Qualitative Market Research

Published by Emerald
Online ISSN: 1352-2752
Publications
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to introduce to marketing a discourse analytical framework on which future qualitative marketing research can draw. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology is to utilize Michel Foucault's works and the discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Findings – A discourse analytical framework for qualitative marketing research consisting of six central concepts – turning points, problematizations, articulations, nodal points, hegemony and deconstruction – is outlined. Originality/value – The discourse analytical framework outlined can be used in future qualitative marketing research. It is mainly of value to marketing researchers.
 
Article
Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to describe a multi-method approach for examining collaborative relationships. Design/methodology/approach ? Collaborative relationship performance is examined by combining narratives, structured questionnaires, and perceptual mapping within a case-based approach. Findings ? Details associated with case selection and subsequent analysis are discussed. Themes emerging from the study are used to illustrate the depth of insights that were gained. Research implications/limitations ? The findings demonstrate the value of the approach in discovering insights that would not have emerged from more commonly utilised methodologies. Practical implications ? The methodology described in this paper captures the detailed dynamics of collaborative business relationships. As such, it allowed us to identify specific steps that managers can take to improve the performance of their collaborative relationships: in particular by ensuring that everyone involved in the relationship shares an understanding of the purpose of the relationship, and the roles of the participating individuals and organisations. Originality/value ? The paper describes a new approach to studying collaborative business relationships, which is needed since the overall performance of collaborative business relationships is not improving in spite of extensive previous research trying to uncover the factors that influence performance.
 
Article
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to propose a systematic and rigorous process of data collection and fieldwork in qualitative research using four empirical studies of customer interactions in new product development (NPD) as examples. The intention is to dispel a misconception that the qualitative research lacks objectivity and methodological robustness. Design/methodology/approach - To collect data for all the four studies a preliminary process of conducting fieldwork was first developed from the extant literature. This preliminary framework was applied in the first study and subsequently revised twice in the second and third study by incorporating necessary changes and additions. Finally, the framework was tested and further refined in the fourth study. Findings - The findings from these four empirical qualitative studies have demonstrated that a theory generating idiographic research such as field interviews could be carried out systematically. These findings also provide a basis for proposing a structured framework for data collection. Research limitations/implications - The paper is based only on business-to-business NPD. Therefore, to increase the applicability of the results more studies are needed in other business and marketing fields. Practical implications - The results offer an in-depth look at specific research activities that can be carried out for efficient idea generation work and the overall NPD efforts. Originality/value - The framework reported in this paper allows for an iterative data collection process from multiple respondents and from multiple sources. This method of data collection is a key issue because product managers tend to interact with the customers and other partners repeatedly and throughout the NPD process. Thus the product managers would find this framework useful for research involving NPD and customer interactions.
 
Article
This article has no abstract
 
Investigated interview model predicting deshopping behaviour. 
Article
Purpose Previous research indicates that deshopping is a prevalent and growing consumer behaviour. This paper examines deshopping from a consumer perspective, and applies the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to demonstrate how this behaviour can be managed and prevented. An accompanied (de)shop is also conducted. This paper also places deshopping within a legal and ethical context, in relation to the established literature in this field. Methodology approach This paper tests the TPB variables in a qualitative way by conducting in-depth interviews with deshoppers, who had completed a quantitative questionnaire. The results further support and enhance the quantitative TPB results collected previously with 535 consumers. An accompanied (de)shop is also reviewed, as this qualitative research technique, enables an enhanced understanding and evidence of the deshopping process, which has not been demonstrated previously. The findings demonstrate support for these qualitative research tool, which enable a deeper understanding of the deshopping process and its management. Findings The findings demonstrate important use of the TPB as a qualitative research technique. The model is also expanded and redesigned by adding additional variables as a result of this research. The accompanied (de)shop findings demonstrate support for this qualitative research tool, which also enables a deeper understanding of the deshopping process and its management. Practical implications The research concludes with the implications of deshopping for the industry and makes recommendations as how to reduce deshopping, as well as recommending the qualitative research techniques utilised to future researchers. Originality This paper has identified the key variables that influence deshopping, and demonstrates that procedures can be designed to reduce this behaviour by manipulating the TPB variables. This paper has also added additional variables to the TPB model, which have proved to be influential in deshopping behaviour, thereby developing theoretical knowledge of TPB. The use of the TPB has also provided a theoretical underpinning to utilising a consumer education program to prevent problem behaviours. This research demonstrates that this could alter deshoppers’ attitudes and subjective norms. This is also the first paper to place deshopping in a legal framework which highlights the legal loopholes in a retailer’s returns policy and the implications of new directives which will influence retailer’s abilities to refuse a return. This paper is also the first to explore deshopping within an ethical framework that has created new knowledge on the unethical consumer in relation to deshopping behaviour. This study also incorporates an accompanied (de)shop methodology; this form of research has never been undertaken in relation to deshopping activity and has generated completely new knowledge of what is happening when the actual behaviour is taking place.
 
