Mapping Consumer Power: An Integrative Framework for Marketing and Consumer Research

European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 40, No. 9/10, pp. 950-971, 2006

41 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2006

See all articles by Janice Denegri-Knott

Janice Denegri-Knott

Bournemouth Media School

Detlev Zwick

York University - Schulich School of Business

Jonathan E. Schroeder

Rochester Institute of Technology

Abstract

To help shape a more cohesive research program in marketing and consumer research, this paper presents a systematic effort to integrate current research on consumer empowerment with highly influential theories of power. We develop a conceptual overview of power consisting of three dominant theoretical models onto which we map existing consumer empowerment research. A synthetic review focuses on three perspectives of consumer power: consumer sovereignty, cultural power and discursive power, drawing from sociological, philosophical and economic literature. These models are then applied to consumer research to illuminate research applications and insights. Research of consumer empowerment has grown significantly over the last decade. Yet, researchers drawing from a variety of intellectual and methodological traditions have generated a multitude of heuristic simplifications and mid-level theories of power to inform their empirical and conceptual explorations. This reviews helps clarify consumer empowerment, and offers a useful map for future research. Researchers in consumer empowerment need to understand the historical development of power, and to contextualize research within conflicting perspectives on empowerment. The paper makes several contributions: 1) organizes a currently cluttered field of consumer empowerment research, 2) connects consumer and marketing research to high-level theorizations of power, and 3) outlines specific avenues for future research.

Keywords: consumer power, consumer research, methodological approaches, marketing theory

JEL Classification: M30, M31, Z10

Suggested Citation

Denegri-Knott, Janice and Zwick, Detlev and Schroeder, Jonathan E., Mapping Consumer Power: An Integrative Framework for Marketing and Consumer Research. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 40, No. 9/10, pp. 950-971, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=912065

Janice Denegri-Knott

Bournemouth Media School ( email )

Fern Barrow
Poole BH12 5BB, Dorset BH8 8EB
United Kingdom

Detlev Zwick

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
416-736-2100 ext. 77199 (Phone)
416-736-5687 (Fax)

Jonathan E. Schroeder (Contact Author)

Rochester Institute of Technology ( email )

92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Eastman Building, Room 3006
Rochester, NY 14623
United States
5854752703 (Phone)

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