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Glaswegian public’s perception of the impact of the economic recession and how it has affected consumer behavior

Rationale

Consumption, in which consumers have a central role, plays a significant role in the wider economic system and for any business organization involved in providing products or services to the public (Gabbott, 2008). In other words, as pointed out by Gabbott (2008), the market will not exist without individuals behaving as consumers. Purchasing behaviour figures reflect the well-being of the economy and also reflect its prevailing trends at any given time. Therefore, the study of consumer purchasing behaviours could demonstrate whether or not an economy is progressing well. In a context of economic recession, which could be seen via the 1930s crisis and especially in the contemporary decline of the economy, the consumer market has been dealing with a big challenge (Hermann, 2009; Nistorescu and Puiu, 2009). Buyers react to any change in the economic situation around them by changing their spending habits. This happens due to a change in the levels of their perception of risk that is influenced directly or indirectly by income changes, high inflation, unemployment and interest rate. There are some different arguments around these issues but few of them raised the question on if policies are effective to solve the issue. Therefore, establishing how much consumers understand the current situation and the policies designed to tackle it are crucial, in order to assess how their behaviour has been affected.

Research objectives:

– To evaluate the extent of the public’s understanding of the effects of the financial crisis.

– To evaluate the extent of the public’s understanding of government policy to influence purchasing and saving behaviour.

– To establish if the public’s purchasing behavior has been affected.

Research questions:

– How much do the Glawegian’s public understand the effect of the recent recession?

–How much do the Glaswegian’s public understand the government policy to influence purchasing and saving behaviour.

–Whether or not the public’s purchasing behavior has been affectedand how much?

Literature review

Understanding buyer behaviours is of great importance and significance for successful marketing campaigns and business management. Consumer purchasing habits could be various including intricate trends. It is very hard to predict the level of intricacy of the decision-making process of consumers. The study of consumer behaviour is defined as the processes that individuals or groups perform making their buying decision in order to satisfy their needs (Hutchison, 2010; Perner, 2008). The purchasing process can be seen in five stages. Beginning with emergence of a need which is a potential demand (Kotter, 1991), the consumer then start searching for information associated to that need. After evaluating some different alternatives, converting browsers to buyer is made with the most suitable one. The last stage comes after purchasing, when the buyer evaluates the choice made (Hutchison, 2010). It can be identified that the primary determination of buying behaviour is highly influenced by internal and external factors which initially emerge on the need of consumer (Chaudhuri, 2006). This means that beside some basic internal factors such as favourite, appetite, there is also a set of external factors as the environment surrounding the consumer and influencing their purchasing choices, in which economic circumstance is one elemental participant.

The financial crisis, which appeared from 2007, has pushed the world economy into a time of deep downturn. This inevitably leaded to an enormous influence on the economic and social aspects of consumers or spending habits for instance. As stated by Nistorescu and Puiu (2009), during recessions, the spending pattern of people is likely to change. This could be caused by the change in their perception of risk. In addition, in terms of psychological thought, they tend to spend less or almost no money on luxury products, even if they still could afford to do so. Only vital demands and product of cheaper brands could be considered and also the rational point of view on promotion is examined more carefully as comparing products based on price rather than quality (Nistorescu and Puiu, 2009). Based on Flatters’ and Willmott’s (2009, pp 106-108) methodology by comparing response of people during recession with their behaving before that, consumer’s behavioural change could be absorbed as the relationship between how much they are willing to pay and their perception of the value they are receiving. However, the method seems to be not easy to achieve a precise result, as known that their attitude is not only involved an economic aspect but also a social feature.

All increasing unemployment or even falling of wages, rising inflation and interest rates or taxes, which are recognised as the cue of a slowdown of the economy, are facts that affect the consumers in almost all national markets. The economic decline is frequently accompanied by concerns about job security for employees. As noted by Katona (1974), during the recession consumers are motivated to save more because of threats associated to their income. On his view, that saving rates depend on the economic situation and psychological factor. Hence, the more serious impact is on people who directly have been harmed by decreasing wages or cutting jobs. Nonetheless, this concept may not justify accurately the behavioural buying of people who is influenced by uncertain salary. In some cases, consumers in different levels of change in earning behaved the same in their new saving patterns.

Another important sector, which is reflected in climbing of price, is inflation. Higher prices and money depreciation are identified to be the main factors preventing the consumers from sustaining consumer’s usual levels of spending. As explained by Lambin and Jacques (1993), during inflationary time, all cost tend to increase, therefore, raising product price is often necessary for maintaining profit of company at an acceptable level. Again, this causes decline in sale revenue or in other words, consumers reduce their spending. Nevertheless, tax and interest rate, which are the important factors influenced on buyer’s attitude throughout non-observation, are not mentioned even though they could be the big agents of inflation.

Moreover, the psychological outcomes of the recession have extended worldwide as a huge concern. According to Dholakia and Sidney (1987), the overall outcome of depleted economic circumstances influences on consumer feelings of difficulty, lack of confidence and hardship. Building on the pioneering study of George Kantona, Solomon (2009) states that whether the extent of the health of an economy is likely to be optimistic depend on the confidence of consumer about future. However, the perception about this effect of the economy is distinct and can be classified into some cohorts like age, marital status, household size, education, income and so on (Amalia and Ionut, 2009). In contrast, the psychological impact is a very wide aspect and should be studied in particular area.

Some studies seem to be broad when merging a general trend of the impact of the economic recession on purchasing behaviours over the world. This leads to difficulties of giving accurate evaluations. The effect depends on particular society with its own economic system including policies. There are also very few research on reaction of consumer on the reform projects of government in context of the recession such as modifying tax and interest rate. The best way to know whether a new trial policy is developing properly is observing how people are understanding and responding it. Therefore, this research task is to find the answer for the question: what is going on in the consumer’s mind in this context of the economic recession within Glasgow city, based on the Glaswegian’s public attitudes. The mission of policy and its effects are also studied by evaluating consumer’s knowledge on it.

Methodology

The research purpose:

In terms of expectations for converting the research objectives to new knowledge, this project expects to establish the level of change in consumer’s mind, such as the extent of consumer’s understanding of the impacts of the recent economic decline and understanding the impacts of reform policies of government and also how its effects on their purchasing habits by comparing different perceptions from different factors and different classes of society in Glasgow. On the other hand, in order to build up new knowledge based on foundations of previous researches, a literature review is vital to help understanding the basic background and the emerged issue (Saunders et al, 2009, p 61). This secondary information was critically reviewed some researches on changes of consumer behaviours in situations of the economic crisis to recognise the issues, such as lack of study on consumer’s understanding the effect of the situation and the effect of the policies, which need to fulfill in the primary research phase.

Research strategy

To come up with the study of people’s attitudes on the effect of the recent recession, a survey strategy seems to be appropriate by its advantages in colleting a large amount of data with a quick timeline (Saunders et al, 2008, pp144-145). In addition, the data collected will be easy to compare between attitudes from different groups by statistical calculations. In deed, aim to discover the general attitudes of participant, questionnaire system will be operated as a quantitative approach. These data could be assembled according to the majority rule. However, the data collected from questionnaire is unlikely to be much wide-ranging because the numbers of question could be limited and sometimes it cannot cover all aspects expected. Thus, there may be also involved non-standardised interviews in order to collect in-depth information (Kumar, 2005). The qualitative answers could be variable and should be criticised consistent with quantitative evidences, in order to establish if the public’s purchasing habit has been affected.

Sampling strategy

It is impossible to ask every individual in Glasgow for collecting data. Therefore, only a limit amount of population will be selected to conduct an outcome of entire citizen. As stated by Saunders et al (2008,p212), studying on the populations, in which an appropriate amount of people is chosen to sample, could stand for a whole. It will be involved a variable number of Glaswegian’s publics. This means that the major, the location, the age and the sex of participants will be expected to come from different areas. A probability of sampling will be used to include 100 participants, which seem to be enough to have an effective result. It means that each individual will be selected random or they have an equal opportunity of being involved or not. This aims to gain an equal outcome when data is averaged. The process will be started around city centre of Glasgow and then expand to some greater places or probably countryside as well.

Methods

In order to undertake a general attitude of respondents about the effect of the recent economic recession, a questionnaire system, which is a data collection technique in which each participant responds to the same list of questions (Saunders et al, 2008, p360), seems to be an effective choice. This series of questions is designed following categories: the level of understanding of impact of the downturn, the level of understanding the purpose of the government policy, the level of the change their habits. Within each these patterns, possible questions will be listed in detail. It is expected to include 30 questions, which are brief and quality. Then, some interviews, in which revealing the answers of the “why” questions is a big advantage (Saunders, 2008, p323), could be made with some additional questions if they are necessary. These interviews could be on discovering other factors, which are not mentioned on questionnaire, are influencing people’s buying habits during this hard time. The numbers of interviewee may be 10 people chosen from different cohorts.

Timeline

With a limit of time for undertaking this research, a systematic timeline is truly essential. Since the proposal was completed, it should be taken few days for updating literature and starting some writing drafts. Two weeks then should be spent on preparing some materials for interviews and designing questionnaire including sampling plan. The collection data process could take quite long time by looking for participants and travelling. A suggestion for this is 2 weeks. Data collected will be converted to database on computer and will be turned to calculation of statistics. This whole process is expected to spend about 1 week and a haft. The important step is a comparison of results gained with literatures. This step is estimated to cost around 2 weeks. Two or three weeks later should be spent on writing project and fixing any error, which could emerge. This whole project is planed for around 10 or 11 weeks.

Ethics of the research

Ethics, as defined by Cooper and Schindler (2008:34, cited in Saunders et al, 2009, p.184), is the “norms or standards of behaviour that guide moral choices about our behaviour and our relationships with others”. Thus, a research conducted must methodologically and morally guarantee to every individual who are both directly and indirectly related (Saunders et al, 2009). In addition, this should be sustained during the whole research stages and after its outcome released as well. Based on this principle, this proposal is following the ethics below:

The data of participants will be treated confidentially and anonymously as ensuring that theirs privacy is stored securely and safely (Bell, 2005, pp.48-49). They are also informed clearly the goal and process of research in which they are to be engaging and inclusively their role.
A consent form, which contains detail of legal rights, privacy, use of participant’s data, recording of interview and so on, will be made carefully. They will be aware of their rights in which they are able to withdraw partly or totally from research at anytime with no reason (Bera, 2004). This mean that they could reject any question they do not want to respond.
This research will be undertaken by getting involvement of attitudes of the public in Glasgow. Any sensitive issue and also any effect, which is seemed to be immoral and harmful to any one, will be avoided fully from its design to its achievement.

Reference

Amalia, P., and Ionut, P. (2009). Consumers’ reaction and organizational response in crisis context, The Journal of the Faculty of Economics. University of Oradea. 1(5) pp. 779-782.
Bell. (2005) chapter 3: Ethics and Integrity in Research.
Bera (2004) Revised ethical guidelines for education research. From:www.bera.ac.uk/publications/guides.php
Chaudhuri, A. (2006) Emotion and Reason in Consumer Behaviour. London: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Dholakia, R. R. and Sidney, J. L. (1987) ‘Effect of recent economic experiences on consumer dreams, goals and behavior in the United States’ Journal of Economic Psychology. 8: pp. 429-444.
Flatters, P., and Willmott, M. (2009). Understanding the post-recession consumer. Harvard Business Review. 7(8) pp.106-112.
Gabbott, M. (2008) ‘Consumer behavior’ in Micheal J. Baker and Susan Hart (eds). The Marketing Book. Oxford: Elsevier.
Hermann, S. (2009) ‘The crisis and customer behaviour: eight quick solutions’ Journal of Customer Behaviour. Vol. 8, Issue 2, p177-186.
Hutchison, T. (2010) ‘Markets, Market Segmentation, and Consumer Behavior’ in Thomas Hutchison, Amy Macy, and Paul Allen (eds). Record Label Marketing. Oxford: Elsevier.
Katona, G. (1974) ‘Psychology and Consumer Economics’ Journal of Consumer Research. 1 pp. 1-8.
Kotter, P. (1991) Marketing management, 7th edn. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice – Hall Inc. pp 539-541.
Kumar, R. (2005) Research methodology: a step-by-step guide for beginners. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Lambin and Jacques, J. (1993) Strategic Marketing Management. England: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Nistorescu, T. and Puiu, S. (2009) Marketing strategies used in crisis – case study. MPRA Paper 17743. Germany: University Library of Munich.
Perner, L. (2008) Consumer behaviour: the psychology of marketing. University of Southern California. http://www.consumerpsychologist.com viewed 24/01/11.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill, A. (2009) Research methods for business students. England: Pearson Education Limited.
Solomon, M. (2009) Consumer behaviour, buying, having & being. USA: Pearson Education Inc.

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Transformation of architectural perception through light: from ‘worldly to angelic

Introduction

Aims:

To introduce the ‘Edenic’ aspect of the project, elaborating its significance and application at personal and universal level.
Establishing what Angelic Architecture is; developing a symbolic architectural language based on the study of angels and immortal beings in various religions and beliefs.
Experimenting with materials in close coordination with Light to evaluate the correct degree of transformation required for the Angelic ambiance.
Designing a structure which symbolically demonstrates the transition from being ‘Mortal to immortal’, ‘Wordly to Angelic’ through the use of specific ‘Light’ and materials qualities.

Background to the Research:

Commonly perceived as ‘a place of pristine and abundant beauty’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica, n.d.), Eden can be a perfect place/ state, experience or a moment in time. Human mind usually manifests ‘Eden’ as a situation/ environment which is either absent or difficult to obtain in real life. Similarly, ‘Electric Eden looks at the movement that continues Britain’s love affair with the notion of a visionary pastoral paradise’…which is ‘fictive domain that subtly swaps the present for alternative speculations’ (Michel Faber, 2010).

This ‘secret garden’ is supposed to be a retreat from the industrialized society to inspire and stimulate ourselves for the future.

Electric Eden personally, is achieving an Angelic flight experience while still being mortal and alive. Its ambiance will help to psychologically disconnect one’s self from the real world to experience a mystical meditation. Characteristics and flight of angels are influential in establishing quality and attributes of the Edenic experience.

In the Hebrew and Christian bibles, angels are commonly believed as ‘messengers of God’, while others agree on the notion of Angels being ‘spiritual beings’ who Protect/ guide human beings and carrying out God’s tasks. Islamic view suggests angels to be forces of nature, commanded over by Allah. These are made of ‘Noor’- Light, but can take up shape and form according to Allah’s will. Also characterized with having wings in Qur’an:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allah the Originator of Heavens and Earth, Who made Angels, messengers with wings, two or three or four…”(Qur’an,35:1)

Philosophically, angels are ‘pure contingent spirits’ (Benedict Ashley, 2006). Where as in many forms of art particularly poetry and paintings/ illustrations angels are depicted as male human beings with masculine appearance, delicate wings, represented with in or around bright, radiant and mystical light which gives them the wispiness and heavenly quality.

In 2002 a study (Emma, James,2002, cited in Wikipedia, n.d.) based on interviews was conducted in UK among 350 people to record their experiences with angels, they described: Visions, warnings, being touched, pushed or lifted, pleasant fragrance giving an indication of a heavenly body around them. In some visual experiences, many people interpreted: human being with wings, mostly in the form of ‘beautiful and radiant human beings’, or as ‘beings of light’.