Article
The purpose of this paper is to extend marketing knowledge into perceived risk in online transactions beyond the current positivistic, hypotheses-driven research by providing qualitative insights into how individuals construct their accounts of perceived risk online. Additionally, the study reported in this paper aims to explore how communication sources influence both these subjective constructions and individuals' behavioural experiences with transaction activity on the web. Design/methodology/approach - The study was developed within a grounded theory method.Ten in-depth interviews were conducted which were analysed using constant comparison of incidents procedures to provide rich descriptions of the interviewees' subjective perceptions and lived experiences with online transaction activity. Findings - The findings provide insights into how the human clement is present in individuals'perceptions and constructions of their accounts of the risk involved online.The findings also identify the influence of mass communication sources on the construction of these accounts. The study provides insights into whether change agent communication sources, such as marketers or web designers,influence consumers' behaviours towards online transaction activity through mediating their perceptions of the risks involved. The study also reveals how social communication networks influence the interviewees' decisions to use the web (or transaction activities, in particular online purchasing, and how the group in this study might act as a communication source to influence others. Research limitations/Implications - While the findings cannot be generalised to the internet population overall, the sample used was able to provide relevant information regarding the phenomenon of interest. Future research should continue to examine perceived risk and the influence of communications sources, such as e-mail, discussion groups and virtual communities. Originality/value - The value of the paper lies in permitting the participants to account for perceived risk for themselves. The findings ex.plore what this means at increasing levels of personal relevance and the influence of communication sources to create, sustain or mediate perceptions of this phenomenon.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to examine the use of projective techniques for published marketing and management research in the USA. The paper emphasizes the influence that McClelland, Atkinson, Clark and Lowell’s study, The Achievement Motive (1953), has had on subsequent research. That work applied quantitative analysis to responses obtained using projective techniques. Design/methodology/approach – The approaches used in this paper consist of descriptive historical methods and a literature review. The historical analysis was conducted using Kuhn’s 1967 conception of paradigms, showing that the paradigm from which projective techniques emerged – psychoanalysis – failed to gather many adherents outside the discipline of psychology. The paradigm failed to gain adherents in US colleges of business, although there are some exceptions. One exception is managerial motivation research, which built on the traditions of The Achievement Motive. The literature review suggests that, despite lacking institutional bases that could be used to develop new adherents to the paradigm, projective techniques were used by a number of researchers, but this research was marginalized, criticized or misunderstood by adherents of the dominant paradigm, positivism. Findings – Some of the criticism directed at projective techniques research by positivists involves criticism of the paradigm’s assumption that humans have an unconscious, and a belief that projective techniques are unreliable and invalid. This paper points out that a growing number of cognitive psychologists now accept the existence of an unconscious, and measure it using the “implicit association test.” This paper argues that the IAT is an associational test is the tradition of word association. Moreover, the literature review shows that projective techniques are much more reliable than critics contend, and exhibit greater predictive validity than many positivist instruments. Research limitations/implications – As with all literature reviews, this one does not include every published research study using projective techniques. As a consequence, the conclusions may not be generalizable to the studies excluded from the analysis. Originality/value – The paper is one of the few to assemble the literature on projective techniques used in several disciplines, and draw conclusions from these about the applicability of the techniques to market research.
 
Article
The idea that SMEs do benefit from constant marketing activity, but only if guided by a strong set of positioning values, is investigated using a case study of the Palliser Estate Wines' winery of Martinborough, New Zealand. Also analyzed is the paradox facing entrepreneurs—i.e., how day-to-day market activity is critical to market success, while marketing success requires commitment to stability and careful planning, particularly for small firms in markets dominated by larger incumbents. Data were gathered through interviews with Palliser's co-owner and managing director. Six interviews were done between 1998 and 2003. In addition, 50 newspaper and wine magazine articles on Palliser, material from the company's Web site, and financial information provided by the company also provided data for the study. Findings indicate that positioning-driven emergence was an effective form of strategizing over the long term, which enabled Palliser to undertake long-term actions and navigate periods of instability. Conclusions suggest that the market in which the business competes, the scale and scope of activities in the value chain, and the channels used to gain access to the market could be identified in a formal plan or held implicitly and communicated via the actions of the leader and senior staff. (JSD)
 
Article
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published [following peer-review] in Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, published by and copyright Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – The purpose of this exploratory research is to analyse the marketing activities of software companies in the UK educational software sector. The paper aims to explore the marketing environment and to investigate whether there are differences in experiences, attitudes and approaches between different sizes of firms. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were undertaken with key respondents who had responsibility for marketing, marketing managers or owner/managers. Themes were identified alongside contextual social and organizational effects. Findings – The marketplace is dominated by several large firms and heavily influenced by government. Overall, five factors were identified that were experienced by all businesses in the sector: challenges in identifying the “customer”; school's budgetary constraints; the IT competence of teachers; the importance of word-of mouth recommendations; and, the use of partnerships. Differences between small and large firms centred on: understanding of competitive structure; perception of their business's marketing strengths; and, approaches to communication and interaction with customers. Research limitations/implications – Proposals for further research are offered. Originality/value – The paper offers a profile of the educational software marketplace and indicates that a number of marketing issues similarly have an effect on all businesses. Differences in behaviour and attitudes are associated with company size and respondent professional/work expertise. In particular, smaller businesses tend to be customer oriented, but often not market oriented.
 
Article
The purpose of this paper is to understand better the number of people consuming alcohol, the types of beverages chosen and the amount of alcohol consumed. Design/methodology/approach – Actual alcohol consumption collected using the covert observation method is compared with claimed alcohol consumption collected through surveys to understand the extent of the gap between claimed and actual behaviour. Findings – A notable gap between claimed and actual drinking levels was evident. A total of 70 percent more males were observed drinking alcohol at risky or high-risk levels while 49 percent more females were observed drinking at risky or high risk levels when compared to claimed behaviour data. Further, a higher proportion of people were observed drinking alcohol than claims lead one to believe. Research limitations/implications – This research used human covert observation, thus limiting episode length. Further, this study was restricted to six venues in one month of one year. Future research opportunities abound including the use of electronic devices, variation in the observation methodology employed, and extending covert observation to different venue types, locations, and times of year. Practical implications – The covert observation method can be used to critique the impact of the socially responsible programs and practices. Public policy makers may need to be mindful that alcohol may be consumed by more people in larger amounts than is currently reported in studies employing survey methodologies. Originality/value – The paper demonstrates how the covert observation method can be used to record what consumers actually do. The covert observation method can be used to extend the understanding of alcohol consumption by enabling researchers to observe behaviour in naturalistic settings. Yes Yes
 
Article
Purpose: This paper argues that whilst destination benchmarking and visitor surveys seek to measure the visitor experience, they privilege the destination manager or researcher rather than taking the visitor’s viewpoint. It suggests that capturing and analysing visitor stories whilst in the destination can facilitate understanding of how destination image changes with actual experience, and what factors or attributes are important, thereby offering a deeper insight into the process through which destination experience is transformed (sense making) and transmitted (sense giving) via those stories, that all important word of mouth publicity. Design/methodology/approach: Unstructured interviews were recorded with visitors in Edinburgh and Greenwich. An interpretive approach was employed in analysing the interview data to uncover facets of visitor experience affecting the image conveyed through the narrative. Findings: The research reveals three elements involved in the sense making and sense giving process and sets out the three categories of visitor consumption characteristics which are implicated in the process. Research implications: Although the outcomes of the sense making and sense giving process are mediated by the incidents, interactions and characteristics of the individual visitor, the process itself is common to all visitors. Analysing visitor narratives to uncover the mediating factors illuminates the visitor’s actual destination experience and its impact on their understanding or image of a destination. Narratives proved to be a useful research tool. Practical implications: The interview and analysis techniques used could be readily adapted for use alongside existing standardised visitor survey tools to provide destination managers and marketers a greater understanding of the impact of customer care and visitor management programmes and how narrative may be useful in tailoring destination marketing to meet the requirements of specific visitor groups. Originality/value: This research demonstrates the utility of capturing and analysing visitor narratives at the point of destination consumption for understanding actual destination experience and the way in which it is transmitted as word of mouth information to others.
 
