Business, Beedie School of

Receive updates for this collection

Outsourcing Responsibility for Indulgent Food Consumption to Prevent Negative Affect

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-01-29
Abstract: 

To many consumers, indulging in unhealthy treats is a “vice” and can cause unpleasant feelings, such as guilt. Nonetheless, consumers do not want to give up indulgences altogether and find ways to allow themselves guilt-free gratification. We propose a novel, calculated tactic that consumers use to avoid unpleasant feelings often associated with unhealthy eating. Four studies demonstrate that consumers proactively and strategically confer responsibility for indulgences to other people to prevent looming negative feelings about consuming the same item. In laboratory and field experiments, for unhealthy (compared to healthy) foods consumers exhibit a preference for being served a chosen food instead of serving themselves. Moderation and mediation show that this preference is driven by anticipated negative self-conscious affect, which gives rise to a motivation to avoid responsibility. Across our studies, people seek to alter the social context surrounding indulgent food consumption in this way, despite making their own food choices.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Identity-Based Perceptions of Others’ Consumption Choices

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-01-29
Abstract: 

In this chapter we argue that studying “identity” means moving beyond the “self.” Consumers exist in a social context, meaning that the choices they make (a) reinforce their own identities and (b) provide information about who they are to other people. For example, someone (an “actor”) might choose to buy organic produce; someone else (an “observer”) may perceive this individual as an environmentally-conscious Millennial with higher disposable income. Importantly, observers may use an actor’s perceived identities to judge the “appropriateness” of a given purchase. We illustrate these points by focusing on income identity (e.g., socioeconomic status) and ethical consumption choices (i.e., choices that are prosocial but costly). Across several experiments, we find that low-income consumers receiving government assistance (“welfare recipients”) are seen as less moral when they choose ethical products, such as organic food and eco-friendly vehicles. This occurs in part because people expect those who are poor to be frugal. Conversely, wealthier consumers are seen as more moral for the same choices, in part, because of a belief they have earned spending freedom. We also find that these judgments extend to non-financial choices like volunteering time. This chapter is important because it highlights that who we are impacts perceptions of what we do, which may have consequences for our relationships with other consumers, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. For example, identity-based cues may influence hiring practices (e.g., poor actors are seen as less employable than wealthy actors), government policies (e.g., some people may be seen as more “deserving” of aid than others), and the ability to solicit donations (e.g., people donate less to a charity providing “organic food” vs. “conventional food” to aid recipients). We hope our chapter inspires additional research activity into understanding how observer-based identity judgments influence consumer well-being and marketplace experiences.

Document type: 
Book chapter

CGIP: Managing Consumer Generated Intellectual Property

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-09-01
Abstract: 

Two related trends characterize the recent past: value propositions are migrating from the physical to the informational, and value creation is shifting from firms to consumers. These two trends meet in the phenomenon of “consumer-generated intellectual property” (CGIP). This article addresses the question: “How should firms manage the intellectual property that their customers create?” It explores how CGIP presents important dilemmas for managers and argues that consumers’ “intellectual property” should not be leveraged at the expense of their “emotional property.” It integrates these perspectives into a diagnostic framework and discusses eight strategies for firms to manage CGIP.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in Food and Agricultural Biotechnology

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-07-13
Abstract: 

The food and agricultural biotechnology (FAB) sector is poised to respond to some of society's most pressing challenges, including food security, climate change, population growth, and resource limitation. However, to realize this promise, substantial barriers to innovation must be overcome. Here, we draw upon industry experience and innovation management literature to analyze FAB innovation challenges, as well relevant frameworks for their resolution. In doing so, we identify two major FAB innovation challenges: specialized adoption uncertainty, and complex product-market fit across convergent value chains. We propose that these innovation challenges may be overcome by 1) prioritizing the establishment of organizational and social technology legitimacy, and 2) leveraging technology-market matching methods and open innovation practices.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Why Do Some Patents Get Licensed While Others Do Not

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-11
Abstract: 