Being commonly used as a metaphor of truth, spirituality and virtuousness, Light plays a vital role in creating peaceful and uplifting environments especially in worship and meditational spaces.

The study of forms and qualities of angels gives significant clues to be able to use them symbolically in creating a mystical experience which can help in meditation and spiritual awakening. By transforming the perception of place through these qualities, the experience of a place will also change.

Literature Review:

Light, Spirituality & Architecture

“ Light is the ‘source’, not only of illumination, but also of inspiration and meaning…it is the key to unraveling the mysteries of our Universe, of spiritual and physical dimensions of mankind’s past, present and future.” (Mark, Jonathan, Anthony, 2005)

Light and architecture have been strongly related since the beginning of the time. The expressions of light in art and architecture represented the social philosophies, geographic location/ conditions and other beliefs of the society as a whole (James Brogan, 1997). In Ancient Egypt, the worship of sun and the power of its illumination inspired the design of Egyptian temple as well as other buildings. The Roman Pantheon is an example of literal use light; highlighting the statues at the drum of the Pantheon, from the sunlight falling through the oculus.

The Monasteries of The Middle Ages depicted light as the symbol of the supernatural and manifested ‘God’ in ordinary things illuminated in light.

Culminating this symbolism in Gothic, light was expressed as “a medium through which the representation of Heaven was given a temporal earthly reading” (ibid, pg.6). This era was the beginning of dematerialization of materials and structures through light, where “light appeared to triumph over structure” (Banister Fletcher, 1996, cited in Wikipedia, n.d.).

In Baroque art and architecture, qualities such as movement, emotion, spirituality, motion and atmosphere were most effectively expressed through manipulating light.

After Baroque, light was used less spiritually and more commonly to enhance shapes and ‘clarify geometric forms’ especially in the works during Neo Classicism. Soon after, the concepts and aspirations of light in architecture changed dramatically with the invention and development of ‘the electrical/ artificial light’.

The Modern movement was more about literal expression of light used to accentuate structures and materials. Thereafter, later modern period saw the light was revived as a symbol of spiritual power and ‘emotional intensity’.

Le Corbusier in his later works tried to explore the natural forms and mediums which had divine and mystical character .He was interested in “ representing the spiritual motivation which lie at the root of all human experiences” (James Brogan, 1997) into architecture. At his Church in La Tourette, with the use of materials in accordance with color and light he was able to transform ‘the place of worship to other-worldly’ (ibid, pg.7) environment. His various religious building designs reveal light, and its ‘allusions’ as the most significant transformational element that enhanced the ‘uplifting and worshipful environment’ (ibid, pg.7).

An in depth analysis on the works of art and architecture is required which is based on the mystical and metaphorical use/ treatment of light. Particular works of Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, Ricardo Legorreta, Tadao Ando, Steven Holl will be analysed for clues on transformational qualities of light.

Research Problem:

Can Light help transform a worldly environment to an angelic environment?

Research Questions:

What is angelic architecture
How can perception of an environment be transformed through light
What qualities of light help in the transformation of angelic environment/ architecture
What are the materials and qualities required for the angelic architecture

Methodology/ Research Methods:

The research methods will involve the thorough review of the literature regarding the mythologies of angels in various beliefs and religions.

The primary research method will be qualitative through which the characteristics of light having the ability to change the perception of human mind, will be determined. To accomplish this, comprehensive interviews of visitors to religious buildings and meditation spaces will be conducted. Their accounts in terms of perception of space, experiential qualities will be recorded.

The secondary data will be gained from the published literature on Light, its forms and qualities. Focusing on the spiritual use of light, case studies (minimum-2) will be carried out on places of spiritual and mystical character such as places of worship and meditation. The character of light: the source, color, texture etc. will be analyzed through the case studies. A series of quick but decisive experiments with light on materials will be conducted. The effects of certain lights on materials: their visual appearance and the experiential character will be determined.

Pilot study:

A brief yet conclusive study was undertaken in order to determine the change in perception of an environment with the use of light. Two small scale Experimental models were composed:

1. Opaque materials (wood/ metals)

2. Transparent materials (Glass/ metals/ fabric)

Both were photographed under manipulated lights (coloured lights and images projected from digital projector). Six chosen images with different lighting effects were shown to 10 people (aged 18-40), who were told to express their perception by giving 3 adjectives for each image. The resultant 180 adjectives when put together as qualities of the environment, provided significant insight on the characteristics of light. Most of the people perceived the glassy structure to be ‘heavenly’, ‘strange’, ‘bright’. 4/10 people mentioned ‘angelic’ as one of the qualities while other qualities were ‘unreal’, ‘cosmic’, ‘dreamy’, and ‘illusory’. Majority perceived glass structure as more ‘attractive’ and ‘inspiring’. This concise study laid forward important conclusions for the research:

Light can change perception of materials and their properties, environment and its experience.
Metals, transparent and translucent materials work best under light. Their reflectance, glare and transmittance are significant properties to incorporate in angelic environment.
Light being a weightless and swift medium falls, passes, hits, bounces back or engulfs materials and tends to change their perception differently; Solids like wood seem to evenly glow when most of the light is absorbed, while glass and metals become even more ‘crisp’ and ‘radiant’ in light.

Research Outcomes:

The potential outcomes of the research will include characterized definition of ‘Angelic Architecture’ and based on the symbols and qualities of angels/ spiritual beings, the clues for the architectural language will be developed. A brief selection of materials based on specific angelic qualities will be developed for future references. A structure with use of chosen materials will be designed, and the angelic qualities of light with then will be applied to it to demonstrate the transformation of human perception.

The Research, though having a limited focus will give a comprehensive set of clues on changing the perception of environments/ space. By evoking spirituality through the use of light and distinct materials, the unique treatment could be attributed to other works of architecture for certain transformations.

List of References:

1.Banister Fletcher,1996, Citing: A History of Architecture [WWW]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_architecture, [Acessed:19/04/2011]

2. Benedict Ashley,2006, The Way toward Wisdom: An Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Introduction to Metaphysics, Notre Dame Indiana, University of Notre Dame

3. Brogan James, 1997,Introduction:Light in Architecture, Architectural Digest, Academy Edition,pg.6-7

4. ‘Eden’, Encyclopaedia Britannica online (2011),Available at: http://www.britannica.com/bps/dictionary?query=eden [Acessed:10/ 04/2011]

5. Emma Heathcote-James (2002), Seeing Angels. London: John Blake Publishing

6. Major Mark, Speirs Jonathan, Tischhauser Anthony,2005,Made of light: The Art of Light and architecture, Switzerland, Birkhauser

7. Michel Faber (2010) Citing The Fire Gospel [WWW] Guardian Bookshop. Available from:http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/aug/07/electric-eden-folk-rob-young , [Accessed 20/04/11]

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What is The Influence of Corporate Branding towards Consumer Perception in Thailand?

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of corporate branding towards consumer perception as well as to understand the associative relationship between those factors in Thailand market. Four main dimensions of corporate branding including identity, image, reputation, and loyalty were explored and studied through literature reviews in order to establish hypotheses and a research model. Therefore, Samsung brand in Thailand was selected to be a case study of this research due to the fact that this brand used to be perceived as a low-quality product imitated from a Japanese brand. Samsung has finally become well-known and has gained high-innovative image and reputation.

According to the Epistemology, the research employed deductive approach and positivism in order to test the hypotheses. With the scientific procedure, the quantitative research was conducted to collect data from 352 Samsung consumers in Thailand. The samples were randomly selected and asked to fill in the question via the google spreadsheets website posted through social media networks i.e. facebook. The questionnaires were also printed out and distributed in several huge shopping malls around Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. After that, the data gained were transferred to and analysed by Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) programme version 18.

Finally, the results received from the tests indicate that corporate identity, image, and reputation significantly affect consumer perception of the Samsung brand. It was also found that there were positive relationships between those dimensions and consumer perception as well as the perception and the corporate brand loyalty. Managerial and theoretical implications were then provided Samsung for maintaining and improving its potential brand strategic management.

Chapter One

Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Branding has been used by firms as a strategic tool for building a sustainable and for gaining competitive advantage (O’Malley, 1991; Xie and Boggs, 2006). It has been diversely using in order to build up their image and to enhance their reputation, even though, branding concept is not considered as a new strategy (Wentz and Suchard, 1993; Fombrun and van Riel, 1997; Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000). It can be said that brand image and brand reputation may influence consumer perception towards merit of products, boost up prestige and value of brands, enhance brand loyalty, as well as create a sustainable business at the end (Ginden, 1993; Fombrun and van Riel, 1997; Morsing and Kristensen, 2001). Moreover, Duncan and Moriarty (1998) also affirmed that perception is very crucial to build a brand which exists in customers’ mind. As a consequence, brand management is about how to deal with customers’ perception. Firms then need to understand the way to utilise power of brands in order to change customers’ product experience and their perception (Elliott and Percy, 2007).

However, in today’s fast-changing and complex marketplaces, it is not easy to keep customer loyalty with one company since there has been a significant increase in product and service innovation of many organizations (Morsing and Kristensen, 2001). Building a strong corporate brand in the high-technology segment would enable companies to have a confident that its products would not be imitated easily (Keller, 2003). Premium brands such as Apple, Sony and IBM receive positive perception of product quality, image, and trust (Xie and Boggs, 2006). This is the reason why corporate branding has become a fascinating and useful approach in the 21th century (Hatch and Schultz, 2003; Balmer and Greyser, 2003).

This study primarily focuses on four dimensions of corporate branding which include corporate identity, corporate image, corporate reputation, and corporate brand loyalty relating to consumer perception of a brand. Therefore, Samsung brand was selected to represent as a corporate brand in Thailand in order to investigate how it is perceived by Thai consumers. Samsung was selected because of the fact that it is one of the best high-technological companies which is moving and expanding rapidly (Roll, 2006; Temporal, 2006). It also implements corporate brand strategy to distribute its products in the global marketplace (Roll, 2006), including in Thailand (Samsung, 2011). Moreover, after facing its brand management crisis leading to be perceived as a low image and bad reputation brand in the past decade, Samsung brand got recovered and gained higher acceptance of consumers when the corporate branding strategy has been inclusively implemented (Ind, 1998; Roll, 2006). Samsung Company and its brand background will be described next.

1.2 Samsung Company and Brand Background

Samsung was founded and has been producing technological products in South Korea in 1969 (Roll, 2006; Temporal, 2006; Samsung, 2011). Firstly, it was negatively perceived as a low-class brand imitated from Japanese electronic products (Roll, 2006). The company had also been completed with many other brands such as Sony, Canon, LG group of South Korea, as well as potential competitors from China and Taiwan (Roll, 2006).However, in 1993, a new corporate philosophy was launched encouraging the company to put more effort on developing innovative technology (Roll, 2006; Temporal, 2006; Samsung, 2011). After that, this brand has been well-known and has become a global brand in the top rank (Haig, 2004; Roll, 2006).

Samsung’s philosophy emphasizes on creating special talents which would enhance superior products and services as well as build a better society in the world (Samsung, 2011). With its new motto “Inspire the world, Create the future”, Samsung organization could leverage three competitive advantages in terms of “New Technology”, “Innovative Products” and “Creative Solutions” (Samsung, 2011). Samsung name has been used in order to represent and characterise Samsung products including, mobile device, home appliances, television, camera, camcorder, print solutions, as well as personal computer and peripherals (Roll, 2006; Samsung, 2011). Moreover, new strategic brand management of Samsung together with its consistent policy enables the company to gain a better market positioning (Roll, 2006). It was changed from a cheap electronic manufacturer to a world-class design and cutting-edge technology provider by implementing an aggressive branding strategy — internal branding as well as world best talents development. Samsung also uses beneficial communication channels i.e. public relation, event marketing, advertising, and Samsung experience gallery (Roll, 2006; Temporal, 2006). This could upgrade this brand to be a global brand providing premium assess a particular brand and product (Mitchell and Olson, 1981; Dowling and Uncles, 1997, de Chernatony and Dall’Olmo Riley, 1998; Lee and Ganesh, 1999; Ruyter and Wetzels, 2000). It has also become more popular among several Asian brands such as Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, Honda, Canon, Mitsubishi, LG, and etc (Roll, 2006; Temporal, 2006; Muhlbacher et al., 2006). Moreover, Consumers in Asia, particularly Thailand, consider more about how brands perform and how they reflect their characteristic and lifestyles. Most of previous researches mainly focused on American and European countries while there are only a few researches product quality and design (Haig, 2004). As a result, it was ranked as the best Information Technology (IT) by Business week since 2002 (Roll, 2006).

1.3 Problem Identification and Research Objectives

Nowadays, corporate branding has been widely discussed in many literatures about how consumers perceive, select, and studying on corporate branding in Asian perspective (Ind, 1998). Consequently, the main point of this study is to understand how consumers perceive the Samsung corporate brand in Thailand market by considering four key elements – corporate identity, corporate image, corporate reputation, and corporate brand loyalty.

In order to clarify this research problem, it can be divided into the following objectives:

To determine the influence of a corporate brand towards consumer perception in terms of its identity, image, and reputation in Thailand;
To examine the relationship between consumer perception and corporate brand loyalty in Thailand market and;
To discuss and provide management recommendation to develop corporate branding in Thailand.
1.4 Value of the Study

The value of this study is to identify and highlight the importance of each dimension of corporate brand towards consumer perception. It helps investigating how those dimensions — identity, image, reputation — influence consumer perception towards Samsung brand in which provides high-technological product and service in Thailand as well as examining a relationship between the consumer perception and corporate brand loyalty.

1.5 Organisation of the Study

The study has been organised and divided into seven chapters. Firstly, an introduction part, Samsung background, as well as research problem and research objectives are provided in Chapter 1. After that, Chapter 2 is thoroughly reviewing the relevant theories and concepts such as consumer behavior, consumer perception, branding, and corporate branding. Then, based upon the study of previous literatures, research model and hypotheses are formulated in Chapter 3 in order to illustrate the influence of corporate branding dimensions — corporate identity, image, reputation — towards Thai consumer perception and the association between consumer perception and corporate brand loyalty. Thereafter, Chapter 4 is describing about how the research was designed and which research methods were implemented, followed by the presentation of research results and data analysis in Chapter 5. Next, discussion and implication are done in Chapter 6. Finally, in the last chapter, conclusion and limitation of this study are clearly explained at the end.

Chapter Two

Literature Review

In this chapter, related literatures on consumer behaviour, brand and branding, and corporate branding with its dimensions will be discussed.

2.1 Understanding Consumer Behaviour
2.1.1 Consumer Behaviour and Consumer Decision Making Process

Solomon et al. (2009, p.148) also defines consumer behaviour as “The process individuals or groups go through to select, purchase, use or dispose of products, services, ideas or experiences to satisfy needs and desires.” This can be described by the behavioural process (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2007) as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Consumer Behavioural Process

Source: Adapted from Schiffman and Kanuk (2007)

In addition, it can be understood by the model of consumer decision making process (Figure 2) which consists of three key elements, there are external influence factors, consumer decision making process, and post-decision behaviour (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2007; Kotler and Keller, 2009). Schiffman and Kanuk (2007) also mentioned that marketing and socio-cultural stimuli –e.g culture, sub-culture, social roles and statuses, and family– is an external influence that persuades consumers to acquire, consume, or refuse the products. Kotler (2000) argued that personal factors and psychological factors –e.g age, economic circumstants, lifestyle, perception, attitude, and motivation– are the internal influences that also persuades them. Also, Kotler and Keller (2009) stated that buying decision process could be divided into five stages–problem/need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternative, purchase decision, and post-purchase evaluation.

