1 Didem Kurt University of Pittsburgh 245 Mervis Hall Pittsburgh, PA EDUCATION Ph.D. in Marketing, expected 2012 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA M.B.A. (Finance), May, 2007 University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL B.S. in Political Science and Public Administration, June, 2003 Middle East Technical University Ankara, Turkey JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS Kurt, Didem, J. Jeffrey Inman, and Jennifer J. Argo (2011), The Influence of Friends on Consumer Spending: The Role of Agency-Communion and Self-Monitoring, Journal of Marketing Research, 48 (August), Essay I of dissertation RESEARCH UNDER REVIEW Kurt, Didem and J. Jeffrey Inman, Seeing Things from the Other Guy s Point of View: Self-Other Difference in the Context of Endowment, revising for third review at Journal of Consumer Research. Essay II of dissertation RESEARCH IN PROGRESS (See Appendix for selected abstracts) Kurt, Didem and Karen M. Stilley, The Licensing Effect of Shopping Basket Composition on Impulsive Spending, finalizing the manuscript for submission to Journal of Marketing Research. Kurt, Didem and John S. Hulland, Changing the Rules of the Game: The Impact on Firm Value of Adopting an Aggressive Marketing Strategy Following Equity Offerings, finalizing the manuscript for submission to Management Science. Kurt, Didem, R. Venkatesh, and Robert J. Gilbert, The Marketing of Green Products: A Study of Consumer Preferences for Hybrid Cars, finalizing the manuscript for submission to Journal of Marketing. Kurt, Didem, Does Social Power Promote Financial Risk Taking? The Role of Agency-Communion, two studies completed. Essay III of dissertation Kurt, Didem and J. Jeffrey Inman, A 360 Degree View of Shopper Decision Making: An Eye- Tracking and Ambulatory EEG Study, data collection in progress. BOOK CHAPTERS Kurt, Didem and John S. Hulland (2011), Corporate Financial Policy and Marketing Strategy: The Case of IPOs and SEOs, in Handbook of Marketing and Finance, eds. Sundar Bharadwaj and Shankar Genesan, Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming.
2 DISSERTATION Three Essays on the Social Aspect of Consumer Decision Making: Social Presence, Social Prediction, and Social Power Chair: J. Jeffrey Inman Committee Members: Jennifer J. Argo, Cait Poynor Lamberton, Karen M. Stilley, and Vanitha Swaminathan Human beings are social creatures whose preferences and consumption decisions are shaped through their interactions with those around them. Every day consumers buy and use products that are observable to others. Thus, consumers are social actors whose decisions have the potential to influence and be influenced by other consumers. Accordingly, previous research suggests that social influence and social prediction (i.e., how would others behave in a similar situation?) can have a profound impact on individuals consumption patterns. Despite the popularity of the social aspect of decision making in consumer research, there are certain topics that received very little attention to date. In my dissertation, I explored three such underresearched topics, namely (1) the effect of the presence of an accompanying friend on consumer spending, (2) the accuracy of social predictions in the context of endowment, and (3) the impact of social power on financial risk taking. Essay I: The Influence of Friends on Consumer Spending: The Role of Agency-Communion and Self-Monitoring In my first essay, I examine whether an accompanying friend influences how much consumers spend during a particular shopping trip. I propose that shopping with friends activates impression management concerns, leading consumers to adjust their spending to conform to the expectations that their friends have of them. Across multiple studies, I document that agentic consumers (i.e., males) spend more when they shop with a friend as compared to when they shop alone, whereas the amount spent by communal consumers (i.e., females) is about the same regardless of whether they shop with a friend. I attribute this to the notion that agentic consumers are self-focused and strive for status (Bakan 1966) and thus, engage in self-promotion through increased spending while shopping with friends. On the other hand, spending more to impress a friend is not consistent with the modest nature of communal consumers, leading them to keep their spending under control in the presence of a friend. Further, consistent with the impression management explanation, I find that friends are especially influential for consumers high in self-monitoring, although the effects work in opposite directions for agentic and communal consumers. While agentic consumers high in self-monitoring spend more with a friend, communal consumers high in self-monitoring spend less when accompanied by a friend. Finally, these findings appear to be spending context dependent as I document that when the spending is for a good cause (i.e., donating to a charity), communal consumers with high self-monitoring loosen their purse strings in the presence of a friend, while donation behavior of agentic consumers is not influenced by an accompanying friend. Essay II: Seeing Things from the Other Guy s Point of View: Self-Other Difference in the Context of Endowment Perspective taking shapes our perception of the world around us and thus, our consumption decisions. However, an accurate understanding of others perspective cannot always be easily achieved. In my second essay, I examine whether consumers accurately predict how valuable an object would be to other consumers. Building on research in several domains including affective psychology of value, empathy gaps, and social prediction, I propose and find that owners underestimate the average selling price stated by other owners, whereas buyers overestimate the average buying price stated by other buyers. I attribute this to a self-other difference in the value function arising from empathy gaps. Accordingly, I document that increased perceived similarity between the self and the target people attenuates the bias in owners and buyers predictions of valuations of others in the same role. Further, I find that greater perspective taking (i.e., the cognitive capacity to consider the world from others viewpoints) is associated with lower estimation errors when participants are high, but not low, in empathy (i.e., the ability to connect emotionally with other individuals).
