Paper Publications

Here you find some selected brand new journal articles we published recently  (see FLD).


Motivational Drivers of Content Contribution to Company-Versus Consumer-Hosted Online Communities. 

Teichmann, Karin, Nicola Stokburger-Sauer, Andreas Plank, and Andreas Strobl (2015),  Psychology and Marketing, 32(3), 341–355.

This research investigates the effect of the type of community host (consumer-hosted versus company-hosted communities) in the relationship between motivational drivers and content contribution to online communities. By presenting a typology of motivational drivers of content contribution and classifying prior research on motivational drivers accordingly, this article offers an integrated, in-depth literature review. Four motivational self- versus other-oriented and extrinsic versus intrinsic drivers were included in an empirical study of three online communities, with more than 800 community members. The results reveal that opinion leadership, self-presentation, and enjoyment positively affect content contribution; altruism negatively affects content contribution. In company-hosted online communities, the positive drivers are stronger than in consumer-hosted online communities. To encourage members’ contribution, community managers should seek to attract opinion leaders, provide room for self-presentation, and enhance members’ feelings of pleasure and comfort. A qualitative post hoc analysis also explicates the negative effect of altruism. Overall, this study provides a fruitful basis for several important theoretical and managerial implications.


Brand Personality: A Meta-Analytic Review of Antecedents and Consequences

Eisend, Martin und Nicola E. Stokburger-Sauer (2013,) Marketing Letters, 24(3), 205-216.

This article presents a meta-analysis on brand personality (BP) by investigating the antecedents and consequences of the BP dimensions of sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness, as suggested by Aaker (Journal of Marketing Research 34:347–356, 1997). The authors synthesize the results from 76 independent samples in 56 studies. The meta-analysis finds several new empirical generalizations about BP. First, the key drivers of BP are communication with hedonic benefit claims, branding activities, a brand’s country-of-origin, and consumer personalities. Second, the study finds that the effects of BP are stronger for mature brands than for brands in the early life cycle stages. Third, sincerity and competence have the strongest influence on brand success variables (e.g., brand attitude, image, commitment, purchase intention), while excitement and ruggedness have the weakest influence on brand attitude and brand commitment.


Taking a deeper look at online reviews: The asymmetric effect of valence intensity on shopping behaviour

Floh, Arne, Monika Koller, and Alexander Zauner (2013), forthcoming in Journal of Marketing Management.

This study tests the asymmetric effect of user-generated, open-ended online reviews on online shopping behaviour (intention-to-buy, intention-to-recommend, and willingness-to-pay). Three online experiments involving manipulating the valence intensity of online reviews for hotels, books, and running shoes (overall customer sample of n = 818) provide empirical support for the proposed relationship. The valence intensity of online reviews moderates the effect of online reviews on purchase intentions. In other words, a significant change in online shopping behaviour was found for positive medium and strong reviews but not for negative ones. Based on these findings, managers should encourage customers to share their positive consumption-related experiences by offering strong arguments that will convince other customers.

Keywords: electronic word of mouth; online reviews; valence intensity; online experiment


Drivers of Customer-Brand Identification

Stokburger-Sauer, Nicola E., S. Ratneshwar and Sankar Sen (2013), International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29, 406418.

The concept of consumer–brand identification (CBI) is central to our understanding of how, when, and why brands help consumers articulate their identities. This paper proposes and tests an integrative theoretical framework of the antecedents of CBI. Six drivers of CBI, a moderator, and two consequences are posited and tested with survey data from a large sample of German household consumers. The results confirm the influence of five of the six drivers, namely, brand–self similarity, brand distinctiveness, brand social benefits, brand warmth, and memorable brand experiences. Further, we find that all five of these antecedents have stronger causal relationships with CBI when consumers have higher involvement with the brand's product category. Finally, CBI is tied to two important pro-company consequences, brand loyalty and brand advocacy. Theoretical and managerial significance of the findings are discussed.

Keywords:Consumer–brand identification, Consumer self-identity, Brand relationships, Product category involvement


Persuasibility and the self – Investigating heterogeneity among consumers.

Koller, Monika, Arne Floh, Alexander Zauner, and Thomas Rusch (2013), Australasian Marketing Journal 21, 94–104.