1) Problems recognition: This stage may happen when consumers recognise a difference between actual state and ideal state (Solomon, 2009). The difference will create their “Needs” and they will want to respond and fulfil those needs by doing or acting something such as buying, consuming, watching etc. Finally, target customers can be obviously seen if marketers discover the level of hierarchy of their needs — Physiological Needs, Safety Needs, Belongingness Needs, Esteem Needs, and Self-actualisation Needs — (Maslow, 1970).

2) Information Search: Being satisfied by closing the gap of the actual and ideal states, consumers have to seek information from many sources. Four types of sources which were stated by Kotler and Keller (2009) are personal source, commercial source, public source, and experiential source. These sources will bring about a set of choice in order to be evaluated in the next step.

3) Evaluation of Alternatives: Information gathered will be considered and evaluated through four criteria including performance of products, financial issues, social factors, and personal attitudes (Masterson and Pickton, 2004). Consumers, then, will realise the certain benefits of the product or service and will be able to make purchase decision.

4) Purchase Decision: After consumers have their preferences, their intention to buy will be found and executed by considering six sub-decisions which are product, brand, dealer, quantity, timing, and payment method. However, there are some intervene factors which include functional risk, physical risk, financial risk, social risk, psychological risk, and time risk (Kotler and Keller, 2009). These risks could be perceived and could influence consumer’s decision.

5) Post – purchase Evaluation: This step will influence customers to purchase again or refuse to purchase in the future. Therefore, marketers should monitor customers’ satisfaction, actions, product use and disposal after they buy and use the products (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2007; Kotler and Keller, 2009)

Figure 2: The Consumer Decision Making Process Model

Source: Adapted from Schiffman and Kanuk (2007, p.513)

2.1.2 Consumer Perception

Perception is defined as the way in which an individual selects, receives, organises, and interprets stimuli (Russ and Kirkpatrick, 1982; Mowen, 1987; Schiffman and Kanuk, 2007; Kotler, 2000). It also can be described that perception is the meaning that people see and understand information around them (Nelson and James, 1996; Schiffman and Kanuk, 2007). People may recognise and expose to the same stimuli in the different process, based upon individual’s beliefs, needs, and expectation (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2007). As a consequence, from the marketing side, Russ and Kirkpatrick (1982) stated that consumer individually perceives those stimuli though distinctive specification and characteristic of product, brand, and price.

According to Solomon (2007), the stimuli include light, colour, and sound. Boone and Kurtz (1995) also mentioned that the stimuli can be perceived though the five senses which are touching, hearing, seeing, smelling, and tasting. Moreover, they explained that interacting between stimuli factors and individual factors would create individual’s perception of things and situations (Boone and Kurtz, 1995). Stimuli factors are features of an object that psychologically motivate one’s belief and thought (Hanna and Wozniak, 2001) whereas individual factors consist of sensory process, experiences, motivation, and expectation (Boone and Kurtz, 1995). Furthermore, Kotler (2000) also suggested three perceptual processes; Selective Attention, Selective Distortion, and Selective Retention, causing individuals to perceive the same stimulus differently. However, Schernerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn (2000) suggested that there are four stages of perceptual process which include not only Kotler’s three perceptual process — Attention and Selection, but also Organization, Interpretation, and Retrieval has been included. A diagram shown in Figure 3 illustrates the four stages of perceptual process which influences one’s perception and response (Schernerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, 2000).

Figure 3: The Four Stages of Perceptual Process

Source: Adapted from Schernerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, (2000)

According to Figure 3, the perceptual process can be divided into Attention and Selection, Organisation, Interpretation, and Retrieval stages.

1) Attention and Selection stage: Lewison (1994) and Kotler (2000) divided this stage into three groups which are;

– Selectivity exposure is the process of receiving in which individuals screen out unimportant information and pay attention to only potential messages matching to their attitudes and beliefs (Berkowitz et al., 1994).

– Selective Distortion occurs when people organises and adapts incoming information to support their own beliefs and thoughts (Kotler, 2000).

– Selective Retention describes that consumers do not receive and remember everything they exposed to. They usually retain only some parts which support their beliefs (Kotler and Armstrong, 1999).

2) Organisation stage: Lewison (1994) explained that each individual has various ability to receive, store, organise, and simplify data mentally; therefore, consumer will interpret and react to problem when making purchase decision differently. Furthermore, people should be able to develop and organise their knowledge though their experience efficiently (Schermerhon et al., 200)

3) Interpretation stage: This process is to assign meaning to stimuli by mentally comparing what consumer sees, knows, and feels from his past experiences (Hanna and Wozniak, 2001).

4) Retrieval stage: This process is different from the previous since those processes is about how people receive and store information in our memory. However, this stage is to retrieve the stored information when it is needed to be used. Schermerhon et al., (2000) also described that only some stored data can be retrieved from our memory.

Based upon consumer perception, everybody has different knowledge of products and brands. Some may think positive towards a brand while others may not even though they have never bought or used it before (Arnold, 1992). This is because individual’s beliefs, experiences, and perception could influence customer trust in a brand (Buttle and Burton, 2002). Kotler (2000) also stated that consumer decides to purchase base upon his perception of reality, not reality itself. Therefore, consumer marketer should have deep understanding of perceptual process in order to comprehend how he perceives a brand or a product and makes his purchase decision (Keith, 1992).

2.2 Brand and Branding

With the intense competition in the today’s marketplace, a firm with only product focus may not be capable to run a successful business. Branding strategy has now become widely discussed among the business since its function not only means an established brand name, but also “a direct consequence of the strategy of market segmentation and product differentiation” (Kapferer, 1992, pp.46).

According to Kotler (2000, p.396), brand is “the name, associated with one or more items in the product line, that is used to identify the source of character of the item(s).” Previously, brand was considered as ‘an off-hand’ concept or a step in the whole marketing process (Urde, 1999). However, nowadays marketers divert their focuses to the brand since it is believed to function as ‘an identifier’ differentiating one product or service from one another as well as to gain consumer awareness towards the product (Ind, 1997; Kay, 2004). Literatures in brand subject have addressed the significance of brand as something unique which cannot be imitated or copied (Ind, 1997; Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000). This statement has been accepted as it is obviously shown that when a new product or service has been launched, it must be accompanied with ‘brand’ (i.e. name, logo and symbol) (Keller, 2003). This can be exemplified by Apple brand which strongly focuses its technological product innovation leading this brand to gain high awareness and positive perception from global market. Kapferer (1997) and Kohli and Thakor (1997) explained the significant difference between traditional and current brand concepts as traditional concept is used to build distinctive brand image among the similar products or services whereas present concept emphasises on the quality of the products or services which cannot be accessed from external. Building brand image is identical for those who mainly focus on short-term outcome whilst revealing the hidden product quality can be used as a long-term strategy (Kohli and Thakor, 1997). Aaker and Joachmisthaler (2000) mentioned that traditional branding model creates a distinctive product image for the short-term result. Branding strategy can be basically implemented with the cooperation of other related-departments (manufacturing and sales departments) to increase sales volume and market shares (Aaker and Joachmisthaler, 2000). However, to deliver long-term plan, educating and raising consumer awareness towards the distinctive characteristics of the products are vital (Kohli and Thakor, 1997). Davis (2002) and Davis and Dunn (2002) noticed that at present, most firms heavily rely on advertising campaigns since they believe that the campaigns can expose their brands to the public. This can be seen in advertisements of Coca-Cola, Addidas, and HSBC which advertise their one global message about their elegant products and services — Coke Open Happiness, Addidas Impossible is Nothing, HSBC World Local Bank” — in order to persuade consumers’ thought and belief and increase their sale volume. As a consequence, brand is portrayed to be more than a strategic or visionary plan but become a crucial marketing tactic instead (Davis and Dunn, 2002).

2.3 Branding Models

Kapferer (1997) clarified the significant change of branding approach, as previously firms were more likely to focus on a product capability and capacity (i.e. chocolate or pasta). However, at present they shifted their interests to own product’s brand instead (i.e. KitKat or Buitoni)(Kapferer, 1997). This signifies that firms are more aware in ‘identifier’ which plays a major role in consumer’s mind (Kapferer, 1997). Kapferer (1997) categorised brand functions into 8 vital consumer perceived functions: identification, practicality, guarantee, optimisation, characterisation, continuity, hedonistic, and ethical (Table 1). ‘Identification’ and ‘Practicality’ are systematically and directly concern with the importance of brand recognition as it facilitates consumer’s choice and loyalty (Kapferer, 1997). ‘Guarantee’ and ‘Optimisation’ are served to mininise the perceived risk whereas ‘Characterisation’ is used to indicated consumer values and consumption aspect as products can be represented their self-image (Kapferer, 1997). ‘Continuity,’ ‘Hedonistic,’ and ‘Ethical’ reflect consumer’s pleasure towards the brand as it brings consumers familiarity, intimacy, satisfaction, and relationship towards the society (Kapferer, 1997). Kapferer (1997) also added up that in the ‘economic function’ aspect, brand values basically come from the positive and exclusive attitudes of the public towards the brand.

Table 1: Brand Functions Categories

Source: Adapted from Kapferer (1997)

As a consequence, developing brand value is one of the most important aspects marketers should not omit in the branding strategy process. Kapferer (1997) considered brand value as an intangible and monetary assets. Implementing branding strategy without good orientation and understanding in brand value may reduce potential in maximising sales volumes and profit gains (Doyle, 2001). Four significant factors determining consumer attitudes towards perceived brand value are what marketers should be aware of: brand awareness; perceived quality level; level of confidence, of significance, of empathy, of liking; and expressive value and attractiveness enhanced by the brand (Doyle, 2001). Based on the brand orientation model, the departure point of the model is to seek for brand mission, then followed by building the brand by creating a vivid picture and forming characteristics of the internal brand identity (Urde, 1999). Later, the brand can perform as a comprehensive strategic foundation providing a guideline on how to response to customers’ needs and wants; how to understand what customers value; and what identification they would like to express themselves (Urde, 1999). With the better understanding on brand orientation model, it encourages the strong attachment and commitment between the brands and customers in the end.

Figure 4: Brand Hexagon

Source: Derived from Urde (1999)

Urde’s Brand Hexagon (1999) portrays brand equity and identity integration in accordance with firm’s direction, and brand strategy leading to consumers’ brand awareness, brand association, and brand loyalty (Figure 4). The right side of the figure shows rational factors as consumers purchase the products from ‘product category’ and ‘product’ whereas the left side presents emotional references that consumers select the products from ‘company name’ and ‘brand name’ (Urde, 1999). Urde (1999) elaborated that a brand is formed when both rational and emotional references are integrated. Moreover, firm’s vision and mission are also vital since it signifies firm’s intentions to the product and its brand name (Urde, 1999). At the centre of the figure, brand positioning and core values are the central linkage between product and brand which leads to the interpretation process and target audience in the end. In conclusion, the core objective of the brand-oriented organisation is to establish ‘value’ with a strategic fundamental to create product awareness, product, its brand name association and consumers’ loyalty towards the brand name in the end (Urde, 1999).

However, Aaker and Joachimsthaler (2000) controverted the traditional model and instead illustrated the brand leadership model. In this case, a strategic and visionary perspective is emphasised. Brand managers’ responsibility become boarder and horizontally authorised as they are in charge of strategic planning, and team communication (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000). Main objective of this model is to leverage brand equities as well as to develop the measurement of the brand equity (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000). Since the model tends to emphasise on multiple brands, products, and markets, as a result; brand identity and building value of the brand are considered as the core factors of the strategy (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000). According to Aaker and Joachimsthaler (2000), in order to construct the brand leadership model, four challenging tasks must be concerned as follows:

1) The organisational challenge: firm needs to agree on structures and processes which later become the important elements to create the strong brands as well as to appoint a strong brand managers or leaders for individual product, market and country. This includes sharing common knowledge, information, an up-to-date IT system, structures, news, experiences and initiatives across the firms. McWilliam and Dumas (1997) added that to accomplish the task, every team member must understand the process of brand building as it is metaphorically considered as an intelligent transmitting tool transferring firm’s value across. Moreover, brand management itself should not be viewed as only the market activity but the important part of the whole management process (Doyle, 2001).

2) The brand architecture challenge: it is a brand portfolio’s organising structure which helps the firm to identify the brand roles, the relationships between brands and sub-brands involved, and how they connect to one another (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000). Effective brand architecture will create a clear and positive clarification for customer offering as well as build synergies in the brands and communication approaches (Aaker, 2004). A key concept in building an effective brand architecture is the better understanding of what the brand role, sub-brands and endorsed brands are as well as possible action on how to determine their respective roles in the portfolio (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000). This would lead the firm to be able to find a right time to stretch a brand over the product. Aaker (2004) defined brand architecture as brand portfolio since its main strategy is to identify the brand portfolio and relationships between each portfolio brands.

3) The brand identity and position challenge: the brand identity is important in the way that each brand should present its own identity, characteristics and proper position to provide a vivid clarification to consumers (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000). Speak (1998) suggested that this task can be set as a long-term plan as it takes part in brand building process of the firm.

4) The brand building programme challenge: the key function is to create the synergies in the firm’s communication programme and related-product actions to perform brand building and identity on those particular products (Aaker, 2004). Encouraging any necessary activities will bring clarity and focus to a brand. As a consequence, consumers are able to gain awareness and knowledge towards the brand and at the same time to strengthen their positive attitudes and brand loyalty in the end (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000). In addition, with the fact that some strategies appear to be ambiguous and difficult to explain in word, an advertising including various media channels can bring in consumers’ attention and provide confidence to support the strategies (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000).

With the fast growing of the current market situation, it is necessary to continuously implement the strategic plans to keep firms informed and updated to the today market environment. External environment and unpredictable factors produce a complicated condition to the brand and consumer equity (Logman, 2004). As a result, the Logical Brand Management (LOGMAN) model was introduced to cope with these key issues as firms need to answer the following statements (Logman, 2004):

– Do customers perceive the firm’s brand drivers in the way firm requires them to be?

– Do customers perceive the firm’s brand drivers in the way customers require them to be?

– Do customers perceive the external brand drivers in the way the firm require them to be?

– Any rational interaction among the firm’s brand drivers?

– Any rational consistency among the firm’s brand drivers and each customer group/segments?

– Any rational consistency of the firm’s brand objectives at each level of products and cultures?

– Any rational consistency of the brand drivers in the past, and the present?

Firms need to answer these key questions as it would help the firm to identify the real condition, problem, and proper solutions to deal with including developing more potential to implement any related analysis (Logman, 2004).