Article
Purpose - The consumer competence concept is loaded with ambiguity in the academic as well as in the public use of the term. The purpose of this paper was to examine the concept theoretically and empirically. Methodology/Approach - Consumer socialization theories were compared and combined for the theoretical background, and a mixed-methods methodology was applied for the empirical part. The study included young adults aged 18-25, who had recently established their first household. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to explore the way in which young consumers establish their first household, particularly with respect to how new, complex buying decisions are managed. Findings - Guidance from family and friends was found to be of major significance as regards complex consumer decisions made in the transition period from home to first household. The young adults did not display very high levels of consumer competence in actual consumption decisions, however more competent approaches were reported when respondents were faced with hypothetical purchase situations. The young consumers' own understanding of what consumer competence requires showed some degree of correspondence with traditional notions of 'desirable consumer socialization', but also added a fundamental consumer competence to the list: to carefully consider one's need to make a purchase. Research limitations/implications - The study included only a certain segment of young consumers. Future studies of consumer competence may include consumers of other age groups, consumers at different transitional life stages, or consumers with other cultural backgrounds to make comparative studies of the consumer competence of different segments of the population and across nations. Originality/value - The study highlights a concept of importance to both consumers and marketers, which has previously been largely overlooked or only implicitly referred to.
 
Article
Purpose – To question the models of childhood implied within contemporary UK debate about advertising to children. The paper identifies a role for qualitative market research in establishing a more fully-articulated account of childhood, with implications for both policy makers and marketers. Design/methodology/approach – A brief literature review of contemporary sociological perspectives on childhood informs an account of controversy in the UK about the legitimacy of advertising to children. Adult versions of childhood from this debate are contrasted with children's own accounts of their experience of advertising, drawing on a pilot study using informal qualitative methods. Findings – Illuminates the assumptions about childhood which divide industry advocates from their critics, and suggests that qualitative understanding of children's experience of advertising should have a greater role in complementing the predominantly positivist research on which the debate draws. Research limitations/implications – Limited to recent UK discourse on children and advertising (which may restrict its extendability to non-European cultures), and draws on a very small pilot study. This does, however, point the way to future research using informal methods. Practical implications – Intended to enrich understanding of debate and policy on advertising and children, and to encourage the informed use of qualitative research in this area. Originality/value – This paper fills a gap in the predominantly empirical or polemical literature in this area by setting competing arguments in an ontological framework.
 
Elements of strategy definition within small and medium sized enterprises 
Article
The planning patterns and approaches of small firms in areas of Australia are examined based on integrating an understanding of the nature and extent of information and advice sought and received by firms and how it influences the formation of competitive strategies. Data were acquired from a sample of 16 small firms' managers/owners across a wide range of industry categories. The respondents were located in North East Victoria and Southern New South Wales and included micro services businesses (one- or two-person businesses) and medium-sized manufacturing and sales organizations (employing up to 30 persons). Findings indicate that Chambers of Commerce, business alliances, and industry groups are preferred sources of information over more formal sources, which were generally regarded as providing information and advice that was not specific to the context in which SMEs operate. The study also provides new evidence about how small business managers make judgments about the information and advice they receive, with these judgments predicated on the notions of value of the information to the firm and credibility of the source. (JSD)
 
Fandom and tribal brands
Article
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to identify the existence of tribal behaviour in football fans and the impact of this tribalism on the consumption of brands associated with the club. The intention is not to recognize tribal relationships between fans and their club but to identify to what extent the fan commitment level can impact the preference for sponsor brands. Design/methodology/approach – Two focus groups were made with two distinct types of club supporters, namely the members of one supportive organized group and another with highly-devoted fans. Findings – Research questions posed in this study were mostly confirmed: football-devoted supporters have a kind of cult with their club and it is possible to distinguish several distinct fan typologies varying with the level of fan commitment. The associative behaviour of football fans is influenced by affiliation through the need for social recognition, socialization and symbolism. The study also reveals that devoted fans assume an effective knowledge of club association with some brands but they do not manifest an effective preference towards them. Research limitations/implications – The main limitation refers to the restricted research scope, i.e. one country, one club and one supporting associative group. Practical implications – Managerial implications are related to the club needing to maintain an open channel with supporters. Sponsor brands should also develop a long-term strategy and support another sport besides football. Originality/value – This paper provides exploratory research in an area of great popularity, relating tribal behaviours with brand strategies which involve millions of euros all over the world.
 
Article
The marketing practices of small businesses, especially those owned by minorities, are underrepresented in marketing research.In this study, the marketing practices of African and Caribbean-owned small businesses in London, United Kingdom, are identified and assessed.A small pilot study is completed, utilizing both overt and covert observations and interviews to provide a background and aid in guiding interview questions. The main study is exploratory and qualitative in nature, using direct interviews to obtain information.The subjects are 26 London-based African and Caribbean small business owner-managers from the service sector (e.g., restaurants, barbers). Inductive reasoning is used to analyze response patterns among respondents. Findings indicate that marketing strategies among African and Caribbean small-businesses tend to be informal, unplanned, and intuitively driven. Well-educated owner-managers are often more aware of grant opportunities and tend to seek all possible clientele.The majority of businesses tend to cater to the needs of their own ethnic minority.The majority of owner-managers report difficulties obtaining bank loans, with many owner-managers relying on family/friends or business credit cards for financial assistance.Plans for future research include use of quantitative data, use of a larger sample, comparison to mainstream small businesses, and correlations between market orientation and business performance. (AKP)
 
Article
Metadata only There has been considerable discussion in recent years over the application of interpretive methodologies such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, and semiotics within the field of marketing research, particularly consumer behaviour. However, while these approaches have inspired a wealth of publications, scant attention has been paid to the potential of grounded theory. This is attributed largely to misconceptions regarding both the principles of the method and the two distinct approaches associated with the original authors, Glaser and Strauss (1967). The paper outlines the development of the method and explicates the philosophy underpinning its procedures. Finally, it suggests that grounded theory if applied in its true sense has scope and potential for the study of consumer behaviour and consumption experiences given its emphasis on context, theoretical emergence, and the social construction of realities.
 