This article investigates unobserved heterogeneity in the relation between self-related variables and susceptibility to interpersonal influence. We test a structural model explaining susceptibility to interpersonal influence through self-concept clarity and self-esteem. As the degree of interpersonal persuasibility can vary significantly across individuals, we apply finite mixture modeling to identify unobserved heterogeneity and, hence, different customer segments, based on a database of n=1013. We find two different groups for which the path coefficients in the structural model partly differ. These groups can be described in terms of personality-related characteristics like materialism, the need for uniqueness and persuasion knowledge, as well as by demographics. It is crucial for both retailers and e-tailers to understand which consumer segments are more prone than others to interpersonal influence. The findings of the present study contribute to the understanding of fundamental phenomena in consumption choice behavior and provide guidance for psychographic segmentation.


Customer co-creation of travel services: The role of company support and customer satisfaction with the co-creation performance.

Grissemann, Ursula & Stokburger-Sauer, Nicola (2012), Tourism Management, 33(6), 1483–1492.

The tourism industry is characterized by high-contact services in which co-creation of customers plays a major role. This paper develops a conceptual model of customer co-creation of tourism services and empirically tests this model in a travel agency context. Applying a SEM-approach, company support for customers is found to significantly affect the degree of customer co-creation. The degree of co-creation further positively affects customer satisfaction with the service company, customer loyalty, and service expenditures. A test of the moderating effect of the customers’ satisfaction with their own co-creation performance on satisfaction with the service company and on service expenditures suggests that those customers who are satisfied with their co-creation activities spend more on their travel arrangements, but that they are less satisfied with the company. Important implications for co-creation theory and practice in high-contact service industries can be derived.

Keywords: Co-creation, Company support, Customer service expenditures, Customer satisfaction, Customer loyalty


Entrepreneurial Reputation in Destination Networks

Strobl, Andreas und Mike Peters (2013), Annals of Tourism Research, 40(1), 59-82.

Only few scientific contributions have attempted to analyze the patterns of governance and major stakeholders in destination networks. This paper seeks to investigate the role of entrepreneurship in destinations with the major aims laying in the identification of relevant factors of destination governance and analyses of entrepreneurs’ impact on this process. Due to the great complexity of destination networks and the process characteristic of governance, a qualitative research approach was chosen. Case study research was conducted in four Austrian tourism destinations. Results unveil the importance of entrepreneurial reputation of actors, density of strong ties in the destination network and informal relationships between actors for destination governance. This paper concludes with recommendations for future research in the field of destination governance.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, destination governance, networks, social capital, reputation


Enhancing Business Performance of Hotels: The Role of Innovation and Customer Orientation

Grissemann, Ursula, Andreas Plank, and Alexandra Brunner-Sperdin (2012), International Journal of Hospitality Management, 33, 347–356.

Innovation management and customer orientation have been widely recognized as key factors in enhancing the business performance of hotels. Our research investigates the interplay between customer orientation, innovation, and business performance in the Alpine hospitality industry. The study contributes to current innovation research by jointly investigating hotel innovativeness and innovation behavior as two distinct dimensions of the innovation concept. Analyzing data from 203 hotel managers, this study shows that the effect of hotels’ customer orientation exceeds the effects of innovativeness and innovation behavior on financial and non financial business performance. Mediation analysis shows that innovation behavior partially mediates the effect of customer orientation on business performance. The results of the study provide hotel management with relevant insights into the customer orientation innovation performance chain.


The Role of Aesthetic Taste in Consumer Behavior

Hoyer, Wayne D. and Nicola Stokburger-Sauer (2012), Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40 (January), 167-180.


In light of the increasing interest in hedonic aspects of consumer behavior, it is clear that consumer taste plays a critical role in judgment and decision making, particularly for hedonic products and services. At the present time, however, our understanding of consumer aesthetic taste and its specific role for consumer behavior is limited. In this article, we review the literature from a variety of fields such as sociology, psychology, philosophy, and consumer behavior in order to develop a conceptual definition of consumer aesthetic taste. We then explore various issues related to taste and develop a conceptual framework for the relevance of expertise vs. taste in consumer decision-making. Finally, we present an agenda for future research on this important topic.


