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Gifford, RoyFactors Contributing to Sustainable Brand Growth
Doctor of Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University, 2017, Management
Brand leaders are responsible for leading brand building activities in very complex systems within organizations (e.g., sales, marketing, operations, finance). Firms spend an enormous amount of resources to support brand building activities in their complex systems. Ad spending worldwide reached $513 billion in 2015, 5% growth versus 2014. Global R&D spending reached $480 billion in 2015. Despite this level of spending and focus, brand deaths occur (e.g., Oldsmobile, Plymouth, and Woolworth Stores). Yet, some (e.g., John Deere) have demonstrated continued brand growth over time. The fact is that some brand leaders are successful at driving brand performance and some are not. What is the secret to staying relevant to consumers across generations of consumers (e.g., Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials)? Research shows that brands with the ability to emotionally connect with their consumers have innovative product offerings that create value with consumers. But, what impact do the feelings and behaviors of brand leaders and consumers have on brand engagement to drive brand performance? I began my research journey (study #1) with the goal of exploring the differences between growing brand leaders and declining brand leaders. I found that leaders who exhibit emotional intelligence, hope, and social identity build stronger emotional connections between their brands and consumers, which leads to sustainable brand growth. In study #2, I explored how organizational behavior impacts a brand leader’s market orientation. This study was the first to link the feelings and behaviors of leaders to market orientation. Based on my findings, I discovered that a brand leader’s shared values with the firm and participation in their brand community impact a firm’s level of market orientation. I believe these findings start to reveal insights into how brand leaders drive business performance by increasing brand engagement with consumers. In study #3, I answered what motivates a consumer to participate in a brand community. I believe these findings will provide key insights to brand leaders trying to build stronger emotional bonds between their brands and consumers. Previous research has shown the outcomes of consumers interacting with brands in a brand community and the results of consumers participating in a brand community. However, there is a gap in research regarding why consumers are motivated to participate in a brand community. I found evidence to suggest that a consumer’s conformity motivation, brand loyalty, and attachment style increase their brand community participation. This research shows that the feelings and behaviors of brand leaders and consumers increase brand engagement to drive brand performance. I found that the brand community is a source of the emotional connection that drives engagement between the brand leader and the brand as well as the consumer and the brand. It is truly a tale of two individuals (brand leader and consumer) engaging with the brand at a crossroads called brand community. I believe these will be important learnings for researchers and practitioners who seek to understand this phenomenon to position their brands for sustainable long-term growth.

Committee:

Casey Newmeyer (Committee Chair); William Ross (Committee Member); Rakesh Niraj (Committee Member); James Gaskin (Committee Member); Roger Saillant (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Management; Marketing; Organizational Behavior

Keywords:

emotional intelligence; market orientation; brand community; sustainable brand growth; brand leaders; consumers

Alexiou, KostasOrganizational Legitimacy in Entrepreneurial Contexts: Hybridity, Crowdfunding, and Social Entrepreneurship
PHD, Kent State University, 2017, College of Business Administration / Department of Marketing
This dissertation contains three essays investigating entrepreneurship under conditions of institutional uncertainty; conditions in which clear, well-defined rules or logics are not available. Under such conditions, new organizations experience greater difficulty in building legitimacy, a critical first step for new ventures seeking capital and other necessary resources. This dissertation builds on prior research in social entrepreneurship, conceptualizing social enterprise as a type of hybrid organization - organizations that combine institutional logics in new and often unexpected ways - and explores the effects that hybridity has on legitimacy and crowdfunding outcomes. Essay 1 develops and validates a multi-dimensional, perceptual measure of legitimacy over the course of five studies. While this dissertation is focused on the context of entrepreneurship, a measure of perceived legitimacy should be most useful to researchers interested in the “microfoundations” of institutional theory. Essays 2 focuses on social entrepreneurship (social enterprise) as a form of hybrid organization. By definition, social entrepreneurs use market-based mechanisms to achieve a specific social cause or purpose. As a result, they simultaneously act as both a commercial organization as well as a charity, resulting in what is referred to as a hybrid identity. This can create conflicting sets of expectations in terms of how these organizations should behave, which can be a threat to an organization’s legitimacy. Essay 2 uses an experimental design and the measures developed in Essay 1 to examine how social entrepreneurs’ hybrid identities, in combination with the organization’s chosen legal form (for-profit, non-profit, B-Corp), influence perceptions of the different dimensions of organizational legitimacy. Essay 3 examines the relationship between social entrepreneurs’ hybrid identities and legitimacy by exploring the success/failure of crowdfunding campaigns. Using data gathered from a unique crowdfunding platform specific to social enterprise, the results of this study demonstrate that contrary to what prior research would predict, communicating a hybrid identity improves crowdfunding outcomes for social entrepreneurs. The results show that emphasizing the utilitarian elements of a hybrid identity has a positive effect on the amount of capital raised in a crowdfunding campaign due to the legitimate distinctiveness it bestows on these types of organizations.

Committee:

Jennifer Wiggins (Committee Chair); César Zamudio (Committee Member); Greta Polites (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Marketing

Keywords:

social entrepreneurship; social enterprise; hybrid organizations; legitimacy; measurement; crowdfunding

Wang, ValerieHumor Usage by Salespeople: A Socio-Psychological Inquiry of Antecedents and Outcomes in Professional Selling
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2017, Individual Interdisciplinary Program
As a cue for laughter in interpersonal communications, humor has been observed in various professional selling occasions. This dissertation aims at quantitatively investigate the antecedents and outcomes of salespeople’s humor usage in sales communications. A research framework with ten hypotheses is built to describe why or when humor messages are created by salespeople, and then why or how humor messages, as an interpersonal sales communication tool, influence various performance outcomes in professional selling. It is proposed that humor usage by salespeople is positively influenced by higher creativity, stronger learning orientation, greater sales effort, and a higher degree of role stress represented by role ambiguity, role conflict, and task overload. In turn, humor usage by salespeople may positively influence customer relationship quality in terms of trust, commitment, and relationship satisfaction, as well as salespeople’s job performance. To test the hypotheses, a series of multiple regression analyses are performed using survey data collected from 407 salespeople. The results provide insights about salespeople humor usage in a number of aspects. First, creative salespeople are more likely to find the appropriate and actionable contextual cues to form humor messages in professional selling. Second, with higher learning orientation through routine observation and interaction with customers, peers, and competitors, salespeople can become more adept at creating humor messages for particular customers and situations. Third, humor usage is a stress reliever for stressed salespeople who encounter role ambiguity. Fourth, through improving customers’ cognitive and affective experiences, salespeople’s humor usage in sales communications ultimately enhances customer relationship quality and job performance. Overall, the findings suggest that salespeople humor usage in sales communications act as a useful marketing mechanism that produces positive organizational outcomes. The new knowledge created by this dissertation not only offers a fresh perspective for researchers, but also shed light on sales management practices and marketing communications.

