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2013 Seminars

22nd Feb 2013 - 02:30 pm

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

Speaker: Professor Per Vagn Freytag, University of Southern Denmark

Title: How do firms understand their business model; destruction and creation of meaning through the business model

The aim of this conceptual paper is to impart an understanding of how actors create meanings about the firm's business model through interaction processes. In particular we are interested in understanding how business models are shaped through interaction processes (Tikkanen et al. 2005). Actors hold different understandings or beliefs of the business model and give them different meanings (Wieck 1995; Welch & Wilkinson, 2002). These schemas or meanings are essential in the structuring process of the resources and activities which are available. Business models are the manifestations of the meaning creating processes which takes place and evolve over time. Business models make action meaningful and direct intentions yet also limit the repertoire of possible actions. However firms do change their repertoire over time. What is it that drives change in the meaning or understanding of the business model?

Interaction takes places at different levels: within the firm, in dyads and networks. These different levels effect the understanding of the business model and how it works and as actors hold different obligations and take care of different tasks this may imply different understandings of the model. Therefore interaction processes takes place and schemas can collide on a firm and on a network level. Little is known about how these processes takes place and how new mental business models emerges. In this paper based on a comprehensive litterateur review and a case study, different business model understandings are highlighted and a conceptual framework is developed.

28th Feb 2013 - 02:30 pm

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

Speaker: Dr. Adrian Camilleri, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, USA

Title: Translated attributes as choice architecture.

The attributes of alternative choice options can be described in different ways. For example, vehicle fuel economy can be expressed as fuel consumption, the cost of fuel, or carbon emitted. Moreover, each translation can be expressed on a contracted scale such as "per week" or an expanded scale such as "per year".

We ran two sets of online studies in which participants chose between vehicles that differed in their tradeoff between price and fuel economy. The experiments manipulated the number and type of translated attributes expressing these two global dimensions. In one set of online experiments, we found that the presentation of these translated attributes in isolation influenced people's choices in predicable ways. In a second set of online experiments, we found that the presentation of these same translated attributes in combination also influenced people's choices in predicable ways. We attribute these effects to a number of psychological phenomena including metric compatibility, anchoring, goal activation, and use of a counting heuristic. The usefulness of translated attributes as a choice architecture tool that can facilitate informed consumer choices is discussed.

8th Mar 2013 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Darlington Centre Boardroom

Speaker: Associate Professor Carl Yngalk, Stockholm University School of Business

Title: Constituting consuming bodies: food labeling and the bio-politics of consumerism

Consumerism can be understood as a nexus of powerful discourses that construct and link consumption practices to marketplace rationalities. That consumption entails essentially ritual and embodied practices has not been missed by consumer research and the field of consumer culture studies. However, while issues of power and embodiment remain marginalized in the field as such, previous research tend to focus on the individualistic, experiential aspects of consumption, and we know little about the politics of the consuming body and concrete ways in which consumerism at larger levels of scale seeks to construct and manage the ways in which people embody consumption practices. Through qualitative data generated from official documents and interviews with state agency officials as well as food manufacturers and retailers, the study undertakes a discourse analysis of food date labeling (e.g. best-before and use-by dates) in the Swedish market. In accounting for the regulative, organizational and performative dimensions of consumption, the case of food date labeling makes it possible to study consumerist discourses at the intersection of the state, business and consumers. The study shows how a multiplicity of mundane power struggles taking place between the different market actors in the wake of date labeling give rise to particular institutional conditions which constitute embodied consumption practices as controlled, predictable and responsible. As such, the study argues that date labeling reproduces a mind/body dualism of consumer culture by privileging cognition and choice at the cost of the human embodiment and sensory perception.

