managerial risk perceptions. Managers in lower-capability firms see the least risk in the non-ownership entry mode while those in higher-capability firms see the least risk in the equal-partnership entry mode. Managers believe that for a new venture in a foreign market to be successful, control should be retained over the R&D function, regardless of entry mode.
Research limitations/implications – The findings appear to reconcile some of the conflicting predictions of the transaction cost and resource-based theoretical perspectives, because it appears that international managers consider both control (internationalization theory) and capability (resource-based theory) when judging the perceived risk of an entry strategy.
Practical implications – For firms that are incapable of managing in an international context, a low-control no-ownership entry mode is perceived as the least risky approach; for firms that have some capability for international management, then a partial-ownership mode such as a 50/50 joint-venture is perceived as having lower risk than no-ownership. In non-ownership and joint-venture type entry modes, managers are more apt to outsource the marketing function to an agent/partner, but not R&D. In contrast, managers believe that marketing needs to be maintained in-house when utilizing a sole-ownership entry mode.
Originality/value – By illustrating the role of perceived risk in foreign-market entry-mode decisions and demonstrating how capabilities interact with ownership-provided control to moderate these perceptions, the paper’s findings suggest that managers’ risk perceptions may mediate the effects of firm-specific factors, and thus contributes significantly to both theory and practice.

A model of buyer regret: Selected prepurchase and postpurchase antecedents with consequences for the brand and the channel

Keaveney, Susan M., Huber, Frank and Herrmann, Andreas
Journal of Business Research Vol. 60, Issue 10, p. 1207-1215

This research examines how two prepurchase stages of the buyer decision process-information search and alternative evaluation–and two postpurchase stages-evaluation of product and service attributes-influence buyer regret. The study extends prior consequences of regret to include purchase intentions toward both brand and the channel. Tested in a field sample of luxury automobile purchasers, results show that higher information search and alternative evaluation lead to more buyer regret; lower evaluations of service (but not product) attributes lead to more regret; and regrets’ consequences include reduced intentions to repurchase either the brand or from the dealership. Buyers who switch brands experience more regret than buyers who did not switch brands.

The neural network model of organizational identification

Lane, Vicki R. and Scott, Susanne G.
Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, Vol. 104, Issue 2, p. 175-192

This paper proposes the Neural Network Model of Organizational Identification; the model depicts organizational identification as an associative link within an organization member’s social knowledge structure of self as it relates to a focal organization. Within this knowledge structure, organization identification connects self to organization via an attribute sub-network that includes self-concept and organization identity and via a valance sub-network that includes organization based self-esteem and attitudinal commitment. This model draws on the principles of balance-congruity, imbalance dissonance, and differentiation [Greenwald, A. G., Banaji, M. R., Rudman, L. A., Farnham, S. D., Nosek, B. A., & Mellott, D. S. (2002). A unified theory of implicit attitudes, stereotypes, self-esteem, and self-concept. Psychological Review, 109, 3–25.] to predict relationships between these organizational constructs. The Neural Network Model of Organizational Identification is parsimonious yet it effectively integrates and synthesizes the burgeoning literature on organizational identification. By operating at a neural network level of analysis, the model departs substantially from existing organization models by (1) specifying unique construct definitions; (2) offering an alternative perspective of the affective/cognitive dimensions and interrelationships; (3) introducing the concept of implicit cognition to the literature on organizational identification, which makes apparent problems with current measures; and (4) explaining phenomena not explained in existing models. This perspective adds precision and reveals that organizational identification is interconnected within a reciprocal network of mutual causality.

Equines and their human companions

Keaveney, Susan M.
Journal of Business Research (In Press)

Previous research related to marketing describes deep emotional bonds that develop between humans and their pets (primarily cats and dogs). Another multi-billion-dollar international market that needs exploration flows from the highly-involving bonds between humans and their horses. Horses are not pets, but the study of equine relationships with humans generates insights into animal-companion interactions. This article reports results of an interpretive phenomenological investigation of the relationship between humans and their horses, using participant observations, in-depth interviews, and written open-ended questions including the critical-incident technique. Analysis of the data first addresses a priori themes from the animal-companionship literature and identifies themes found, themes with a twist, and themes not found. The article then discusses seven emergent themes unique to human–horse relationships — including physicality, partnership, bonding through adversity, flow experience, communitas, spirituality, and life lessons.

