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Antecedents and consequents of perceived institutional expertise

Lynn A Samsel, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Perceived Institutional Expertise is defined as the consumer's perception that an institution can provide an accurate and/or complete solution to a consumer's complex domain-specific problem. The goal of this research was to establish construct validity for this new construct. The study confirmed that Perceived Institutional Expertise can be measured reliably, and that it has both discriminant and nomological validity. A model was developed that can be applied across domains. ^ This study shows that consumers do hold perceptions of institutional expertise. These perceptions are formed in part from measures of competence encountered in the store and throughout the shopping experience: from product assortments, information in the environment, and personnel. Hypothesized assortment-based antecedents include Perceived Depth, Perceived Complementarity, Perceived Uniqueness, Perceived Range Stability, and Assortment Acceptability. Information-based antecedents include Domain-relevant Information, Skill Displays, Associated Merchandising, and Domain-relevant Signage. Personnel-based antecedents are Procedural Education and Process Education. The hypothesized consequents of Perceived Institutional Expertise are Satisfaction and Reputation. ^ Support was found for antecedents in all three areas: Perceived Depth, Perceived Uniqueness, and Perceived Range Stability in the assortment area; Associated Merchandising and Domain-relevant Signage in the information area; and Procedural Education and Process Education in the personnel area. Procedural Education was the most strongly supported antecedent. The hypothesized consequents (Satisfaction and Reputation) were also strongly supported. ^ The study contributes to theory by validating new constructs and measures. These may be used to assess holistic aspects of retail image at a domain-specific level, and to study consumer perceptions of assortments. The primary managerial implication of this work is the importance of employees who are knowledgeable in the domain. The most important managerial reflection is this: A regular, deep, and unique assortment of goods, supported by domain-relevant signs, and augmented with associated merchandising, will contribute to the perception of institutional expertise, as will well-informed, knowledgeable employees who are available to educate the customers about the domain and about the institution. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Marketing

Recommended Citation

Samsel, Lynn A, "Antecedents and consequents of perceived institutional expertise" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3028661.