Article
This paper looks at young adults' relationship with digital media. From a commercial perspective the opportunity to deploy these channels to promote consumer recruitment and loyalty is very significant indeed. However, consumer marketing companies will have to learn to meet the needs of this very discerning and highly cynical audience by combining the best creative ideas and strategies with a transformed approach to marketing sales and service, embodying the best of information and communications technology, reliably and securely implemented. Communication networks underpin this report. While teens complain that they have less public space to hang out in, they are making the online world their milieu, their domain where they develop personal relationships and where they play and learn new things. The conclusions cover not only the effect of current market drivers, but also emerging trends that will allow brands to better understand the behaviour of young adults, so as to establish more truthful binds with them.
 
Article
Draws upon a study of the ways in which entrepreneurs use trust to mediate customer perceived risk at the start of a venture in order to show how researchers can combine elements of both approaches in an epistemologically consistent way. Specifically, researchers seeking to use an inductivist/qualitative approach can start with an a priori specification of constructs, perhaps in the form of a model. One of the ways in which this can help researchers is to identify where they should look in order to find the phenomena of interest to them. We argue that the difference between inductivist and deductivist research is how they draw upon existing research: in inductivist research theory can be used where it is composed of constructs while theory represented in the form of variables is more appropriate in hypothetico-deductive research.
 
Brand knowledge
Key dimensions for branded products and services
Article
As the importance of brands is realised, so too is the importance of research in this area. However, to date, a number of branding models have been developed that lack empirical testing, are derived from the perspective of brand practitioners, and pay little attention to the branding of services. This study seeks consumer-based information via qualitative methods regarding brand dimensions that hold meaning to consumers for both branded products and branded services. The results indicate a number of key dimensions to be such as core product/service, experience with brand, image of user, important to consumers for both goods and services. Dimensions such as feelings, and self-image congruence, were found to be important only in terms of branded products, while word-of-mouth, servicescape, and employees, held importance with respect to branded services. The results provide a platform upon which future research can be built. Yes Yes
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumers' motivation to accumulate obsolete items and their reluctance to dispose of material possessions. Design/methodology/approach – The role of attachment to material possession in the construction of consumer identity provides a conceptual framework for the research. A video‐ethnography with eight individuals, who classify themselves as functional hoarders, individuals who accumulate objects privately and are unable to dispose without clear conscious motivation or control, constitute the primary data for this paper. Findings – In investigating the underlying reasons for accumulating objects and resisting dispossession, informants show evidence of being reflective consumers who perceive throwing away as a threat to memory, to security, and to historical and ecological preservation. First, this paper confirms current literature regarding the role of possessions as symbols of interpersonal ties with others and as a cue to past experiences. Second, the paper supports that possessions provide a sense of security to the owner. Finally, this paper reinforces that preserving material objects cultivate a vision for the future. Ultimately, informants' motivations to accumulate, to keep, and to not‐dispose of objects reflects a desire to reassemble the fragments of their temporal experience into a unique space where memories, present, and life projects join together. Originality/value – The accompanying film gives an opportunity for audience members to personally evaluate hoarding practices and to draw their own conclusion on the dynamic nature of material attachment and consumer identity in terms of past experiences, present orientation, and responsibility for the future.
 
Article
Purpose – The importance of branding in industrial contexts has increased, yet a comprehensive model of business-to-business (B2B) branding does not exist, nor has there been a thorough empirical study of the applicability of a full brand equity model in a B2B context. This paper aims to discuss the suitability and limitations of Keller's customer-based brand equity model and tests its applicability in a B2B market. Design/methodology/approach – The study involved the use of semi-structured interviews with senior buyers of technology for electronic tracking of waste management. Findings – Findings suggest that amongst organisational buyers there is a much greater emphasis on the selling organisation, including its corporate brand, credibility and staff, than on individual brands and their associated dimensions. Research limitations/implications – The study investigates real brands with real potential buyers, so there is a risk that the results may represent industry-specific factors that are not representative of all B2B markets. Future research that validates the importance of the Keller elements in other industrial marketing contexts would be beneficial. Practical implications – The findings are relevant for marketing practitioners, researchers and managers as a starting-point for their B2B brand equity research. Originality/value – Detailed insights and key lessons from the field with regard to how B2B brand equity should be conceptualised and measured are offered. A revised brand equity model for B2B application is also presented. Yes Yes
 
Article
Purpose – Normal “mixed method” approaches to research – using standard quantitative surveys supported by qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews, often fail to measure issues “outside of the fence”. The purpose of this paper is to consider whether the challenges of bounded rationality can, in part, be addressed by including projective techniques within the “mixed methods” approach. In particular, it discusses the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in such an approach. Design/methodology/approach – The results of an international pilot study into the use of projective techniques in assisting the evaluation of policies is outlined. The study is concerned with the response of small businesses to governments' policies aimed at encouraging the adoption of ICT. This is used as the basis of a discussion of the appropriateness of using ICT in such an approach. Findings – ICT could play an important role in the use of projective techniques – including design; improving reliability and validity; distribution; analysis and interpretation. Research limitations/implications – Much more research is needed before the appropriateness of (ICT based) projective techniques can be assessed fully. Practical implications – The lessons learnt from this pilot study about the use of projective techniques as part of a “mixed methods” survey methodology was explored. In particular, the paper provides some practical suggestions as to how ICT might be used to reduce the overheads involved in implementing projective techniques. Originality/value – For many people involved in traditional quantitative and qualitative research the usefulness and appropriateness of projective techniques have yet to be proven. This paper contributes some new thinking about how ICT might address some of the concerns over the suitability of projective techniques as part of a mixed methodology.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this article is to show how the application of multiple qualitative methods reveals insights into grocery shopping that cannot be captured via traditional survey methods. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed-method approach was applied where the results of one technique provided the guidelines for the next as a way to understand how decisions are made within a grocery store. A mail survey started the process which subsequently presented input for the focus group, leading to videographic observations, depth interviews and consumer diaries. Findings – The results show that many decisions in the grocery store are not driven by the store environment but rather by emotional connections to the brand. This suggests that using behavioral and attitudinal surveys to understand this perspective may not adequately capture important aspects of grocery buying. Instead, consideration must be given to alternative methods which offer the shopper freedom to discuss what is important to them in terms of product selection. Research limitations/implications – This study is unique in applying multiple qualitative methods to an environment that is often overlooked as a source for meaningful insights into consumer decisions. The ability to use methods such as videography and self-assessment provides consequential reasons behind consumer behaviour rather than just statistical measurements of this. Practical implications – The results make a note of caution for retailers. Radical changes to brand offerings (e.g. deleting lines) and accessibility to preferred products (e.g. out of stocks, store layouts) runs the risk of potentially isolating regular customers. Our research shows that when a favorite product is not available, a substitute is not likely. Instead respondents tend to go to another store that does stock their brand, or they buy a smaller, cheaper product to “make do” until the next shop. Neither option is a good outcome for the consumer, the manufacturer or the store. Originality/value – This study will show that for grocery buying, not all decisions are rational where the use of available information is what drives the final brand choice. Instead, consumers display evidence of emotion that one research method in isolation is unlikely to adequately capture.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand how branding can facilitate small business development of new ventures. Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual approach was used for understanding branding in new ventures. A model with eight propositions has been developed and then validated using ten existing case studies of exceptional entrepreneurs. Findings – The key mechanisms proposed for branding to assist small business create new ventures include opportunity recognition, innovation, business model development, capital acquisition, supplier acquisition, customer acquisition, and success harvesting. Originality/value – The paper helps redress a relatively lack of research into small business branding. Previous research has mainly focused on small business brand management of existing ventures. The findings are readily translatable to small businesses launching new ventures. The paper extends the existing small business branding literature into a new domain, having a strong entrepreneurial character.
 
