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2011 Seminars

4th Mar 2011 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Steve Hoeffler, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University

Title: Mental Simulation and Product Evaluation: The Affective and Cognitive Dimensions of Process Versus Outcome Simulation

Purchasing products that consumers have not used before (e.g. baby stroller for first time parents or a new product like an iPad) can be a challenge for consumers. In this article, the authors examine how mentally simulating two specific aspects of a product - the product usage process vs. the product benefits - might impact product evaluation, and how the effectiveness of each aspect might depend on whether consumers rely on their thinking or feelings. Based on the premise that when consumers don't have well formed preferences for a product they tend to focus on the usage process, the authors predict that when consumers rely on their thinking, prompting them to think about the product benefit (i.e. outcome simulation) leads to higher evaluation than prompting them to think about the usage process (i.e. process simulation) because the former highlights the naturally ignored product aspect whereas the latter is redundant. However, when consumers rely on their feelings, focusing on the usage process is more effective than focusing on the product benefit, because the detailed usage steps related with process simulation evoke a higher level of affective immersion in using the product. A first experiment based on the Tablet PC confirmed this prediction. Further, the authors demonstrated a reversal of the effect when consumers' focus is naturally shifted from the usage process toward the product benefit. This reversal occurred for hedonic product such as the Apple iPad where people's primary focus is the affective enjoyment (vs. how to use it), or for the same functional product when consumers are asked to evaluate it for a purchase decision in two months (distant future) rather than for in two days (near future), because distant future naturally directs people's focus to the product benefit.

These findings have important implications for marketing managers of products that are new to their consumers. They suggest that under a cognitive focus, simulating about the naturally ignored aspects should lead to higher evaluations; whereas under an affective focus, simulating about the naturally more salient product aspects should result in enhanced evaluation due to the saliency and vividness of those product aspects being more easily transformed into positive affective responses. The findings further suggest that while incorporating this strategy in the marketing practice, marketers should adjust their strategies based on whether the product serves predominantly a functional purpose or is positioned more on affective dimensions, and whether consumers evaluate the product for more immediate purchase or for the more distant future.

9th Mar 2011 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Steve Hoeffler ; Charles Areni; Paul Henry, Vanderbilt University; University of Sydney; University of Sydney

Title: Successful Cross-Paradigm Research

Marketing has embraced a number of research paradigms including a variety of qualitative and quantitative approaches. Many research topics can be productively researched using more than one approach, but such cross-paradigm research has its own sets of issues and rewards. To discuss how it can be done successfully, we have put together a panel of local and international experts who have collaborated on a number of cross-paradigm projects. The panel will share their insights on and answer questions about how to make such cross-paradigm research most successful.

18th Mar 2011 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Associate Professor Fleura Bardhi, Northeastern University, Boston

Title: Travelling Light: Liquidity of Possessions and Practices among Global Nomads

This research re-examines the role of possessions in geographical mobility through the study of global nomads, a highly mobile group of consumers whose identities and lifestyles are not anchored to a particular national geography. In contrast to prior work that argues for a salient role of possessions because of their linking value as identity markers to particular places or relationships, we do not find such roles. Instead, global nomad's consumption projects are highlighted by the logic of instrumentality, where consumption objects and practices are strategic elements in serial reterritorialization. Moreover, as global nomads exhibit a detachment from possessions and put a premium on flexibility and fluidity, we introduce and develop the concept of liquid possessions. Liquid possessions are objects valued temporarily for their use-value and immateriality. We argue that it is the liquidity of possessions and the mastery of consumption practices that enable nomads to maintain a lifestyle detached from national geographies and reinforces their mobility. Our unique context of study provides for theoretical contributions to consumer behaviour theories of materiality and acculturation.

21st Apr 2011 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 397, Merewether Building

Speaker: Associate Professor Alexander Chernev, Northwestern University

Title: Competing for Consumer Identity: Limits to Self-Expression and the Perils of Lifestyle Branding

Lifestyle positioning has become an increasingly common approach among managers, especially in commodity categories in which functional differences are hard to maintain. In addition to the traditional lifestyle brands, such as Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Martha Stewart, a number of performance-oriented brands including Gillette, Dove, Montblanc, Oakley, and Quicksilver have transitioned their focus to consumer lifestyles. Many managers view this lifestyle positioning as a way to break free of the cutthroat competition within a category by connecting with consumers on a more personal level.