2.4 Corporate branding

According to Balmer (1995), it was mentioned that brand management could be divided in three different approaches including; Brand Dominance (making use of different product names unrelated to the corporate name), Equal Dominance (making use of different product names related to the corporate name), and Corporate Dominance (making use of a corporate name as a product name). Morover, brand architectures can also be categorized to four basic types which are corporate, product, corporate-and-product, as well as product-and-corporate (Urde, 2003). While the corporate-and-product is mainly about using the corporate brand, product-and-corporate focuses on use of product brand. Nestle can be an example of using both corporate and product since it contains various names of products e.g. Nescafe, Perrier, Maggi, and Carnation. Consequently, it could be summarised that branding strategy consists of two main approaches which are product branding and corporate branding (de Chernatony, 1997). Product branding strategy is to create identities of different brands for different products (Davies and Chun, 2002) whereas de Chernatony (1997) defined corporate branding as the approach that use corporate name as its brand. For example, Vasaline, Aviance, Sunsilk, and Dove are the product brands under Uniliver while Addidas, IBM, BMW, and Canon are endorse their products by their corporate name with a single brand.

Balmer and Gray (2003) pointed out that corporate brand adopts same methodology and toolboxs from product brand, however; some differences can be found in the light of their composition, constituencies, maintenance, management, and disciplinary approaches. Hatch and Schultz (2003) categorised these approaches as follows:

1) The practice is shifted from product focus to corporate branding;

2) More attempt to expose the brand equity to be more visible and recognisable in the public;

3) The purported aim to strengthen its stakeholder relationship;

4) The requirement of high-level management personnel’s commitment and support to implement concrete corporate branding strategy;

5) The focus on all dimensions (i.e. past, present experiences and future prediction) of corporate brands;

6) The focus on the practice of using firm’s name as a product name in order to raise consumers’ product awareness and recognition and

7) The greater views on corporate brand as it produces more meaningful strategic significance than solely based on product brand.

According to Aaker (2004), a corporate brand acts as a brand representative of the firm which portrays its background, values, culture, strategies and people. Corporate branding is applied when the product(s) and firm name become the brand name (de Chernatony, 1999; Aaker, 2004). Corporate branding has been recently received more attentions from firms rather than attachment with the product brand (de Chernatony, 1999; Hatch and Schultz, 2003). Corporate branding needs to be managed by a multidisciplinary approach — a development of marketing – which both generates and results from the strategic landscape of brands (Balmer and Grayser, 2003; King, 1991). Hatch and Schultz (2003) also stated that it is an essential asset of the company which shows its value, cultures, characteristics, strategic management, and people. Many literatures on branding indicates the development of corporate branding during the past few years and it has come to a conclusion that it is now paving a foundation to a new concept of marketing – ‘corporate-level marketing’ (Balmer and Gray, 2003).

With the congruity between the corporate branding and the strategic brand vision, it would leverage on the brand development (Knox and Bickerton, 2003). This requires an interaction between the firm and its multi-stakeholder (Balmer and Gray 2003, Knox and Bickerton, 2003; Hatch and Schultz, 2003; Aaker 2004). The organisational association first named ‘the corporate brand’ as a key discipline of an organisational characteristic development with its products and services (Aaker, 2004). Urde (2003) mentioned that corporate brand concerns the establishment of the firm’s long-term visions and core values which lead the firm’s operation to reach the objective with the sophisticated brand building process, both internally and externally. Furthermore, the strong corporate brand should reflect depth and value of the products, behaviour and communication offering as Urde (2003, p.1036) explained “core values influence continuity, consistency and credibility in the building of a corporate brand.”

With the above characteristic of the corporate branding, a model can be framed as in Figure 5 (Hatch and Schultz, 2003). The framework is composed of three elements – strategic vision, corporate image and firm’s culture. Hatch and Schulz (2003) claimed that corporate branding can produce an efficient outcome when these 3 attributes are involved either in articulating or aligning directions by entailing an effective communication between high-level firm management, stakeholders, and members of the firm’s cultures (Hatch and Schulz, 2003).

Figure 5: Elements of Corporate Branding

Source: Adapted from Hatch and Schultz, 2003

However, Knox and Bickerton (2003) argued that multiple stakeholders should have involved in corporate branding. An additional variable – a competitive environment of the firm including the perspective of its present image and culture – should be added to enlarge the framework (Knox and Bickerton, 2003). Six corporate brand building attributes are discussed to produce more effective branding strategies as follows (Knox and Bickerton, 2003) (Figure 6).

1) Brand context: understanding what is the position of the brand and where it is in the market;

2) Brand construction: how to position the brand with regards to consumers and stakeholder’s viewpoints and values;

3) Brand confirmation: the way to present the brand to the firm and its people;

4) Brand consistency: delivering the relevant, clear and precise message to all stakeholders (i.e. shareholders, media, competitors, and governments) via its effective communication channels;

5) Brand continuity: how to discipline corporate branding process into one alignment and

6) Brand conditioning: how the firm manages and/or deals the brand on a regular basis.

Figure 6: The Six Conventions of Corporate Branding

Source: Derived from Knox and Bickerton (2003)

Current marketing phenomenon is overpopulated with large, medium and small firms, as a consequence; firms are forced to arrange its resources and manage the process to elevate the core values since it is believed to strengthen corporate brand and help identifying added values to the customers (Urde, 2003). Urde (2003) addressed that corporate brand architecture is basically promoted by core values which can be shared by other products in the same family branding. It functions as a coordinator in the process of brand building as well as provides a reliability and credibility when communicating with stakeholders (i.e. the government, financial sectors, labour association, public, etc – Urde, 2003). Three main constructs – firm values, core values, and added values– are found significantly necessary when forming the foundation for corporate brand and producing a comprehensive value-creating process (Urde, 2003). Furthermore, the interaction between corporate brand and core values is vital for leveraging corporate brand equity as well as identifying firm’s competitive position (Urde, 2003). An addition issue regarding high-level personnel attention and firm-wide support are also crucial in this stage (Urde, 2003). Balmer and Gray (2003) noted that the corporate branding approach can be applied to either single or multi-corporations such as subsidiaries, and groups of firms which are under the same umbrella brands.

Today, many markets have become more complex with the increase in competitions among the firms. Firms are now experiencing difficulty to expose their products and get a market noticed. Retaining their corporate identity and differentiating the products from other competitors become a great challenge. Maintaining products’ credibility, corporate values, and images which cannot be imitated or homogenised is what firms should emphasise. This is why corporate branding is significantly important as it help to create a strong protection upon firm’s corporate brands (Balmer, 1998). The whole corporation position is required and regarded as a powerful competitive advantage rather than a product-focused marketing plan (Balmer, 1998; Hatch and Schultz, 2001). Many literatures view the assumption of forming a corporate brand as it educates consumers to be able to distinguish the firms and help encouraging the firms to put an effort to get the product offering become successful (Harris and De Chernatony, 2001; Ind, 1997; Balmer, 2001). Kelly (1998) and Sharp (1995) also added that establishing a positive attitude upon consumer perception is necessary.

In conclusion, Knox and Brickerton (2000) explained the development of the corporate brand as it originates from corporate image, to corporate identity, to corporate reputation, and at last to corporate branding respectively. Commitment and attention are required from firm’s members especially from high-level management. Gaining public awareness, recognitions and positive attitudes are what firms need to work on (Knox and Brickerton, 2000).

However, it is found that most of literatures reviewed above are derived from English literature while there is only limited study on Thailand country perspective. Most of Thai literatures related on brand and corporate branding are translated from English academic textbooks and journals which could not specifically identify how corporate branding affects consumer perception in Thailand. Hence, dimensions of corporate branding related and affected to consumer perception are explained next in order to set up a research model and hypotheses according to Thai perspective later on.

Chapter Three

Research Model and Hypotheses Formulation

According to Miles and Huberman (1994, p.18), a research model or a conceptual framework explains “either graphically or in narrative from, the main things to be studied — the key factors, constructs or valuables – and the presumed relationships among them”. In order to gain precise and accurate results, research framework should be well-designed encouraging the researcher to gather correct and useful information. Therefore, a research model and hypothesis formulation is presenting in this chapter.

3.1 Research Framework

According to the literatures reviewed in the previous chapter, a research model is developed as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Research framework

Source: Other’s own

3.2 Hypotheses Formulation

According to the Figure 7 above, it can be described how each hypothesis was formulated explain as follows;

3.2.1 Corporate Identity

At present, scholars and marketers have now considered corporate identity as one of the most effective strategic constructs to complete the competitive advantage (Schmidt, 1995). However, due to the limited corporate identity-related materials, resources and its vague definition, this subject is left at the back stage where marketers and executives have a few knowledge on how to implement or manage this concept (Balmer and Greyser, 2003; Melewar and Jenkins, 2002; Melewar et al., 2003).

Corporate identity can be referred as ‘a strategic manifestation’ where firm proposes its vision and mission into the strategic plans and employs it at the operation level (Melewar and Wooldridge, 2001). Some major issues are prior considered – ethical and cultural values, firm history, background, and philosophy (Ind, 1992). Balmer (1998) outlined the corporate identity’s general basic characteristics as 1) it is a multidisciplinary approach 2) it integrates the unique characteristics of the firm (i.e. background, philosophy, values and cultures) along with communication and corporate industry 3) corporate identity should be conducted with firm’s corporate personality since it can represent firm’s external personality. Corporate identity involves in the marketing area as it helps highlighting the firm’s visual identity, its strength and uniqueness to consumer and other stakeholder (Melewar and Jekins, 2002). Relating elements – firm’s strategy, philosophy, values and cultures, behaviour and certain corporate design instructions are identical to each individual firm (Van Riel, 1997).

Melewar’s further study (1993) explained the multidisciplinary function of corporate identity and pointed out the analysis of each component relating to the corporate identity. The important dimensions were consolidated into 7 categories – corporate communication, corporate design, corporate culture, behaviour, corporate structure, industry identity, and corporate strategy (Melewar, 1993). Apart from the seven factors, the visual component is also dominant in creating positive attitude in prospective’s mind (Melewar, 1993; Suvatjis and de Chernatony, 2005). Corporate visual identity (CVI) is referred to contain the most tangible characteristics among any other groups since its 5 main aspects (firm name, symbol/ logotype, typography, colour and slogan ) are the most physical recognitions reflecting the firm’s message as well as setting the firm independently from the others (Simo?es et al., 2005). Balmer (1995) coined the word ‘visual identification’ representing the visual components such as logos, general look, design, style, etc. in order to deliver the its ‘visual corporate philosophy and personality.’ Dowling (1994) termed corporate identity as the symbols firms used to present itself and convey a convincing message to the target audiences. Similarly, Van Den Bosch et al. (2005) used ‘corporate visual identity (CVI)’ as additional graphical instruments in the corporate identity. Interestingly, corporate visual identity is considered equally important to the firm’s identity. This signifies a traditional perspective in which a visual identity still strongly remains in the corporate identity concept whereas other elements – behaviour and communication – are left behind (Dowling, 1994).

Hence, on the basis of the above review, the first hypothesis can be formulated as follow.

H1: Corporate identity has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

3.2.2 Corporate Image

According to Johnson and Zinkhan (1990), corporate image is an overall image including the perception of the firm. Each segments or prospective may have different points of view towards the firm (Johnson and Zinkhan, 1990). Corporate image can be created from either individual (a person) or collective (a group of people) level of environment (Barich and Kotler, 1991). Aaker (1996) proposed that firm’s vision is the first step of brand management. A persuasive, positive and consistent image can lead impression and credibility of the firms to the stakeholders and public as well as elevate the firm’s confidence and reputation (Barich and Kotler, 1991; Ditchter, 1985; Topalian, 2003; Alessandri, 2001). Many literatures address the importance in managing corporation reputation as building the brand would help defining the firm’s position and reputation in the market (Hatch and Schultz, 1997; Fombrum and Van Riel, 1997). Repeating consumers’ impression towards corporate image would also stimulate consumer to get strong attachments to the firms (i.e. corporate commitment) (Gray and Balmer, 1998; Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003). It is noted that the increasing attention in corporate image has reflected the importance and development of corporate branding as a brand is used to differentiate the product from the others by the judgment of customer perceptions (Abratt, 1989; Aaker, 1996).

Even though, some scholars consider the functions of corporate image and corporate identity as interchangeable, some argue that each concept is not identical (Hsieh et al., 2004; Balmer, 1998; Christensen and Askegaard, 2001). Corporate image refers to the company facts whereas the latter is what the company’s stakeholders perceive (Balmer, 1998; Christensen and Askegaard, 2001). Since the study aims to investigate on consumer perception towards the corporation, corporate image will be addressed. Shapiro (1982) believed that corporate image can positively increase the sales and market share of the firm as well as establish and retain customer loyalty in the end (Andreassen and Lindestad, 1998; Nguyen and Leblanc, 2001).

Keller and Aaker (1997) mentioned that an efficient communication can be increased by a mean of strong corporate image. de Ruvter and Wetzels (2000) clarified the nature of consumer behaviour as consumers are more likely to apply some criteria (i.e. credibility, perceived quality and purchase intentions) to judge each product. Hsieh et al. (2004) and Andreassen and Lindestad (1998), therefore, added that corporate image has an impact upon consumer behaviour as it helps influencing consumer perception towards product quality, as well as evaluating their satisfactions and loyalty. Thus, based upon this review, the second hypothesis is developed as follow.

H2: Corporate image has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

3.2.3 Corporate Reputation

According to Fombrun and Rindova (1996, p.10), corporate reputation is “a collective representation of a brand’s past actions and results that describes the brand’s ability to deliver valued outcomes to multiple stakeholders.’’ Balmer (1998) and Bromley (2000) discussed that corporate reputation is a comprehensive measuring instrument used to particularly capture the collective perception on how the firm’s stakeholder groups response to the firm. Nguyen and Leblanc (2001) and Fombrun (1996) formed the model using ‘trust’ factor to categorise what has influenced customers’ expectations on each driver, each attribute and finally evaluate an overall standard from the firm’s key attributes.

Main differences between corporate image and corporate reputation is that corporate image focuses on current perception while corporate reputation reflects a broaden picture of the firm which has been distilling over years (Fombrum and Van Riel, 1997). The objective of corporate identity measuring method is to establish a reliable and favourable reputation in the viewpoints of the stakeholders (i.e. consumers, investors, or key influentials). Evaluations from the corporate stakeholder group are what firms need to capture since they signify the performance of the brand (Balmer, 1995). Their perceptions are important to manage corporate brand (Van Riel and Balmer, 1997; Balmer, 1995). de Chernatony’s (1999) conceptualised model illustrates the brand building process as it concerns its identification. At the same time, it reduces gaps between its identity and reputation (de Chernatony, 1999). As a consequence, narrowing the gaps and diminishing any incongruity should be co-implemented by related departments as well as conducting fine-tuned strategies to match identity and reputation. Furthermore, internal and external constructs should be included in the process since these constructs help balancing brand-building approach. It is specially efficient in the game theory where the reputation is considered as customers’ preference (Weigelt and Camerer, 1988).

Many marketers agree that consumer perceptions towards the role of the firm are the main drivers affecting their purchase behaviour (Kowalczyk and Pawlish, 2002). Consumers would consider buying the product by a mean of corporate reputation since it is believed that firm’s corporate reputation has a great impact upon consumers’ behaviour. Consumers may buy, support or withdraw themselves from the firm. The firms with favourable and reliable corporate reputation are more likely to encourage consumers’ commitment and trust (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003; Gray and Balmer, 1998). Therefore, according to previous review, the third hypothesis is formulated as follow.

