Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Haemoon Oh


People have possessed property, objects, and relationships from the dawn of time. Humans experience special feelings toward the objects of their ownership and develop strong attitudes towards the relationships built based on such feelings. Building such loyal and continuous relationships between restaurant companies and their customers has been recognized as an important strategy for achieving a long-term financial performance. However, the mystery of customer-company relationships' formation remains undiscovered in many economic contexts, specifically in the hospitality industry;This study proposes a new framework for explaining customer-company relationship formation and investigates how customers form psychological ownership toward a company/brand. Additionally, it examines antecedents and consequences of psychological ownership, testing psychological ownership theory (Pierce et al., 2003). Specifically, the study conceptualizes the roots of psychological ownership and formulates both antecedents and consequences of psychological ownership. Psychological ownership theory (Pierce et al., 2003) suggests that individuals experience a cognitive-affective state, i.e., psychological ownership, in their interactions with objects when the individuals feel as though the target object is "theirs" (p. 86);A web-based survey was used to collect data from faculty and staff at a major Midwestern university in the United States. The proposed model was tested using the structural equation modeling technique via LISREL 8.5. The fit indices of the measurement model suggested evidence of reliability and validity for the latent constructs, based on a good model fit;All path coefficients in the structural model were statistically significant, except for the path between perceived control and psychological ownership, which contradicted the theory. Results supported the usefulness of the psychological ownership framework in predicting customer behavioral intentions. These results suggest that psychological ownership plays an important role in building strong relationships with restaurant customers. Moreover, theoretical foundation laid out in this research exhibited a potential for future theory development. The findings and implications need to be considered in light of the study limitations.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Vahagn Sahak Asatryan



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

126 pages