We argue, however, that the open vistas of lifestyle branding are an illusion: functional brands may be trading in-category competition for even fiercer cross-category competition, competing not only with their direct rivals but also with brands from unrelated categories. Moreover, competition for consumer identity is not limited to lifestyle brands; it includes virtually any activity with a self-expressive component, such as ordering one's favourite coffee, listening to one's favourite band, and social networking. This argument is based on the idea that because consumers' need for self-expression is finite and, like most needs, can be satiated when consumers are exposed to multiple self-expressive brands, the scope of the competitive landscape for lifestyle brands extends far beyond specific categories and brands. This implies that by repositioning itself as a lifestyle brand, Gillette is entering into direct competition with other lifestyle brands including Ralph Lauren, Starbucks, and Facebook for a share of a consumer's identity.

Our theory is supported by data from five empirical studies, which show that consumers' need for self-expression is finite and can be satiated by a variety of means - including brands from unrelated categories; non-brand means of self-expression including books, TV shows, and sports teams; as well as self-expressive behavioural acts such as product customization. The data from these experiments provide converging evidence that by switching from functional to lifestyle positioning, brands might be setting themselves up for a much broader, and often fiercer, competition for a share of consumer identity.

13th May 2011 - 03:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Associate Professor Adam Duhachek, Indiana University

Title: Guilt Versus Shame: Coping Strategies and Message Framing Effects on Persuasion

Four experiments examine the effectiveness of health messages as function of ambient emotion and message frames. While past research has focused on examining the role of positive versus negative emotions on the effectiveness of gain or loss message frames, we propose that the two negative emotions of guilt and shame can differentially affect persuasion from gain versus loss message frames due to distinct efficacy appraisals. We show that individuals experiencing guilt are more persuaded by health messages employing gain frames whereas individuals experiencing shame are more persuaded by loss frames in a responsible drinking ad context. These persuasion effects occur because gain frames facilitate the use of problem-focused coping strategies favored by guilt-laden consumers whereas loss frames facilitate the use of emotion-focused coping strategies favored by shame-laden consumers. We demonstrate that coping facilitates the processing of the health messages, thereby enhancing persuasion. We further show that making problem focused (emotion-focused) coping strategies more available to shame-laden (guilt-laden) consumers allows them to mimic the persuasive effects of guilt-laden (shame-laden) consumers, providing strong evidence of the theoretical process at work. These effects manifested on perceptions of risks associated with drinking, intentions to binge-drink, and time spent viewing alcohol advertising.

3rd Jun 2011 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Professor John Sherry, Herrick Professor of Marketing, Notre Dame

Title: Brand Integrity in Moments of Consumption: Lessons from American Girl

In this article, we explore the practices and processes by which a brand is negotiated when it enters a household, crossing from public into private space. Focusing on their material and ideological content, we describe how branded objects can retain their commodity status even as they are singularized by becoming implicated in the day to day lives of household members. From a long-term ethnographic study of the American Girl brand as it is enacted at several moments of consumption in domestic space, we develop the conception of brand integrity to help explain how this dual status is achieved and maintained. In so doing, we contribute to literatures on in-home consumption, the nature of brands and brand relationships, and materiality.

7th Jun 2011 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Professor John Sherry, Herrick Professor of Marketing, Notre Dame

Title: A Cultural Analysis of Tailgating on a Midwestern American Collegiate Campus

Tailgating is an institutionalised form of public revelry accompanying many sporting events in the U.S. It is a populist prosumption phenomenon that contrasts in interesting ways with the sporting spectacle with which it is paired. In our ethnographic investigation of tailgating in the context of collegiate football, we explore the lived experience of the numerous stakeholders involved this revelry. We provide a thick description of the event, and propose a grounded theory of tailgating. In particular, we unpack themes of conviviality, community, chorography, carnavalesque and canalization that inform the phenomenon.