H3: Corporate reputation has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

To sum up, according to the literature reviews on corporate branding and it major dimensions — corporate identity, corporate image, and corporate reputation — the researcher set up the forth hypothesis in order to evaluate overall associative relationship between corporate branding dimensions and consumer perception in Thailand as shown below.

H4: There is a significant relationship between three dimensions of corporate branding–corporate identity, corporate image, and corporate reputation–and consumer perception in Thailand.

3.2.4 Consumer Perception and Corporate Brand Loyalty

Today, gaining and retaining customers’ loyalty is regarded as an ultimate purpose for the firms when conducting marketing activities. According to Jacoby and Olson (1970), brand loyalty is viewed in a form of psychological aspects and defined as a consumers’ behaviour response which is more likely to occur from their mental purchase-decision process. It is a long existence and customers consider it more than a brand (Jacoby and Olson, 1970). The early concept of brand loyalty is expressed by the act of repurchase as a measurement of loyalty level (Bennett and Rundle-Thiele, 2000). At present, however; the measurement is shifted to affective loyalty that consumers’ fovourable and positive attitudes towards a certain brand or product are used (Bennett and Rundle-Thiele, 2000). Groth and McDaniel (1993) supported the affective loyalty concept as it will occur to the certain brand at all ways. Dowling and Uncles (1997) controverted the current concept and proposed polygamous loyalty theory in which their research has shown the actual consumers’ purchase behaviour that consumers are more likely to select variety of brands depending on the occasions and usages, however; it is not considered as brand switching. With overall mentioned above, Assael (1993) and Rust et al. (1995) concluded that brand loyalty comes from the link between customer satisfaction rating and repeated purchase behaviour towards the specific brands. The increase in their satisfactions would bring in the rise in loyalty, then loyalty can lead to the higher level in purchase respectively (Rust et al., 1995). Baldinger and Rubinson (1996) explained the two-stage loyalty model: affective and action loyalty. After forming affective loyalty, the action loyalty is the strongest stage where the actual purchase behaviour towards the particular brand or product has been developed (Baldinger and Rubinson, 1996; Eisman, 1990). Day (1996) supported the importance of these two variables – action, and affective variables – and categorised brand loyalty into true and spurious brand loyalty. The true brand loyalty relates to consumers’ psychological dimension as well as commitment which can finally lead to repurchase behavioural consistency (Day, 1996). On the other hand, the spurious brand loyalty occurs in a circumstance that consumers may not have other alternatives resulting in purchasing only one particular brand (Day, 1996).

Given an amount of research to strengthen the concept, Bhattacharya and Sen (2003) believed that corporate commitment/loyalty can build, gain, and sustain consumer loyalty for all the firm’ products or services. It should be noted that some corporate-related variables – corporate image/reputation and perception/beliefs of firm’s characteristics (i.e. culture, skills, values, and competitive position) – are what firms need to be aware of when establishing brand loyalty (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003). Customer loyalty could strengthen the relationship of consumers’ individual attitude and their repeated buying behaviour (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003). In the case of competitive markets where firms are not able to create strong corporate brand loyalty, once similar or imitative products/services are launched, it is predicted to see the emerge of divided loyalty (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003).

Kotler and Keller (2005) pointed out the fundamental benefit of loyalty scheme as the top 20% of the high- valued/loyal customer purchase can elevate 80% of the firm’s profits. Therefore, main revenues of the firms lie on a longer-term and concrete relationship between the firm and customers (Kotler and Keller, 2005). Slightly smaller proportion of heavy buyer/loyal customer defection involves significant outcome in profit increase since loyalty customers are believed to obtain less price sensitivity and have less attention to other competitive brands (Reichheld and Sasser, 1990). Delivering service to the existing customers minimises firm’s service operational cost since firms have already acknowledged their customer’s preferences while customers, in turn, familiarise with the firm’s product/service and its processes (Reichheld and Sasser, 1990). This would bring customers to engage in the positive word-of mouth (WOM) which is referred as one of the cheapest but most powerful marketing communication tools (Reichheld and Sasser, 1990).

For Thai perspective, brands which present their success and renown of reliability, quality, healthy, and safety will be accepted by Thai society (Lucksitanon, 2001; Teerasorn, 2008). Other Thai researchers (Sirichantanun, 2001; Chaipranee et al., 2003; Laokraikul, 2007; Wongmondra and Detchkana, 2007) also found that global brands which represent their images being able to persuade and convince consumers’ belief and value of their products and services. When making a purchasing decision, these characteristic of the brands would lead their perception and behaviour to positive believe and trust in the brands (Lucksitanon, 2001; Teerasorn, 2008). Jirangkul, (2002) and Khorpornprasert et al. (2005) also stated that consumer loyalty in Thai society was influenced by their perception of the brands. Furthemore, according to the most-admired and trusted brand survey on Thai consumer perception in BrandAge magazine (a well-known and reliable marketing magazine in Thailand marketing society), Samsung was rated in top 5 ranking of consumer technological products including home appliance e.g. television, refrigerator, audio and video, and washing machine, mobile device, and digital camera (Sirichantanun, et al., 2011). Therefore, based on the above review, the fifth hypothesis is set up as follows:

H5: There is a significant relationship between consume perception and corporate brand loyalty in Thailand.

After the research model had been drawn up and the hypotheses had been formulated, methodology describing about research philosophy, marketing research process, and ethical consideration were clarified in the next chapter.

Chapter Four

Research Design and Methodology

To conduct a research is to investigate an issue in order to solve the problem and improve the situation systematically (Collis and Hussy, 2003). Moreover, Bryman and Bell (2003) described that research is a tool employed by a researcher in order to collect data such as observation, interview, and questionnaire etc. It is also defined as systematic and scientific investigation for finding a solution to a problem (Sekaran, 2003). For marketing perspective, marketing research defined by Wilson (2006, p.4) is “the collection, analysis and communication of information undertaken to assist decision making in marketing”. It is very necessary for businesses to gain market and customer information to effectively satisfy customer needs (Churchill 1999, Malhotra and Birks, 2003; Wilson, 2006). Therefore, this chapter will clearly identify and explain research philosophy and marketing research process of this study, followed by ethical consideration.

4.1 Research Philosophy

Research philosophy is recognised as a way or a technique that researchers use to conduct the research such as research process and design, questionnaire design, sample formulation (Saunders et al., 2003; Skarmeas, 2009). The philosophy is crucial as it helps simplifying the research methods and facilitating researchers to find an appropriate method with a particular project or which will inappropriate. It also guides researchers how to be creative when selecting or adapting the methods which they have never experienced before (Easterby-Smith et al., 2002; Skarmeas, 2009).

This study is based on Epistemology which try to find out the answer of “How can we know?” and “What can we know?” (Willig, 2001). This means that Epistemology is about the theory of knowledge. Besides, another type of philosophy is to decide whether it is “Deductive” or “Inductive”. While deductive approach is to understand some specific problems or things by hypothesis testing, inductive was used to find the other way — generalization and theory development (Willig, 2001). Since this study aims to study on consumer perception of Samsung corporate branding by employed a questionnaire tool by using hypothesis testing, the quantitative approach or questionnaire design, deductive approach is then applied. Furthermore, it can be said that this research is also relies on Positivism philosophy due to the fact that it is “possible to describe what is out there and to get it right” (Willig, 2001, p.3) and is based on theoretical (survey-based) method.

As a consequence, it can be summarized that deductive approach and positivism were applied to test the hypotheses with scientific procedure, according to the Epistemology.

4.2 Marketing Research Process

According to Malhotra and Birks (2003), marketing research process consists of 6 stages which are defining a problem, developing research approach, designing a research, doing fieldwork or collecting data, analysing data, and preparing analytical issues and report (Figure 8). This process was used as a platform to systematically conduct the research, clarified as follows.

Figure 8: Marketing Research Process

Source: Adapted from Malhotra and Birks (2003)

4.2.1 Problem Definition

Problem definition is defined as “a board statement of the general problem and identification of the specific components of the marketing research problem” (Malhotra and Birks, 2003, p.31). As mentioned earlier in the problem identification and research objectives in Chapter 1, corporate branding has become more popular in both Western countries and Eastern countries (Mitchell and Olson, 1981; Dowling and Uncles, 1997, de Chernatony and Dall’Olmo Riley, 1998; Lee and Ganesh, 1999; Ruyter and Wetzels, 2000). However, after reviewing the previous studies, it was found that most of the researches mainly focused on American and European countries. This means that there are only a few researches studying on corporate branding in Asian perspective, especially in Thailand (Ind, 1998). Consequently, it can be summarized that the main point of this study is to understand how consumers perceive Samsung corporate brand in Thailand by considering four key elements – corporate identity, corporate image, corporate reputation, and corporate brand loyalty.

4.2.2 Developing Approach to the Problem

After defining the problem, an approach should be developed in order to clarify, broaden, and narrow down the research problem (Wilson, 2006). The deductive approach was applied in this research in order to test the theories found in the literature reviews. In this case, the hypotheses were formulated based upon consumer behavior and consumer decision making, consumer perception, brand and branding, corporate branding theories. Those relevant theories could significantly determine variables which have an effect on consumer perception. Corporate branding identity, image, and reputation were identified as the crucial factors which should be tested and measured. Moreover, variables were found to have a positive correlation between three corporate branding dimensions — identity, image, and reputation — and consumer perception, as well as between consumer perception and corporate branding loyalty. Even though a large number of researches on corporate branding are found, the study towards Asian country such as Thailand is not extensively mentioned. The research design is then purposed in the next step.

4.2.3 Research Design

Research design is an essential stage of marketing research since it is an outline or a roadmap to solve the research problem and achieve the research objectives (Malhotha and Birks, 2003). This means that it helps reducing risk and error of management encoraging managers to make a right decision and to predict market situation (Malhotha, 2009). Research design is divided into exploratory research and conclusive research (Malhotha, 2009). Malhotha (2009) explained that exploratory research is conducted in order to comprehend and find out causes of problem whereas conclusive research — descriptive and causal research — is to acquire in-depth information. Furthermore, Cresswell (2009) divided research design into three types which are qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. Observation, interpretation, and other descriptions are the examples of qualitative method which is not about numbers or quantity (Zikmund, 2000). On the other hand, quantitative research is a numeric and statistic approach of data collection. However, many techniques are sometimes combined in one research such as conducting a survey together with an interview. This method is called “Mixed Method” combining qualitative technique and quantitative technique in a single study.

For this report, exploratory research has been implemented though literatures reviewed in order to discover important factors and create marketing research model. Moreover, according to the information and theories gained from literature reviews, quantitative method was then applied by developing questionnaire to collect data and test hypothesises set. Owning to time constraint and budget limitation, the researcher only used one technique in order to gain high numbers of respondents. Then, Causal research was also used to explore relationship between corporate branding dimensions and Thai consumer perception as well as the perception and consumer loyalty. After the research had been designed, fieldwork and data collection for both secondary and primary research were set up next as illuminated in the following section.

4.2.4 Fieldwork and Data Collection
4.2.4.1 Secondary Data Collection

Secondary data refers to information previously gained for other objective, not for the current project (Wilson, 2006). Malhotra and Birks (2003) as well as Wilson (2006) also recommended that it is a faster and less expensive way to gather information before primary research is conducted. They described the advantages of secondary data as follows;

To save cost and time.
To help better clarifying and redefining the research problem.
To be a useful guideline before conducting a primary research.
To provide more comparative data which will be reliable for primary research.
To find out a suitable method to solve a research problem.
To gain specific information from particular organisation or government.

Therefore, Malhotra and Birks (2003) mentioned that secondary data should be gained in the first stage in order to explore important information previously found. It also helps identifying other points which are needed to solve the research problem and accomplish the objectives.

For this research, relevant and reliable materials including text books, academic journals, electronic database, and other publication were thoroughly reviewed enabling researcher to develop key dimensions of corporate branding which influence consumer perception. After that, wider and deeper concept of this research was gradually discovered. However, secondary data may also contain some limitation such as accuracy and congruity of the information (Churchill, 1999). As a consequence, primary research is then required for this study in order to gain data which are suitable for Thai consumer perception towards Samsung corporate brand.

4.2.4.2 Primary Data Collection

Sekaran (2003, p. 219) defined primary data as the “information obtained firsthand by the researcher on the variables of interest for the specific purpose of the study”. This would help gaining specific knowledge which could not be found in other sources such as age, education, lifestyle, and perception (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2005). Since validity and credibility are needed (Maholtra & Birks 2003; Wilson, 2006), quantitative research has been carried out after receiving secondary data.

Research Approach and Questionnaire Design

Maholtra (2009) suggested that questionnaire is a reliable and simple tool in term of data interpretation, data coding, and data analysis. Therefore, with time constrains and budget limitation, a questionnaire was selected as a tool for collecting primary data.

The questionnaire divided into three sections which asked about how consumers recognised and consumed products under Samsung brand, about their attitude towards Samsung corporate branding — identity, image, reputation, consumer perception, and loyalty , as well as about respondent’s general information. For Section A, respondents were asked to choose the most appropriate answer regarding to their relationship with the brand. According to literatures reviewed, questions in Section B of the questionnaire (Appendix 1) were developed to ask about Samsung corporate brand identity, Samsung corporate brand image, Samsung corporate brand reputation, overall perception of Samsung corporate branding, Samsung corporate brand loyalty. The questions in Section B were designed to attain respondents’ rate in which level they agree to each attitudinal statement. Malhotra and Birks (2000) stated that a five-point Likert scale is more appropriate, less complicated, and clearer than the seven-point scale. Four-scale Likert scale however was implemented in order to reduce social desirability bias (Garland, 1991). This is because when answering the questionnaire, respondents tend to be helpful and kind by selecting the mid-point (Garland, 1991). Questions asking about respondents’ general information — gender, age, marital status, education background, occupation, and monthly income — were finally provided in section C. Thus, respondents would not feel uncomfortable when they had provided their personal information at the end of the questionnaire.

After designing questionnaire and before conducting the primary research, a pilot study is needed to be held in order to validate the scale being used. The questionnaire designed was checked and suggested by British academic personnel in order to ensure that its structure is completely well-organised and all sentences are clear to be understood. After that, it was translated into Thai language and proved by a director of brand studies and research center of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Mana Kuntaraporn. This stage enables the researcher to gain reliability and validation of measurement and data collection when the questionnaire is finally launched (Douglas and Craig, 198; Malhotra and Birks, 2000). Finally, all responses from the questionnaires were translated back to English language in order to ensure that information was precise and accuracy (Douglas and Craig, 1983).

Sampling Design

To achieve the research purpose, a sample and its size should be identified in order to understand population’s parameters and their characteristics (Malhotra and Birks, 2007). Sampling is “the process of studying a sufficient number of elements from the population, so that a study of the sample and an understanding of its properties or characteristics would make it possible for us to generalize such properties or characteristics to the population elements” (Sekaran, 2003, p. 267).

After questionnaire development, questionnaire will be completed by sample — someone who have been bought and/or consumed Samsung products. Sampling collection of this research was based upon non-probability sampling which relies on the convenience and judgments of respondents (Sekaran, 2003). Aaker and Day (2007) also suggested that non-probability sampling or convenient sampling technique would enhance respondents’ reaction and answer effectively. It was applied to this research by randomly choosing samples from different geographical location in Thailand to answer the questionnaires. Furthermore, the sample size was calculated with 95% or 1.96 confidence level and 60,916,441 people of Thai population (National Statistical Office Kingdom of Thailand, 2011) as demonstrated in Figure 9.

