Business, Beedie School of

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She Said, She Said: Differential Interpersonal Similarities Predict Unique Linguistic Mimicry in Online Word of Mouth

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-02
Abstract: 

This research examines the antecedents, causes, and consequences of linguistic mimicry, which assesses how closely individuals match others’ word use, in online WOM. We examine mimicry of both linguistic style (how things are said) and content (what is said). To our knowledge, this research provides the first demonstration of unique linguistic mimicry, where consumers engaging in online WOM differentially mimic other posters’ word use. Two experiments and one study using field data show that when consumers are personally similar to an individual who has previously posted (e.g., same gender), they mimic this individual’s positive emotion and social word use. When consumers are similar in status to an individual who has previously posted (e.g., same forum ranking), they mimic this individual’s cognitive and descriptive word use. This differential mimicry is driven by affiliation versus achievement goals, respectively, and affects consumers’ engagement in online WOM in terms of posting incidence and volume.

Document type: 
Article

The Dark Side of Scarcity Promotions: How Exposure to Limited Quantity Promotions Can Induce Aggression

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-02
Abstract: 

Marketers frequently use scarcity promotions, where a product or event is limited in availability. The present research shows conditions under which the mere exposure to such advertising can activate actual aggression that manifests even outside the domain of the good being promoted. Further, we document the process underlying this effect: exposure to limited-quantity promotion advertising prompts consumers to perceive other shoppers as competitive threats to obtaining a desired product and physiologically prepares consumers to aggress. Seven studies using multiple behavioral measures of aggression demonstrate this deleterious response to scarcity promotions.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Rejecting Responsibility: Low Physical Involvement in Obtaining Food Promotes Unhealthy Eating

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-08
Abstract: 

Five experiments show that less physical involvement in obtaining food leads to less healthy food choices. We find that when participants are given the choice of whether or not to consume snacks that they perceive as relatively unhealthy, they have a greater inclination to consume these snacks when less (versus more) physical involvement is required to help themselves to the food; this is not the case for snacks that they perceive as relatively healthy. Further, when participants are given the opportunity to choose their portion size, they select larger portions of unhealthy foods when less (versus more) physical involvement is required to help themselves to the food; again, this is not the case for healthy foods. We suggest that this behavior occurs because being less physically involved in serving one’s food allows participants to reject responsibility for unhealthy eating and thus to feel better about themselves following indulgent consumption. These findings add to the research on consumers’ self-serving attributions and to the growing literature on factors that nudge consumers towards healthier eating decisions.

Document type: 
Article

Turning Off the Lights: Consumers' Environmental Efforts Depend on Visible Efforts of Firms

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-06
Abstract: 

Firms can save considerable money if consumers conserve resources (e.g., if hotel patrons turn off the lights when leaving the room, restaurants patrons use fewer paper napkins, or airline passengers clean up after themselves). In two studies conducted in real-world hotels, the authors show that consumers’ conservation behavior is affected by the extent to which consumers perceive the firm as being green. Furthermore, consumer perceptions of firms’ greenness and consumer conservation behavior depend on (a) whether the firm requests them to conserve resources, (b) the firm’s own commitment to the environment, and (c) the firm’s price image. Additionally, firm requests to consumers to save resources can create consumer reactance and can backfire when firms themselves do not engage in visible costly environmental efforts. Such reactance is more likely for firms with a high price image. Finally, the authors show that by spending a little money to signal environmental commitment, firms can save even more money through consumers’ conservation of resources, resulting in wins for the firm, the consumer, and the environment.

Document type: 
Article

Corporate Leanwashing and Consumer Beliefs About Obesity

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-07-10
Abstract: 

Purpose of review. Caloric overconsumption, rather than lack of exercise, is the primary driver of overweight and obesity. We review people’s beliefs about the causes of obesity, and the origins and consequences of these beliefs, and suggest possible mechanisms for corrective action.Recent findings. In multiple samples across the world, approximately half the population mistakenly believes that lack of exercise is the primary cause of obesity. These misbeliefs have consequences: people who underestimate the importance of one’s diet are more likely to be overweight or obese than people who correctly believe that diet is the primary cause of obesity. Next, we discuss the systematic misrepresentation of these factors -- which we call 'leanwashing' -- by the food and beverage industry. Corporate messaging and actions are likely contributing factors to these mistaken beliefs being so widespread, and corrective actions are required. These include regulation and taxation.Summary. People’s beliefs have important medical consequences, and the origins of these beliefs and misbeliefs need to be monitored and regulated.