An empirical analysis of open source software developers’ motivations and continuance intentions.

Wu, Chorng-Guang, Gerlach, James H., and Young, Clifford E.
Information & Management Vol. 44, Issue 3, p. 253-262

We investigated open source software (OSS) developers’ intentions to continue their involvement in future projects. The research goal was to analyze the motivations of OSS developers systematically and identify those factors that influenced their continuation. A work motivation model for OSS developers was proposed and a research model was empirically validated using data from a field survey of 148 OSS participants. The results showed that OSS developers’ feelings of satisfaction and their intentions to continue with OSS development was influenced by both helping behavior and economic incentives and also that adequate motivators existed, though OSS developers did not benefit equally and there was substantial room to improve their experiences as OSS developers.

Customer perceptions of service dimensions: cross-cultural analysis and perspective

Cunningham, Lawrence F., Young, Clifford E., Lee, Moonkyu & Ulaga, Wolfgang
International Marketing Review Vol. 23, Issue 2, p. 192-210

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a study that examined how customers in the USA, France, and Korea perceived and classified a set of 13 services based on multidimensional scaling (MDS).
Design/methodology/approach – A MDS framework was used to map service classifications and actual services in the USA, Korea and France. Results from each country were then compared to the other two countries to determine similarities and differences.
Findings – Results from this research suggest that there are two underlying dimensions that explain approximately 80 percent of the total variance in service perceptions and classifications. Underlying dimensions of the classifications across the three cultures were virtually identical. Differences among the countries were based on relative positioning of classifications and/or services on the underlying dimensions.
Research limitations/implications – Evidence from diverse cultures implies that consumers perceive services in a somewhat simplistic, two-dimensional fashion rather than the complex set of classifications proposed by researchers. Although the complex classifications may be of use to service providers in organizing the delivery of services, the presentation and positioning of those services is along a much simpler framework in the minds of customers.
Originality/value – This is the first time consumer-based perceptions of services have been examined systematically across cultures using a MDS approach.

Modeling online service discontinuation with nonparametric agents

Walczak, Steven & Parthasarathy, Madhavan
Information Systems and E-Business Management Vol. 4, Issue 1, p. 49 – 70

The internet and world wide web are an increasingly important resource, both as a market and as an information source, to both individual users and business entities. An estimated 120 million active web users exist in the United States alone. Access to these electronic marketplaces and information sources is accomplished through either a direct internet connection or through a service provider. Internet service providers (ISPs) enable internet and web access for most of these users either via dial-up modems (62.2 percent), or DSL connections (17 percent). Customers of ISPs frequently switch or discontinue service. The model selection perspective is used to extend previous work in this area through the development of a multi-agent system with neural network wrappers. The nonparametric (neural network) agents identify over 92 percent of those users that either stop or change service, which is a 15 percent increase over previous models.

Perceived risk and e-banking services: An analysis from the perspective of the consumer

Cunningham, Lawrence F.; Gerlach, James; and Harper, Michael D.
Journal of Financial Services Marketing Vol. 10 Issue 2, pp. 165-178.

Abstract This research investigates the premise that purchasing e-banking services is perceived to be riskier than purchasing traditional banking services. Unlike previous studies on perceived risk that typically focused on the relationship of perceived risk and information search, this exploratory study examines the dynamics of perceived risk throughout the various stages of the consumer buying process. A survey of 159 respondents reveals a risk premium for e-banking services that follows a systematic pattern throughout the consumer buying process. When viewed as a dynamic process, perceived risk for e-banking services shows more radical changes in risk levels than traditional banking services. The analyses indicate that financial risk drives the risk premium while psychological, physical and time risk play ancillary roles as risk drivers at certain stages of the consumer buying process. A major implication of this study is that there is a risk premium for e-banking services and the risk premium permeates all stages of the consumer buying process. Risk mitigation strategies are addressed.