15th Mar 2013 - 02:00 pm

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

Speaker: Associate Professor Alexander (Sasha) Fedorikhin, Indiana University

Title: But How Did You Expect To Feel?: The Motivated Misremembering of Affective Forecasts

Research  on the hindsight bias has shown that when forecasts and experiences are  discrepant, people often recall their forecast as being closer to the  experience than it actually was.  The present research demonstrates that  people tend to misremember their affective forecasts even when their experience  was similar to their actual forecast.  In a series of studies, both  with real affective forecasts and under strict lab control, we  show that when experiences and expectations align, people recall their  affective forecasts as being less favorable than both their actual  forecasts and their actual experiences. We claim that people misremember their  forecasts so as to make the experience feel more surprising to  them.  Since surprising outcomes are often more elating than expected  outcomes, people feel happier when they misremember their predictions in this  way.  People evidently are motivated to convince themselves that a  good-as-expected experience was unexpectedly good. We demonstrate that people  report greater affective arousal at the time of recall when they misremember  their forecasts. Furthermore, this illusory surprise effect can actually alter  the choices that participants subsequently make.

21st Mar 2013 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215 Economics & Business Building

Speaker: Associate Professor Anna Fyrberg Yngfalk, Stockholm University School of Business

Title: Consumer Communities and Wellbeing: Two Studies on Power and Control in Contemporary Society

Study 1: Control and Power in Online Consumer Tribes - the Role of Confessions

The present study conceptualizes control processes in online consumer tribes by investigating consumers' confession practices. Previous research on consumer tribes tends to be salient about how confession practices facilitate control and the implications for consumer tribal life. Focusing on members' confessions across three online tribal domains of consumption, opera, sports, and cars, we demonstrate how confessions align tribe practices with the common tribe ethos. And we show how this constitutes tribal life as different subject positions that are fundamental for the reproduction of the consumer tribe.

Study 2: Servicing the Body - Power, Service Systems and Consumer Wellbeing

How service systems constitute consumer wellbeing has received renewed interest in service research. Previous research is drawing attention to issues of power and embodiment because wellbeing is assumed to involve health and happiness. Existing studies have not fully explored the role of power in service systems and in particularthe embodied aspects of how power is practiced. Therefore, this study investigates how a service system constructs and manages people as healthy consumers in the context of a weight loss community. Initial results show how consumers and service employees make painful and fierce investments in their bodies in the search for a healthier lifestyle and body for the common good.

28th Mar 2013 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215 Economics & Business Building

Speaker: A/Professor Xiuping Li, Singapore National University Business School,

Title: When Telling the World What You Want to Achieve can be Counterproductive

While some research has shown that publicizing a goal facilitates goal-consistent behavior, other research has demonstrated that it may impede enactment. This study posits that goal publicity backfires when one focuses on expressing the self. Five experiments test this premise. These experiments provide supportive evidence using behavioral goals such as academic excellence and environmental responsibility, and the goals were publicized in different ways (e.g., simply revealing to others one's goal commitment or signing a petition letter). Moreover, it shows that when self-expression orientation is highlighted, goal publicity entails a sense of progress towards goal attainment and subsequently decreases goal-consistent behavior (Experiment 3). Further, this research demonstrates that the backfiring effect depends on the self-expression orientation at the moment a goal is publicized rather than the overtness of the self-concept (Experiments 4 and 5).

4th Apr 2013 - 03:00 pm

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

Speaker: Associate Professor Adam Duhachek, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Title: How Images of Other Consumers Influence Subsequent Taste Perceptions

Images of food are seemingly everywhere, yet the influence that such images have on important consumer outcomes is not well understood.

The authors propose that the effect that image exposure has on taste perceptions largely depends on the interaction between the type of food (hedonic vs. utilitarian) and whether the image shows the food alone (food image) or being consumed by a person (consummatory image). Specifically, the authors show that exposure to consummatory images prior to consumption actually increases taste perceptions relative to food images and that this effect occurs only for hedonic foods.

To explain this effect, the authors argue that seeing an image of someone else indulging in a hedonic food serves as social proof for the appropriateness and acceptability of hedonicconsumption. As such, images of consumers eating act as a licensing agent for real consumers, thereby reducing the conflict associated with the subsequent hedonic consumption experience and in effect, increasing taste perceptions.

The authors test this licensing effect across six studies and eliminate rival explanations pertaining to emotional contagion, goal contagion and source attractiveness.

