Means-end chains

Connecting products with self

Beth A. Walker, Jerry C. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

177 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We conducted a study to explore how two decision situations affected subjects' product knowledge, end-goals, and means-end relationships that were activated for greeting cards. Forty female subjects read a decision scenario to buy either a thinking-of-you card or a wedding card. A paper and pencil laddering task was used to elicit subjects' means-end knowledge structures in the given choice situation. In our conceptualization, the means represent product knowledge or attributes, and the ends represent aspects of consumers' self-knowledge that vary in different situations. Content analysis revealed that the thinking-of-you situation activated receiver-related goals (i.e., "to make her happy"), whereas the wedding situation activated end-goals related to self-expression (i.e., "to express my personality"). Analysis of the means-end linkages revealed that differences in the activated goals affected the meaning of the attributes to which the end-goals were connected. We conclude by discussing the implications of incorporating self into theory and research on means-end chains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991

Fingerprint

Ego
Personality
Means-end chain
Product knowledge
Research
Knowledge structure
Linkage
Laddering
Scenarios
Product attributes
Conceptualization
Content analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

Means-end chains : Connecting products with self. / Walker, Beth A.; Olson, Jerry C.

In: Journal of Business Research, Vol. 22, No. 2, 1991, p. 111-118.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Walker, Beth A. ; Olson, Jerry C. / Means-end chains : Connecting products with self. In: Journal of Business Research. 1991 ; Vol. 22, No. 2. pp. 111-118.
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