Article
Purpose- The paper aims to shed light on the potential of ethnography to provide a dialectical approach to modeling the process of branding as its focus widens from managerial to social. Design/methodology/approach- A critical approach to ethnography is adopted and implemented in light of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s ethnographic modeling technique of ‘Participant Objectification’ (Bourdieu and Wacquant, 1992). Findings-The paper demonstrates from the customer standpoint- of a case of a grocery retailer- the ability of critical ethnography to dialectically model the branding process as an organic cultural whole, which envelops an intricate set of different, yet interdependent, social and managerial systems, functioning in a coherent and complementary manner. Research limitations- The empirical evidence is limited to the area of grocery retailing. Thus, widening the application of the technique in other areas would be desirable. Practical implications– The dialectical nature of the critical approach to modeling yields a rich multi-faceted view of the branding process that could help remedy the problem of detachment from complex reality, which has often been a criticism of traditional approaches to modeling in marketing. Originality/Value- The suggested dialectical approach to modeling expands the potential use of ethnography within the critical orientation to theory building in marketing generally, and branding in particular through elaborating the process of cultural construction from textual via participant observation to dialectical via participant objectification.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this article is to propose Lexicon Rhetoricae, the narrative theory of Kenneth Burke from the discipline of literary criticism, as a comprehensive model which helps to explain how symbolism and nonconscious processes influence the consumption experience, and which helps to reconcile the psychology of the consumption experience with the more observable stimuli of the marketing environment. Design/methodology/approach – Lexicon Rhetoricae distinguishes two categories of literary form – symbolic and formal appeal – which describe inputs to the literary experience. A third term, eloquence, categorizes the interaction of symbolic and formal appeals, and describes how robust that experience is. Findings – Lexicon Rhetoricae provides: a mechanism for describing how unobservable internal psychological processes (conscious or nonconscious) might work; a method for coding observable marketer‐controlled inputs to the consumption experience; and a means for demonstrating how the unobservable processes and the observable inputs interact in the consumption experience. Originality/value – Lexicon Rhetoricae provides a theoretical framework for categorically combining the “black box” experiences of the consumer and the perceptible marketer‐controlled variables in the marketplace.
 
Layers of the decision-making unit
Article
Motivations of small United Kingdom businesses are discussed in order to dispel myths and misconceptions regarding their operations.The purpose is to dismiss the idea that small businesses are scaled-down versions of their larger counterparts, while highlighting the emotion and complexity that characterize small businesses and influence the decision-making processes of their owner/managers. Definitions of the small firm market and the small firm are provided, and myths and realities of small firm behaviors are discussed.Two recent studies of small firms (one large-scale qualitative study for a blue chip company, one mixed study on government-sponsored services) provide a basis for the study.Values and loyalty issues are described as key to understanding small business behaviors and are explained in detail.Recommendations to policy makers include providing important information to decision-makers in small businesses in order to aid the decision-making process. (AKP)
 
Article
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published [following peer-review] in Qualitative Market Research: an international journal,published by and copyright Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. Customer knowledge is an important asset for all businesses. The rhetoric of e-business emphasises the opportunities for knowing customers in the digital economy. This article sets the context with a brief summary of the key characteristics of the knowledge management paradigm. This is used as a platform for the themes that form the core of this article: defining the knowledge that the organisation requires; knowledge tools and the relationships between data, information and knowledge; the role of customer communities in CKM; bounding and structuring organisational knowledge communities; ownership of knowledge assets; integrating customer knowledge across channels; and comparing customer knowledge management with customer relationship management. The overarching message of the article is that customer knowledge management is not just about data. Organisations need to develop strategies that enable them to capitalise on the dynamic integration of systems and people.
 
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This article has no abstract
 
Qualrus Interface Showing Segments Coded ‘Lifestyle Change’ 
Article
Purpose – The aims of the paper are twofold: to assess the usage of Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDAS) in the UK market research industry; and to evaluate the use of CAQDAS as a supplement to paper-coding in market research. Design/methodology/approach – CAQDAS usage was assessed by a questionnaire, sent to a sample of 400 UK market researchers. The second part of the research is a case study of a research experiment. The authors conducted focus group research into online grocery shopping, supplementing a paper-coding-based analysis with a further analysis based on computer coding. Findings – Usage of CAQDAS in commercial market research is very low at only 9 percent. The research suggests that CAQDAS can be a useful supplement to traditional methods. Using computer software, the paper was able to mine the data for more detail; clearly identify minority views; and produce a useful resource for future research. Research limitations/implications – The survey response rate was 38 percent, but only 13 respondents used CAQDAS. Generalisation from a single experiment is problematic; the findings are affected by the research topic, research briefs and the two research analysts. Practical implications – The study has important implications for commercial qualitative market research. Repositioning CAQDAS as supplementary, rather than as an alternative, circumvents arguments about time pressure, and highlights its data management role. Originality/value – This is the first large-scale survey of qualitative research analysis in the UK market research industry. The case study describes an approach to CAQDAS that is innovative and relevant to commercial market research.
 