Committee:

Gregory Newton (Committee Chair); Parul Jain (Committee Member); Catherine Axinn (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Marketing

Keywords:

Marketing; Sales Communication; Learning Orientation; Creativity; Job Performance; Customer Relationship

Yang, LiuEffect of product review interactivity, social inequality, and culture on trust in online retailers: A comparison between China and the U.S.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Bowling Green State University, 2017, Media and Communication
This study is the first study that compared the predicting strength of the effect of the micro factor (interactivity of product review use experiences) and macro factors (social inequality and culture) on consumers’ trust in online retailers. It examines the predictor of online trust by information asymmetry theory, reciprocity, in-group favoritism and out-group derogation, and social presence. Consumers of the two largest e-commerce sites in the United States and China, Amazon and Tmall, are compared. The results show the interactivity of product use experience is the strongest predictor of consumers’ trust in online retailers compared to social inequality and culture. The interactivity is positively related to consumers’ trust in famous brands, third-party retailers, and fulfilled third-party retailers of both Amazon and Tmall. In contrast, social inequality is negatively related to consumers’ trust in famous brands, third-party retailers, and fulfilled third-party retailers of both Amazon and Tmall. Individualism is positively related to trust in third-party retailers while collectivism is positively related to trust in third-party retailers fulfilled by Amazon or Tmall. Power distance exerts a positive impact on trust in famous brands only. Collectivism plays a more critical role in predicting trust in fulfilled online retailers in Chinese sample than in the U.S. sample. The relationship of trust in online retailers and consumers’ actual online purchases is different across countries. Trust in online retailers is an important direct predictor of online purchase diversity and indirect predictor of the amount of money spent online in both the U.S. and China. And it is a direct predictor of online purchase frequency in the U.S., but an indirect predictor of purchase frequency in China. Trust in online retailers is positively related to the amount of money spent on Amazon/Tmall indirectly by affecting shopping frequency on Amazon/Tmall.

Committee:

Louisa Ha, Professor (Advisor); Gi Woong Yun, Associate Professor (Committee Member); Lisa Hanasono, Associate Professor (Committee Member); Philip Titus, Associate Professor (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Comparative; Information Technology; Marketing; Mass Communications; Mass Media; Social Research

Keywords:

interactivity; online trust; product reviews;e-commerce;social inequality;culture;comparative study;China;US

Lipkin, IlyaTesting Software Development Project Productivity Model
Doctor of Philosophy in Manufacturing and Technology Management, University of Toledo, 2011, Manufacturing and Technology Management

Software development is an increasingly influential factor in today’s business environment, and a major issue affecting software development is how an organization estimates projects. If the organization underestimates cost, schedule, and quality requirements, the end results will not meet customer needs. On the other hand, if the organization overestimates these criteria, resources that could have been used more profitably will be wasted.

There is no accurate model or measure available that can guide an organization in a quest for software development, with existing estimation models often underestimating software development efforts as much as 500 to 600 percent. To address this issue, existing models usually are calibrated using local data with a small sample size, with resulting estimates not offering improved cost analysis.

This study presents a conceptual model for accurately estimating software development, based on an extensive literature review and theoretical analysis based on Sociotechnical Systems (STS) theory. The conceptual model serves as a solution to bridge organizational and technological factors and is validated using an empirical dataset provided by the DoD.

Practical implications of this study allow for practitioners to concentrate on specific constructs of interest that provide the best value for the least amount of time. This study outlines key contributing constructs that are unique for Software Size E-SLOC, Man-hours Spent, and Quality of the Product, those constructs having the largest contribution to project productivity. This study discusses customer characteristics and provides a framework for a simplified project analysis for source selection evaluation and audit task reviews for the customers and suppliers.

Theoretical contributions of this study provide an initial theory-based hypothesized project productivity model that can be used as a generic overall model across several application domains such as IT, Command and Control, Simulation and etc¿¿¿ This research validates findings from previous work concerning software project productivity and leverages said results in this study. The hypothesized project productivity model provides statistical support and validation of expert opinions used by practitioners in the field of software project estimation.

Committee:

Jeen Su Lim (Committee Chair); James Pope (Committee Member); Michael Mallin (Committee Member); Michael Jakobson (Committee Member); Wilson Rosa (Advisor)

Subjects:

Aerospace Engineering; Armed Forces; Artificial Intelligence; Business Administration; Business Costs; Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Economic Theory; Economics; Electrical Engineering; Engineering; Industrial Engineering; Information Science; Information Systems; Information Technology; Management; Marketing; Mathematics

Keywords:

"Software Estimation"; "Software Cost Model"; "Department of Defense Data"; COCOMO; "Software Project Productivity Model"