Morris Holbrook über diese Publikation:

"I have just finished reading your excellent article in JAMS about "Taste." Bravo!!! I think you have done an excellent job of reviewing, summarizing, clarifying, and extending the literature on this theme. And this is definitely not an easy area to deal with. So your clarity and judgment are all the more praiseworthy. ... So I congratulate you with the greatest of appreciation for what you have achieved."


Is Luxury Just a Female Thing? The Role of Gender in Luxury Brand Consumption

Stokburger-Sauer, Nicola E. and Karin Teichmann (2011), forthcoming in Journal of Business Research, Special Issue

Despite the fact that the functional value of luxury brands is usually not significantly higher than those of non-luxury brands, luxury brands can achieve significant price premiums in the market over non-luxury brands. Additionally, in a majority of markets and product categories, the price for female luxury brands is significantly higher compared to their male counterparts. These differences might result from a higher perceived symbolic and social value of such luxury brands that have traditionally been more important for women than for men. Two experimental studies and one survey study in three product categories (i.e., clothing, perfumes, and wristwatches) in the Western culture show that, overall, women have a more positive attitude towards and a higher purchase intention of luxury brands versus non-luxury brands than men. Additionally, for female consumers, luxury brands provide more uniqueness, status and hedonic value than non-luxury brands. Important implications for marketing theory and practice can be derived. Marketers are, for instance, well advised to use uniqueness claims in their advertising copy and to differentiate in their product designs between male and female target groups.

Keywords: luxury brands; brand response; gender; perceived value



The Relevance of Visitors’ Nation Brand Embeddedness and Personality Congruence for Nation Brand Identification, Visit Intentions and Advocacy

Stokburger-Sauer, Nicola E. (2011), Tourism Management (Available online 22 January 2011)

The identification with a brand enhances loyalty and purchase intentions. Little is known, however, if this relationship holds in a nation brand context and which variables drive nation brand identification (NBI). This study investigates the relevance of nation brand embeddedness (i.e., the social integration of the individual) and personality congruence (i.e., the congruence between an individual’s and a country’s personality) for NBI, nation brand advocacy and visit intentions. A study of 421 Germans as potential visitors of the Republic of Ireland as a holiday destination was conducted to test the proposed relationships. Results from structural equation modeling showed that NBI and personality congruence strongly influence visit intentions, while nation brand embeddedness is a strong predictor of brand advocacy. Important implications for destination management can be derived.


Keywords: Nation branding, nation brand personality, personality congruence, nation brand identification, nation brand embeddedness



It's all about the Emotional State: Managing Tourists' Experiences

Brunner-Sperdin, Alexandra, Mike Peters and Andreas Strobl (2011), International Journal of Hospitality Management (Available online 8 June 2011)

When consuming tourism and leisure services tourists do not only expect professional services but also desire satisfying emotional experiences. To measure satisfaction with emotional experiences traditional service quality and satisfaction research is outdated because those models are based on cognitive components and neglect emotional aspects of customer satisfaction. This research investigates factors determining the service setting that enhance customers’ emotional reactions and lead to psychological states and behaviours. Referring to existing theories and empirical evidence in environmental psychology, a research model is developed explaining the relationship between different components of service settings influencing emotional states and satisfaction. Guests’ emotions are assessed during service consumption in hotel settings in order to investigate the importance of emotional states. The paper derives three main factors (leisure experience, hardware and human-ware) significantly influencing emotional states of customers in high-quality hotels.


Keywords: emotional state; leisure experience; customer satisfaction; servicescape; hotel setting



The Relevance of Visitors’ Nation Brand Embeddedness and Personality Congruence for Nation Brand Identification, Visit Intentions and Advocacy

Stokburger-Sauer, Nicola E. (2011), to appear in Tourism Management.


The identification with a brand enhances loyalty and purchase intentions. Little is known, however, if this relationship holds in a nation brand context and which variables drive nation brand identification (NBI). This study investigates the relevance of nation brand embeddedness (i.e., the social integration of the individual) and personality congruence (i.e., the congruence between an individual’s and a country’s personality) for NBI, nation brand advocacy and visit intentions. A study of 421 Germans as potential visitors of the Republic of Ireland as a holiday destination was conducted to test the proposed relationships. Results from structural equation modeling showed that NBI and personality congruence strongly influence visit intentions, while nation brand embeddedness is a strong predictor of brand advocacy. Important implications for destination management can be derived. 