Lastminute.com account information
Dynamic packaging using personalised information
Expedia Inspirator
Article
Purpose. The purpose of this paper is to explain consumer centric marketing (CCM) and adopt this new technique to travel context. The paper seeks to outline the benefits and disadvantages of the CCM together with warnings of typical caveats. Design/methodology/approach. The paper provides an exploration of the CCM concept and demonstrates several applications in the tourism, travel and hospitality industries. Findings. CCM will be expected as the norm in the travel industry by customers of the future, yet it is only the innovators who gain real tangible benefits from this development. Practical implications. The paper offers tangible examples for the travel industry on how to utilise this new technology. The technology is already available and the information communication technologies (ICT) companies are keen to establish ways as to how consumers can utilise it, i.e. by providing "content" for these ICT products the travel industry can fully gain from these developments and also enhance consumers' gains from it. This can result in more satisfied customers for the travel (as well as ICT) companies thus truly adopting the basic philosophy of marketing. Originality/value. The paper outlines current and future opportunities to truly place customers at the centre and provide organisations with some real savings/gains through the use of ICT.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this research is to understand the overall consumer experience, while highlighting the means through which consumers live and take possession of what they consume. Design/methodology/approach – Holt’s typology serves as the theoretical background. Choosing a netnographic framework, we analyze the coffee experiential universe of 41 Canadian consumers of Tim Hortons' coffee by studying their personal stories posted on the company’s website. Findings – Individuals predominantly associate the consumption of coffee with ritual, happiness, joy, travel companion and extended relationship. These categories relate to mystique (ritual); pleasure (happiness and joy); travel (travel companion); and love (family-like relationship). Research limitations/implications – We acknowledge that there is a danger of bias in our data considering that we used the narratives that recorded the highest hits. However, these narratives represent a socially constructed reality which was validated by Tim Hortons’ fans themselves. Practical implications – To maintain a strong market position, it is no longer sufficient to understand the associations linked to the overall experience of a product’s consumption. The company must also have ways of accessing or appropriating the consumer experience. Originality/value – The study shows that it is possible for today’s consumer products to become symbolic representations in the minds of consumers, provided that the consumer has a strong attachment to the brand. It is essential to understand the appropriation practices of consumers’ experiences, as these hold significant theoretical and managerial implications.
 
Article
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published following peer-review in Qualitative Market Research, published by and copyright Emerald. Reports on a qualitative approach to conducting research in small firms. Two cases are reported that fall within the EU definition of small firms (with fewer than 99 employees). One case is drawn from the clothing industry and one other from the publishing industry. The clothing company had fewer than 50 employees and the publishing company had fewer than ten employees, the latter being regarded as a micro-firm. The purpose of the research was to investigate decisions taken by owner-managers in relation to their future strategies. Consideration is given to alternative methodological approaches before justifying the selection of a combination of focus group interviews and cognitive mapping in each of the cases. Comparisons are drawn that demonstrate the utility of the research methods chosen. The work then identifies issues and considers implications for the conduct of future research into SMEs using these methods. The purpose of the paper is to explain and to evaluate the usefulness of the methods rather than to explain the particular cases in detail.
 
Relative importance of each facet to customer vs company 
Article
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published [following peer-review] in Qualitative Market Research, published by and copyright Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. Consumer knowledge is a very important asset for an organisation. Two types of consumer knowledge have been identified, “knowledge about customers” including customer segments, individual customer preferences, potential customers, and “knowledge possessed by customers” including knowledge about product ranges, companies, and the marketplace. e-commerce offers an ideal medium for the creation and exchange of both types of knowledge. This paper presents the results of an initial phase in a research cycle that looks at e-commerce through the lens of knowledge management. It examines e-commerce provision made by organisations for customers across seven facets ranging from transactional to relational facilities. The results of a self-evaluation of companies' e-commerce propositions are contrasted with customer expectations to determine divergence and alignment. Implications are discussed and conclusions proposed.
 
Article
Purpose – To broaden the scope of our knowledge of collective voluntarily simplified lifestyles in the UK, by exploring whether voluntary simplifiers achieve their goals by adopting a simpler life. Design/methodology/approach – Radical forms of voluntary simplifier groups were explored through participant-observation research. The methodology can be broadly classified as critical ethnography, and a multi-locale approach has been used in designing the field. Findings – Although for some of these consumers voluntary simplicity seems to have reinstated the enjoyment of life, certain goals remain unfulfilled and other unexpected issues arise, such as the challenges of mobility in the attainment of environmental goals. Research limitations/implications – This is an ongoing research, however many opportunities for further research have arisen from this study. Quantitative research could be undertaken on the values and attitudes buttressing voluntary simplicity specifically in the UK. The extent to which such communities influence mainstream consumers could be studied both quantitatively and qualitatively. Mainstream consumers' attitudes to the practices of such communities could prove useful for uncovering real consumer needs. Practical implications – Despite these communities position in the extreme end of the voluntary simplicity spectrum, their role in shaping the practices and attitudes of other consumers is clear. Originality/value – This paper provides new consumer insights that can re-shape policy-making and marketing practice aimed at achieving a sustainable future.
 
Article
Proposes a conceptualisation of “entrepreneurial marketing” based on the practices of successful entrepreneurs. The methodology took account of specific issues in researching entrepreneurs such as lack of common understanding of management terms, and the influence of ego on participants’ responses. Depth interviews used critical incident technique to elicit accounts from entrepreneurs of their marketing practices. Focus groups supplemented individual interviews to test the candour of responses. The results indicated that successful entrepreneurs undertake marketing in unconventional ways. They tend to focus first on innovations, and only second on customer needs. They target customers through a bottom-up process of elimination, rather than deliberate segmentation, targeting and positioning strategies. They rely on interactive marketing methods communicated through word-of-mouth, rather than a more conventional marketing mix. They monitor the marketplace through informal networks, rather than formalised market research.
 
Article
Purpose – Although superannuation planning has been examined within the context of individual choice, life course and cumulative advantage perspectives, little research has been contained within the theories of consumer behavior. This paper, therefore, aims to examine this important issue by delving into the perceptions of retirement planning from the perspectives of both male and female consumers. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research design was adopted to gather in‐depth information within a real‐life context in order to build theory. In total, 21 exploratory semi‐structured interviews, to assist in identifying and describing the variety of thoughts and feelings that female and male consumers hold towards financial retirement planning, were conducted. Findings – The findings from the in‐depth interviews indicate that males and females adopt different perspectives when it comes to retirement planning. Males tend to adopt an individual choice perspective, whereby it is assumed that retirement will be another stage in life which will provide for a lifestyle conducive with their current standard of living. Women, on the other hand, adopt very much a life course perspective, which makes no assumptions or predictions about future life stages, but one that views outcomes as contingent on the circumstances of one's life. Originality/value – The value of this research lies in its methodology and analysis. Perceptions of males and females in relation to retirement planning have not before been mapped and, as such, the perpetual maps developed in the paper contribute new knowledge in relation to attitudes and behavior towards retirement financial planning.
 