Surrarrer, Caroline ABEHIND THE LABELS: LIBBY PAYNE, FASHION DESIGNER FOR "MRS. MAIN STREET AMERICA"
MA, Kent State University, 2016, College of the Arts / School of Art
BEHIND THE LABELS: LIBBY PAYNE, FASHION DESIGNER FOR “MRS. MAIN STREET AMERICA” Abstract This research sought to explore the life and career of Elizabeth “Libby” Miller Payne (1917-1997). The history of American ready-to-wear (RTW) is filled with unknown fashion designers who worked “behind the scenes” for manufacturers. This was especially true in the mid-20th century between the advent of manufactured women’s clothing and the rise of the celebrity fashion designer. In downtown department stores and boutiques all over the country, consumers purchased moderately-price styles created by names that never appeared on a label. One of these was Elizabeth “Libby” Miller Payne (1917-1987), a prolific designer whose career spanned fifty years in the New York ready-to-wear industry. Libby Payne designed hundreds of garments for “Mrs. Main Street America” under well-recognized moderate price-point labels such as Bobbie Brooks, Jonathan Logan, Beau Baker, David Warren, and John Henry. Libby’s designs “sold like hotcakes.” One of Libby’s most successful, Bobbie Brooks Style #862, sold 100,000 in its first two months on the market. The purpose of this research study was to investigate the life and work of creative talent, Libby Payne, situating her in the context of the mid-20th century American fashion industry, and utilizing her history as a vehicle for understanding the evolution of moderate price-point labels, designers, suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers during this critical time. Although the name, Libby Payne was previously unknown, her creations filled the retail selling floors and closets of “Mrs. Main Street America” from the 1930’s through the 1980’s. Throughout her long career, Libby experienced the evolution of the fashion industry first-hand, from her first position in a New York manufacturer’s workroom to retirement as a sometime freelance designer with a showroom and offsite production. Her story can provide insights to the business behind accessible ready-to-wear clothing, the evolution of the fashion designer, and secrets to success in this role. Libby Payne worked in fashion for more than half of her life, and her experiences can be viewed as a lens that reflects the American industry’s growth and change. Her legacy can inform us of the way the ready-to-wear industry has evolved into what it is today.

Committee:

Catherine Leslie, Dr. (Advisor); Jean Druesedow (Committee Member); Pamela Grimm, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American History; Families and Family Life; Fine Arts; Home Economics; Marketing; Modern History

Keywords:

ready-to-wear industry; mid-twentieth century fashion designer; unknown fashion designer; moderate price point labels

Gebacz, Chloe CWhy So Short?: The Changing World of the Short Film Industry and Online Distribution
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Ohio University, 2015, Business Administration
This thesis examines the short film industry and how it is adapting to new online viewing platforms. It first aims to answer why short filmmakers create short films when they perform in the marketplace as an economically irrational investment. It finds several conclusions including gaining experience, funding a feature film, exploring a new genre, and escaping Hollywood pressures. After concluding why short films are made, this paper studies what the current model for short film distribution is – the film festival – observing a current oversaturation within the festival market, as well as the struggles to be noticed in a festival as a short filmmaker. Alternatively this thesis examines a new form of distribution for short filmmakers: online distribution. It explores what online distribution looks like for a short filmmaker in terms of financial earnings and audience availability. Additionally it closely studies two major players in the online video industry: YouTube and Vimeo. This thesis concludes with a comparison of festival distribution versus online distribution, as well as recommendations for future research in the short film industry.

Committee:

Garth Coombs, Dr. (Advisor)

Subjects:

Business Community; Film Studies; Marketing; Mass Media; Motion Pictures

Keywords:

short film, online distribution, film festival, festival model

Saks, Jeremy M.Demographic Congruency, Advertisements, and Television Shows: The Effect of Advertisement Viewing on Television Show Evaluation
Master of Science (MS), Ohio University, 2013, Journalism (Communication)
This thesis examines demographic congruency between television shows and advertisements and the effects that it has on program evaluation. Two groups of college- aged participants watched the same popular television show for their age group but some saw commercials targeted at them while others saw advertisements for products and services for elderly people. Theoretically based on Mandler's discrepancy/evaluation theory, results showed that individuals exposed to demographically incongruent advertisements explicitly evaluated the television show less favorably than those that saw congruent commercials. Additionally, an implicit associations test found marginally significant and contrasting results where the demographically incongruent advertisements led to a higher liking among those who viewed them along with the show. The results, as well as potential explanations, are discussed.

Committee:

Carson Wagner, PhD (Committee Chair); Jatin Srivastava, PhD (Committee Member); Hans Meyer, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Experimental Psychology; Experiments; Journalism; Marketing; Mass Communications; Mass Media; Psychology; Social Psychology

Keywords:

television; advertising; demographics; congruency; incongruency; experiment; Mandler; expectancy; disconfirmation

Niculescu, MihaiTowards a Unified Treatment of Risk and Uncertainty in Choice Research
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2009, Business Administration : Business Administration

This dissertation investigates substantive questions developed from Kahneman and Tversky's behavioral choice theory. Behavioral choice theory postulates systematic departures from economically rational behavior when consumers face choices described incompletely or probabilistically. Previous research relies nearly exclusively on monetary options, which are intrinsically unidimensional and exhibit monotone utility. These special properties are likely to influence the frequency of preference reversals and other so-called non-rational behaviors in human decision-making.

Four contributions emerge from this research. First, I extend the idea of risky choices from monetary to non-monetary options and build a theoretical framework with a foundation in prospect theory and reason-based choice. Second, I test the effect of multidimensional vs. unidimensional non-monetary options on choice focusing on both within- and between-dimensional risk. Third, I examine loss aversion across segments and relate an aggregation fallacy to contradictory results in the literature. Fourth, I suggest an extension of Kahneman and Tversky's behavioral choice theory by incorporating options with missing information.

I use three discrete choice experiments to generate decision schema by segments of individuals sharing similar utility functions. Latent class discrete-choice models isolate the direction and magnitude of value for each attribute (level) of a set of multi-attribute options. They do so in choice domains involving both monetary and non-monetary attributes and operate effectively at both the aggregate and segment levels. As such, they support the rigorous design of experiments that circumvent the need to rely on monetary gambles.

Study 1 investigates the influence of monetary (vs. non-monetary) goals on multidimensional risky choice when full information on reference points is available to an individual. Findings support goal-driven behavior, but reveal only limited evidence to support predictions from prospect theory. Findings also suggest that loss aversion is goal-dependent; i.e., loss aversion is higher for attributes that match consumer goals than for those that do not. Furthermore, the effect is more pronounced for high (vs. low) need for cognitive closure individuals.

Study 2 tests the effect of present (vs. absent) reference points on risky multidimensional choice. Exogenously supplied reference points may help a consumer assess alternatives by offering an explicit demarcation between gains and losses. This baseline may also reduce perceived risk. Results indicate higher partworth utility for levels of an attribute when a reference point is provided for that attribute than when it is not. The study also finds that individuals exhibit varying levels of loss aversion for monetary options but contrary to prospect theory no significant loss aversion for non-monetary options. Similar to study 1, study 2 only partially corroborates expectations from prospect theory.

Study 3 extends the application of prospect theory to choice alternatives characterized by missing information. Missing information means that neither outcome values nor outcome probabilities are known. Results suggest that the information context in which choices are made induces a meta-order on preference judgments: risk ≻ uncertain ≻ absent.

