Save Like the Joneses: How Service Firms Can Utilize Deliberation and Informational Influence to Enhance Consumer Well-Being

Journal of Service Research,18 (3), 384-404.

49 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2015

See all articles by Karen Page Winterich

Karen Page Winterich

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration

Gergana Y. Nenkov

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Date Written: August 17, 2015

Abstract

This research demonstrates how service firms can encourage decisions that enhance consumers’ well-being through informational social influence. Specifically, we propose that social information regarding the beneficial behaviors of others is enhanced under a deliberative mindset. Given the financial insecurity of consumers, as well as the potential for financial services firms to positively affect consumers’ savings decisions, we test this theorizing in the context of savings. Four studies demonstrate that the open-mindedness associated with the deliberative mindset increases the effectiveness of providing high savings social information (i.e., information about the high savings rates of others). This effect does not occur for consumers with chronically high susceptibility to interpersonal influence, who are open-minded to social information regardless of mindset, but is stronger for myopically-focused consumers, who otherwise may be most likely to discount high savings information. Results suggest that financial services firms may improve consumers’ financial well-being by providing high savings social information and eliciting a deliberative mindset in financial brochures, educational programs, and interactions with financial advisors. Implications for how service firms can utilize a deliberative mindset and informational influence to enhance consumer well-being by encouraging beneficial behaviors like saving, exercising, or energy conservation, which conflict with existing desires, are discussed.

Keywords: Social influence, Mindsets, Financial decision making, Saving, Open-mindedness, Consideration of future consequences, Consumer susceptibility to interpersonal

Suggested Citation

Winterich, Karen Page and Nenkov, Gergana Y., Save Like the Joneses: How Service Firms Can Utilize Deliberation and Informational Influence to Enhance Consumer Well-Being (August 17, 2015). Journal of Service Research,18 (3), 384-404.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2645840

Karen Page Winterich (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Administration ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

Gergana Y. Nenkov

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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