1 Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 MAPP - Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
This paper describes the development of the means-end chain concept in consumer behaviour research, starting from the original proposal by Gutman in 1982. A lack of theoretical development - as opposed to a refinement of methodology - is argued to by the main reason why the concept, after an initial wave of interest, is today not well-rooted in consumer behaviour research, even though it is widely used in applied research. It is suggested to re-interpret the concept drawing on three established bodies of literature, namely human values, quality perception, and goal pursuit. This reinterpretation leads to three goals for research that could establish means-end chains as a useful theoretical concept in consumer behaviour research.
Marketing, 2010, Vol 6, Issue 1, p. 30-38
MAPP; Means-end chains; Human values; Quality perception; Laddering; Goal pursuit