3 Essay III: Does Social Power Promote Financial Risk Taking? The Role of Agency-Communion Social power has long been recognized by social scientists as a determinant of human behavior but it is not until recently that researchers have started to examine its impact on individuals consumption and spending patterns (e.g., Rucker and Galinsky 2008; Rucker et al. 2011). In my third essay, I investigate an alternative channel through which social power can influence consumers wealth management financial risk taking. I propose that the impact of social power on consumers financial risk taking is not simple but contingent on their agency-communion orientation (i.e., the tendency to focus on the self or others; Bakan 1966). In particular, I predict and find that having power versus lacking power increases financial risk taking by agentic individuals, but not communal individuals. My prediction is based on the notion that self-oriented individuals associate power with self-interest goals, whereas other-oriented individuals associate power with responsibility goals (Chen et al. 2001). That is, since increased wealth can fortify agentic individuals powerful position and help them maintain their status, they tend to make risky financial decisions when they experience a state of power. However, taking risks with the goals of enhancing financial position and maintaining the status associated with power is inconsistent with communal goals. Consistent with my proposed framework, I also document that the impact of social power on agentic individuals financial risk taking is reversed such that they take less risk when the outcome of the risky decision they make benefits others more than themselves (i.e., 75% rather than 25% of their winnings in a gamble are donated to a charity). On the other hand, communal individuals experiencing power refrain from taking higher risk regardless of the self versus others benefit framing. Taken together, my dissertation examines the social aspect of consumer decision making from three different perspectives that are closely related to consumers welfare and well-being: (1) the costly influence of friends presence in the market place, (2) the biased predictions of the valuations of other consumers, (3) the propensity to take higher financial risk due to the possession of social power. The findings of my dissertation not only extend our current understanding of social influence but also add to the nascent literature examining how agency-communion orientation impacts consumers financial decisions. RESEARCH INTERESTS Social Influence In-Store Decision Making and Shopper Marketing Marketing-Finance Interface CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS The Licensing Effect of Shopping Basket Composition on Impulsive Spending, Paper to be presented at the Association for Consumer Research Conference, St. Louis, MO. Seeing Things from the Other Guy s Point of View: Self-Other Difference in the Context of Endowment, Paper to be presented at the Association for Consumer Research Conference, St. Louis, MO. Changing the Rules of the Game: The Impact on Firm Value of Adopting an Aggressive Marketing Strategy Following Equity Offerings, Paper presented at the Marketing Science Conference, Houston, TX (June 2011). Changing the Rules of the Game: The Impact on Firm Value of Adopting an Aggressive Marketing Strategy Following Equity Offerings, Paper presented at the Marketing Strategy Meets Wall Street II Conference, Boston, MA (May 2011). The Licensing Effect of Shopping Basket Composition on Impulsive Spending, Poster presented at the Marketing Academic Research Colloquium, University of Maryland, College Park, MD (May 2011).