Hierarchical map of motivations relative to the purchase of foreign healthcare (care – plastic and general surgery)  
Hierarchical map of barriers in purchasing foreign healthcare (care – plastic and general surgery)  
Article
Purpose – The present study aims to use the qualitative approach of soft laddering to gather insight into both risk perception and subsequent marketing strategies of medical tourism. Medical tourism has recently started to spark interest of marketing researchers and has been a frequently discussed topic by both journalists and physicians. Nevertheless, there are only few marketing studies offering in-depth research on the phenomenon of medical tourism. In the present article, we will concentrate on the central notion of risk inherent to any medical procedure and a fortiori to surgery in the so-called Third World countries. Because medical tourism is a product to be sold to costumers, the perceived risk needs to be dealt with on the marketing level. Design/methodology/approach – In the present study, the qualitative approach of soft laddering was used with 23 participants from France and 22 participants from Quebec to gather insight into both risk perception and subsequent marketing strategies of medical tourism. Findings – The results show significant differences in consumer behavior between the two nationalities involved. We will see how these differences are related to underlying values as well as different reasons and constraints to purchase. Practical implications – The results could help developed countries’ government to implement health policy. Originality/value – Qualitative research does not often use soft laddering, which was used in this paper. Moreover, this qualitative approach has some advantages as the number of chains, as well as the frequencies of selection and the diversity of elements quoted by consumers (kinds of risks, values and consequences of the choices made).
 
Article
Purpose – This paper makes the case for the use of real diaries as an alternative methodology in marketing research. It is argued that Qualitative Diary Research (QDR) in marketing and consumer research is an innovative way to capture rich insights into processes, relationships, settings, products and consumers. Design/methodology/approach – To illustrate the utility of QDR this paper explores the phenomenon of text messaging. One hundred and twenty two “texters” were recruited to maintain personal introspective diaries for 1 week; recording, not only each of their incoming and outgoing text messages, but also the personal thoughts that each communication initiated. The paper then offers a frame narrative that attempts to analyse, interpret and re‐present the embedded diary narratives. Findings – This empirical analysis illustrates that ODR is particularly suited to exploring processes, relationships, settings, products, and consumers. It is shown how the arrival of a text message and its actual content can create: consumer excitement when text messages arrive, consumer pleasure when constructing and deconstructing sent and received text messages, and provides a facility to lie and attract the opposite sex. The downsides of texting were also explored, such as how consumers loath getting either too many or too few text messages. Originality/value – ODR is a useful way of capturing genuine “thick description”. The use of real diaries presents an exciting methodological alternative for research in marketing and consumer behaviour.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this article is to analyze the links between nostalgia and food consumption. Design/methodology/approach – Based on an exploratory qualitative analysis of 104 descriptions of nostalgic food consumptions, the use of NVivo helps to substantiate and interpret the textual interview data. Findings – The research suggests six themes of food nostalgia (childhood, yearning, substitute, homesickness, special occasions and rediscovery). Prior research suggests that nostalgia is rather a negative or ambivalent emotion; however, the findings of this study suggest that nostalgic food consumption is rather related to positive emotions. Practical implications – Perspectives are given for the use of nostalgia in an advertising context and as a reinsurance factor. Originality/value – This research integrates marketing and sociological perspectives to better understand links between food consumption and nostalgia.
 
Article
This study explores the types of marketing activities in which social enterprises engage and considers the extent to which these activities could be described as entrepreneurial. Interviews were done with 80 founders, chief executives, or the most senior managers or volunteers of social enterprises in the UK. A variety of enterprises were included, such as projects for the homeless, drug awareness initiatives, and a community festival. Inductive analysis identified four themes: opportunity recognition, entrepreneurial effort, entrepreneurial organizational culture, and networks and networking. While social enterprises were found to engage in entrepreneurial marketing, the findings indicate that within a social enterprise context, sector-specific factors, including local embeddedness, a not-for-profit orientation, and the challenges posed by social exclusion may influence the marketing activities of social enterprises. (JSD)
 
Article
Purpose – The aim of this study is to focus on consumers’ responses towards visual fashion ideal in hybrid magazine advertisements from a cross-cultural and generational perspective. Design/methodology/approach – This exploratory qualitative focus group study showed a set of validated advertisements to 64 female participants. Half of the sample was from the USA, the other half was from China. To examine generational differences, the interviewees were split by age in each group: half of the participants were between 18 and 34, and half were between the age of 45 and 65 years. Findings – Both Chinese and American target audiences viewed the trendy advertisements with an aspirational eye in which the advertisement was interpreted as representing an ideal self to which they aspired, one that they wanted to achieve but, for some reason(s), were not capable of achieving at the time. However, the degree of aspiration varied for Chinese and American audiences. Research limitations/implications – Because of the chosen research approach, the research results may lack generalizability. Therefore, future research may use survey and experimental research approaches. Practical implications – International marketers may need to design advertisements with more “realistic” imagery, while keeping the idealized Western style in Chinese advertising. Advertisers should also be cognizant of intergenerational influences in the Chinese market; many young Chinese women still rely on their mothers regarding fashion purchase decisions. Originality/value – This paper fills a need to understand both the similarities and the differences in marketing communications across cultures.
 
Network legitimation and the interface: conceptual overview  
Article
This paper investigates how the marketing/entrepreneurship interface functions within the cultural sector. Specifically, the paper considers how cultural entrepreneurs in the music industry market not to customers, but to networks that control the resources necessary to support entrepreneurial ventures. Evidence is drawn from the qualitative research of a study on access to finance by owner-managers of independent music companies (“cultural entrepreneurs”). The findings support the notion that “legitimation” is a key factor in accessing such resources. Cultural entrepreneurs have difficulties in establishing either “pragmatic legitimation” (derived from the self-interest of organisations across marketing networks) or “cognitive legitimation” (derived from perceptions of normality and conformity within marketing networks). Marketing strategies at both individual and industry level are put forward to overcome these barriers. For individual businesses, a “selection strategy” using creative clusters or a “manipulation strategy” that manages the cultural environment are recommended. The implications for relationship marketing models are discussed.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this research is to improve the understanding of drivers and inhibitors of healthy diet behaviors in the context of an emerging economy, such as Mexico, with a severe problem of overweight and obesity. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) and protection motivation theory (PMT) provided the theoretical background for this study. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative approach was used, given the limited amount of information available on consumers’ motivations to change behavior. In-depth interviews with experts in nutrition and four focus groups with consumers from two segments were performed to collect information. Thematic analysis was used to analyze information. Findings – PMT provided a better explanation of current dietary behavior; the positive attitudes that, according to TPB, are the immediate antecedent of behavior offered a poor explanation for autoreported behaviors. Results indicate that perceived low self-efficacy and high costs prevent change of behavior. Meanwhile, low vulnerability and severity among younger consumers adds to the low intention to adopt a healthier diet. In general, sensorial attributes of products, such as texture, flavor, color, smell and appearance, prevail over nutritional attributes. Practical implications – The outline of a social marketing program is suggested after the research findings. This program emphasizes prevention and is intended to complement governmental policies designed to modify the environment to facilitate access to healthy food. Originality value – Social marketing principles have been developed and applied mainly in the context of developed countries. This work contributes to the extension of such principles to an emerging economy with a public health problem related to overweight. Results of the research provide the basis to mold an appropriate intervention.
 