Overall, the results reported here suggest that the literature – citing findings based uniquely on choices between monetary options – may not hold for non-monetary options and that new behavioral theory is needed to explain risky multidimensional choice.

Committee:

David J. Curry, PhD (Committee Chair); Frank R. Kardes, PhD (Committee Member); Jordan J. Louviere, PhD (Committee Member); James J. Kellaris, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Marketing

Keywords:

prospect theory; discrete choice experiments; omission neglect; reason-based choice; loss aversion

CUI, DAPENGPRODUCT SELECTION AGENTS: A DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK AND PRELIMINARY APPLICATION
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2003, Business Administration : Marketing
This dissertation explores a new class of intelligent software agents called product selection agents (PSA) and proposes a business model based on the concept. A product selection agent is an intelligent software agent, coupled with comprehensive databases, that performs product selection and associated functions on behalf of its clients. This dissertation investigates properties these agents must have in order to fulfill functions suggested by the literature in consumer decision-making and by trends in e-commerce. We also provided rationale for the development of product selection agents. We present a new typology of decision scenarios explicitly for the world of e-commerce. In the typology, the most difficult decision scenario is to select products that are best for the client who lacks well-developed preferences and who does not have the ability to construct preferences priori to a decision. Through a series of experiments we show that the Support Vector Machine can be applied to overcome design barriers and fulfill the goals of the client.To illustrate the design principles, we discuss how to build an agent for the pharmaceutical industry, labeled Case 4, in the most difficult context. The PSA will help diabetics select glucose meters that best meet their needs, particularly as these needs change as a function of stage of diseases, life style, demographics, and the client's economic status. The agent will also serve physicians specializing in the treatment of diabetes, most of whom cannot keep current about products on the market, their functioning, their costs, and other aspects regarding the appropriateness of a given product or product bundle for a given patient. Further, because all participants in the industry share the agent through the Internet, they will be able to exchange information in real time, thus integrating the industry using the agent as infomediary.

Committee:

David J. Curry (Advisor)

Subjects:

Business Administration, Marketing

Keywords:

product selection agent; support vector machine; E-Commerce; diabetes

Rotte, Kristin N.Destination ‘e’: Detecting and Managing Customer Uncertainty in a Forced Migration Initiative Within a Business-to-Business Market
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2002, Business Administration : Marketing

Current trends of rapidly advancing technology and consolidation within markets have contributed to making customer migration a necessity for the survival of firms. Customer migration refers to the process of moving existingcustomers from their current product/service (or channel) to a new, improved one. Despite the large amount of anecdotal evidence pointing to the difficulties and uncertainties experienced by customers and suppliers when engaging a migration situation, this issue has received scarce attention in the academic literature.

The objectives of this research are to understand the: (a) drivers of customer uncertainty in a forced migration situation, (b) impact of marketing interventions (e.g., targeting) and firm-specific relationship variables (e.g., complexity) on mitigating uncertainty and fostering migration (vs. defection), (c) indicators of customer vulnerability (who are the defectors?), (d) timing of migration decisions (who is likely to defer choice?) and (e) potential time-dependent effects of marketing interventions on the specific migration decision.

The setting for the investigation is the financial services industry. The innovation, Electronic Retirement Plan (ERP), pertains to the offering of retirement plans for small firms, via the Internet. The data for the research come from (a) a pre-market study conducted in April 1999 focused on assessing perceptions and migration intentions toward ERP, and (b) actual migration data (both choice and timing) in the 28 months following the introduction of ERP into the marketplace.

The research proceeds within two studies. In Study 1 (n=265), employing the pre-market research and actual migration data for firms currently facing a forced migration to ERP, I utilize the recently developed JUMP model (Chandrashekaran, et al. 2000), which, given one measure of a stated intention, statistically and simultaneously separates the drivers of intention magnitude from those of intention uncertainty. Next, I introduce the Fuzzy Intention Translation (FIT) model of migration behavior that illustrates the fuzzy intention-behavior link by articulating a psychological mechanism within which uncertainty-laden intentions translate into actual behavior.

In Study 2 (n=940), two stages of analysis are conducted to understand the role of marketing actions and relationship-specific variables on the timing and probability of migration. In the first stage, I utilize a split-hazard duration model to investigate the effects of variables on the timing of migration decisions, while accounting for a portion of customers who will resist making a migration decision. In the second stage, I examine the potential time-dependent nature of the migration process by estimating the effects of marketing actions and relationship-specific variables at various periods of the migration decision process.

Committee:

Dr. Frank Kardes (Advisor)

Subjects:

Business Administration, Marketing

Keywords:

customer migration; customer uncertainty resolution; customer relationship management; choice deferral; translation of fuzzy intentions

Son, JiyeonFactors Related to Choosing between the Internet and a Financial Planner
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2012, Human Ecology: Family Resource Management
In this dissertation, I aim to clarify the factors affecting a consumers’ choice between the Internet and a financial planner for making saving and investment decisions, based on household production theory. Moreover, I explore the likelihood of an individual being an Internet user (vs. a non-user), a financial planner user (vs. a non-user), a mixed user (vs. a non-user), an Internet user (vs. a mixed user) or a financial planner user (vs. a mixed user). First, using the data from the combined set of 2001, 2004, and 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), I investigated the proportion of U.S. households using the Internet, a financial planner, both, or neither. I found that Internet usage for making saving and investment decisions grew from 12% in 2001 to 20% in 2007. In contrast, financial planner usage statistics for the same purpose slightly decreased during the same period, from 18% to 15%. More interestingly, the proportion of mixed users, who use the Internet in addition to a financial planner, increased from 4% to 7%. Extending these results to multivariate analyses, I tested whether or not time constraints, monetary constraints, and human resource constraints affect a consumer’s choice between using the Internet and a financial planner. I found that monetary constraints and human resource constraints affected consumer decisions in choosing between the Internet and a financial planner, which supports household production theory. Unlike my hypothesis, however, time constraints (e.g., working hours per week, presence of a young child under the age of 5) did not bear any significant relationship in making a choice between the Internet and a financial planner. Moreover, the effects of time constraints were not found to be significant on the likelihood of being an Internet user, a financial planner user, and a mixed user. Overall, these results suggest that younger consumers with a Bachelor’s degree and less financial assets are more likely to use the Internet, instead of a financial planner or in addition to the financial planner.

