The creative consumer : exploring consumer behavior from a creativity perspective
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This research focuses on consumer creativity and uses frameworks from creativity theory to understand consumer behavior. Because this is a relatively new field of inquiry, the work belongs mainly in the context of discovery. Therefore, the topic was approached in an open, exploratory manner. Instead of formal hypotheses, a set of propositions and models were developed and tested empirically in a field study. Four concepts relevant to the understanding of consumer behavior from a creativity perspective are advanced: (1) creative cognitive processing, or the degree to which consumers engage in creative processing during decision making; (2) creative product, or the degree to which a solution to a consumption problem is considered creative; (3) creative person factors, or different psychological facilitators of creativity (i.e., knowledge, motivation, innovativeness, and efficacy); and (4) solution evaluation, or the degree to which a consumer evaluates his or her solution to a consumption problem favourably. In line with previous literature, a conceptual model, as well as four propositions about these concepts and their relationships, was developed. To obtain measures of creative product, 245 participants responded to a scenario that asked what they would serve at a dinner party. Thought protocols describing participants’ thinking during decision making were the basis for measures of creative cognitive processing. Psychological facilitators of creativity and solution evaluation were measured on established scales. Analyses were performed in SPSS and LISREL VII. This dissertation contributes to consumer research by applying a creativity framework to understand consumer decision making. To the best of my knowledge, it is the first to explore consumer creativity in less constrained settings, and the results show high variability in terms of both creative cognitive processing and creativity in solutions. It has previously been proposed that creativity in solutions to consumption problems should be conceptualized as a three‐dimensional construct, but this has not been tested empirically previously. This research contributes by demonstrating that such a conceptualization is valid and reliable. A creative product assessment scale was developed in a separate study. The scale contributes to consumer research by providing a tool for assessing creativity in solutions to consumption problems. This research adds to the literature by identifying relationships between important antecedents, such as knowledge, motivation, self‐efficacy, and innovativeness, on creativity in a mundane, everyday problem‐solving situation. Finally, creative cognitive processing and creative production have positive effect on participants’ solution evaluation. This underscores the relevance for marketers to focus on consumers as creative problem solvers.
UtgiverNorges handelshøyskole. Institutt for strategi og ledelse