From Bottom Line to Consumers’ Mind: The Framing Effects of Accounting Information
Accounting, Organizations and Society, 43, 56-66, 2015, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aos.2015.04.003
Posted: 8 May 2015
Date Written: May 6, 2015
We investigate how accounting information and message framing jointly impact consumer choice between brand name and generic drugs using a sample representative of the U.S. adult population. We find that information about manufacturers’ profit margin/cost profile in different frames predisposes consumers to develop more or less favorable attitudes towards the firms and their products. The results suggest that two important accounting constructs (profit margin and cost) are endowed with a descriptive valence that evokes affective responses in consumers’ associative memory. This study adds to earlier work on the role of accounting information’s connotative meaning in shaping user perceptions by providing new evidence that the descriptive valence of accounting constructs can impact consumer purchase decisions. The findings of this study also have direct implications for efforts aimed at reducing health care costs by promoting wider use of generic drugs.
Keywords: accounting constructs, message framing, associative memory, generic drugs, health care costs
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