Committee:

Jiyeon Son (Advisor); Sherman Hanna, PhD (Advisor); Kathryn Stafford, PhD (Committee Member); Stephen Cosslett, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Finance; Marketing; Social Research

Keywords:

The Internet; a financial planner; household production theory; Survey of Consumer Finances; Information search; saving and investment decision-making

Chang, KyungroA systems view of quality in fitness services: development of a model and scales
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 1998, EDU Teaching and Learning

The primary purposes of this study were to (a) present a conceptual framework highlighting the elements generic to all services as well as those unique to fitness services, (b) propose a scheme of conceptually distinct dimensions of quality in fitness services, (c) develop scales to measure quality in fitness services, satisfaction, and intentions to renew membership, and (d) verify if the conceptual framework was empirically supported.

Based on the systems perspective of the production and consumption of services, it was postulated that any assessment of overall quality in fitness services must include customer perceptions and reactions to the input, throughput, and output stages of service delivery process. Thus, the conceptual framework for the study included nine dimensions of quality—Service Climate, Management Commitment to Service Quality, and Programs in the input stage; Interpersonal Interaction, Task Interaction, Contact with Physical Environment, Contact with Other Clients, and Service Failures and Recovery in the throughput stage, and Perceived Service Quality in the output stage. In addition, Customer Satisfaction divided into (a) satisfaction with services and (b) satisfaction with personal involvement, and their Renewal Intentions were also included in the model.

Seventy one items were generated to measure the nine dimensions of service quality, 12 items to measure the two facets of satisfaction, and 6 items to measure renewal intentions. The purification and confirmation of the above subscales were carried out with the data of two sets of respondents (178 members from three fitness clubs in the scale pruification stage and 354 fitness club members from five different clubs in the confirmatory stage). Item analyses (including item-to-total correlations and internal consistency estimates—Cronbach's alpha, and confirmatory factor analysis) involving the first data set resulted in a 45-item scale to measure the nine dimensions, 10 items to measure the two satisfaction facets and five items to measure renewal intentions.

Confirmatory factor analyses (LIRSEL 8) with the second data set showed fair to good fit between the data and the subscale structure of the Scale of Quality in Fitness Services (SQFS). The overall fit of the measurement model (SQFS) showed fair fit, X2 (909) = 2570.62, p < .01 (X2/df=2.83), RMSEA = .07, GFI = .75, AGFI = .72, NFI = .82, CFI = .84. The scales of clients' satisfaction and renewal intentions were also tested and confirmed using the same procedures as with SQFS.

Two structural models specifying the relationships among clients' perceptions of service quality, satisfaction, and renewal intentions—(a) perceived quality ¿ satisfaction ¿ renewal intention, and (b) satisfaction ¿ perceived quality ¿ renewal intention— were subjected to empirical verification. Results showed that model with clients' satisfaction as an intervening variable had slightly better fit (X2 (53) = 405.92, p < .01, RMSEA = .13, GFI = .82, AGFI = .74, NFI = .88, CFI = .90) than model positing service quality as a mediating variable (X2 (53) = 515.66, p < .01, RMSEA = .16, GFI = .77, AGFI = .66, NFI = .84, CFI = .86).

Finally, multivariate and univariate analyses showed that males and females differed in their perception of quality of program (F = 7.138, p < .01). Females perceived higher quality of program than males. Gender's effect was also significant on both satisfaction with service (F = 3.87, p = .05) and satisfaction with personal involvement (F = 3.99, p < .05). Females relative to males were more satisfied with both the services and personal involvement.

Committee:

P. Chelladurai (Advisor)

Subjects:

Management; Marketing; Physical Education

Hodges, Blake EdwardInnovativeness and Online Shopping Adoption
Master of Arts in Psychology, Cleveland State University, 2009, College of Science
This study was designed to examine the role of innovativeness in online shopping. Innovativeness is one of the more widely studied phenomena in the domain of consumer research and is said to play a prominent role in the adoption of new products (Im, Bayus & Mason, 2003, Midgley & Dowling, 1978). However, issues regarding the validity of the innovativeness construct as well as its scales still remain. Using responses from an online survey given in the United States regarding online shopping habits, the effectiveness and validity of two innovativeness scales were examined both alone as well as in larger models which incorporate other variables. Direct relationships were examined with simple correlation, while the role of the types of innovativeness with other variables was tested using regression. Finally, complete models were tested using structural equation modeling. Results indicate that when used alone, the innovativeness scales are significantly related to the adoption of online shopping. However, it was found that the Doman Specific Innovativeness scale (DSI) as a predictor becomes ineffective in predicting online purchase frequency when used in a model which incorporates a measure of purchase intention. However, this effect was not seen for a new scale, the General Shopping Innovativeness scale (GSI). Results of this study will allow researchers to better understand and measure the innovativeness construct as well as increase marketers understanding of when and why people are likely to adopt innovations.

Committee:

Brian Blake, PhD (Committee Chair); Kimberly Neuendorf, PhD (Committee Member); Ernest Park, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Marketing; Psychology

Keywords:

