Department of Marketing

Consumer Behavior

In this resarch area we develop and validate in particular explanation approaches of consumer behavior. This behavior-oriented and especially socialpsychological and culture-psychological grounded approach mirrors our other research fields.

Within the research area "consumer behavior" we pursue especially the analysis of transformative, ethical and political motivated and sustainable consumer behavior. Especially in wealthy industry nations topics like ethics and sustainability of consumption achieved increasing importance in the last decades. In particular, when the press reports about corporate social irresponsible behavior (e. g. shifts of factory plants into low wage countries, environmental scandals, unhealthy products, inhumane working conditions at suppliers sites etc.) public discussions arise, whether consumers can, should and want to control corporate behavior through conscious purchase decisions.

What are the core questions of the Marketing Department?

In the research area of consumer behavior we deal amongst other things with following topics:

  • Consumer boycott and buycott: Konsumentenboykott und –buykott:
    e. g. what are the drivers of the participation in boycotts and carrotmobs?
  • Ethic and Sustainability:
    e. g. what are the motives for consumers to behave socially responsibly and environmentally friendly?
  • Consumer animosity:
    e. g. under which conditions do hostile attitudes affect consumer behavior?

What is consumer boycott?

Consumer boycott definition:

 „[…] wenn Aktivisten (Protestgruppen, Nicht-Regierungsorganisationen etc.) potenzielle Boykottteilnehmer (Konsumenten) davon überzeugen, von ihrer Konsumentensouveränität Gebrauch zu machen, indem sie vom Kauf bestimmter Produkte des Zielunternehmens absehen, um ihren Unmut über dessen Verhalten auszudrücken (expressives Ziel) und/oder zu versuchen, dieses zu einer Änderung seines Verhaltens zu bewegen (instrumentelles Ziel).“

Quelle: Hoffmann (2008): Boykottpartizipation, S. 13.
 

 Boykott

Quelle: Hoffmann (2008): Boykottpartizipation, S. 93.

What is a carrotmob?

Carrotmob defintion und process: „A carrotmob is a temporary buycott in the form of a purchase flashmob by a group of consumers organized by activists. These activists chose the company offering the best bid within an auction as the target of the carrotmob. The best bid can be defined in terms of the company’s monetary and/or nonmonetary inputs or in terms of expected improvements in issues the activists ask for.”

Quelle: Hoffmann/Hutter (2012): Carrotmob as a New Form of Ethical Consumption, S. 218.

Carrotmob

Quelle: Hoffmann/Hutter (2012): Carrotmob as a New Form of Ethical Consumption, S.217.

Are there recent publications of the Marketing Department?

Lee, M. S. W.; Hoffmann, S. (2014) (eds.). Anti-Consumption and Consumer Wellbeing: ICAR Proceedings, Vol. 5, New Zealand: Auckland.
Details

Niemand, T.; Hoffmann, S.; Mai, R. (2014). Einsatzpotenziale und Grenzen bei der Anwendung des Impliziten Assoziationstests (IAT) in der Marketing-Forschung, Marketing ZFP – Journal of Research and Management (forthcoming).

Hoffmann, S.. Are Boycott Motives Rationalizations?, Journal of Consumer Behaviour. (forthcoming).

Hoffmann, S.. Does National Culture Impact Consumer Boycott Prevalence? A Multi-Country Study, European Journal of International Management, 6 (5). (forthcoming).

Hoffmann, S.. Home Country Bias in the Moral Obligation to Boycott Offshoring Companies, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. (forthcoming).

Hutter, K.; Hoffmann, S. (2013). Carrotmob and Anti-consumption. Same Motives, but Different Willingness to Make Sacrificies? Journal of Macromarketing, 33 (3), 217-231.

Hoffmann, S.; Hutter, K. (2012). Carrotmob as a New Form of Ethical Consumption. The Nature of the Concept and Avenues for Future Research, Journal of Consumer Policy, 35 (2), 215-236.

Hoffmann, S. (2011). Anti-Consumption as a Means of Saving Jobs, European Journal of Marketing, 45 (11/12), 1702-1714.

Hoffmann, S.; Mai, R.; Smirnova, M. (2011). Development and Validation of a Cross-nationally Stable Scale of Consumer Animosity, Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice, 19 (2), 235-252.

Hoffmann, S.; Müller, S. (2009). Consumer Boycotts Due to Factory Relocation, Journal of Business Research, 62 (2), 239-247.

Soyez, K.; Hoffmann, S.; Wünschmann, S.; Gelbrich, K. (2009). Pro-environmental Value Orientation across Cultures. Development of a German and Russian Scale, Social Psychology, 40 (4), 222-233.

Müller, S.; Wünschmann, S.; Wittig, K.; Hoffmann, S. (2007). Umweltbewusstes Konsumentenverhalten im interkulturellen Vergleich: Ein Beitrag zum Interkulturellen Marketing, Göttingen.

What does the media report about the studies of the Marketing Department?

  • Süddeutsche Zeitung: Druck machen durch Nichtstun, 25. März 2014
  • Wiener Zeitung: Ein Einzelner kann nichts anrichten, 05. Juni 2010
  • 1live: Heute schon boykottiert? Boykott: Purer Idealismus oder politisches Zeichen?, 26. Mai 2010
  • Stuttgarter Zeitug: Entscheidend ist die Wut, 27.November 2009
  • Stiftung Warentest: Gut im Griff, Oktober 2008
  • Welt am Sonntag: Boykott von Nokia hat kaum eine Chance, 03. Februar 2008
  • Wirtschaftswoche: Nokia-Boykott: Aus dem Nichts, 26. Januar 2008 
  • Tagesspiegel: Ist der Ruf erst ruiniert, 22. Januar 2008
  • Freie Presse Chemnitz: Erst kommt das Telefonieren, dann die Moral, 19. Januar 2008
  • Die Financial Times Deutschland: Boykottiert Nokia, 18. Januar 2008
  • WDR2 - Boykottaufruf gegen Nokia - Mit Erfolgsaussichten, 18. Januar 2008
  • WDR2: 175. Geburtstag von Charles Cunningham Boycott, 12. März 2007
  • Deutschlandfunk: Testfall AEG - Studie zum möglichen Verbraucherboykott, 02. Juni 2006
  • Handelsblatt: Wann sind Kunden zum Produktboykott bereit, 08. September 2006