Management and Marketing - Research Publications

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    Future scenarios of the collaborative economy: Centrally orchestrated, social bubbles or decentralized autonomous?
    Fehrer, JA ; Benoit, S ; Aksoy, L ; Baker, TL ; Bell, SJ ; Brodie, RJ ; Marimuthu, M (Emerald, 2018-10-15)
    Purpose: The collaborative economy (CE), and within it, collaborative consumption (CC) has become a central element of the global economy and has substantially disrupted service markets (e.g. accommodation and individual transportation). The purpose of this paper is to explore the trends and develop future scenarios for market structures in the CE. This allows service providers and public policy makers to better prepare for potential future disruption. Design/methodology/approach: Thought experiments – theoretically grounded in population ecology (PE) – are used to extrapolate future scenarios beyond the boundaries of existing observations. Findings: The patterns suggested by PE forecast developmental trajectories of CE leading to one of the following three future scenarios of market structures: the centrally orchestrated CE, the social bubbles CE, and the decentralized autonomous CE. Research limitations/implications: The purpose of this research was to create CE future scenarios in 2050 to stretch one’s consideration of possible futures. What unfolds in the next decade and beyond could be similar, a variation of or entirely different than those described. Social implications: Public policy makers need to consider how regulations – often designed for a time when existing technologies were inconceivable – can remain relevant for the developing CE. This research reveals challenges including distribution of power, insularity, and social compensation mechanisms that need consideration across states and national borders. Originality/value: This research tests the robustness of assumptions used today for significant, plausible market changes in the future. It provides considerable
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    Unraveling the Customer Education Paradox: When, and How, Should Firms Educate Their Customers?
    Bell, SJ ; Auh, S ; Eisingerich, AB (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2017-08-01)
    Customer education or the extent to which firms are seen as providing customers with the skills and abilities to utilize critical information is often considered a valuable augmentation to a firm’s service offerings. Yet, many firms are hesitant to invest in customer education efforts for fear that it will equip customers with the skills to shop around and possibly switch providers. The purpose of this research is to understand the circumstances under which customer education ties customers more closely to a firm or encourages customers to leave. Specifically, our studies show that an understanding of this paradox of customer education lies in the specificity of customer expertise that is built as a result of customer education initiatives. The results demonstrate that educating customers for firm-specific expertise leads to increased loyalty, while building market-related expertise may decrease customer loyalty. A critical practical implication of our findings therefore is the need for managers to understand the varying effects of enhancing customers’ firm-specific versus market-related expertise and to consider customer education initiatives proactively.
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    Bell, SJ ; Tracey, P ; Heide, JB (ACAD MANAGEMENT, 2009-10)