Document type: 
Article

Cost and the Craving for Novelty: Exploring Motivations and Barriers for Cooperative Education and Exchange Students to Go Abroad

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-09
Abstract: 

Canadian universities aim to increase student participation in international learning experiences through mobility programs such as international co-op and academic exchange. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), 97% of Canadian universities offer education abroad programs, reflecting a pervasive belief that international experiential learning is good for students as well as their home universities. Contrasting with this international orientation, a relatively small percentage of students actually complete international co-op and exchange. Research into what motivates or prevents students to undertake these somewhat risky ventures and knowledge of how to increase students’ participation in these programs is limited. Business students at a single western Canadian university were surveyed to gain insight into what motivates or prevents them from participating in international co-op and exchange.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Transforming Leadership

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-01-15
Abstract: 

The complex challenges of today’s organizations are calling for a new kind of heroic leader. The unquestioned assumption that vision is a pre-requisite for successful change, and that leaders need to be visionaries who can show us the way, presumes the future is predictable, organizations are controllable, and that plans can be implemented.  We argue these assumptions are responsible for the abysmal failure rate of organization change programs. In this paper we will describe how our  ongoing study of newer change practices (Bushe & Marshak, 2009, 2014, 2015) leads us to argue that successful leadership in situations of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), which describe most transformational change scenarios, will require very different assumptions about organizing and leading from the prevailing “Performance Mindset” that emphasizes instrumental and measurable goal setting and achievement.  Rather than identifying what the change will be, leaders need to identify and lead processes for  ngaging the necessary stakeholders in emergent change processes.  To do that successfully requires a Generative Leader Mindset that acknowledges and works with the social construction of organizations.  We identify seven assumptions we think underlie successful leadership practice in a VUCA world. The continuing emphasis on being a solitary, strategic thinker who can envision viable futures and the path to those futures does little to prepare today’s leaders for the complex, ever-changing challenges they face. Instead, leaders need to be able to hold the space of complexity and uncertainty in ways that encourage and enable emergent and generative transformational change.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Classical Ergodicity and Modern Portfolio Theory

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

What role have theoretical methods initially developed in mathematics and physics played in the progress of financial economics? What is the relationship between financial economics and econophysics? What is the relevance of the “classical ergodicity hypothesis” to modern portfolio theory? This paper addresses these questions by reviewing the etymology and history of the classical ergodicity hypothesis in 19th century statistical mechanics. An explanation of classical ergodicity is provided that establishes a connection to the fundamental empirical problem of using nonexperimental data to verify theoretical propositions in modern portfolio theory. The role of the ergodicity assumption in the ex post/ex ante quandary confronting modern portfolio theory is also examined.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Radical Innovation from the Confluence of Technologies: Innovation Management Strategies for the Emerging Nanobiotechnology Industry

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-10-17
Abstract: 

We investigate how the confluence of technologies can lead to radical innovation, thus creating opportunities at the firm and industry levels. To do so, we conduct a detailed examination of the development of the transistor and of two nanobiotechnology drugs – Doxil® and Zevalin® – from an innovation management perspective. We argue that three innovation management strategies are central to the development of radical innovation from the confluence of technologies, namely: importing ideas from broad networks, creating environments which allow for deep collaboration, and technology-market matching.

Document type: 
Article

The Emergence of the Nanobiotechnology Industry

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-01-06
Abstract: 

The confluence of nanotechnology and biotechnology provides significant commercial opportunities. By identifying, classifying and tracking firms with capabilities in both biotechnology and nanotechnology over time, we analyze the emergence and evolution of the global nanobiotechnology industry.  

Document type: 
Article