Figure 9: Sampling Calculation

According to the sampling calculation formula presented in Figure 9, the total figure of respondents required is approximately 384 samples. The researcher finally acquired only 352 responses or about 92% of the total sampling size because of the time and budget limitation. However, Aaker and Day (2007) stated that 200 samples are sufficient to check the reliability and possibility of the results. As a consequence, in the next stage, data received can be coded and interpreted describing as follows.

Collecting Quantitative Data

Mc Givern (2006) recommended that self-completion survey is one of the most effective and efficient way to gather data. Hence, in order to obtain a sufficient number of responses within a short period, questionnaires were set up online with a website survey service provider, called http://spreadsheets.google.com. A link of the website survey was sent through social network — facebook — such as Camera Lover, Computer Arts Thailand, ARiP I Love IT, Samsung Mobile Thailand, Samsung society, and top universities in Thailand e.g. Chulalongkorm University, Thammasart University, Kasetsart University, The University of the Thai chamber of Commerce and Assumption University. Moreover, they were printed out and distributed in the famous department stores and shopping malls in Bangkok; for example, Siam Paragon, Central Plaza, MBK Center, and Esplanade Shopping Center. Next, data gathered were transferred and analysed by SPSS software.

4.2.5 Data Analysis

The data received from both the online survey and the hard copies were transferred, coded, and interpreted by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) programme version 18 which enables researcher to gain more critical, insightful, and accurate analysis (Malhotra, 2009). All attitudinal statements were tested in order to check the hypotheses and to accomplish the research objectives. Generally, Descriptive statistic was used to quantitatively explain and summarise basic and main features of the data collected. Frequency analysis, for example, could help comparing the frequency of each response by showing the amount and the percentage. One Sample T-test was also applied to evaluate the impact of each corporate branding dimension which is hypothesis 1, 2, and 3. Furthermore, the data were tested by Regression analysis — both Bi-variate regression and Multiple regression — in order to examine an associative correlation between two or more variables. Multiple regression was used to analyse hypothesis 4 – the association between two or more predictor variables and a criterion variable Bi whereas-variate regression was implemented to test hypothesis 5 — the relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable. Consequently, insightful and in-depth knowledge could be gained from these useful statistic analysis leading to obtain beneficial and helpful management discussion and conclusion (Aaker et al., 2007).

4.3 Ethical Consideration

When conducting a marketing research, ethics should be taken into account throughout all stage of research process e.g. problem definition, research approach development, research design, data collection, result analysis, and data presentation (Saha and Kulkarni, 2011). For this project, the researcher focused and concerned more about respondents’ right and privacy during questionnaire development stage. Their willingness and their consent were required to reply and answer the questions, according to the convenient sampling selection method. Moreover, at the beginning of the questionnaire, it was stated and assured that all responses and information would be confidentially treated. The personal information section were also arranged and provided at the end of the questionnaire in order to ovoid their discomfort. Furthermore, the questions asking about personal details e.g. gender, age, marital status, education, occupation, and income were not mandatory to be answered; therefore, respondents could decide whether to fill in those questions or not.


Chapter 5

Research Results and Data analysis

This chapter is thoroughly presenting the statistical analysis of the research results. Data’s possible violation including outliers and non-regularity had been checked before running the data analysis programme. The results being analysed were based on the total number of sample size which is 352 samples. At first, Frequency analysis of Descriptive statistics were employed to look for the frequencies, standard deviations and means of respondents’ demographics and other factors, as well as to find out the liaison between consumers (respondents) and Samsung brand. After that, SPSS software version 18 was implemented by running One-sample T-test and Regression Analysis in order to test the hypothesis and to achieve the research objectives.

5.1 Basic Diagnostic
5.1.1 General Information of Respondents

Descriptive statistics of respondents’ general information — Gender, Age, Marital Status, Occupation, and Income per month — were obtained from Frequency analysis and are summarised as demonstrated in the following table (Table 2).

Table 2: Summary of Respondents’ Personal Information
Gender

Age

Marital status

Education

Occupation

Income per month

N

Valid

351

352

350

348

347

351

Missing

1

0

2

4

5

1

Mean

1.4957

2.2330

1.2057

3.0776

2.3746

2.2564

Std. Deviation

.50070

.70184

.40480

.78697

1.14207

1.37417

According to the Table 2, it can be clearly illuminated by charts in Figure 10 – Figure 15. First of all, the gender pie chart in Figure 10 shows that the data was collected from 352 respondents comprising approximately 50.3% of male and around 49.4% of female. The column of gender in Table 2 also indicates that there is one missing which is approximately 0.3% as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10: Gender Profile

Next, the frequencies of age data are obviously presented by an age pie chart (Figure 11). It explains that 64.3% of total respondents are aged between 20 and 29 years old which is the biggest group, followed by the group of 30-39 years old, less than 20 years old, and 40-49 years old at 21.0%, 9.7%, and 6.0% respectively.

Figure 11: Age Profile

The information about marital status is then displaying in Figure 12. It can be depicted that most of respondents or 79% are single while 20.5% of those are married. However, there are 2 people or almost 1% who did not provide the answer for the marital status question.

Figure 12: Marital Status Profile

After that, the frequencies of respondents’ educational background are demonstrated by a bar chart (Figure 13). It can be said that the major groups of respondents are in undergraduate and postgraduate levels which are approximate 58.5% and 27.6% respectively. Also, around 13% of respondents indicated their education level at school certificate and diploma. Besides those, the Figure 13 and the column of education in Table 2 indicate that there are more than 1% of 352 respondents or 4 people who did not mention their educational level.

Figure 13: Educational Profile

Then, the following figure is representing the information about respondents’ occupation. It explains that employee gains the highest percentage which is almost 50% while the rest consists of student (25.9%), self-employed or owner (21.6%), and housewife (1.7%). Moreover, there are less than 2% of total respondents or 6 people who chose other occupation such as a professor and a lawyer. Figure 14 also illuminates that about 1.4% of those or 5 respondents did not answer this question.

Figure 14: Occupation Profile

Finally, the questionnaire asked the respondents to provide information about their monthly income displaying in Figure 15. The result shows almost 40% of total respondents earn lower than 400 pounds a month, followed by 400-600 pounds, more than 1,000 pounds, 600-799 pounds, 800-999 pounds which are around 29.5%, 13.1%, 11.9%, 6.6% respectively. Also, it is found that there is only 1 people or 0.3% missing this question. The relationship between the consumers and the brand is then illuminated in the next section.

Figure 15: Monthly Income Profile

5.1.2 The Liaison between Consumers and Samsung Brand

After gaining basic understanding of the respondents, the frequency analysis was also implemented in order to describe the statistic of respondents’ general perception and their relationship with Samsung brand. To gain clearer and better understanding, the following results were presented by grouping the associated questions; for example, how long have you known about Samsung brandand how long have you been using Samsung product(s)?, what are the first three categories of Samsung product that come up into your mind when you think about this brandand what categories of Samsung product are you using?, as well as in your opinion, which communication channel makes Samsung well known.

To begin with, both of the pie charts in figure Figure 16 shown that most of respondents have known and been using the Samsung products more than five years which are almost 90% and almost 50% respectively. While around 10% of the 352 respondents have known this brand for 1-5 years, almost half of those have been using for the same period. Moreover, Figure 16 shows that there are only a few who have known and been using the products less than 1 year.

Figure 16: Samsung Corporate Brand Knowing and Using Period

Next, according to Figure 17, Mobile device, TV/ Audio/ Video, and Home Appliances are the first three groups of Samsung products — around 70% – 80% of respondents recognizing and using them. On the other hand, “Print Solutions” gains less than 3% which is the lowest percentage among Samsung products.

Figure 17: Samsung Corporate Brand Architecture Perceived and Product Usage

Finally, a bar chart of Samsung communication channel performance is displayed in Figure 18. It can be explained that various communication channels has been consumed by Samsung consumers. Around 40% of them think that advertising is the most effective channel, internet (15.7%), point of purchase (15.7%), public Relations (14.1%), event marketing (9.4%), and Word of mouth (4.4%). A few stated that sport marketing is the other way to get closer to Samsung brand. In the next stage, hypotheses were tested by the One-sample T-test and Regression Analysis and those results are demonstrated in the next page.

Figure 18: Communication Channel Consumption

5.2 Hypotheses Results

In this part, the results receiving from the One-sample T-test are described by Mean, Standard Deviation, Standard Error Mean, and Significant Value in Table 3 – 9 in order to analyse the hypothesis 1-3 testing. The means scores states whether they are extensively higher or lower than the midpoint of 2.5 on the 4-likert scale which is rate 1 to 4–(1) strongly disagree to (2) disagree to (3) agree and to (4) strongly agree. For the Regression Analysis, Adjust R-square, Beta Value, and Significant Value of each predictor variables are summarised in Table 3 – 9 in order to explain the hypothesis 4-5 testing. The explanation of each table for every hypothesis testing is illuminated as follows.

H1: Corporate identity has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

Table 3: One Sample T-test on Corporate Identity
N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Sig. (2-tailed)

Overall corporate identity

352

3.1477

.37408

.01994

.000

The name of the company is well known.

352

3.5227

.54907

.02927

.000

The company name is clearly marked on all the products.

352

3.1705

.61272

.03266

.000

The logo of the company is easy to remember and recognise.

352

3.3409

.55236

.02944

.000

The corporate colour (Blue and White) of the company represents its organisation and brand.

352

2.8807

.68560

.03654

.000

The corporate vision, “Inspire the World, Create the Future”, reflects its organisation and brand.

352

2.8239

.68163

.03633

.000

A sample t-test was implemented to find out the mean score relating the mid-point (2.5). According to Table 3, the overall corporate identity receives relative high mean score which is approximately 3.15. The mean score of “The name of the company is well known” is the highest score which is about 3.54 whereas that of “The corporate vision, “Inspire the World, Create the Future”, reflects its organisation and brand” is only 2.82 presented as the lowest score.

Table 3 also indicates that the hypothesis is supported regarding to the attitudinal statements about name, logo, colour, and vision of the company. It is found that every statements has been supported at level p<.01. This means that most of respondents agree that Samsung brand has significant corporate identity influencing their perception. Hence, it can be said that hypothesis 1 is supported.

H2: Corporate image has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

Table 4: One Sample T-test on Corporate Image
N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Sig. (2-tailed)

Overall corporate image

352

3.0597

.33921

.01808

.000

SAMSUNG brand is innovative and pioneering.

352

3.1506

.53648

.02859

.000

SAMSUNG brand is successful and reliable.

352

3.2244

.48707

.02596

.000

SAMSUNG brand is persuasive.

352

3.0114

.54942

.02928

.000

SAMSUNG brand does business in an ethical way.

352

2.9574

.39354

.02098

.000

SAMSUNG brand is open and responsive to consumers.

352

2.9545

.48708

.02596

.000

A sample t-test was implemented to find out the mean score relating the mid-point (2.5). According to Table 4, the overall corporate image receives relative high mean score which is approximately 3.06. The mean score of “SAMSUNG brand is successful and reliable” is the highest score which is about 3.22 whereas that of “SAMSUNG brand is open and responsive to consumers” is only 2.95 presented as the lowest score.

Table 4 also indicates that the hypothesis is supported regarding to the attitudinal statements about innovative and pioneering, successful and reliable, persuasive, ethical, and open and responsive brand. It is found that every statements has been supported at level p<.01. This means that most of respondents agree that Samsung brand has significant corporate image influencing their perception. Therefore, this means that hypothesis 2 is supported.

H3: Corporate reputation has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

Table 5: One Sample T-test on Corporate Reputation
N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Sig. (2-tailed)

Overall corporate reputation

352

3.0774

.55297

.02947

.000

SAMSUNG brand is emotionally appealing.

352

3.1250

.44177

.02355

.000

SAMSUNG brand is known for its high quality products and services.

352

3.1080

.56964

.03036

.000

SAMSUNG brand is the market leader.

352

3.1108

.57159

.03047

.000

SAMSUNG brand carefully considers its social responsibility.

352

2.9659

1.66546

.08877

.000

A sample t-test was implemented to find out the mean score relating the mid-point (2.5). According to Table 5, the overall corporate reputation receives relative high mean score which is approximately 3.06. The mean score of “SAMSUNG brand is emotionally appealing” is the highest score which is about 3.13 whereas that of “SAMSUNG brand carefully considers its social responsibility” is only 2.97 presented as the lowest score.

Table 5 also indicates that the hypothesis is supported regarding to the attitudinal statements about emotionally appealing, high quality products and services, the market leader, social responsibility brand. It is found that every statements has been supported at level p<.01. This means that most of respondents agree that Samsung brand has significant corporate image influencing their perception. Thus, hypothesis 3 is supported.

H4: There is a significant relationship between three dimensions of corporate branding–corporate identity, corporate image, and corporate reputation–and consumer perception in Thailand.

The Multiple Regression was computed to test the above hypothesis measuring the correlations between three predictor variables i.e. corporate identity, corporate image, and corporate reputation and the criterion variable i.e. consumer perception. A significant model emerged (F3,348 = 86.599, p < 0.01) as shown in an Anova table (Table 10 in Appendix 2). Adjusted R square = 0.423 as demonstrated in Table 11 in Appendix 2. Significant variables derived from the below table (Table 6).

Table 6: Multiple Regression on Corporate Branding Dimensions
Predictor variable

Beta

p

Corporate Identity

.028

>.1

Corporate Image

.515

<.01

Corporate Reputation

.211

<.01

According to the Table 6, it is found that corporate identity is not a strong predictor of the dependent variable or consumer perception since the result shows corporate identity (beta = 0.28 p>0.1). This means that it is not a significant predictor of the criterion. However, there are two independent variables i.e. corporate image and corporate reputation being strong predictors of consumer perception. The results indicate that corporate image (beta = 0.515 p<0.01) and corporate reputation (beta = 0.211 p<0.01) are significant independent variables of the criterion. As a consequence, it can be summarised that hypothesis 4 is partially accepted.

Furthermore, Bivariate Regression was then used to analyse the correlation between one predictor which is corporate identity and one criterion which is consumer perception. A significant model emerged (F1,350 = 39.261, p < 0.01) as shown in an Anova table (Table 12 in Appendix 2). Adjusted R square = 0.098 as demonstrated in Table 13 in Appendix 2. Significant variables derived from the below table (Table 7).

Table 7: Bivarate Regression on Corporate Identity and Consumer Perception
Predictor variable

Beta

p

Corporate Identity

.318

<.01

According to the Table 7, the results indicate that corporate identity variable (beta = 0.318 p<0.01) is a significant predictor of the criterion. This can be assumed that corporate identity is significant when it stands alone.

Moreover, after adding corporate image variable in a Multiple Regression, the results become not to be significant which is beta = 0.033 and p>0.1 (See Table 14 in Appendix 2). Corporate identity and corporate reputation were then measured together by a Multiple Regression as well. The results show corporate identity (beta = 0.223 p<0.01) as show in Table 15 in Appendix 2. These can be summarised that corporate identity is not significant when corporate image is put together. On the other hand, it is significant and has stronger correlation with consumer perception when it is measured together with corporate reputation; however, it is still lower than those associative relations when corporate identity is tested alone.