4 Predicting the Endowment Effect: Does Being in the Same Shoes Help? Paper presented at the Society for Consumer Psychology Winter Conference, Atlanta, GA (February 2011). How Friends Promote Consumer Spending, Paper presented at the Association for Consumer Research Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (October 2009). How Friends Promote Consumer Spending, Paper presented at the 39th Annual Haring Symposium, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (March 2009). How Friends Promote Consumer Spending, Poster presented at the Society for Consumer Psychology Winter Conference, San Diego, CA (February 2009). HONORS AND AWARDS AMA Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium Fellow, 2009 Haring Symposium Fellow, Indiana University, 2009 Mitsubishi Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, International Advisory Board Scholarship, University of Alabama, 2006 Dean s Scholarship, University of Alabama, REVIEWING ACTIVITY Journal of Consumer Research Doctoral student reviewer trainee Association for Consumer Research Conference, 2009, 2011 Society for Consumer Psychology Winter Conference, 2009, 2011 AMA Summer Marketing Educators Conference - Consumer Behavior track, AMA Summer Marketing Educators Conference - Retailing and Pricing track, TEACHING INTERESTS Consumer Behavior, Retailing, Introduction to Marketing, Marketing Research TEACHING EXPERIENCE Consumer Behavior, Instructor, University of Pittsburgh, Spring 2011 (Teaching Evaluation: 4.00/5.00) Consumer Behavior, Instructor, University of Pittsburgh, Spring 2010 (Teaching Evaluation: 4.04/5.00) Marketing Research, Teaching Assistant, University of Pittsburgh, Spring 2009 Introduction to Marketing, Teaching Assistant, University of Pittsburgh, Fall 2008 PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Manager of Retail Stores, Gural Porselen, Kutahya, Turkey, Managed marketing and sales activities of 38 retail stores of the company; Involved in new product development and coordinated marketing research activities of the company. COURSEWORK Marketing and Decision Making Behavioral Economics (CMU) Consumer Behavior Behavioral Foundations of Marketing (CMU) George Loewenstein Cait Poynor Lamberton Joachim Vosgerau
5 Human Judgment and Decision Making (CMU) Robyn Dawes Marketing Strategy Vanitha Swaminathan Marketing Models R. Venkatesh Pro-Seminar in Marketing Katz Marketing Faculty Microeconomics Esther Gal-Or Methods Introduction to Econometric Theory (CMU) Shamena Anwar Econometric Theory and Methods (CMU) Melvin Stephens Experimental Design (CMU) Howard Seltman Behavioral Research Methods John Hulland Multivariate Analysis for Behavioral Research John Hulland Hierarchical Linear Modeling Feifei Ye Intermediate Probability Leon Gleser Applied Regression Kevin Kim Capital Markets Research in Accounting Mei Feng REFERENCES J. Jeffrey Inman Jennifer J. Argo Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Cormie Professor of Marketing Albert Wesley Frey Professor of Marketing and Professor of Business Administration Room 3-20J Business Building Department of Marketing, Business 356 Mervis Hall Economics and Law University of Alberta University of Pittsburgh Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6G 2R6 Pittsburgh, PA (780) (412) R. Venkatesh John S. Hulland Professor of Business Administration Robert O. Arnold Professor of Business Area Director, Marketing and Business Economics Department of Marketing and Distribution 332 Mervis Hall Terry College of Business University of Georgia University of Pittsburgh Athens, GA Pittsburgh, PA (724) (412) Cait Poynor Lamberton Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Fryrear Faculty Fellow 364 Mervis Hall University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA (412)
6 APPENDIX: DESCRIPTION OF SELECTED RESEARCH Kurt, Didem, J. Jeffrey Inman, and Jennifer J. Argo (2011), The Influence of Friends on Consumer Spending: The Role of Agency-Communion and Self-Monitoring, Journal of Marketing Research, in press. Essay I of dissertation (paper attached) Four studies investigate the interactive influence of the presence of an accompanying friend and a consumer s agency-communion orientation on the consumer s spending behaviors. In general, the authors find that shopping with a friend can be expensive for agency-oriented consumers (e.g., males), but not for communion-oriented consumers (e.g., females). That is, consumers who are agencyoriented spend significantly more when they shop with a friend (versus when they shop alone), whereas this effect is attenuated for consumers who are communion-oriented. The results also show that this interactive effect is moderated by individual differences in self-monitoring such that friends are especially influential for consumers who are high in self-monitoring, but the effects occur in opposite directions for agency- and communion-oriented consumers (i.e., agentic consumers spend more with a friend, while communal consumers spend less when accompanied by a friend). Finally, the authors test the underlying process and document that the interaction among agency-communion orientation, the presence of a friend, and self-monitoring is reversed when the focal context is changed from spending for the self to donating to a charity. Kurt, Didem and J. Jeffrey Inman, Seeing Things from the Other Guy s Point of View: Self-Other Difference in the Context of Endowment, revising for third review at Journal of Consumer Research. Essay II of dissertation (paper attached) Three studies investigate perspective taking among consumers who assume the same role in the context of endowment (i.e., owners vs. owners and buyers vs. buyers). We document that even being in the shoes of others (e.g., being an