Keywords: Nation branding, nation brand personality, personality congruence, nation brand identification, nation brand embeddedness



Brand Community-Drivers and Outcomes

Stokburger-Sauer, Nicola E. (2010), Psychology & Marketing, 27 (April), 347-368.

Groups of users and admirers of a brand who engage jointly in group actions to accomplish collective goals and/or to express mutual sentiments and commitments are known as brand communities. Lately, brand communities have been a heavily researched topic in marketing science. Whereas the positive consequences of brand communities are well documented in the literature, little is known about how brand communities can be facilitated and how consumer-brand relationships can be fostered. This research empirically assesses the relevance of offline (i.e., events) and online marketing management tools (i.e., websites with online bulletin boards and online expert chats) to strengthen brand communities by facilitating shared customer experiences and multi-way interactions. Additionally, the importance of consumer-brand identification as a consequence of such relationship-building activities is investigated as well as the outcomes of a consumer’s identification with a brand are analyzed. Important management implications can be derived.


Keywords: Brand community marketing, community integration, consumer-brand identification, customer advocacy, customer loyalty



Internal branding in tourism destinations_ implications for tourism policy and research

Wagner, O. and Peters, M. International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2(4): 274-288, 2009
Copyright Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

The question "How do destination-branding strategies influence destination stakeholders?" has not been answered yet. This paper examines the role of internal branding in destinations, its mechanism and its possible influence on destination stakeholders. After presenting a literature review of recent contributions to the field of branding in tourism destinations, the authors discuss the concept of internal branding and derive a research structure that can help to design furture research to collect empirical data about internal branding effects within tourism destinations. The paper proposes to model the impacts and process flows of internal branding within destinations and to evaluate the impacts not only on customers but also on internal destination stakeholders.


Keywords: internal branding, destination stakeholders, brand effects, destination branding, tourism marketing.


Can association methods reveal the effects of internal branding on tourism destination stakeholders?
Wagner, O. and Peters, M. Journal of Place Management and Development, 2(1): 52-69, 2009

The purpose of this study is to employ the collage technique, an unstructured qualitative association instrument, with respect to place branding initiatives and to uncover internal stakeholders' perception of the region or destination. The findings reveal that different internal stakeholders trace different perceptions of tourism places and illustrate the importance of using the collage as a technique to explore the various identities of a place. This paper seeks to clarify the effectiveness of the collage method as a tool to measure stakeholders' identities of selected tourism destinations. The paper demonstrates the importance of employing different association methods (word or picture) in recognizing stakeholders' knowledge and opinions of destinations as a primary step in analyzing stakeholders' brand identity perception.

Keywords: Tourism, Brands, Stakeholder Analysis, Austria

You can download the paper from


The Staging of Wine Tourism
Pikkemaat, B., Peters, M., Boksberger, Ph. and M. Secco. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 18(1): 1-17, 2009
Copyright Francis Group

This article analyzes the potential of wine tourism to create experiences for the tourist. For this purpose the authors benefit from Scheurer's (2003) and Mueller and Scheurer's (2004) experience setting model. A literature review reveals research gaps in the filed of experience-oriented wine tourism services and products and calls for more empirical investigations. Therefore, the empirical part of the article presents the case study of the South Tyrolean Wine Route in Italy and applies the experience setting model to assess the potential of experience-orientation of wine routes. The article concludes with tourism policy and management implications and derives questions for further research.

Keywords: Wine tourism, staging, experiences, South Tyrol

You can download the paper from informaworld here: PDF Icon

What influences Guest's Emotions? The Case of High-Quality Hotels
Brunner-Sperdin, A. and Peters, M. International Journal of Tourism Research, 11(2), 171-183, 2009
Copyright Wiley and Sons

This paper outlines the methodology and results of an attempt to assess influences on the emotional states of hotel guests. When consuming tourism products tourists do not only expect professional services but also desire satisfying experiences. According to Pine and Gilmore (1998) goods and services must be "experientialized" because customers seek for rewarding, memorable and pleasurable consumption experiences. Quality management research suggests that traditional service quality measures are insufficient in evaluating the satisfaction of the "new" tourist with consumed services. In order to measure customer satisfaction, it is important to take into account factors concerning the psychological environment such as subjective personal reactions or feeliings experienced by consumers.

