The study “Consumer Boycott Behavior: An Exploratory Analysis of Twitter Feeds” explores the power of a social media mediated boycott; their effects, causes, and ability to affect the entity being boycotted. The study was carried out at a time when the studies on the subject matter had not been thoroughly explored mainly about the various causes of boycotts. The study offered an interesting insight into the subject and a basis for future research. The study analysed tweets over the course of a month that had the hashtag ‘boycott’, assessing the emotion behind the tweets in addition to the different motivations (Makarem and Jae, 2015). In this way, they were able to observe the causative factors that elicited the highest emotional response. Moreover, the study was able to assess what subjects people cared about more and as such would cause greater tendency to boycott. Human rights issues showed a 34% tendency to cause boycott.
The study sought to find answers to some questions including what drives consumers to participate in boycotts? What fuels the boycotts? What entities are targeted by the boycotts? What emotions may the customer feel and to what degree they experience these emotions? (Makarem and Jae, 2015). By answering these questions, the study sought to find the causations behind consumer boycotts and the emotions that fuel these boycotts. Social media is a very powerful platform that affords almost everyone the opportunity to impact several individuals. The use of social media in boycotts is of concern to business entities as it has been proven to affect businesses in a significant manner.
There are two major variables observed in this study: emotion that is an independent variable and the boycott motivators which is a dependent variable. These two variables are measured in two distinct ways. Boycott motivators being that they are relatively easy to quantify by way of a qualitative content analysis (Makarem and Jae, 2015). Motivators were divided into instrumental and non-instrumental groups. Instrumental motivators are those that cause the consumers to state clearly the desired goal of the boycott while non-instrumental motivators focus mainly on protesting the actions of the entity (Makarem and Jae, 2015). While studying the motivators, other themes were analysed like if the boycott was meant to effect a change and the specific causes that led to the call to boycott. Emotions, however, are more complex and cannot be quantified by a machine, rather, the study made use of human discernment. The intensity and type of emotion were measured using some indicators including the use of capital letters and emoticons (Makarem and Jae, 2015). Another emotion that was measured, not easily quantifiable because of its subjectivity is sarcasm. Ultimately the study was able to draw a relation between emotions and boycott causatives based on these two variables.
In the paper “Attitude toward consumption and Subjective Well-Being”, the authors explore the question of wellbeing from both an affective and cognitive point of view and its effects on an individual’s consumerism. Consumers are the backbone of any business model, and it is imperative that for a business to succeed there is the need to understand what makes the consumer tick. The ultimate purpose of the study is to provide valuable information on consumer buying habits about how they feel about themselves and the society as a whole. In this way, a business may fashion its product towards the individual (micro) or to the larger community (macro). Over the years, the concept of wellbeing has come to the fore in business studies with the question of how this affects one’s consumerism. However, the study does not just take a look at consumption but also the client’s attitude towards consumption as well (Iyer and Muncy, 2015).
The question of wellbeing is at the centre of the paper. However, the paper has divided the larger well-being into two sections leading to the two main research questions. The first overall question asked in the article is if a person’s attitude towards consuming affects their wellbeing. The paper further identifies that wellbeing has a cognitive and affective component. These may be termed as happiness and satisfaction. The difference is that happiness is about one’s feeling good, and satisfaction is about a person’s feeling of doing well. The two questions that arise from this distinction are: Does the attitude one holds towards consumption affect one’s satisfaction with life? And does the attitude one holds toward consumption affect one’s happiness? To answer these questions the study used scales measuring attitude and satisfaction with life in a regional quota sample based on sex and age (Iyer and Muncy, 2015). The study analysed both micro and macro consumption and pro-consumption.
In this study, the dependent variable is the micro-consumption attitudes. These cannot be affected by the scientists in any way as these the personal choices of the research subject. The study found a definite relation between the respondent’s consumption attitudes and their subjective well-being whether positive or negative (Iyer and Muncy, 2015).. The reason for this is that at this level the consumer felt that their attitudes were more under their control. The opposite was true on the macro level. The independent variable in the study are the macro-consumption attitudes. The results showed that these were negatively related to the participant’s subjective wellbeing (Iyer and Muncy, 2015).. At the macro level, the consumer has to take a host of things into consideration a large number of which are without their control (Iyer and Muncy, 2015).
- Iyer, R., & Muncy, J. (2015). Attitude toward Consumption and Subjective Well-Being. J ConsumAff, 50(1), 48-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joca.12079
- Makarem, S., & Jae, H. (2015). Consumer Boycott Behavior: An Exploratory Analysis of Twitter Feeds. J ConsumAff, 50(1), 193-223. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joca.12080