Kevin Lewis

December 01, 2019

Price Promotions Cause Impatience
Franklin Shaddy & Leonard Lee
Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming


In this research, the authors propose that incidental exposure to price promotions can cause downstream impatience in an unrelated domain. Specifically, price promotions trigger reward seeking — a general motivational state — and reward seeking, in turn, yields impatience. Seven experiments (N = 1,795) demonstrate how incidental exposure to price promotions can cause greater willingness to pay to avoid waiting (Experiments 1a and 1b), shorter actual wait times (Experiments 2, 3b, and 5), greater propensity to break a rule to save time (Experiment 3a), and greater discounting in a consequential intertemporal choice (Experiment 4). Consistent with this account, the effect is both more pronounced for people with greater reward sensitivity (Experiments 3a and 3b) and mediated by reward seeking (Experiment 4). Finally, a conceptual replication in a field setting underscores the external validity and managerial relevance of the findings (Experiment 5).

At Your Service on the Table: Impact of Tabletop Technology on Restaurant Performance
Tom Fangyun Tan & Serguei Netessine
Management Science, forthcoming


Some industries, such as healthcare and financial services, have reported significant productivity gains from introduction of new technologies. However, other more traditional, labor-intensive industries are lagging behind. We use granular data to examine the impact of a customer-facing technology (a tabletop device that facilitates the table service process) on the check size and meal duration aspects of restaurant performance. The restaurant chain in our study implemented tabletop devices in a staggered manner, offering us a quasi-experimental setting in which to apply a difference-in-difference technique and identify the causal effect of the technology. We find that the tabletop technology is likely to improve average sales per check by approximately 1% (95% confidence interval is from 0.8% to 1.02%), and reduce the meal duration by close to 10% (95% confidence interval ranges from −9.94% to −9.54%). The combination of these two effects increases the sales per minute or sales productivity by approximately 11%. Various robustness checks of our empirical strategy and post hoc analyses find that tabletop technology allows low-ability waiters to improve their performance more significantly than high-ability waiters. In addition, the technology does not change the staffing level. Overall, our results indicate great potential for introducing tabletop technology in a large service industry that currently lacks digitalization.

Who Receives Credit or Blame? The Effects of Made-to-Order Production on Responses to Unethical and Ethical Company Production Practices
Neeru Paharia
Journal of Marketing, forthcoming


While prior research has found that consumer-influenced production improves purchase intentions, the author proposes that it can counterintuitively backfire. This work demonstrates that when consumers have some control over production (e.g., ordering products on demand, customization, preordering), they have lower purchase intentions for products made with unethical processes (e.g., pollution, underpaid labor) than if they had no role in production (i.e., buying what is already in inventory). This effect reverses, however, with positive ethical production (e.g., recycled materials). Because consumers have direct responsibility for whether a product is made, feelings of anticipated guilt or gratification result depending on the ethicality of the production process. This work also proposes a novel threefold conceptualization of responsibility that can be used as managerial levers: direct responsibility, diffusion of responsibility, and broad responsibility. Field studies using Facebook’s advertising platform demonstrate positioning strategies for fair-trade brands and advocacy groups.

Sorry by Size: How the Number of Apologizers Affects Apology Effectiveness
Yaxuan Ran & Sam Maglio
Journal of Consumer Research, forthcoming


Company apologies require apologizers, which can take the form of one person or multiple people. Does the number of apologizers influence how consumers interpret and respond to that apology? The current research suggests that a single apologizer proves more effective than multiple apologizers because consumers tend to have a stronger empathic response towards one person than towards multiple people. Across one archival study and four experiments, a single apologizer (relative to multiple apologizers) garners higher stock returns (study 1), elicits a higher rate of behavior indicative of acceptance of the apology (study 2), and more readily facilitates consumer forgiveness of the company, perceived company integrity, and satisfaction with the apology (studies 3-5). This effect is mediated by empathy for the apologizer (studies 4 and 5), and the benefit for a single apologizer dissipates when consumers perceive multiple apologizers as entitative, united members (study 5). Contributions and implications are discussed.

Mind the (information) gap: Strategic nondisclosure by marketers and interventions to increase consumer deliberation
Sunita Sah & Daniel Read
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, forthcoming


Marketers have a choice of what to tell consumers and consumers must consider what they are told or not told. Across 6 experiments, we show that consumers fail to differentiate between deliberate and nondeliberate missing information (strategic naiveté) and make generous inferences when they do notice missing information is deliberately withheld (charitability). We also show how marketers can take advantage of this by withholding information. We investigate both sides to (a) show the effects of interventions to encourage consumers to consider deliberate nondisclosure in a less naïve and charitable fashion, (b) demonstrate when marketers should disclose (or not) if consumers are naïve and charitable (i.e., breakeven points), and (c) explore the reasons marketers give for (non)disclosure and consumers’ thoughts on why information is missing. Consumers respond differently to distinct but theoretically equivalent framings that increase the salience of nondisclosure. Only when nondisclosure was highly salient, and consumers could compare multiple profiles side by side did consumers believe the nondisclosed information to be the worst possible.

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