بگیریدش یا ترکش کنید: با استفاده از تئوری مناسب نظارتی برای درک رستگاری پاداش در برنامه های پاداش کانال
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|27768||2013||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10420 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 42, Issue 8, November 2013, Pages 1345–1356
Channel Reward Programs (CRPs) facilitate relationship management within reseller networks in distribution channels, yet a persistent problem is that rewards are not seen as valuable, which can reduce program investment. By applying Regulatory Fit theory, to understand how to sustain goal orientation (promotion or prevention) and stimulate task engagement through a match with the manner of goal pursuit, this study demonstrates that the presentation style suppliers adopt influences resellers' perceptions of reward value and their rate of point redemption with respect to CRPs. Two field studies demonstrate the mechanisms driving this effect. First, fit effects result from the interaction between reward type and presentation format (i.e., verbal vs. numerical) and affect perceived reward values and investment decisions. Second, cognitive engagement and “feeling right” about reward redemption mediate the effects of fit on investment opportunity evaluations. In turn, the findings demonstrate that CRP efficacy can be enhanced by stimulating regulatory orientations that match the presentation formats of the reward and that the dual affective–cognitive processes affect probabilistic judgments of rewards. This additional mechanism can further stimulate resellers' engagement with and investment in CRPs within complex decision-making contexts.
The effective coordination of exchange relationships within large networks of independent resellers (particularly sole traders or micro enterprises) in distribution channels remains a challenge for manufacturers (Biggemann and Buttle, 2012, Johnson et al., 2012 and Narayandas, 2005). A common strategy used to build loyalty in such settings formalizes the relationships with independent business owners through Channel Reward Programs (CRPs) that feature marketing support initiatives, such as lead generation or reseller sales training and certification with mutual benefits for the parties involved (Gartner Research, 2006). However, CRPs demand considerable investments to generate awareness and foster participation. The related effort may, for the supplier, exceed simply creating an administrative infrastructure; they also demand investments of time, effort, and transaction costs among participants, who seek to earn points and then must decide how to redeem those points as rewards. The points are a form of currency in this exchange, and a failure to spend them would imply ineffectiveness, dissatisfaction, and a liability of (symbolic) capital accumulation. Yet some CRP members never invest their points, especially if the rewards fail to match their business needs or if the exact payoff of a specific point investment remains uncertain (Chief Marketing Officer Council, 2010 and Schwartz et al., 2006). Many otherwise efficient reseller programs have failed due to poor communication with and enthusiasm from resellers, resulting in low levels of engagement, poor perceived value, and reduced claim activity. How then can manufacturers stimulate engagement and subsequent point redemption activity within CRPs? To address this important managerial question, we employ Regulatory Fit (RF) theory as a theoretical basis for explaining investment of points for reward redemption decisions. Regulatory Fit is a motivational theory that explains how goal orientations, such as business opportunity promotion or risk prevention, might be sustained, as well as how task engagement can be stimulated, through a match of the goal orientation with the goal pursuit method (e.g., Higgins, 2006). In particular, the question of how independent decision makers identify and attain their goals is fundamental for understanding members' investment activity in CRPs. We consider RF particularly interesting in this context, because it explains decision making by the interrelationships among three core concepts: (a) motivational orientation (promotion versus prevention regulatory foci), (b) reward communication format, and (c) judgment impacts on perceived value of rewards and investment (Kruglanski, 2006). The relevance of RF stems first from the notion that the utility or value a business owner experiences from his or her decision to redeem points is a function of the fit relationship between this owner's motivational outlook during the decision process (i.e., which goals he or she values) and his or her preferred decision-making approach (Antes and Mumford, 2012 and Brockner and Higgins, 2001). Second, regulatory orientations vary with the situation, such as in response to different leadership styles or organizational communication formats. In this sense, they offer excellent opportunities for program interventions and the potential to enhance fit by stimulating orientations consistent with the task or activity being promoted. That is, reward systems should be more effective if they match a business owner's regulatory orientation (Brockner & Higgins, 2001). In the process of confirming these general propositions for CRP reward redemption, we make two substantive research