Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

Major

Apparel, Merchandising, and Design

First Advisor

Ann Marie Fiore

Second Advisor

Telin Chung

Abstract

Consumers increasingly share information about products, services, and brands with other consumers via online and offline channels. They chat about purchases with friends, post pictures of new products on Instagram, write restaurant reviews on Yelp, and tweet about brands. Researchers have shown that these types of active consumer social interactions (ACSI) lead to increased sales, purchase intentions, product judgments, and product diffusion. However, despite the influential nature of ACSI, few researchers have created validated scales to measure a person's intention to engage in ACSI (ACSII) that encompass the wide range of communication activities that comprise the construct. Therefore, to address this gap, the current research developed a reliable, validated scale measuring six distinct ACSII activities: word-of-mouth, video sharing, texting, emailing, online reviewing, and blogging, that were shown to be generalizable across positive and negative product and service scenarios.

The method involved eleven steps and three rounds of data collection to ensure a reliable and valid scale. First, a comprehensive literature review was conducted to define the construct of ACSII, investigate related variables, and place the ACSII construct in a theoretical framework. Then, a pilot study with 912 students and staff of a large midwestern university was conducted to gather qualitative data from participants about experiences with ACSI in order to confirm and adjust the conceptualization of the ACSI construct outlined in the literature review. The data from the pilot survey were analyzed, and 97 initial items to measure ASCII were developed from the analysis. The content validity of the items was assured through the comprehensive literature review, pilot data analysis, expert reviews, and pretests with graduate students.

The items were then assessed for reliability and construct (including convergent, discriminant, and nomological validity) and criterion validity and refined with two samples and five consumer scenarios. The factor structure of the ACSII scale was uncovered and the number of scale items was refined using exploratory factor analyses. These analyses resulted in a 30-item scale measuring six distinct, correlated, ACSII factors: video sharing, WOM, emailing, texting, online reviewing, and blogging. The construct and criterion validity of the scale were assessed with confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) and structural equation modeling (SEM). The reliability of the ACSII factors was excellent and the CFAs and SEMs established the convergent and discriminant validity of the scale, partially established nomological validity, and confirmed the criterion validity of the scale. These analyses culminated in a reliable and valid ACSII scale that was shown to be generalizable across positive and negative product and service experiences in the apparel, electronics, and food services industries.

Copyright Owner

Amy Dorie

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

208 pages

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