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A grounded theory of joint consumption decision making

Suraj Commuri, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This research contends that there is a lack of a theoretical understanding of joint decision processes and that current theoretical perspectives may collapse into an anomaly in attempting to explain husband-wife decision processes. Interpretive research is used to build a grounded theory of joint decision making among married heterosexual couples where the wife is the primary earner. ^ Findings indicate that in order to understand spousal decision making, joint welfare rather than individual preferences may be the relevant central construct. A conceptual framework built around joint welfare as the central construct indicates that many anomalies in decision making behavior observed hitherto may be explained through the new framework. For example, the framework presented here demonstrates how a consensual decision may be possible even when individual preferences do not match. ^ The study also reveals that intra-household resource allocation may take many forms and substantial meanings and rituals are associated with such patterns of resource allocation. Holding separate pools of money appears to be common and seamless inter-pool flow of resources aids the household in believing that it is normal despite the comparatively lower earnings of the husbands. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Marketing|Economics, General

Recommended Citation

Commuri, Suraj, "A grounded theory of joint consumption decision making" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3022623.