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Title: The relationship of perceived risk to source credibility : with reference to catalogue and TV shopping
Author: Khan, Mohammed S.
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2001
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This study is about social persuasion, and it is specialised to a particular context of in-home shopping, in which the goal of social persuasion (by marketing communications) is to reduce the consumer's perceived risk taking source credibility as potential determinant of perceived risk. The consumer behaviour literature to date has not researched the constructs of source credibility and perceived risk within a single study. Both constructs have appeared, studied separately in more traditional retail contexts, and the research findings on the dimensionality of source credibility and of perceived risk have been relatively inconsistent. This study seeks to understand source credibility and perceived risk in the newer context of in-home shopping, by looking at whether source credibility (low and high) in the context of potential moderating variables: product type (CD player or T-shirt) and shopping medium (catalogue or TV) affect perceptions of consumers' risk. The research design used in this study had two phases: qualitative and quantitative. In the qualitative phase, a series of focus groups was used to explore the main concepts, to develop the main instruments, and to select "high" and "low" levels for the main treatment variables (source credibility) and "high" and "low" involvement products (product type) to be used in each of two shopping media (catalogue and TV). These levels were then operationalised as experimental treatments. In the quantitative phase, we used experienced in-home shoppers as sample subjects using a within-subject mixed factorial design (2 x 2 x 212). We found that the dimensionality of source credibility was not as predicted by previous research; whereas, the dimensionality of perceived risk was as predicted by previous research. This study suggests that the effects of source credibility are context specific, and are sometimes counterintuitive (a confirmation and extension of previous more general social persuasion research). In particular, our findings suggest that high source credibility (as opposed to low source credibility) tends to reduce perceived financial and performance risks for high involvement products but only in the TV shopping medium. It seems that the effects of moderating variables can outweigh the effects of variations in source credibility (especially for the psychological, social, and time dimensions of perceived risk). Our findings suggest that catalogue shopping is perceived to be less risky than TV shopping by both catalogue shoppers and TV shoppers. Interestingly, TV shoppers report higher levels of risk in both of these in-home shopping media than catalogue shoppers do. A completely unexpected aspect of this finding is that TV shopper's reported higher levels of risk in the medium they actually chose to use (TV) than in the one they do not use (catalogue). This study also demonstrated that the effects of the three experimental treatments (product type, shopping medium, and source credibility) on perceived risk are mediated by inter-individual differences between subjects. We established this by measuring a construct, which we term source approval, and by controlling for inter-individual variations in this variable using MANCO V A. The study has implications both for marketing management and for future marketing research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available