Consumer attachment styles and preference for participating in sharing systems
Döğerlioğlu Demir, Kıvılcım and Okan, Mehmet (2015) Consumer attachment styles and preference for participating in sharing systems. In: 2. Uluslararası Ekonomi Yönetimi ve Pazar Araştırmaları Kongresi, Istanbul
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Sharing encompasses “all activities and processes of distributing what is ours to others for their use and receiving or taking something from others for our use” (Belk 2007, 126). Following Belk (2013), we distinguish between non-market and market-based sharing systems and adopting Hazan and Shaver’s (1987) three attachment style model, show that consumers’ attachment styles determine their likelihood to participate in such sharing systems. We suggest that basic relational dynamics of relationships should construct the basis of consumer relationships with sharing communities. Whereas non-market based sharing economies involve interdependence and opportunities for intra-community friendship and closeness (Ozanne and Ballatine 2010), market based economies are centered on self-interests. Anxious individuals are at ease with closeness. However, they worry about being rejected. As anxious individuals lack self-esteem, they constantly seek to gain acceptance and validation from others (Bartholomew and Shaver 1998). We propose that anxious consumers view non-market based sharing systems as a way to boost self-esteem as such sharing settings provide consumers with a sense of belonging and connectedness (Ozanne and Ballatine 2010). Avoidant consumers, on the other hand, view others as untrustworthy and prefer to distance themselves from others. Commercial nature of market based systems provides avoidant consumers with a means to enhance trust (Morgan and Hunt 1995). Thus, H1: There will be an interaction between attachment style and sharing system. Such that while anxious consumers’ likelihood to use a non-market based system is higher than a market based system, avoidant consumers’ likelihood to use a market based system is higher than a non-market based system. H2: For anxious consumers, the effect of sharing system on likelihood to use is mediated by self-esteem. For avoidant consumers the effect of sharing system on likelihood to use is mediated by trust. Sharing in all forms include some form of previous contact of another user. Mauss (1972) define contagion as physical contact with the mediation of objects and places, suggesting that there is a transmission of essence from a source to a target when an object changes hands. The essence exchanged could be physical, mental, or moral in nature (Newman & Dhar, 2014). Contagion theory includes the possibility of transfer of positive qualities (Argo, Dahl, & Morales 2008). Sharing of previously touched objects is seen as an indicator of close relationships (Miller et al. 1998). Drawing from previous research on positive contagion, it is postulated that as contagion level increases, the sense of connectedness will attenuate. It is suspected, however, that this effect will only be observed among anxious individuals as those are the ones who look for belonging and connectedness. Formally, hypothesis is, H3: There will be a significant interaction between attachment styles (secure and anxious) and contagion level (high and low). Only for anxious consumers, high levels of contagion will lead to greater likelihood to use non-market mediated services. Study 1 We employed a 2 (attachment: anxious vs. avoidant) x 2 (non-market based vs. market based) between subject experimental design on randomly assigned 386 participants. We followed Bartz and Lyndon (2004)’s procedure to manipulate attachment styles. Results We performed a regression on likelihood to stay with sharing system type (market based and non-market based), attachment styles (anxious and avoidant) and their interaction. Confirming H1, the results show a significant two-way interaction between sharing type and attachment styles. Anxiety-primed participants’ likelihood to stay in non-market based home-sharing system is significantly higher than avoidance primed participants (p< .01). Study 2 2(attachment: anxious vs. avoidant) x 2(non-market vs. market) between subject experimental design was employed on randomly assigned 247 participants. Results Using Hayes (2013)’s Conditional Process Analysis, results suggest that attachment styles impact likelihood to participate in sharing systems. For anxious consumers, non-market based sharing systems have a self-esteem enhancing role. On the other hand, for avoidant consumers, market based sharing systems provide trust, impacting such individuals’ likelihood to participate in such settings. Study 3 We employed 2(attachment: anxious vs. secure) x 2(contagion level: high vs. low) between subject experimental design was employed. Results A moderation analysis of Hayes (2013) were performed on likelihood to wear with contagion level, attachment styles and their interaction. Model confirmed the main effect of contagion level and moderation role of anxiety (F(3,149)=2.9064, p< .05). More importantly, in slope examination, results showed that the slope was significant only anxious participants (B=-.8278, t=-2.06, p<.05, CI:1.62,-.03). H3 is confirmed
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