H5: There is a significant relationship between consume perception and corporate brand loyalty in Thailand.

The Bivariate Regression was implemented to analyse the above hypothesis measuring the correlations between one predictor variable i.e. consumer perception and one criterion variable i.e. corporate loyalty. A significant model emerged (F1,350 = 501.488, p < 0.01) as shown in an Anova table (Table 16 in Appendix 2). Adjusted R square = 0.588 as demonstrated in Table 17 in Appendix 2. Significant variables derived from the below table (Table 8).

Table 8: Bivarate Regression on Consumer’s Perception and Corporate Brand Loyalty
Predictor variable

Beta

p

Consumer perception

.767

<.01

According to the Table 8, it is found that a predictor variable — consumer perception — is a strong variable of corporate loyalty. The result shows consumer perception (beta = 0.767 p<0.01). Consequently, it can be summarised that hypothesis 5 is supported.

Finally, the table 9 illuminates the results of all hypothesis testing.

Table 9: Hypotheses Summary
Hypotheses

Results

H1: Corporate identity has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

Supported

H2: Corporate image has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

Supported

H3: Corporate reputation has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

Supported

H4: There is a significant relationship between three dimensions of corporate branding–corporate identity, corporate image, and corporate reputation–and consumer perception in Thailand.

Partially Supported

H5: There is a significant relationship between consume perception and corporate brand loyalty in Thailand.

Supported

Chapter 6

Discussion and Implication

According to the previous results and analysis, the data gained are interpreted and discussed as shown below. Managerial recommendations and implication are provided next.

6.1 Discussion and Implication

The corporate branding dimensions which include corporate identity, corporate image, and corporate reputation have been investigated and analysed in this study. This research also clarifies the correlation between those factors and consumer perception as well as between consumer perception and corporate brand loyalty. At the same time, the results gained are further discussed according to relevant theories.

6.1.1 Corporate Identity

The results of One-sample T-test on corporate identity shown in Table 3 explain that corporate identity is an important factor as its mean score is higher than 3 — agree. What this means is that most of respondents agree that corporate identity has a significant effect towards their perception. According to Melewar and Jekins (2002), they mentioned that corporate identity plays an important role in marketing since it could strengthen the uniqueness of the brand in consumers’ minds and other stakeholders’ perception.

After that, with regards to the specific significant value of each corporate identity dimension, the results also indicate that the name of the corporate is the strongest element influencing how people perceive the brand. The logo of the Samsung name could also bring about customer’s positive perception towards its brand. Then, it could be implied that people pay high attention on the name and the logo of the company when they make their purchasing decision. Kowalczyk and Pawlish (2002) also stated that consumer perception can be influenced by the corporate identity because of the value added to products and services of a company.

On the other hand, the least important element is the corporate vision which gains the lowest mean score. This means that Samsung vision derived from top management does not effectively reflect and convey its brand to its consumers or the external stakeholder. Corporate vision however is one of the most important management principles of the corporation which represents and reflects company itself. It is recommended that deciding and selecting the right corporate vision for organisation could be done in order to gain positive consumer perception. Thus, managements should always take corporate vision as an important issue and always pass it to targeted consumers.

6.1.2 Corporate Image

Regarding to the results of One-sample T-test on corporate image (Table 4), it implies that corporate image has a positive effect towards consumer perception since the mean score is higher than the mid-point score (2.5) as well as all values are significant. This could justify that the corporate image could influence consumer behaviour and perception of brand relating to consumer trust in product and service quality (Hsieh et al., 2004; and de Ruyter and Wetzels, 2000).

Moreover, success and reliability of the brand gains the highest means score; therefore, it could have a great impact on consumer perception. Consumers also concern about innovative and pioneering image of the brand since its mean score is quite high — above 3.0. However, the lowest mean scores of an open and responsive brand image as well as ethical business image point that it has minor to moderate effect on customer perception. Therefore, it is recommended that Samsung should improve its corporate image by presenting the image of success and reliability, along with innovative and pioneer image in marketing communication campaigns.

6.1.3 Corporate Reputation

The significant values in Table 5 indicate that corporate reputation has positive effect towards consumer perception; therefore all corporate reputation elements should be concern. The most important element is the reputation of emotionally appealing brand which gains the highest mean score, compared to the others. Next, the reputation of the market leader and high quality product and service brand are also crucial since their mean scores are quite high. According to a study of Gray and Balmer (1998), it was also found that corporate reputation could affect consumers’ attitudes towards the company’s products. This means that consumers buy and use the products when considering about company’s reputation, especially about an emotionally appealing and technological brand leader.

Nevertheless, the reputation of social responsibility is not concerned much since its mean score is the lowest. This may because consumers pay less attention on the company’s social responsible activities, or the company does not prioritise them effectively. The company may also not widely and obviously communicate to the public. Acknowledging the targeted customers about the corporate social responsibility may result in gaining higher reputation in their minds. Therefore, marketing managers should carefully handle company reputation by avoiding unprofessional and undesirable activities which may destroy the corporate reputation.

6.1.4 The Associative Relationship between Three Corporate Branding Dimensions and Consumer Perception

The result received from the Multiple Regression (Table 6) indicates that only corporate image and reputation are significant factors when all three dimensions i.e. identity, image, and reputation are put together. Corporate identity was found to be significant when it was calculated on its own and when corporate reputation. What this means is that there is a positive relationship between corporate identity and consumer perception when it is promoted alone or with corporate reputation. On the other hand, the relationship would be lessened when it was advertised or communicated with corporate image. It can also be assumed that corporate image will degrade the importance of corporate identity if both of them are shown together.

For the case of Samsung brand, it is suggested that Samsung should advertise or promote its identity individually rather than combining all corporate branding together in one message. This is because mixed corporate branding dimensions could decrease the importance of Samsung identity which affects consumers’ belief in the brand. For example, Samsung name, logo, and its blue-white colour should be presented alone in one shot of a television commercial. Samsung vision should be emphasized even more through various kinds of marketing activities such as corporate events and exhibitions. However, promoting Samsung corporate image and reputation can be done at the same time. Samsung then is recommended that not only should it advertise its innovative technology and high quality of product and service; an image of ethical Samsung business and corporate social responsibility should also be put in a marketing message as well. As a consequence, these activities could enhance the power of Samsung image and reputation leading to gain better consumer perception, satisfaction, and loyalty respectively.

6.1.5 The Associative Relationship between Consumer perception and Corporate Loyalty

The results in Table 8 show that there is a strong correlation between consumer perception and corporate loyalty. Therefore, customer trust could be increasing if consumers have better and more positive perception of the brand. This can be supported by the statement of Assael (1993) and Rust et al. (1995) that brand loyalty comes from the link between consumer rating of perception and satisfaction, as well as their repeated purchase behaviour of specific brands. It should be noted that the increase in their perception and satisfaction would bring in the rise in loyalty leading to the higher level of products or services purchasing. In addition, Iniesta and Sanchez (2002) also stated that corporate brand loyalty had been considered as an important task for many organizations in order to achieve higher or better market position in their marketplace. Furthermore, it is recommended that marketers should take consumer perception into their accounts and avoid negative identity, image, and reputation of the corporate brand. Offering better products and services quality as well as presenting a sustainable image could develop and enhance how people perceive the brand. Lastly, it can be said that corporate brand loyalty is a challenging work for not only the top managers, but also every members of the operation teams. Hence, gaining a great public awareness, recognitions and positive attitudes are the crucial tasks that everybody in company needs to work on.

Chapter 7

Limitations and Conclusion

In this section, the conclusion of this research will be firstly provided. After that, limitations as well as recommendation for further study will be describe at the end of this chapter.

7.1 Conclusion of this research

The main point of this study is to understand how consumers perceive the Samsung corporate brand in Thailand market. In order to achieve this research aim, the objectives have been established which were included; determining the influence of a corporate brand towards consumer perception in terms of its identity, image, and reputation, examining the relationship between consumer perception and corporate brand loyalty in Thailand, as well as providing managerial implications and recommendation.

The model of the research was developed to demonstrate a simplified aspect corporate branding dimensions and its relation to consumer perception. As a consequence, four contributing dimensions of corporate branding — corporate identity, corporate image, corporate reputation, and corporate brand loyalty — have been investigated and discussed in the light of five hypotheses as follows;

H1: Corporate identity has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

H2: Corporate image has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

H3: Corporate reputation has a positive impact on consumer perception in Thailand.

H4: There is a significant relationship between three dimensions of corporate branding–corporate identity, corporate image, and corporate reputation–and consumer perception in Thailand.

H5: There is a significant relationship between consume perception and corporate brand loyalty in Thailand.

After that, the questionnaires were created and launched in order to randomly collect data from almost 400 respondents. The results of this study show that, each corporate branding dimension has a significant impact on consumer perception about Samsung corporate brand. Also, the associative relationship between those dependent variables and independent variables were obviously found. Samsung management, therefore, should carefully handle corporate branding dimensions when planning business strategy and marketing activities. However, corporate identity is recommended to be promoted or presented on its own since its relation to consumer perception is found to be less significant when combining with other corporate dimensions i.e. image and reputation. Name, logo, as well as colour of the corporation should be emphasised in order to add product and service value. Promoting corporate image and corporate reputation together are also crucial factor for Samsung to achieve its company vision and mission, therefore, it is strongly suggested that Samsung should maintain its images of success, reliability, innovative and pioneer, as well as premium quality of product and service. Moreover, other weak points such as open and responsiveness image and corporate social responsibility should be focused and improved in order to gain better and higher corporate image and reputation in customers’ minds. These could effectively affect consumer perception which is related to corporate brand loyalty. As a result, it can be said that Samsung should professionally manage its corporate branding strategy in order to gain positive perception from the consumers leading to create trust and loyalty as well as gain competitive advantages over its competitors in Thailand market finally.

7.2 Limitations of This Study

Firstly, time and budget constraint lead to insufficient data. The questionnaires were completed by only 352 respondents or approximately 92% of the total sampling target (384 respondents). This is because time was limited at two week and there is no budget spent during the data collection procedure. Thus, if extra time were provided, more data would be collected encouraging higher reliability and validity of the results. Distance limitation and limited literatures also hindered the researcher from sufficient and qualified literature review. After spending many weeks in Leeds, England, the researcher realised that literatures related to Thai corporate branding and consumers could not be found. As a consequence, the study was delayed when the researcher made a decision and preparation to fly back to Bangkok, Thailand in order to relevant researches and articles. Furthermore, a qualitative research was disregarded in this study since the research philosophy emphasised on quantitative work which could explore only basic and superficial knowledge. Therefore, underlying messages such as consumers’ thought, belief, and feeling had not been discovered.

7.3 Recommendation for further studies

With regards to the limitations explained above, further studies are recommended to conduct qualitative research with sufficient time and budget in order to acquire more insight and useful information. Interview, observation, and focus group methods are the essential techniques suggested. It is believed that the more and the deeper information could be gained from respondents, the more reliable results and discussion could be achieved. Moreover, the follow-up researchers could also apply the research conceptual model and discussion provided to other several brands of consumer technological products or other industries. The investigation and the study on other different variables or other corporate branding dimensions are strongly recommended. Thus, to effectively and efficiently develop other beneficial implication and further verification, the empirical analysis of this study — Samsung corporate branding and consumer perception – should be explored more by reviewing other literatures.

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Free Essays

Investigate the impact of brand association on consumer perception in tourist attractions in UK

ABSTRACT

Modern marketing has evolved. Companies are now with their new consumer-focused approaches to skills to the many needs and desires of modern consumers. Under this approach, consumer branding emerged as one of the most important activities to build a loyal customer base and establish an effective brand image.
The main purpose of this research is the most important impact of branding on consumer purchasing decisions based study. In addition, the author will determine the extent of correlation between the activities of surfing and buying behavior of consumers, and in view of the most important features and values, branding, companies may, in relation to the management of our valued customers by offering the often complex process of purchase decision. The author has to study the example Legoland UK as a real life, as leading companies in the United Kingdom ‘matches these concepts to use.
Through the use of different methods of data collection and analysis for the external and internal factors, which used to take the brand in the UK to the author noted that Legoland come to the improvement and expansion focused to meet the brand to the learning process, settings development process and the perception of consumers in the UK market for future market development. It has Legoland UK secured more than 50% market share in the UK. This success is the use of branding to the loyal and sometimes fanatical supporters of the beloved brand building will be attributed.
This dissertation has found that branding a major influence on learning and behavior educational process in which consumers purchase occur the activities. As a direct result, consumers are meaningful link to an image, brand or company, leading to sustainable revenue and long-term satisfaction of consumer needs and requirements.

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND

There are few ways to describe brand can be express as a name symbol or combination or design of which is anticipated to point out the goods and also the service of the particular seller and the group which is for differentiate from competitors (Kotler 1991; p.442) these are the different characters of brand which we can call the brand identities and their entirety “the brand”. Something which is correlated to a particular brand in customer intelligence is known as brand association (Aaker 1991). The first notion of brand association is disclosed by Anderson in (1983:75) in the book architecture of cognition theory there is collection of complete form commemoration. These representations consist of nodes stand for thoughts accumulate in long-standing remembrance. These nodes are interrelated with connections of different controls, depends on the closeness of thought to which they belong. A brand association is a component part related to a specific brand. Business researchers carry out brand image research; normally create a list of declarations which are supposed to generate the core types of potential brand associations in the marketplace. Subsequently they conclude that level to which customers think brands are connected with these declarations, with query similar to “I’m going to read you a list of things that people have said about different brands of [PRODUCT]. When I read each statement, I’d like you to tell me which brands come to mind” (see Barnard and Ehrenberg 1990).

In the sport perspective, hard-line game among two franchises which at the same time create the league product which is reasonable competition played among franchises leads to annual competition (Gladden and Funk, 2002). The brand structural design of clubs and scale among in the team can be state” branded house”. In a view brand house the top brand is especially interlink and rules main brands like virgin etc . House of brands also small link among master, major brands(Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000).