23rd Jun 2011 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Associate Professor Haipeng (Allan) Chen, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

Title: Asymmetric Pricing, Relationship Norms and the Dual Entitlement Principle

Firms are often seen as more likely to pass through cost increases than cost decreases to consumers. One rationale for why firms are able to sustain this practice of asymmetric pricing is based on consumer fairness perceptions governed by the principle of dual entitlement. Examining the practice of asymmetric pricing through the theoretical lens of relationship norms, the present research proposes that the degree to which the dual entitlement principle is endorsed as the community standard of fairness is influenced by the type of buyer-seller relationship and corresponding relationship norms. Specifically, to the extent that asymmetric pricing protects firms' profit at consumers' expenses, the pricing practice may be perceived as less fair in a communal (vs. exchange) relationship as it violates the communal norm of concern for consumers. In three studies we provide support for this effect by manipulating the type of buyer-seller relationship through priming (study 1), industry (study 2) and culture (study 3). We conclude by discussing the theoretical and managerial implications of our results.

27th Jun 2011 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Associate Professor Haipeng (Allan) Chen, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

Title: Collecting Data with Mturk: The Nuts and Bolts and Issues

Online data collection is becoming increasingly popular, but cost effective sources of respondents are often hard to find.  A new resource, Mechanical Turk or Mturk, developed by Amazon offers a potential solution. At Mturk, researchers as "requesters" post work to be done, and qualified "workers" do the work at their location/pace for a very small fee (at a rate of about $1.40/hour or $.25-$.35 for 10-15 minutes). Therefore, for behavioural researchers Mturk can be an excellent source of respondents. To get interested researchers up to speed, especially with the limited documentation and human assistance on the Mturk website, this talk will offer a tutorial and answer questions on how to use Mturk for data collection from a user's perspective. I will address issues of data validity and participant demographics, and offer a step by step demonstration of how to use Mturk to run a simple experiment, including how to sign up and navigate the system, post a request, download data, reward workers, and problems you might encounter. Mturk is a potentially valuable tool not only for those interested in experimental or survey research but also for open-ended responses, pilot testing and any other tasks that can be conveyed electronically (e.g. data cleaning, transcribing, translation).

5th Aug 2011 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Darlington School Building Room 11

Speaker: Honorary Professor Ian Wilkinson; Fabian Held, PhD Candidate, Discipline of Marketing, The University of Sydney Business School

Title: The Nature and Role of Complex Systems Theory and Methods in Marketing Research and Education

Computational social science is a fledging  interdisciplinary field at the intersection of the social sciences,  computational science, and complexity science It is an umbrella term for  diverse new ways of analysis and understanding of social phenomena with the aid  of computer-intensive methods. Amongst these tools are social network analysis,  automated text analysis and information extraction systems, social geographic  information systems and agent-based modelling. The purpose of this presentation  is to provide an overview of complex systems research and theory and the  associated research methodology of agent-based modelling (ABM).  We  explain and illustrate its relevance and importance to the development of  marketing theory and research, with a particular emphasis on building ABM on  distribution systems and business networks.

ABM  is a form of mathematical modelling of complex systems. An ABM can be written  down as a set of mathematical equations. But, because they are trying to  develop more realistic and fine-grained models of complex systems the equations  of motion of the system are necessarily highly nonlinear, involving numerous  interaction and order effects and non-proportional impacts of factors.  In  other words they cannot be decomposed into a set of simpler component systems,  whose equations can be solved by traditional means. The behaviour of the system  as a whole is more than the sum of the behaviour of the component systems.

27th Oct 2011 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Professor Eileen Fischer, Schulich School of Business, York University

Title: Frustrated Fashionistas: Why and How Do Some Consumers Ask for More from Mainstream Marketers?

While prior research has studied consumers who oppose mainstream marketing practices, we lack insight into why and how consumers may mobilize to seek greater inclusion in mainstream markets. Drawing on institutional theory, we offer insights into the reasons why consumers start seeking more options from mainstream marketers, and into the strategies they deploy to influence institutionalized practices. We find that the emergence of a collective consumer identity, the legitimation of desired changes by logics leveraged from adjacent institutional fields, and the identification of institutional entrepreneurs who provide inspiration encourage consumers to engage in efforts to get marketers to better serve them. We also identify three strategies consumers use in those efforts: appealing to institutional logics, lending legitimacy to market actors who make efforts to serve them, and allying with powerful institutional actors.

