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Current Issue

Vol. 59 No. 4, 2017

Peter Mouncey pp. 395–404 [Download PDF]
In this editorial, Peter Mouncey previews the articles in volume 59(4) of IJMR, covering topics including predicting wine repurchase in China, internationally mobile students and their brands, the rating of places, new product performance, and optimising conjoint analysis. Peter also writes about the forum section on reassessing the influence of mental intangibility on consumer decision making and the viewpoint section on political opinion polls. He discusses the perceived coming paradigm shift in market research and several events associated with the topic. He ends with a celebration of the winners of the IJMR Collaborative Award and the MRS Gold Medal.
Published 26 July 2017

The opinion polls: in praise of measurement
Simon Atkinson pp. 405–408 [Download PDF]
In this viewpoint, the author looks at opinion polls and their varying success in the wake of several global elections and referendums. Across the globe, people are increasingly unhappy and decreasingly loyal to political parties, leading to increasing volatility in their behaviour. This had led to differences between opinion polls and election results, but people should not completely lose faith in polls. There have been successes in Ireland and the Netherlands, and poll performance in a range of countries is in line with the historical trend. The UK and US are complex countries for market researchers and despite the perceived failures, polls were actually remarkably accurate. It is difficult to develop an accurate prediction model, and future practice will likely involve more historical data and Big Data.
Published 26 July 2017

Reassessing the influence of mental intangibility on consumer decision-making
Ioannis Rizomyliotis, Kleopatra Konstantoulaki, Giannis Kostopoulos and Athanasios Poulis pp. 409–422 [Download PDF]
This paper explores the influence of mental intangibility on the size of the consideration set, for both tangible products and services. The research also examines the moderating effect of purchase involvement and objective knowledge on the set. Two experimental studies were conducted to examine these relations. Overall, the results indicate that mental intangibility positively influences the size of the consideration set, regardless of the offering type (product or service). This effect is stronger in low levels of knowledge. Consumer involvement does not seem to have a moderating effect on this relation. The studies' implications and recommendations for future research are also discussed.
Published 26 July 2017

Rating places: a statistical exploration
Ron Johnston pp. 423–448 [Download PDF]
This paper suggests an alternative procedure to the rating of places according to the assumption that averaging data on a number of different criteria presents a valid representation of a general pattern. The UK media frequently publish articles reporting on research that rates places on various criteria, with indices that can be structured into league tables. Such indices are frequently based on statistical procedures that over-simplify the differences between places. Following a critique of such methods, an alternative procedure is presented and applied to the data used for the recent production of the UK Prosperity Index. It shows that the geographies of the 43 separate variables deployed in producing that index are more complex than can reasonably be assumed.
Published 3 April 2017

Internationally mobile students and their brands: insights from diaries
Silvia Biraghi pp. 449–470 [Download PDF]
Given the increase in the volume of student mobility, this study explores how internationally mobile students, who are at the starting point of their life as global nomads, represent and give sense to the relationship with their brands in the context of relocation for study purposes. This qualitative research elicits the spontaneous and intimate reconstruction of young consumer–brand relationship dynamics in conditions of mobility by means of digital diaries. Evidence highlights the interactive and eudaimonic properties that young consumers attribute to branded objects for the support they provide in the fulfilment of their day-to-day activities and in the achievement of the challenges connected to the construction of their life project as mobile individuals.
Published 3 March 2017

Predicting wine repurchase: a case of low test-retest reliability in China
Patricia Osidacz Williamson, Simone Mueller-Loose, Larry Lockshin and Leigh Francis pp. 471–494 [Download PDF]
The aim of this study is to extend an existing method to untangle the effect of taste (intrinsic) versus label information (extrinsic) on repurchase in a new-to-wine market. Results from a repeated discrete choice experiment (DCE) conducted before and after tasting a set of wines in China are compared with a control group that only performed the repeated DCE, but not the informed tasting. Fundamental differences were observed in choice response for the control group between the two sets, indicating a low stability of preferences and low test-retest reliability. There was a narrow range of responses for both the control and test groups, with an unusually high number of random choices recorded. The effect of extrinsic and intrinsic product attributes could not be determined. The method of combining discrete choice and tasting should be reassessed first in an established market. Other recommendations for conducting similar research in developing markets are discussed.
Published 8 May 2017

More realism in conjoint analysis: the effect of textual noise and visual style
Saul Dobney, Carlos Ochoa and Melanie Revilla pp. 495–516 [Download PDF]
The main goal of this research is to study the impact on the answers and data quality of making conjoint questions more realistic by introducing some randomised noise into the descriptions of the conjoint levels or by simulating the way an e-commerce website displays products. Conjoint analysis is an advanced market research technique commonly used to estimate preference share for products and services with different attributes and levels. A common criticism of it is in regard to the repetitive nature of the questions. In order to study this, an experiment was implemented in Spain using 1,600 respondents from the opt-in online panel Netquest. The respondents were randomly assigned to one of the following four conditions: classic conjoint design without noise (control group); classic conjoint design with some random textual and numerical noise added to the attribute level descriptions; conjoint simulating e-commerce display of products but no noise; and conjoint simulating e-commerce display and some random textual and numerical noise. The four groups were compared in terms of data quality, survey evaluation and substantive results. The results show a directional but not statistically significant improvement of quality of estimations. In terms of survey evaluation, even if the improvements are not systematic, there is a clear tendency for an improved evaluation when an e-commerce layout is used, but not when random noise is used. Substantive results are not affected.
Published 26 July 2017

The effect of knowledge breadth and depth on new product performance
Defeng Yang, Lu Jin and Shibin Sheng pp. 517–536 [Download PDF]
This study distinguishes two features of a firm’s knowledge base – breadth and depth – and elucidates their interplay in determining new product performance. Papers drawing from the knowledge-based view of the firm often argue a positive role for knowledge base in new product development, however empirical evidence shows an equivocal relationship between knowledge base and new product performance. The empirical results from a sample of 192 high-tech firms indicate that a deep knowledge in a specific industry is imperative to a firm’s new product success. However, the effect of knowledge breadth is contingent on knowledge depth: a firm’s deep knowledge in a specific field causes a systematic shift in the effect of knowledge breadth, from a negative to a positive effect. In other words, knowledge breadth has a negative effect on new product performance for lower levels of knowledge depth, but a positive effect for higher levels of knowledge depth. These findings offer valuable managerial implications for knowledge management, i.e. if firms expand their knowledge base across various fields or submarkets, they need to correspondingly accumulate deep knowledge in each specific field to take advantage of a broad knowledge base.
Published 5 January 2017

The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, by Roger Hutchinson
Peter Mouncey pp. 537–539 [Download PDF]
This book review looks at “The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker”, by Roger Hutchinson. The book is not an academic treatise but rather a story about the development of British society as seen through census records. It highlights interesting facets of British society such as the fact that early censuses were inaccurate and many records were lost, and that a large proportion of emigrants to the outer Empire eventually returned to Britain. The census covers a period of some of the greatest change in British social and political history. Despite being non-academic, the book demonstrates the unique value of the census for market researchers and the use of storytelling helps communicate the key findings.
Published 26 July 2017

MRS Events

September 2017

The Best of Impact 201707.09.17 | The Lowry Arts Centre, Salford Quays

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MRS News

Susan Calman to host MRS Awards 2017

17.08.17 Read more

New procurement guide for buying research

09.08.17 Read more

Lunch and learn for HE researchers

14.07.17 Read more


The IJMR is published for MRS by Warc, the global provider of ideas and evidence for marketing people.