19th Apr 2013 - 02:00 pm

Venue: The Boardroom, Darlington Centre

Speaker: Associate Professor Peter McGraw, University of Colorado, School of Business

Title: The Psychophysics of Humor

Why can a tragedy be horrifying at one moment, funny in another moment, and not worthy of consideration in yet another? Answering this question has important implications for happiness (e.g., enjoying life), advertising (e.g., targeting the right audience), coping (e.g., transforming pain into pleasure), and common decency (e.g., avoiding "too soon" comedy fails). I examine two factors that jointly influence perceptions of humor: the degree to which a stimulus is a violation and one¿¿¿s perceived distance from the stimulus.

A series of studies reveal that the relationship between psychological distance and perceived humor can be positive (and linear), negative (and linear), or even curvilinear depending on the aversiveness of the stimuli. For example, tragedies are more humorous when temporally, socially, hypothetically, or spatially distant, but mild mishaps are more humorous when psychologically close. Finally, for stimuli that fall somewhere between a tragedy and a mishap, the relationship between psychological distance and perceived humor can be curvilinear; moderately distant stimuli elicit greater humor than stimuli that are either too close or too far away.

The results are predicted by the benign violation theory, which contends that humor occurs when something that seems wrong, threatening, or unsettling (i.e., a violation) also seems okay or acceptable (i.e. benign). Consistent with a benign violation account, our inquiry shows how something that is tragic (a violation) can be transformed by the passage of time (or other distancing, threat-reducing mechanisms) into something that is funny (a benign violation) and then into something that is boring (a benign situation). The findings explain the ubiquity of the quip, ¿¿¿too soon,¿¿¿ and the less commonly uttered, but still apt response, "too late."

An implication of the inquiry is that nearly any aversive situation can be made more or less humorous by varying its perceived distance. I will discuss how the dynamic nature of humor challenges the leading theories of humor and psychological distance. I will conclude by presenting implications for the design of consumption experiences and effective marketing communications.

Link to research paper

25th Jul 2013 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Darlington Centre School Building Room 6

Speaker: Dr. Louise Canning, University of Birmingham Business School

Title: Radical Innovation, Network Competence and the Business of Body Disposition

This seminar examines radical sustainable innovation in the practice of human body disposal. Human disposition is a sector that attracts limited attention in business and management research in general, and in which academics have only recently recognized its inherent sustainability issues. Case study findings will be presented to show the contribution of network competence of 2 UK firms in bringing to market radical sustainable alternatives to existing cremation technology.

20th Sep 2013 - 11:00 am

Venue: Darlington Centre School Building Room 7

Speaker: Dr Robin Canniford, University of Melbourne

Title: Purifying Practices: How Consumers Preserve the Ideal of 'Pure Nature'

Prior consumer research has theorized nature as an ideal stage for consumption experiences by framing nature as the opposite of culture; a place to escape the stress and strain of everyday life and to rejuvenate in a pure, unspoiled environment. The same studies, however, contradict this framing by highlighting the consumer-cultural resources through which nature is harnessed and interpreted. This contradiction is explored through data gathered during an extended, multi-site ethnography of surfing culture. Findings indicate that consumers' experiences of nature emerge from 'a variety of resources that can be characterized as 'consumption assemblages'. By theorizing consumption in this way the research makes three contributions. First, that material geographies are vital to the reproduction of romantic discourses that consumers enjoy. Secondly, that assemblages of romantic nature are characterized by fragility and contestation due to service structures, technological resources and social tensions that betray the ideal of pure nature. And thirdly, that consumers overcome these contradictions through 'purifying practices' that preserve romantic beliefs that nature is the opposite of culture by masking or purging problematic elements of consumption assemblages. The negative environmental effects of these practices are discussed and compared with sustainable purifying practices that redress the damaging impact of consuming nature.

11th Oct 2013 - 11:00 am

Venue: Darlington Centre School Building Room 7

Speaker: Professor Dominique Bouchet, University of Southern Denmark

Title: An analytical History of the Growth of Consumption relating this Growth with the Evolution of Democratic Involvement

An overview of the relationship between modern consumption and modern society and unveil the morality hidden in the consumption of commodities will be presented. The lecturer will present an analytical history of the growth of consumption's role in human lives and express how the ethics of consumption is inscribed and prescribed in this growth. The contradictions between the ethics of democracy acclaimed in modern thought and the ethics of consumption that came to dominate the practices of everyday life in modernity will be explored. For those who seek and praise marketing efficiency in the market, it might be important to stress that the path of socio-economic development makes it more necessary than ever to have a better understanding of the logic at work in the expansion of Western modern consumption models in order to achieve greater understanding and hopefully greater control.