2nd Nov 2011 - 12:00 pm

Venue: 3rd floor staff lounge (3rd floor of E&B all the way a the end on the left)

Speaker: Fabian Held, USyd PhD Student

Title: Brown Bag: Developing Agent-Based Models of Business Relations and Networks as Complex Adaptive Systems

Brown Bag: This is the kick-off presentation for our new brown bag series.  Fabian, our newest PhD student (formerly of UNSW), will be presenting the progress on his thesis work on agent-based modeling in business networks.  Come help us get our new seminar series off to a great start, share some lunch with friends (authorized by Donnel, our fearless leader) and learn what Fabian is working on so diligently

11th Nov 2011 - 03:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Sonia Vilches-Montero, Bond University

Title: Dual-tasking, temporal embeddedness or having fun: When does time fly?

Time is a major variable of interest to consumer behaviour theory. However, the debate regarding how to conceptualize and theorize time in consumer research still remains unsolved and a "lack of theoretical development" in the discipline has been acknowledged (Bettany & Gatrell, 2009).  Using two experimental studies, this dissertation moves into an exploration of the "neural-clock model" according to which individuals are expected to generate a decision about the passage of time based on the amount of interval-filling information available in memory. Taken together, findings from these two studies show that subjective time deviates from real time, and time perception is significantly affected by active information processing, time delay and stimulus' level of enjoyment.

Most important, findings provide evidence for theoretical discussions and new research avenues. Time perception for events past is significantly distorted when subjects are cued to reconstruct and estimate the experience as a whole, as opposed to retrieving and estimating its different subparts. Both studies illustrate that in time perception "the whole is not equal to the sum of its parts", and this effect is enhanced when duration estimates are produced after a time delay and when subjects perform active stimulus information processing. This is an interesting finding because it provides support to apply literature in event structure and memory psychophysics regarding reconstruction of physical objects and events into time perception research. Thus, findings show that time perception seems to depend on how individuals reconstruct the experience, and not only on the amount of information stored in memory, as the neural-clock model proposes.

We know that misestimating time has profound ramifications on consumer behaviour, and marketing researchers have dedicated considerable effort to understanding the effects that time perceptions play in consumers' decision-making. However, very little is known regarding how marketers may distort the subjective experience of time to their own benefit. This dissertation attempts to fill that gap.

15th Nov 2011 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Hean Tat Keh, Professor of Marketing, UQ Business School, The University of Queensland

Title: The Contextual Effect of Service Separation on Service Failure

Previous research on service failure has focused on 'unseparated' service encounters in which both the production and consumption of the service occur simultaneously, usually in the presence and with the participation of the customer. However, recent research recognizes that some services are separable (i.e. the production and consumption of the service can be separated across time and/or space, and the production may take place in the absence of the customer). Accordingly, the present research examines customers' differential responses to service failures under separated versus unseparated service contexts. Results from two empirical studies indicate that service separation increases customer dissatisfaction for service failure. This is because customers' perceived deprivation of control in the separated service context exacerbates customer dissatisfaction in the event of failure. Furthermore, we find that customer participation level and length of customer-organization relationship have moderating effects on the relationship between failure in the separated service context and customer dissatisfaction.

17th Nov 2011 - 12:00 pm

Venue: 3rd floor staff lounge (3rd floor of E&B all the way at the back on left)

Speaker: Michael Allen, USyd Marketing Staff

Title: Brown Bag: TBA

Brown Bag: The second in our brown bag series.

2nd Dec 2011 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Professor Michael Kleinaltenkamp, School of Business & Economics; Freie Universität Berlin

Title: You'll Never Walk Alone: Value Co-creation in a Usage Centre

SDL emphasizes the importance of value-in-use for the co-creation of value. But little is still known about the processes of value co-creation and how value-in-use is created within. This is especially true when, as it is typical for business-to-business settings, the value is not only co-created with an individual customer but with number of several users in a company. In analogy to the concept of the "buying centre" this group of people can be seen as a "usage centre" consisting of all members of buyer firm that are involved in the usage of a product or service delivered by a supplier.

The paper develops and explores a conceptual model for co-creation process quality. The model identifies nine supplier, customer and joint processes which are subject to quality assessment by the members of usage centre in appraising the solution.

Furthermore, the customer's construction of value from solutions is explored in an industrial maintenance context. Drawing on goal theory, solution quality is related to value for both the customer organization and the individual customer respondent. Through data gained in interviews using the repertory grid technique the constructs by which customers assess both individual and organizational value in this context are elicited. Through this also the various value dimension of the different members of the usage centre as well as the varying process of value co-creation are revealed.