innovativeness; online shopping; online shopping adoption

Fitzgerald, JenniferLaws, Hall & Associates, Hallmark Flowers
Bachelor of Science in Business, Miami University, 2003, School of Business Administration - Marketing
Laws, Hall & Associates is an interdisciplinary class combining marketing, communication and graphic design students. Each semester, a “real world” client joins the program and gives a charge for three teams to complete. The charge is specific to an area of the client’s business that they hope to improve. Each of the three teams works independently of each other, with equal access to the client and an identical budget, in a competition to produce the best multi-media campaign for the client. I participated in Laws, Hall & Associates in the fall of 2002 where our client was Hallmark Flowers. Teams consist of approximately twenty students, with an Account Executive responsible for management of the team along with three directors of marketing, communication, and graphic design. This thesis deals with leadership styles and the effect that leaders have on team dynamics. I posit that teams take on the personality of its leader and subsequently perform as such. I have written about my experiences on my team and conclusions that I can draw from those experiences. The majority of my outside data comes as qualitative analysis, as I have conducted eleven interviews from various members of each of the three teams, including all three Account Executives. I probed them on the subjects such as: leadership style, team-building, relationships among the team, motivation, time management, team conflicts, decision making, and their attitude toward the other two teams. I am utilizing Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins to analyze the Account Executives leadership abilities. Good To Great looks at the factors that drive a good company to become a great company. Collins and his research team concluded that it takes disciplined people, disciplined thought and disciplined action to be successful in making this transition. I compare the Account Executives from the three teams to some of Collins’ key factors including Level 5 Leadership, Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith), and A Culture of Discipline. Good To Great lead me to see clearer the distinction between good leaders and great leaders, and what it takes to lead a good team to greatness. My findings supported my hypothesis that the behavior and leadership style of the Account Executive dictates how the team operates throughout the semester as well as how they perform. All three teams as a unit took on the personality of the Account Executive. Team conflicts corresponded with the actions of the Account Executive, as did the autonomy and motivation that the team had. I have several recommendations for future Laws, Hall & Associates. First, it is essential for the Account Executives to realize the profound effect that their personality and leadership style has on the team. Secondly, it is important to build team unity from the very beginning. Thirdly, I believe in the idea of Level 5 leadership and the other factors that Collins and his research team laid out and think that future Account Executives could benefit from his literature as well. Lastly, it is essential to remember that one of the most important parts of this experience is to appreciate the work that students of other disciplines create and learn how to work with them.

Committee:

Timothy Greenlee (Advisor)

Subjects:

Business Administration, Marketing

Smith, Derrin W.Place Marketing and the Image of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio
MA, Kent State University, 2011, College of Arts and Sciences / Department of Geography
A number of organizations promote places to gain a competitive advantage in a market through place marketing. Successful place marketing and re-imaging can attract tourists, appeal to inward investment, and build and maintain confidence among local residents. The purpose of my thesis is to compare current place marketing strategies with those suggested by the literature and professionals, and to determine if the marketing is effective in creating, restoring, or reiterating positive images of Cleveland, Akron, and Northeast Ohio. First, I examined the region's place image, and then I investigated local place marketing organizations. To determine the region’s image, I searched for impressions that residents and nonresidents have by examining computer mediated communication and media portrayals. To evaluate the current place marketing practices, I conducted interviews of key figures in specific Northeast Ohio marketing organizations, and I analyzed their marketing materials. The results include information about the region's current image from residents and outsiders, and I conclude with policy implications on future place marketing in the region.

Committee:

David Kaplan, Dr. (Advisor); Emariana Taylor, Dr. (Committee Member); Thomas Schmidlin, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Area Planning and Development; Geography; Marketing; Regional Studies; Soil Sciences; Urban Planning

Keywords:

Cleveland; Northeast Ohio; Akron; place marketing; place branding

Ha, YoungThe influence of online visual merchandising on consumer emotions: moderating role of consumer involvement
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2006, Textiles and Clothing
The purpose of this research was to investigate (1) the effects of web cues – central cues (product-related stimuli) and peripheral cues (stimuli not directly related to the product) – on emotions, (2) the influence of emotions on consumer response behaviors (satisfaction, purchase intention, and approach behaviors), (3) the effects of consumer involvement (product involvement and situational involvement) as a moderator of the relationship between web cues and emotions, and (4) the mediating effects of emotions on the relationship between web cues and response behaviors. The current research consists of two studies. In a between-subjects experiment with one factor (peripheral cues) having two levels (presence vs. absence), Study 1 found: (1) main effects for peripheral cues on consumer emotions, (2) a stronger effect for peripheral cues on pleasure and arousal for consumers with a low level of clothing product involvement rather than with a high level of clothing product involvement, (3) direct effects of consumer emotions on purchase intention and approach behaviors, and (4) indirect effects of peripheral cues on consumer response behaviors via emotions. Employing a 2 (situational involvement: high vs. low) x 2 (central cues: medium vs. high amount) x 2 (peripheral cues: presence vs. absence) between subjects’ factorial design, Study 2 revealed: (1) direct effects for central cues on pleasure and for peripheral cues on arousal, (2) the influence of pleasure and arousal on consumer response behaviors, (3) the effects for central cues on consumer emotions under high situational involvement (purchasing situation) and effects for peripheral cues on emotions under low situational involvement (browsing situation), and (4) the mediating effects of consumer emotions on the relationship between web cues and consumer response behaviors. The findings of this research provide valuable information for apparel online retailers developing successful apparel online stores using various web cues that may attract both online browsers and purchasers.

Committee:

Sharron Lennon (Advisor)

Subjects:

Business Administration, Marketing

Keywords:

apparel online shopping; visual merchandising; involvement; emotions

Rajagopal, PriyaliConsumer categorization and evaluation of ambiguous products
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2004, Business Administration
This dissertation examines how evaluations of ambiguous products can be influenced by controlling the categorization of such products. Ambiguous products refer to products that may be categorized into alternative categories (e.g. crossover vehicles such as the Chevy Avalanche and Pontiac Aztec). Little is known about how consumers categorize and evaluate these products. We combine two different streams of literature – traditional categorization and psycholinguistics – to examine (1) how categorization of ambiguous products can be controlled, (2) how categorization impacts evaluations and (3) how evaluations can be increased. One of the contributions of this research will be to show that consumer acceptance can be controlled simply through the control of consumer categorization processes rather than through traditional persuasion techniques. From a theoretical standpoint, this dissertation will contribute to the categorization literature by providing a better understanding of the linkages between categorization, inferences and evaluation. Further, the finding that product inferences are not restricted to a single category, but can be induced across multiple categories will be a radical departure from traditional categorization literature, which predicts that inferences are derived only from within a category. From a managerial perspective, the findings of this dissertation will allow marketers to develop cues that can control product categorization which will impact the inferences made about the product and ultimately influence consumer evaluations of the new product.

