Essays on the Impact of Social and Psychological Factors on Strategic Firm Decisions
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Traditional economic analysis assumes that consumers are fully rational and consumer preferences are independent of consumers’ social context. Research has shown ample evidence that consumer preferences may vary by the social context of consumption, and social and psychological factors influence consumers’ decision making. This dissertation examines the effects of social and psychological factors on consumers’ decision making and how firms make strategic product and pricing decisions to respond to these effects. In the first chapter of the dissertation, I examine how firms selling repeated-purchased products price discriminate consumers based on consumers’ purchase history data, given that consumers are concerned about price fairness. In the second chapter, I examine how firms selling durable goods introduce product upgrades, given that consumers’ utility from consuming a product depends on the relative standing of the product in the marketplace. In the third chapter, I examine how firms selling status products make the design differentiation decision for their product lines, given that product design reveals consumers’ social group and consumers have status considerations. In the above research, I provide qualitatively new insights on the impact of psychological and social factors on firms’ strategic decisions and offer important implications for managers and public policy makers.
Li, Jiaoyang (2016). Essays on the Impact of Social and Psychological Factors on Strategic Firm Decisions. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from