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