Committee:

Robert Burnkrant (Advisor)

Subjects:

Business Administration, Marketing

Keywords:

Categorization; Ambiguity; New Products

Fonseca Leao, Iara M.Brand Brasil: A Comparative Analysis of the Brazil Country Image in the United States and Brazil
Master of Arts (MA), Ohio University, 2012, Latin American Studies (International Studies)
In the past decades, countries have been adopting the trend of creating their own Nation Brand and to manage them as commercial brands, establishing their brand identities and brand strategies, resulting in their brand image. The focus of this thesis was to analyze how Brand Brazil is perceived in the United States and Brazil, by business people. Brazil developed, officially, its Brand Brazil in early 2000’s, and by 2003 there was already an Agency, called APEX-Brasil, designated to manage and promote the image of Brazil abroad. APEX-Brasil, currently, supports 81 sectors of Brazil’s economy, supports over 10,000 Brazilian companies and has promoted Brand Brazil in over 3,000 presentations worldwide for audiences of entrepreneurs, investors and trend-setters. For this thesis, an extended focus group study, with instrument containing qualitative and quantitative written questions in English and Portuguese was conducted. With the results was possible to set patterns and make comparisons between the perception from North- Americans and Brazilians. This thesis also presents recommendations to expand the promotion of Brazil for the United States market.

Committee:

Yong Wang, PhD (Committee Chair); Catherine Axinn, PhD (Committee Member); Patrick Barr-Melej, PhD (Committee Member); Jose Delgado, PhD (Advisor)

Subjects:

Business Administration; Business Education; Latin American Studies; Marketing

Keywords:

Brazil; Brasil; Brand Brazil; Nation Brand; Country of Origin; APEX

Carson, Evelyn D.The Importance of Relational Communication for Effecting Social Change in HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages: A Content Analysis of HIV/AIDS Public Service Announcements
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2010, Communication Studies (Communication)

Since 1987, the government has produced public service announcements (PSAs) to provide information and education to the public about the nature of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). By 2005, PSAs produced by the government continued, but now include nongovernmental organizations (NGO) that also produce PSAs to help fight HIV/AIDS through ongoing public education. Contained in the government/NGO PSAs is information that explains modes of how HIV/AIDS is contracted (e.g., unprotected sex, needle exchanges during drug use) and strategies to prevent infection of HIV (Gunn-Brooks, Boyer, & Hein, 1988; Kim, Stanton, Li, Dickersin, & Galbraith, 1997; Stanton, Kim, Galbraith, & Parrott, 1996). A content analysis of public service announcements by government and nongovernment organizations was conducted to ascertain the targeted audience, the communication strategies that are portrayed (i.e., identification, identity, face, dialectics, and sexuality) and a comprehensive analytical framework grounded in interpersonal communication theory, principally relational communication theory, based on general systems theory and cybernetics, which treats communication as processual and interactional rather than linear and individual (Beck, 1997).

The findings revealed that females are represented as dominant figures in HIV/AIDS PSAs; however, females are still underrepresented compared to males. Next, the findings showed that females have expanded discussions of issues (i.e., HIV testing) and how females are represented, such as experts. Nevertheless, the portrayal of females as qualified or trustworthy had decreased in HIV/AIDS PSAs. Verbal and nonverbal interpersonal communication strategies are incorporated in HIV/AIDS PSAs. This illuminated relational communication strategies of identification, identity, facework and sexuality embedded in HIV/AIDS PSAs. Implications of this study offer practitioners valuable tools to understand and implement relational communication during the inception and creation of HIV/AIDS PSAs.

Committee:

Christina Beck, PhD (Committee Co-Chair); Jerry Miller, PhD (Committee Co-Chair); Mary Tucker, PhD (Committee Member); Devika Chawla, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Gender; Health Education; Marketing; Mass Media; Personal Relationships; Public Health; Social Research; Womens Studies

Keywords:

Relational Communication; Health Communication; Social Constructivism; HIV/AIDS PSAs; Effecting Social Change; Health Education; Sexuality; Gender

Kayser, Pedro Augusto BittencourtThe Brazilian Shoe Industry and the Chinese Competition in International Markets
Master of Arts (MA), Ohio University, 2008, Latin American Studies (International Studies)
This study is a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the performance of the Brazilian shoe industry in international markets. The central questions are about how Brazilian shoe exporters perceive the Chinese competition in their main target markets and about their perceptions of advantages (or disadvantages) in international markets with regards to several marketing activities. Data was collected from primary data sources, personal and electronic interviews with producers, and from a questionnaire that was sent to firms in Brazil's main shoe productive areas. Background information includes the importance of the shoe industry for Brazilian and Chinese international trades, the strong presence of Chinese products in the international shoe market (including in Brazil), and the increasing presence of Brazilian shoes in developed countries' markets. Collected data indicate that Brazilian shoe exporters are facing stronger Chinese competition in Latin American and North American markets than in European markets. It also indicates that Brazilian shoe exporters' main advantages come from quality and product distribution, and the largest disadvantage comes from price.

Committee:

Ariaster B. Chimeli (Advisor); Catherine Axinn (Committee Member); Roy Boyd (Committee Member); Shamila Jayasuriya (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Economics; International Relations; Marketing

Keywords:

Brazilian shoe industry; Brazilian shoes; Chinese shoes; Chinese competition; Vale dos Sinos; Franca; Nova Serrana; international shoe market

Baker, Eve A.The Rhetoric of Organic Food Packaging
Master of Arts (M.A.), University of Dayton, 2012, English
Organic food products are grown or created without the use of chemicals, and their producers engage in sustainable resource management. To recoup the increased cost of alternate production methods, organic food products are significantly more expensive than conventional items. Through a generic analysis of 26 organic and conventional products, I demonstrate that organic food producers employ unique marketing strategies that constitute a genre of food product packaging. Organic food producers use an array of visual and verbal rhetorical strategies to make ethical, logical, and pathetic appeals to persuade the consumer to purchase their products, and through a critical rhetorical analysis of two representative organic products, I explicate how these strategies work. Such rhetorical moves may be responsible for the so-called “health halos” that result from organic labeling and consumer misconceptions about what the term organic truly means.

Committee:

Margaret M. Strain, PhD (Committee Chair)

Subjects:

Agriculture; Communication; Food Science; Health; Marketing; Rhetoric

Keywords:

organic food; product packaging; generic analysis; rhetorical analysis; health halos

Elias, Troy R.C.E-Fluence at the Point of Contact: Impact of Word-Of-Mouth and Personal Relevance of Services on Consumer Attitudes in Online Environments
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2009, Communication
This 2-part study examines key factors that may play a critical role in determining consumer attitudes based on online consumer feedback. Study I indicates that positive online consumer feedback leads to significantly more desirable consumer attitudes than sites with no consumer feedback, or sites with overly negative consumer word-of-mouth (NWOM). Study I also indicates that with the consistent exception of a service not specifically related to Black culture, but which has overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews, Blacks tend to respond more favorably to services that are linked to their own racial ingroup as long as those services have some positive consumer evaluations. Additionally, Study I demonstrates that for Whites, the e-WOM (electronic word-of-mouth) effect is larger for negative WOM than for positive WOM. Study II reinforced the impact of NWOM on Whites such that even when the race and viewable identity of a source was revealed negative WOM was still more influential than PWOM for Whites. Study II demonstrates that in general, regardless of the racial relevance of a service, Blacks’ attitudes are influenced by online evaluations given by their racial-ingroup. Moreover, Blacks responded to the Black relevant condition favorably even with negative Black evaluations. This implies Blacks require only a minimal degree of ingroup association to display ingroup favoritism. Additional implications for Social Identity Theory and the Distinctiveness Principle are discussed.