18th Oct 2013 - 11:00 am

Venue: Darlington Centre School Building Room 7

Speaker: Dr. Hayley Fisher, University of Sydney

Title: The economic consequences of relationship breakdown: income shocks and the extended family

When a marriage breaks down, there are unavoidable financial consequences:losing the economies of scale of cohabitation means it is not possible to maintain living standards for all household members. A substantial body of work has shown that in developed economies, the financial burden falls most heavily on women, who experience large falls in equivalised household income. In contrast, household income often increases for men. In this paper, we use data from the British Household Panel Survey to examine what explains this phenomenon. We show that women do experience a greater fall in household income on divorce, and that this fall is most pronounced amongst higher income households. Men do not experience a fall in equivalised household income, and those separating from lower income households experience increasing household resources. However, this superior outcome for men is not all it seems: one important means by which men's household income remains high is their living arrangements. Men are far more likely than women to live with their extended family or other adults, and the additional income of other adults explains a large portion of the difference between men's and women's experiences. Once this additional income has been discounted, men also experience a substantial decrease in resources.

1st Nov 2013 - 11:00 am

Venue: Darlington Centre School Building Room 7

Speaker: Prof. Harmen Oppewal, Monash University

Title: Two studies on the role of place in shopping: 'Place Attachment In Commercial Settings' and 'Satisfaction With The Local Assortment Of Stores'

This presentation will present two separate projects related to the special role of place in the consumer experience.

The first concerns place attachment and considers how consumers develop special emotional bonds with commercial places such as café's, restaurants and stores. We asked consumers in France to reflect on their most special places. Findings reveal that place attachment arises when consumers perceive a place as familiar, authentic and safe. They also perceive a sense of homeyness and increasingly consider the place as part of the domestic realm, with the commercial aspects of the place becoming peripheral. Consumers treasure these special places as valued gifts and are keen to support them. Adopting a gift economy perspective we identify three types of support behaviour: volunteering, over-reciprocation and place ambassadorship.

The second project studies how consumers value their local mix of grocery stores and how different brands and formats contribute to their satisfaction. The study context is the increasing concentration of power in the supermarket sector. We conducted surveys across different locations in the UK, some with very high levels of retail concentration (Tesco over 50% local market share) and some with much lower levels of concentration (no major chain more than 20% local market share). We analyse how consumers evaluate their local mix of grocery stores and how their satisfaction levels vary with the access to and composition of the store mix. Findings reveal that variation in consumer satisfaction is greater within than between the study towns, despite the large difference between the towns' levels of local concentration. Findings also show that consumers are reasonably satisfied as long as there is at least one major supermarket within a close range from their home. Addition of a discounter adds more to consumers' satisfaction than when an outlet of another main grocery chain is added; addition of a second supermarket of the same main grocer adds less value than addition of a different supermarket. This suggests consumers value variety and choice, but there are no signs of dissatisfaction with high levels of concentration.

28th Nov 2013 - 12:00 pm

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

Speaker: Professor Fleura Bardhi, City University London, UK

Title: Non-Ownership Consumption

Ownership and possession practices have dominated the focus of consumer research. Recently, however, firms and consumers are increasingly engaging and utilizing alternative consumption and acquisition practices, such as gifting, sharing, renting, bartering in or outside the market as sustainable, valuable, and at times, profitable substitutes to ownership. Such developments have started to attract the attention of consumer research where recent work has attempted to develop new and reinterpret old conceptual tools and frameworks (e.g., ownership, gift giving, sharing, access based consumption, renting, etc.) to make sense of the emerging non-ownership consumption systems. The purpose of our study is to provide a synthesis and critique of existing literature on non-ownership consumption. We offer a systematic analysis of the various conceptual lenses and theoretical perspectives introduced to understand non-ownership consumption and establish a taxonomy of its various forms.