Article
Purpose – The aim of this research was to consider whether focus groups have justifiably become a more frequently used qualitative market research technique because of a superior research outcome. Although focus groups have extrinsic advantages such as speed and cost, there is evidence that individual depth interviews have intrinsic advantages relating to the quality of the research outcome. Design/methodology/approach – A parallel research study was undertaken examining a single business issue using both focus groups and individual interviews. Results of both processes were analysed for relevance to the business issue. Follow up individual interviews with participants of the focus groups were undertaken to assess the validity of the data collected, and to investigate the nature of the processes in the groups. Findings – Group processes appear to have had considerable influence on the consensus view expressed in focus groups, which may not be representative of respondents' individual views. Both the groups and the interviews identified the principle issues relating to buyer motivations and processes, target markets and branding. The groups were unable to match the depth and detail generated by individual interviews and to uncover subtleties in attitudes. The interviews offered less breadth of data and contextual information. Practical implications – Whilst groups may be less expensive and faster in data collection, individual interviews demonstrated a superior ability to inform marketing strategy by uncovering important underlying issues. Originality/value – The findings indicate that groups do not justify their predominance as a market research method in preference to interviews on the grounds of quality of outcomes alone.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore in depth how Web 2.0 (focusing on social media) contributes to create a better communication channel to provide information, support and assistance to patients. Social relationships of individuals on the Internet through social media have created added value for many industries. This phenomenon can be an opportunity for the health care industry, which has encountered huge challenges such as increasing demands, budget cuts, growing numbers of patients and more demanding patient expectations. Web 2.0 and social media have the potential value to make possible an increase in the productivity of modern health care and a reduction in cost to the central government. Social media introduces better channels of communication with patients to increase the value of e-health. Social media are building more social communities that empower patients to share their personalized health information and treatments. Design/methodology/approach – Grounded on social support and transaction cost theories, this paper evaluates the current potential of social media to discuss values it can offer for the overall benefit of the health care industry. Findings – The results show how the social relationship of individuals provides online social support and reduction of cost through social media, leading to the development of modern health care. Implications and limitations are discussed at the end of the paper. Originality/value – The analysis results indicated that social media provides strong social support for patients who seek help online. Informational support and emotional support have been confirmed as two main dimensions of social support in online health care. It makes a contribution to the health care literature by extending it to online health care support in the context of social media. It may inform and provide some initial understanding to guide future research. In addition, this study indicates that social support theory and transaction cost are appropriate theoretical foundations for studies of online health care. This finding is very valuable, as it helps researchers to advance the understanding of how social media support online health care.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine consumer emotions and the social science and observation measures that can be utilised to capture the emotional experiences of consumers. The paper is not setting out to solve the theoretical debate surrounding emotion research, rather to provide an assessment of methodological options available to researchers to aid their investigation into both the structure and content of the consumer emotional experience, acknowledging both the conscious and subconscious elements of that experience. Design/methodology/approach – A review of a wide range of prior research from the fields of marketing, consumer behaviour, psychology and neuroscience are examined to identify the different observation methods available to marketing researchers in the study of consumer emotion. This review also considers the self report measures available to researchers and identifies the main theoretical debates concerning emotion to provide a comprehensive overview of the issues surrounding the capture of emotional responses in a marketing context and to highlight the benefits that observation methods offer this area of research. Findings – This paper evaluates three observation methods and four widely used self report measures of emotion used in a marketing context. Whilst it is recognised that marketers have shown preference for the use of self report measures in prior research, mainly due to ease of implementation, it is posited that the benefits of observation methodology and the wealth of data that can be obtained using such methods can compliment prior research. In addition, the use of observation methods cannot only enhance our understanding of the consumer emotion experience but also enable us to collaborate with researchers from other fields in order to make progress in understanding emotion. Originality/value – This paper brings perspectives and methods together to provide an up to date consideration of emotion research for marketers. In order to generate valuable research in this area there is an identified need for discussion and implementation of the observation techniques available to marketing researchers working in this field. An evaluation of a variety of methods is undertaken as a point to start discussion or consideration of different observation techniques and how they can be utilised.
 
Article
Purpose - To present the results of exploratory research which analysed firm-employee relationship strength from the employee perspective. Three main research questions were explored: What indicators should be used to measure strong firm-employee relationships? How important do employees see relationships to be in the work environment? and how do employees define relationship strength? Design/methodology/approach - Qualitative research in the form of focus groups was utilised. Four focus groups of employees from medium to large regional and national Australian companies were held in a large Australian regional city. Findings - Employees view relationships as being very important in the work environment. The findings revealed a greater degree of consistency between employees' viewpoints about important relationship elements and non-marketing literature. Important elements found were co-operation, empowerment, communication, attachment, shared goals and values, trust and respect. The emphasis on commitment as a key relationship indicator was not supported by the findings. The findings are summarised in a proposed model of relationship strength, positing commitment as a relationship strength outcome. Employees defined relationship strength in terms of the identified elements. Research limitations/implications - This research enables commencement of examination of the value of internal relationships through empirical examination of the proposed model. Practical implications - Management is informed as to what makes the best work environment from the perspective of employees. Originality/value - Fulfills an identified gap in the literature in relation to the ability to measure internal firm relationships. It also clarifies the confusing literature on relationship elements, and it posits a model for the empirical assessment of firm-employee relationship strength. Yes Yes
 
Top-cited authors
David Lindsey Williams
  • University of South Alabamna
Chad Perry
C.R. Boddy
  • Middlesex University Business School
Marilyn J. Healy
Ken Peattie
  • Cardiff University