contributions. First, we address an ongoing debate in the literature about how to communicate complex, longer-term outcomes, such as potential pay-offs from reward programs. von Winterfeldt and Edwards (1986) argue that decision makers prefer numerical information over verbal information, because it leaves less room for ambiguity, such as when learning about the potential for loss (e.g., “0.01 to 0.1% chance” versus “the chance is very low”; Knapp, Raynor, & Berry, 2004). In contrast, Windschilt and Wells (1996) posit that a verbal presentation of outcomes (e.g., “it is very likely that the potential pay-off is very high”) may be more convincing because of its better fit with the context, which involves communicating abstract or undefined outcomes and the potential for gain. To extend these fit notions, we investigate the relationship between situational regulatory focus and the presentation format of a pay-off, regardless of disposition, as well as how this interaction affects the value of a reward and CRP investment decisions. Second, after having established the interaction between situational regulatory focus and presentation format, we zoom in on its underlying mechanisms to further our understanding of this important phenomenon. Prior RF research already has recognized that the degree to which decision makers “feel right” about their goal pursuit accounts for some of the impact of fit on perceived value (Aaker and Lee, 2006 and Avnet and Higgins, 2006). For example, prevention-focused entrepreneurs experience fit when they can estimate feasibility and assess potential loss in detail, because they are already oriented toward avoiding losses; ‘feeling right’ about their business investment decisions leads to stronger engagement with the venture (Hmieleski & Baron, 2008). Yet, much RF research relies on relatively simple, laboratory-based, problems; we consider more complex business problems and predict that the feeling right mechanism is necessary but not sufficient to explain decision makers' reactions to rewards and investments. For example, judging the Return on Investment (ROI) of CRP rewards entails a probabilistic judgment of the likelihood of an event (Rottenstreich & Kivetz, 2006), namely, of the extent to which CRP rewards will serve the reseller's business objectives in the future. This prediction requires accounting for the cognitive engagement necessary to understand investment decisions. Therefore, we extend previous RF research by examining the explanatory power of cognitive engagement, in addition to feeling right, as a parallel, underlying mechanism for transferring RF to explicate perceived reward value and ultimately reward investment decisions. We employ two large-scale field experiments to substantiate these claims.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
With this study, we aim to make two substantive contributions to extant RF literature. First, we address the debate on the optimal format–focus match that can stimulate a fit effect. We demonstrate that the fit effect is enhanced by a match between stimulated regulatory focus and the format of the payoff information, which then affects the perceived value of CRP rewards and a reseller's investment decision. Second, we introduce probabilistic judgment and cognitive engagement as relatively new constructs in RF literature, which mediate the fit effect on CRP reward value perceptions and reseller investment decisions. Cognitive engagement and feeling right constitute two mechanisms by which fit effects influence probabilistic judgments, which in turn affect reward value perceptions and investment decisions. Understanding both feeling right and cognitive engagement thus is essential to understand RF in complex business decision-making contexts. 5.1. The focus–format interaction In Study 1, independent resellers evaluating direct mail (promotion reward) are more likely to invest if the reward payoff is communicated verbally. In contrast, those evaluating customer service training (prevention reward) are more likely to invest if the payoff description uses numerical formats. Our findings substantiate previous studies' findings (Lee et al., 2010 and Liberman et al., 1999) and also extend RF research by showing that the presentation format of information makes a substantive difference, through the interaction between stimulated focus and presentation format. This effect is particularly pronounced for respondents in the prevention-focused condition. For example, in the promotion condition, investment decisions remain positive for both verbal (M = 5.39) and numerical (M = 4.90) formats, though verbal is preferred. In the prevention condition, investment decisions improve from neutral for the verbal format (M = 3.26) to positive for numerical formats (M = 4.18), signaling a potential detriment of mismatching the presentation format in prevention-focused conditions. This effect remains stable across studies and is consistent with other findings that suggest differential fit effects for prevention- versus promotion-focused decision makers (Antes and Mumford, 2012 and Brockner et al., 2004). The findings also can be understood in terms of the fit construal hypothesis and according to the processing of ideal versus ought goals. Regulatory focus influences how people construe information. Prevention-focused (i.e., ought goals, security