Committee:

Osei Appiah, Ph.D. (Advisor); Dan McDonald, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Prabu David, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

African Americans; Business Community; Communication; Marketing; Social Research

Keywords:

Viral marketing; word of mouth; social media; recommender system; e-commerce; race; ethnicity; social identity; distinctiveness

Stewart, Jennifer K.An Investigation of an Intrapreneurial Orientation Among Employees in Service Organizations
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2009, Business Administration
By drawing on the entrepreneurship literature and what we know about the entrepreneurial spirit of both founders and top leaders within existing organizations, I examine the propensity of individual employees to behave entrepreneurially at work. In doing so, I develop the intrapreneurial orientation construct, conceptualized as a propensity towards an entrepreneurial approach to one’s work, and demonstrate the impact of this orientation on employee performance and job satisfaction in a service context. In services, when there is no tangible product, it is the interaction between the employee and customer that defines service delivery. As such, the organization’s brand is largely embodied by its employees who serve as the face of the organization to the customer. This is particularly true of frontline employees, those individuals who interact directly with customers. The performance of the frontline is of principal importance to the organization, because within many service organizations frontline employees are responsible for not only delivering the service to the customer, but also for sales. Traditionally, in services marketing, we have emphasized a customer orientation as one of the most important employee characteristics within service organizations. However, in this dissertation, I show that while highly customer-oriented employees are particularly effective in the service aspect of their jobs, it is employees who are highly intrapreneurial who are more effective in a sales role. Furthermore, an intrapreneurial orientation is found to have a considerably greater impact on employee performance than does a customer orientation. In addition to its effect on performance, I also show that an intrapreneurial orientation negatively moderates the impact of work environment variables on job satisfaction. The job satisfaction levels of intrapreneurial individuals are less impacted by manager integrity, teamwork and person-organization misfit, suggesting that these individuals are to some extent less sensitive to situational factors than are others. From a theoretical standpoint, this dissertation contributes to the marketing literature through the development and testing of the intrapreneurial orientation construct which is shown to tangibly impact both performance and job satisfaction, two individual-level work outcomes which are of consequence to the organization.

Committee:

Neeli Bendapudi, PhD (Committee Chair); Shashi Matta, PhD (Committee Member); Leslie Fine, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Marketing

Keywords:

Intrapreneurial Orientation; Services Marketing; Frontline Employees; Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial Orientation; Customer Orientation; Job Satisfaction

Hwang, JiyoungRewarding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Through CSR Communication: Exploring Spillover Effects in Retailer Private Brands and Loyalty Programs
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2010, Human Ecology: Fashion and Retail Studies

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer an entirely voluntary option for retailers. Instead, retailers have been under increasing pressure from various stakeholders and extraneous parties (e.g., the government) to embrace it. The biggest challenge facing retailers today is not whether or not to implement CSR practices, but how.

Acknowledging research gaps and practical significance, this dissertation highlights how retailers can reap the benefits from their commitment to CSR within a spillover effect context. It proposes a conceptual framework based upon the Stimulus-Organism-Response framework (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974) and the Expectancy-Value theory (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975) to systematically demonstrate an underlying mechanism of spillover effects and an asymmetrical negativity bias created by CSR communication messages. Specifically, two essays examine: 1) whether or not (and to what extent) CSR communication messages influence consumers’ perceptions about a retailer, 2) whether or not the perceptions about the retailer are spilled over onto the evaluation of the retailers’ private brands (CSR-PBs, essay one) and loyalty programs (CSR-LPs, essay two) that convey the retailer’s CSR orientation, 3) whether or not the spillover effects differ depending on the valence of CSR communication messages, and finally 4) whether or not a consumer characteristic, ethical consumerism, creates differential effects on cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses to the retailers’ CSR-PBs and CSR-LPs.

To test the proposed model within CSR-PB and CSR-LP contexts, two web-based experiments were performed with university employees (essay one) and with general US consumers (essay two). The results supported that positive and negative information about a retailer’s CSR influenced consumers’ beliefs/attitudes toward the retailer, but the strength of the impact was greater among consumers who learned of the negative information. Next, the results showed that beliefs and attitudes at the retailer level were spilled over onto and influenced evaluations of the retailer’s products (CSR-PBs) and services (CSR-LPs). More importantly, an asymmetrical negativity bias was discovered in the patterns of spillover effects. Finally, a consumer trait, ethical consumerism, was found to create differential effects in consumers’ interpretations of CSR communication messages. This dissertation contributes to the existing literature on corporate social responsibility, private brands, loyalty programs, and marketing communication. The proposed conceptual framework incorporates spillover effects and negativity effects and enriches our understanding of consumers’ responses to CSR communication messages. Also, by integrating the role of a consumer trait, this research offers more accurate insights into how individual differences affect consumers’ responses to communication messages and their evaluations of retailers’ CSR-PBs/CSR-LPs, extending the scope of consumer behavior research associated with retailer brand extension. Finally, this dissertation has managerial implications, specifically providing retailers with insight into how to embrace CSR effectively and reap the benefits from a commitment to CSR.

Committee:

Leslie Stoel, PhD (Committee Chair); Jae-Eun Chung, PhD (Committee Co-Chair); Jay Kandampully, PhD (Committee Member); Patricia West, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Behavioral Psychology; Behavioral Sciences; Communication; Marketing; Psychology; Sustainability

Keywords:

corporate social responsibility; spillover effects; private brand; loyalty program; ethical consumerism; negativity effect; CSR communication; organic product; Expectancy-value theory; Stimulus-Organism-Response theory

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