The negative effects of expecting to evaluate: Reexamination and extension in the context of service failure

Lane, Vicki R. and Keaveney, Susan M.
Psychology & Marketing Vol. 22 Issue 11, pp. 857-885

Service managers implement customer satisfaction evaluation cards (CSECs) to help them better understand and serve their customers. Yet a robust finding from recent research is that consumers who expect to evaluate provide lower satisfaction ratings than customers who are asked to evaluate without prior notice. This article reports results of two experiments that examine the effects of expecting to evaluate (here, the CSEC effect) in the negative context of service failure. The experiments utilize thought-listing protocols to differentiate between vigilant processing (VPT) and negativity bias (NBT) theories and reinforce the internal validity of the CSEC effect. The studies also extend prior research by separating CSEC effects on evaluations of the service employee from CSEC effects on the service firm overall. Study 2 examines consequences of the CSEC effect not previously studied (switching, complaining, and negative word-of-mouth intentions) and extends external validity through an international replication.

Perceived Risk and the Consumer Buying Process: Internet Airline Reservations

Cunningham, Lawrence F., James H. Gerlach, Michael D. Harper, and Clifford E. Young
International Journal of Service Industry Management Vol. 16 Issue 4, pp. 357-372.

Purpose: This research investigates the premise that the use of Internet airline reservation systems is perceived to be riskier than traditional airline reservation shopping.

Methodology: A survey or 263 respondents investigated perceived risk at various stages of the consumer buying process.

Findings: The results reveal that perceived risk for airline reservation services follows a pattern throughout the consumer buying process. When viewed as a dynamic process, perceived risk for Internet airline services shows more radical changes in risk levels than the traditional service. The analyses indicate that performance, physical, social, and financial risk are related to perceived risk at certain stages of the consumer buying process.

Practical Implications: A major finding of this study is that there is a risk premium for Internet airline reservation services and the risk premium permeates all stages of the consumer buying process. It is further demonstrated that the Internet risk premium does affect usage levels; implying that the Internet risk premium is consequential and warrants the implementation of risk mitigation strategies.

Originality: Unlike previous studies on perceived risk that typically focused on the relationship of perceived risk and information search, this study examines the dynamics of perceived risk throughout the various stages of the consumer buying process.

Customer perceptions of service dimensions: American and Asian perspectives

Cunningham, Lawrence F., Young, Clifford E. and Lee, Moonkyu
Service Industries Journal Vol. 25, Issue 1, p. 43 – 59.

This article reports the results of a study that examined how US, Korean and Taiwanese customers perceived and classified a set of 13 services based on multidimensional scaling (MDS). Service classifications were developed on a perceptual space where the actual services were mapped for three countries, US, Korea and Taiwan. The results suggest service perceptions and classifications. The dimensions and correlations for the classifications and services displayed many consistencies and some differences among American, Korean and Taiwanese consumers. Directions for future academic research and managerial implications are cited and discussed.

Missing the boat or sinking the boat: a study of new venture decision making

Mullins, John W. and Forlani, David
Journal of Business Venturing Vol. 20 Issue 1, p. 47-69

Taking two conceptualizations of risk, Dickson and Giglierano’s [J. Mark. 50 (1986) 58] nautical analogy of entrepreneurial risk (sinking vs. missing the boat) to represent the likelihood of loss element of new venture risk, and March and Shapira’s [Manage. Sci. 33 (1987) 1404] risk as hazard (boat size) to represent the magnitude of loss element of new venture risk, we investigated how two contextual factors, the suitability of entrepreneurs’ skills and their sources of funds, and two individual differences factors, the entrepreneurs’ risk propensities and their perceptions of risk, influence their new venture decision making. Metaphorically speaking, we found that most entrepreneurs would rather risk missing than sinking the boat, and that they preferred to pilot bigger craft than smaller ones. Perhaps surprisingly, our sample of highly successful entrepreneurs made relatively risk-averse choices, with 83% choosing either of the two ventures for which the chances for loss were lowest. We also found that the source of new venture funding – the entrepreneur’s own money versus that of investors – influenced our subjects’ choices between ventures whose chances for loss or gain differed. A similar effect was found for the entrepreneur’s risk propensity. On the other hand, we found that the risk the entrepreneurs perceived in the choice set also influenced choices, but only where the magnitude of the new venture’s potential gain or loss varied. When viewed in total, our study and results suggest a risk- and reward-based typology of new venture opportunities, one that may provide a conceptual foundation for future explorations of a variety of questions relevant for entrepreneurs and theorists alike.