and protection) people construe information at a concrete level, facilitating assessments of potential loss and promoting efforts to avoid those losses. Numerical expressions convey more concrete information, characterized by a focus on details (Semin et al., 2005). Therefore, resellers stimulated with a prevention focus experience better fit when presented with numerical information that captures their vigilance strategies, such that the information is construed at a concrete level. Promotion-focused (i.e., ideal goals, hopes and aspirations) people instead are more likely to construe information at an abstract level (Lee et al., 2010) facilitating their assessment of opportunity and potential gains, as conveyed best through verbal expressions that capture broad, general eagerness strategies in goal pursuit (e.g., attracting new customers) (Semin et al., 2005). Hence, within our study, individual resellers stimulated with a promotion focus experienced better fit when they viewed verbal information, suggesting they construed this information at an abstract level. Therefore, the communication format pertaining to reward payoff information is an important design aspect of a loyalty reward program that can enhance fit effects and significantly influence reward value perceptions, as well as the subsequent investment decisions of business owners. Regulatory fit results when information is construed at a level that matches regulatory focus; this fit influences the intensity of subsequent judgments (Lee et al., 2010). Furthermore, our findings regarding situationally stimulated RF within CRPs are consistent with those focusing on dispositional RF (e.g., Semin et al., 2005). In addition, we find a significant influence of value perceptions on investment decisions, in line with prior research (Yi & Jeon, 2003). 5.2. Dual mechanism Our second study substantiated our findings from Study 1 with regard to the interaction effect between regulatory focus (i.e., reward type) and payoff presentation format: The interaction effect was more pronounced in the prevention-focused condition. We also measured resellers' probabilistic judgments of reward implementation and examined the mechanisms by which fit affected probabilistic judgment, and then perceived reward value and investment decisions. Both cognitive engagement and feeling right mediated the fit effects on probabilistic judgment of CRP rewards; probabilistic judgment mediated the relationship of feeling right with cognitive engagement and reward value perceptions and CRP investment decisions. Thus fit affects reward value perceptions and investment decisions within CRPs through a dual cognitive-affective mechanism, as well as through probabilistic judgments of outcomes. The exact relation between these mechanisms previously has seemed ambiguous (e.g., Pham & Avnet, 2009). Some studies consider feeling right the primary mechanism for the fit effect (e.g., Higgins, 2000 and Kruglanski, 2006), whereas others asserted that feeling right and cognitive engagement operated simultaneously (e.g., Avnet and Higgins, 2006 and Lee et al., 2010). To resolve the issue, Pham and Avnet (2009) postulate that the feeling right mechanism dominates in low involvement conditions whereas cognitive engagement dominates in high involvement conditions. Evidence to support this proposition has been lacking (cf. Avnet & Laufer, 2010). By testing it, we shed light on how the two mechanisms operate together in high involvement situations. Specifically, cognitive engagement and feeling right operated simultaneously to affect probabilistic judgment, though the former had a stronger influence than the latter. Thus, for high involvement investment decisions, it is necessary but not sufficient to apply a feeling right heuristic; decision makers must also be cognitively engaged in the process, particularly in complex, longer-term, or ambiguous decisions. This finding is consistent with and substantiates recent propositions that integral fit situations lead to increased elaboration (Cesario et al., 2008 and Yoon et al., 2012). Promoting CRPs thus requires not only a match between the payoff presentation and the regulatory focus but also some consideration of how the presented information (in whatever format) is likely to be used in a highly engaged decision-making process. Our definition and operationalization of engagement differ from the notions used in previous RF studies. Past research has operationalized engagement as specific to the content of the persuasive message, often using “motivation to process the information” as its indicator (Lee et al., 2010). However, such an operationalization measures only one dimension of engagement (i.e., in reading the task), which might not capture the true nature of participants' engagement, particularly in high involvement contexts such as CRPs. We thus extend the notion of engagement by measuring participants' cognitive engagement with the task at hand, not merely their message engagement. We speculate that task-specific engagement should have a stronger effect on judgment than feeling right, because the operationalization of engagement in our study truly captured participants' task engagement. Fig. 5 further demonstrates how the fit effect can sustain motivation throughout CRP engagement, rather than a simpler focus on achieving end rewards.