owner and estimating the valuation of other owners) does not enable people to accurately predict the valuation of others. Specifically, owners underestimate the average selling price demanded by other owners, whereas buyers overestimate the average purchase price offered by other buyers. We attribute this to a self-other difference in valuation due to intrarole empathy gaps. As predicted, we find that priming similarities between participants significantly reduces documented estimation errors. Furthermore, we find that higher perspective taking tendency is associated with more accurate predictions only when participants are high in empathic ability. Kurt, Didem and Karen M. Stilley, The Licensing Effect of Shopping Basket Composition on Impulsive Spending, finalizing the manuscript for submission to Journal of Marketing Research. This paper examines the licensing effect of shopping basket composition (utilitarian vs. hedonic) on subsequent impulsive spending during a particular shopping trip. In study 1, we find that consumers who purchased utilitarian items (e.g., grapes) spend more on a subsequent impulsive purchase than those who purchased hedonic items (e.g., cookies) but only when consumers have not accumulated any savings on their prior purchases. We attribute this to the notion that buying utilitarian items leads to positive self-attributions, whereas buying hedonic items induces guilt and that savings offered on hedonic products play a guilt-mitigating role (e.g., Khan and Dhar 2010). Consistent with our proposed framework, in study 2, we document that consumers with high chronic consumption guilt drive the documented licensing effect of utilitarian versus hedonic shopping baskets. Finally, in study 3, we test our prediction in a real-shopping setting using the data collected from 400 grocery shoppers who kept track of their purchases with a hand-held scanner. We again find that the lower hedonicity rating of the shopping basket is associated with higher subsequent impulsive spending only when accumulated savings are low.
7 Kurt, Didem, R. Venkatesh, and Robert J. Gilbert, The Marketing of Green Products: A Study of Consumer Preferences for Hybrid Cars, finalizing the manuscript for submission to Journal of Marketing. Green a moniker for energy efficiency, dollar savings and environmental friendliness is creating new buzz in several established product markets. Hybrid cars, energy efficient light bulbs, and solar water heaters are just a few examples of green products with distinct value propositions and the potential to alter consumption habits in fundamental ways. In this paper, we address two important questions: (1) how do consumers personality and usage characteristics influence their preference intensities for green products, and (2) in what ways should marketing strategies (in terms of warranty and advertising message) for green products be different from those for conventional offerings? We build several propositions related to each question and test them with the data from the hybrid car market. In collaboration with a regional car dealer, we executed a survey among 190 hybrid and conventional car owners. Our results suggest that consumers with greater focus on future (vs. distant) outcomes of their decisions, lower risk aversion and higher need for social recognition are more likely to own a hybrid car than a conventional car. These effects however are attenuated for older consumers. In addition, we find that participants recycling shopping behavior and usage intensity are positively associated with the probability of hybrid car ownership. Our results also reveal that fuel economy and environmental benefits are equally important in shaping consumers decisions to choose a hybrid version over a conventional version. Further, we document that conventional car owners factor the length of warranty more heavily into their purchase decisions as compared to hybrid car owners. Kurt, Didem and John S. Hulland, Changing the Rules of the Game: The Impact on Firm Value of Adopting an Aggressive Marketing Strategy Following Equity Offerings, finalizing the manuscript for submission to Management Science. This paper examines how changes in firms marketing strategies following initial public offerings (IPOs) and seasoned equity offerings (SEOs) impact firm value. We first show that both IPO and SEO firms adopt a more aggressive marketing strategy during the two years following their offering. However, we then contend that not all issuers benefit equally from this increase in marketing spending, and identify a boundary condition for the link between marketing expenditure and firm value: relative financial leverage of industry rivals. Our prediction is rooted in the theoretical and empirical literature examining the connection between financial leverage and product market competition. We find that the stock market reacts favorably to an aggressive marketing strategy initiated by issuers competing against relatively highly leveraged rivals, whereas increased marketing expenditures do not translate into higher firm value when rivals are less leveraged. Furthermore, we show that marketing expenditures create value within context: the role of marketing expenditures in enhancing shareholder value and the moderating effect of relative financial leverage of rivals are more pronounced in the two-year window following an offering than at any other time. Overall, this paper contributes to the nascent literature examining how marketing and finance resources interact around equity offerings, and provides evidence for a potential contingency theory of marketing-finance interface (Luo 2008) by documenting that the impact of marketing on firm value is heterogeneous across firms and market conditions.