Thus experience-quality should be the starting point for developing models to assess emotions in tourism industry. After reviewing the latest literature in the filed of service and experience measurement in leisure and tourism the paper presents an experience model highlighting causalities measuring flow-experience during the consumption of activities. The results show that the hotel-setting has strong influence on the emotional state of the guests and that the staging of the service environment as well as the service process constitute a crucial part of the hotel strategy.

Keywords: Hotel Guest Experience, Emotional States, Flow, Measurement of Satisfaction

You can download the paper here: PDF Icon


Consumer Advisors Revisited: What Drives Market Mavens and Opinion Leaders and Why?

Stokburger-Sauer, Nicola E. and Wayne D. Hoyer (2008), Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 8 (2), 100-11.


Consumers with a tendency toward market mavenism and opinion leadership represent powerful forces in the marketplace because of their influence on other consumers’ consumption decisions. They are thus important consumer groups for both other individuals and companies. Little is known, however, about the motives that drive these individuals. Additionally, research has not explored the consequences of the market mavenism tendency (MMT) and opinion leadership (OL). Research is thus needed to tap into and compare factors that influence MMT and OL as well as variables that are influenced by MMT and OL. A key goal of the current study is to determine whether individuals with a tendency toward market mavenism and opinion leaders are consumers who are more or less satisfied and loyal than other consumers.

This study investigates product involvement and need for variety as antecedents of MMT and OL and looks into their relationship with satisfaction and loyalty. Using data from 1,145 German consumers in four product categories (i.e., wine, clothing, cars, and cameras) and applying structural equation modeling, it was found that opinion leaders have higher levels of product category involvement than individuals with a tendency toward mavenism, while the latter have a higher need for variety than opinion leaders. Finally, opinion leaders and individuals with a tendency toward mavenism have higher levels of satisfaction, and the first are more loyal consumers, but this varies across product categories. Important implications for marketing theory and marketing practice can be derived. Individuals with a tendency toward market mavenism and/or opinion leaders could, for instance, be integrated as powerful sources in the context of co-producing products and services.


Keywords: Involvement, loyalty, tendency toward market mavenism, need for variety, opinion leadership




The personality of freestyle Snowboarders: Implications for product development
Mueller, S., Peters, M. Tourism An International Interdisciplinary Journal, 56(4), 339-354, 2008

Several approaches with reference to customer involvement in the product development process can be found in the research literature. The majority of studies, focusing primarily on customer involvement in the product or service development process, are based on research in the area of new product development. However, these studies did not describe which customers or groups of customers are suitable to be involved in the product developmetn process of services. The empirical personality psychological traits approach as well as the differential psychology put the individual in the focus of the analyses. To this end, a research of snowboarders' personality profile and their involvement in product design was carried out on a sample of 50 respondents active in the alpine region of Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The results have revealed that snowboarders differ from general population. The standard deviations of all five scales are lower for the freestyle snowboarders than for those of the reference population. Freestyle snowboarders are scoring higher on dimensions of extraversion, openness to experiences, compatibility and conscientiousness.

Keywords: product development, lead user, winter sport, snowboarder, freestyle, tourism destinations, Austria.


A complexity perspective on leadership and change in the post-merger integration process
Lauser, B., Peters, M., International Journal of Learning and Change, 3(2), 196-210, 2008

After 30 years of research in mergers and acquisitions and advances in the research of post-merger integration (PMI) processes, the outcome of a merger remains hardly predicable. Traditional leadership and change theories have not succeeded in fully explaining PMI processes and therefore new theories are needed. This article offers new insights into the integration and change processes by looking at the merged organisation as a complex adaptive system (CAS). It discusses characteristics of CAS and applies them to PMI, and questions pure cause-and-effect relationships by interpreting change processes as sometimes non-linear, unpredictable, with various feedback mechanisms. In addition, the article summarises new leadership theories emerging from a complexity perspective which might contribute to a better understanding of the PMI process. It concludes by advocating that for a successful integration both, traditional and complexity leadership is needed.

Keywords: complexity, leadership, post-merger integration

You can download the paper via Ingenta or see


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