To understand why some patents get licensed and others do not, we estimate a portfolio of firm- and patent-level determinants for why a particular licensor’s patent was licensed over all technologically similar patents held by other licensors. Using data for licensed biopharmaceutical patents, we build a set of alternate patents that could have been licensed-in using topic modeling techniques. This provides a more sophisticated way of controlling for patent characteristics and analyzing the attractiveness of a licensor and the characteristics of the patent itself. We find that patents owned by licensors with technological prestige, experience at licensing, and combined technological depth and breadth have a greater chance at being chosen by licensees. This suggests that a licensor’s standing and organizational learning rather than the quality of its patent alone influence the success of outward licensing.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Social Media? Get Serious! Understanding the Functional Building Blocks of Social Media

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011
Abstract: 

Traditionally, consumers used the Internet to simply expend content: they read it, they watched it, and they used it to buy products and services. Increasingly, however, consumers are utilizing platforms–—such as content sharing sites, blogs, social networking, and wikis–—to create, modify, share, and discuss Internet content. This represents the social media phenomenon, which can now significantly impact a firm’s reputation, sales, and even survival. Yet, many executives eschew or ignore this form of media because they don’t understand what it is, the various forms it can take, and how to engage with it and learn. In response, we present a framework that defines social media by using seven functional building blocks: identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation, and groups. As different social media activities are defined by the extent to which they focus on some or all of these blocks, we explain the implications that each block can have for how firms should engage with social media. To conclude, we present a number of recommendations regarding how firms should develop strategies for monitoring, understanding, and responding to different social media activities.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

A Multidimensional Conceptualization of Environmental Velocity

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

Environmental velocity has emerged as an important concept but remains theoretically underdeveloped, particularly with respect to its multidimensionality. In response, we develop a framework that examines the variations in velocity across multiple dimensions of the environment (homology) and the causal linkages between those velocities (coupling). We then propose four velocity regimes based on different patterns of homology and coupling and argue that the conditions of each regime have important implications for organizations.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

(I’m) Happy to Help (You): The Impact of Personal Pronoun Use In Customer-Firm Interactions

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-02-13
Abstract: 

In responding to customer questions or complaints, should marketing agents linguistically “put the customer first” by using certain personal pronouns? Customer orientation theory, managerial literature, and surveys of managers, customer service representatives, and consumers suggest that firm agents should emphasize how “we” (the firm) serve “you” (the customer), while deemphasizing “I” (the agent) in these customer-firm interactions. We find evidence of this language pattern in use at over 40 firms. However, we theorize and demonstrate that these personal pronoun emphases are often sub-optimal. Five studies using lab experiments and field data reveal that firm agents who refer to themselves using “I” rather than “we” pronouns increase customer perceptions that the agent feels and acts on their behalf. In turn, these positive perceptions of empathy and agency lead to increased customer satisfaction, purchase intentions, and purchase behavior. Further, we find that customer-referencing “you” pronouns have little impact on these outcomes, and can sometimes have negative consequences. These findings enhance our understanding of how, when, and why language use impacts social perception and behavior, and provide valuable insights for marketers.

 

Document type: 
Article

Pride of Ownership: An Identity-Based Model

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-03-05
Abstract: 

Pride of ownership is explored in a series of depth interviews utilizing a new "surfacing" methodology. Results support some past findings, but also uncover some new and unexpected aspects. Consistent with past research, pride of ownership is linked to a brand’s or product’s ability to help consumers construct a positive identity. Specifically, we find that pride of ownership is related to constructing five major aspects of identity: cultivating personal taste, achieving non-dependence and adulthood, achieving social status, building close relationships, and connecting to groups. These five implicit identity goals are ordered based on the extent to which each aspect of identity is part of the independent-self (i.e. personal taste) or the interdependent-self (i.e. social roles and connecting to groups). We introduce the terms independent pride and interdependent pride to refer to pride that helps construct the independent and interdependent aspects of the self, respectively. In addition, this research uncovers several ways that consumer’s pride of ownership changes over time. Conclusions are drawn for further theory-building and for managers.

Document type: 
Article