LITERATURE REVIEW SAMPLE SERIES NO. 7 Thompson, C. J., Locander, W. B., & Pollio, H. R. (1990). The Lived Meaning of Free Choice: An Existential-Phenomenological Description of Everyday Consumer Experiences of Contemporary Married Women. Journal of Consumer Research, 17(3), 346-361. AND Zeithaml, V. A., Berry, L. L. & Parasuraman, A. (1993). The Nature and Determinants of Customer Expectations of Service. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 21(1), 1-12.
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Prepared by Michael Ling
The following two articles are examples of „positivist‟ and „interpretive‟ styles of research in the marketing discipline. Section A provides a brief introduction about the two articles Section B compares and contrast the ways in which the „convincingness‟ of the field research is constructed and narrated in the two papers.
(i) Thompson, C. J., Locander, W. B., & Pollio, H. R. (1990). The Lived Meaning of Free Choice: An Existential-Phenomenological Description of Everyday Consumer Experiences of Contemporary Married Women. Journal of Consumer Research, 17(3), 346-361. (ii) Zeithaml, V. A., Berry, L. L. & Parasuraman, A. (1993). The Nature and Determinants of Customer Expectations of Service. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 21(1), 1-12.
Prepared by Michael Ling
Thompson et al. (1990) – a case of ‘Interpretive’ research. One of the fundamental tenets of interpretive research is that the reality we know of is socially constructed and one of the ways to understand (verstenhen) it, as opposed to explain (erklärung) it, is through the lived experiences of those who live in them (Willis 2007). In exploring the everyday consumer experiences of contemporary married women with children, Thompson et al. (1990) employ an existential phenomenology approach in their research where emphasis is “placed on the perspective of the experiencing individual rather than on the cultural setting as observed from a third-person viewpoint.” According to Willis (2007), phenomenology is concerned about people‟s perception of the world and its focus is on the understanding of the person or persons being studied. Existentialism and phenomenology adhere to the basic principle that “there are no universals that humans can know without doubt”, which is in line with the interpretive approach to “understand the local context” rather than to “find universals or laws of human behavior.” Their research is based on the purposive sampling of ten interviews conducted with ten women who are married, have children, ranged in age from 27 to 42, and responsible for making purchase decisions for their families. The interview questions are not pre-determined. Each interview only begins with the question of “Can you think of a product that you have bought that you would like to talk about?”, and all other questions are open, unknowable in advance and depend on the interactions of the emergent dialogue, which are “formulated in concert with participant descriptions.” Following a hermeneutic approach, the interpretations by Thompson et al. (1990) are based on the transcripts of interviews that have been designed to follow “an iterative back-and-forth process of relating a part of a text to the whole” from which common patterns, or themes, of the interpretations can be identified. Thus, the researchers have taken a philosophical hermeneutics approach, which is appropriate to develop understanding with the rejection of any forms of foundationalism (Willis 2007). In the end, three themes have been identified by Thompson et al. (1990) and they consist of: (i) being restricted/being free from restrictions; (ii) being in control/being out of...