1.2 RESEARCH RATIONALE

Modern period shows basic transforms in the marketing approaches used by corporations looking for prolong viable benefit. Think of more recent moment changes, the counsels of markers that those gathered makes use of sustainable competitive advantage. Of these companies were preparing for acceptance of morals as well as social science learning ought to be done to collect and there was given to the understanding of consumer buying behavior to Corporate. Of the field to establish the study of these he appointed to seek the consummation of bond of “greatest of the factors, according to consumer behavior to be enrolled, the knowledge of, and learning by the senses are concerned.
Companies change in focus from the product / the acts of the consumer oriented marketing activities in the thanked markers is bent. The direct and therefore is attributed to the shirt, the crowd appreciates adds a lot more of consumers with respect to display the 4Ps (the price of a profit foster the place) and have continued to implement the three additional HP layout of the body, procedures and the people (Kotler, 1999). Current Trend forum homogeneous product they show a rich man, who says a few functional differences of athletes to be greater with high most of all the forum currently intends to competitive. In his low product differentiation will be straight at the top of which at close quarters in the market place of today, so technological development is the production and distribution of ways. This proceeds the capacity, is no new technological sustainable competitive advantage have been reduced product differentiation are hard: (Levitt, 1983, Kotler, 2000) that a right known by fire, and has emerged as the key contemporary and Marketing Council of the active time for hatred hendrerit great (Kotler, 2000). The symbols associated with the brand values and products mentioned reason for the difference that the experience of the Council of Princes, as doers of the main ways to imitate the works of the greatest in the morning from the purchasing behavior.
There is an example call to blow in a consumer purchases through the proposal, Legal branding exercise meal. Tips online, 230 are almost competitive sector in abundance, and expand its quiet, fast approaching. There is competition for power in the Tourism Forum. A position, but attraction tourist areas, near 8, will be part of the sovereignty of the forum% in Britain, 2005 (OCC, 2005.)
For example, the choice of purchasing a fire behavior of tourists to Britain is not a place for tourists.
Britain has one of the best known brands of toys in the world, but things are not good. For many years the leading brands in Europe, progress, promoting learning and development is playing with a statement that the “Food for the soul.” Project sell colored stones in 130 countries, and argued that, on average, every person on the planet has 52 stones. They were years of steady sales growth of over 50 years and saw the little plastic blocks competition. Today’s children grow up faster. Even if people recognize, some commentators thought they had lost their way in an attempt to solve the problem. After the company released its first loss in 1998, has negotiated lucrative tie-ins with Disney, Harry Potter and Star Wars. Over a million Lego Hogwarts Castle in September sold in the first two Harry Potter films came out, helping the company to profitability in 2001 and 2002, but the company was too dependent on the titles collapsed and sell again, if there is no sample box-office hit Harry Potter movie was released.
To achieve this second brand extension strategies do not want development, as well as products Galidor, a series of cartoons based on some brands criticized because the data did not have to open a game of fantasy that some brands, the brand manufacturers have been known performed by children. Four escape from a second fire in 1969 and replaced by others. But parents believe that it is now produced more than stone for children from 18 months to 5 years, and the brand, sales in the pre-market by half.
The first part is the known association with Anderson (1983:75) Food and drink in the book of knowledge is an explorer in the entire collection form of memory. Reproduction of the nodes is established through a number of reasons for the long memory. These centers are assembled with links to the various controls depends on the closeness of thought which they belong. These are known for the connection associated by some to turn to. Company researchers turn to research to bear the image index used to those things that were said to be able to create a brand and the types of basic compounds on the market. Then, they consider it to be a partner than in flat districts will of the said it seems like the torches of the question. I know nothing of list of things I see the marks of different was said to [Product] whereas, amid the want to read the opinions of you say, in the mind of come to do (see Barnard and Ehrenberg 1990). Perspective games leads the hard line between the disputing game franchise at the same time were playing with mastery is a covenant between the product must be franchise (2002 and gladdened with the Funk) to annual competition. The structural design of the brand and scale associations in the state of team can be “the house of noted. Of the house of the coast of Italy to the brand and top brand and the particular which he rules and that the virgin of greater than the torches, etc. of the house of Brands also small link in the The Lord hath done greater (Thale, Aaker and Joachim, 2000)

1.3 PROJECT AIM AND OBJECTIVES

The primary objective of this study is to outline the basis that the brand loyalty plays important role in brand selection and how the different aspects control the brand loyalty. This research also examines that whether brand associations produce an impact on the buying assessment power of customers with respect to tourism industry of UK. As well as this research also determines that trust and dedication towards the brands influence on the consumer perception.

This study established the impact of brand association; different types of brand associations in different businesses have been studied. The impact on customers have been analyzed depend upon on dissimilar criterion and the category of brand association with the maximum impact on customer awareness and buying process have been estimated.

As the author has recognized, the significance of understanding brand and the impact on modern date markets is very important to the fitness and enlargement of the majority of industry. To begin to understand consumer’s behavior in terms of branding, the aim of this work is to a deep understanding of the process and the attributes that customers evaluating the brands and what the key drivers to win brand loyalty. This will be brought into focus by a critical evaluation of how brand has used this process to secure an 80% market share in the tourism sector in the United Kingdom. The primary objective of this study is to outline the basis that the brand loyalty plays important role in brand selection and how the different aspects control the brand loyalty. This research also examines that whether brand associations produce an impact on the buying assessment power of customers with respect to tourism industry of UK. As well as this research also determines that trust and dedication towards the brands influence on the consumer perception.

This study established the impact of brand association; different types of brand associations in different businesses have been studied. The impact on customers have been analyzed depend upon on dissimilar criterion and the category of brand association with the maximum impact on customer awareness and buying process have been estimated.

Following are the aims and objectives of my research;

To investigate the impact of branding has on the buyer purchase decision-making possess by reviewing its exercise by tourists to persuade the buy decision-making procedure of clients in the tourist industry in the United Kingdom.

In order to set a valid and sustainable research to achieve a non-bias and accurate understanding on the topic in question;

To find the customers loyalty with the brand name and to investigate whether a correlation between consumer identities and perceived brand identities is present;

To investigate the impact of branding on the consumer purchase decision-making process in the UK;

Set a valid and lasting about a non-bias and accurate picture of the problem in issue;
Present the key concepts behind the brand, its values and its use in modern marketing campaigns through a review of current literature on the subject;
Determine whether there is a correlation between customer experience and brand identities available;
Determine the impact of branding on consumer purchase decision process;
Review current situation brand through the implementation of both external and internal analysis;
critically review the impact of branding on an evaluation of the use of branding its market presence in the tourism industry in Switzerland to secure.

1.4 STRUCTURE OF THE DISSERTATION

CHAPTER 1

This chapter provides an idea about the selected issue for the dissertation in addition to the background of the subject. That talk would highlight the concept of branding as well as the growth point of the period and with the increasing demands of the commercial atmosphere of the past were examined at the end of the goal and basic research.

CHAPTER 2

This chapter illustrates the educational arrangement, the diverse theoretical as well as research on the concept of brand loyalty and customer satisfaction information and presentation to describe them as representatives of specific brand. First, to begin the call with detailed literature and provides quite unlike the rest of unequal model and approach to branding.

CHAPTER 3

That section examines the process of gathering information and examines the command mode in response to research applications, and address of the rewards of basic research. This chapter will begin with the beginning of the research process, and will talk about a lot of research philosophy and concepts. There will be more than proper study plan plus how facts are admitted.

CHAPTER 4

This section is concerned with the gathering of facts and its examination. We shall discuss the findings and the analysis of our research.

CHAPTER 5

This part is related to a final part of dissertation with conclusion and recommendations.

In the end there will be the list of references used in the dissertation.

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 INTRODUCTION

In this chapter the author is discussing the prior work completed on the given subject. There shall be a best be understood, he intends to those who read different species and also the saw, and of those of consumers of knowledge change in the Purchase a teaching. The Little Chapter under the Murphy’s (1992) findings in the writings of to treat of the products, the less is seen, acceptability Tomorrow about the brand and sheep grows more dangerous and Offers.

2.2 THE INTELLECT BRANDING


A lucid approaching in the description of brand and, within the first to declare it must be noted that this literature. This is the review “products”. With respect to the Baker (2000) can be considered as the product of something which able to please the financial, psychological, or by necessity the power of functional meals.
Baker (2000) favors the definition of as much as should be noted that a “product” meets the necessary steps to above is determined from the “value. Complex process it is often the saw a lot of concerns by the divine most of all the nature of modern competitive Industries. He led the fight to the product offering that distinction and more of a difficult case 1, chap. To this approach the general problem to be used to the brand and highlight the Far and wide the societies of the tool and more in their products are filled: the marketplace. It allows organizations to the present core abilities, which have a function of consumers (Prahalad and Hamel, 1994).

In last markers, the very moment a company of the trunk distinguishes Products for sale (Levitt, 1983). If some tourist attraction, see an example of: Many say, to remove and markers have allowed the art-oriented market his or break into the market also the presence of the big marketplace. But other Do you believe this shift there was nothing new, but with the help the efficient money now effective brand and image. Thinking that brand has always been at the forefront of creative Advertising to the arts as a censure of custom advertising stunts like the “1984” commercial way of thinking, “Diverse Remember tourist attraction” of the war, the more recent commercial featuring to be done.

2.3 THEORIES ABOUT BRAND

What is the brand and accuratelyKotler (1999) terms is defined as the name of the brand and the shape of a sign or Device or what a thing of the same ensure that the goods / or of one or adorn identify the seller Group to bring up the difference and are of their competitors. “Wickius Field (1995) promotes the concept of a difference, Kotler (1999) I compare to the brand and sense of touch” hoped for the famous indicator of origin, and the promises the effect. In her Research she treats at length the comparison of consumer product and that the instrumental and the Branding positioning to the oblations of the process and the circumstances of their own social. She takes up that a mark of the multitude of untouched considers the fact I will guarantee to meet the consumer the expectation of. So much restricts the above literature, the impact of brand from the Consumer than the particular, the interpretation of belongs to the brand and their person will result from each. MacRae (1996)
But she rolled away the element of which introduces additional sword of the essence, which defines the or as the soul of your very reasons. MacRae (1996) support the definition of the age of twelve his flock when a man of so great a view as the element of Pellentesque of consumers, since each is equally important. This justifies the Information of this, console each element of, and / or adorn the position of the products of the forum is not directly society. That idea of the notion of which there is a clear brand and between drove the internal Working the fellowship of the exterior of the world to the brand and their consumers.
If some brand searches, it is easy MacRae’s (1996) Definition I see them in practice. The Note: relaxed and welcoming atmosphere branded Stores’ learned to be produced Position: who must all be in the discipline of the dispenser of the manual, which increases the power of Position: The moment of sharing the same commitment to match consumer brand and in order that. It allows Position: as to be wholly and consuming ullamcorper: and both are into the place of tourist attraction the matter of learning to the hotspot 16 35 forum, the year of the segment (Bajarin, 2005).

Branding Modern creature is untouched by the values of the good things of the material so the purchaser of the lowest costs of brand and of discretion required by another (Hanks and alarm, 1993). Reader, observe that which separates the faculty, especially S sword is “pure” product. The King, (1991) He adopts this from the work and the definitions of product- be better to competitors as we can readily express. The King, (1991) is to apply his making clear that a sword of the Award as it is a unique and untouched asset eternity. This he sets down a simple but powerful is the definition of a brand core identity of the meals. Kotler (1999) was conceived by the identity of matic can convey to us by recalling it known to the signification of the other six degrees of the target group. This is called the “six things are noticed the measure of Note: The ” Kotler’s (1999) the intellect you need for the saw can be seen in the middle of Ground between MacRae (1996) and Wickius’s Field (1995) school of thought. However, Kotler’s original simple definition seems to be clear, the definitions of the diverse opinions of spread of the Dimensions of the torches of a deeper understanding of which it can so much the brand and
than the symbols of catchy slogan in deliberation. Kotler provides for the creation of brand and
fellowship with the deep connection between the consumers.

2.4 BRAND MANAGEMENT

Considered in context, the basic are the names of the brand and consumers as soon as he is in Month by month, the process of editing a great quality and as guarantee for a time HIL Self-has been said. Therefore, the ball is nothing known to the forum to name than that of regular the name of the, it would be missing all the good pleasure to turn to the artist. It has challenged to Spermatophyta known to the series of deep meanings. In former times the target segment of can he expected all the forum Mark the dimensions of the six have established a strong relation within the Consumer Purchase a teaching.
Keller is founded in the 1993 Consumer salvation of Fire showing of his justice; the same produce a different effect, because the cognition of a note of the forum added Tomorrow the price of a reply. Plus some other things out of the two, it may all command is part of the brand and the censure of value brand and image data. brand and the knowledge of the shape of the plague in diameter genius of the intellect of Shem the situation in various (Percy, 1987) to lay down the image of Brand “It is also the number of the marks of a group of two in diameter to turn to the memory of associations (Keller 1993) in the context of an intelligent associations known to differ in function the price of Strength (Kaynak 2008).
Keller of the stock of associations in the brand and the three principal Categories: the Internet, usefulness and entertainment. Attributes are expressed glorify in writing the trademark a, as what it is to brand and from the Customer to consider, or. Opinion of each one interests to join together the jaws of a man that the properties torches to wait for jaws Mark all media. Brand was the rating for the most part known to the Status. According to Aaker (1996) these associations, and develop the trial is done, that He generates the element of key principles of equity point to create brand and Manage. Korchia (1999) recognizes 15 kinds of associations: the company to turn to other institution or by Custom persons to attribute things good for the typical consumers, the condition of typical usage of mass communication have the price of product quality, supply-related nature of the product, the benefits of an experimental functional advantages, with the advantages and the representatives of your entering. He was made to the quality in the accidents that product features. Product features are good as a reasonable benefits it is attached. Numerous works of various product groups joined to the torches of different characters. That by the carnal Volvo is the force of quality, but a BMW described according to the power and of administering the vehicle. Likewise of him is suitable to do the typical shampoo would make use of every day.
The other kind is a companion to the use of or known to regard the relevance depends either upon. is joined to, for instance, brand and quality of the hot tea of meeting friends of a private environment. That is to start or expand the use of day after the dinner, and after the meal with the guests, and / or day.

2.5 BRAND ASSOCIATION

Function is central to the faculty of the saw to the Lobortis of consumers. From the of complexity, to choose produces a similar oblations to the thousands of consumers to be of their own accord they try to excessive reading torches occur those which at that time. Assael (1993) by stating that the reason he favors the position of consumers, especially the participation of humble approach that they once is heavy to the use of trying to choose the Product that their current meals. And you shall know this from experience; pleasing to in times past confers benefit itself of the brand and consumers to join together. The Turks from the central Function is the saw of his power to deny the consumer information is to be sought, or a deficiency of the work is acknowledged, but by the sign which lead him to a have been enough the past.
It is necessary but to know the purchase is not always known to frequent in conjunction experience of the embedded is formed it can be otherwise the perceptions. From the consumer known to the benefit of a lot of to be able, without prior experience to buy Tomorrow and this Author ‘s character, contrary to the advertising campaigns, for filthy nakedness Corporate PR work or with the intention of the deep on the threshing floor of the place near the distribution Tomorrow at hand (Assael, 1998).
For to the partnership in the context of brand and can be the cause of differentiation to their natural ‘I give will eventually Deals in the state of competitive advantage. After Adcock (1998) the differentials of the process of creation of several individual differences, as we separately the flag products himself. That the quality of the single determine the quantity is called the “Spermatophyta., When all these men shall see it to the partnership of the higher prices demanded. Necessary things it is noted, however, that the difference is made at a price. Therefore, only the difference suffers the price of competitive advantage if the differential increases significantly within the Sales. Differential advantage they had offered troops, he is now doing other things according to competitors in the same market.

For example in the case of tourist industry competitor can easily capture customer with brand name. But Competition will be able, that a person, which is conjoined copy for the Mark
Just tourist attraction. Porter (1980) says that the cities of the moment of differentiation of the most important are required for the proper acquisition of “competitive to make fit, has been said in the Industry by differentiating their product line. If market segment players do nothing Differential advantage would have been, perhaps, are concerned with consuming to establish Pricing. (Foxall and Goldsmith, 1994). Branding, not a single view of the differentials, as can be had with the clash in the execution of the markers from the 4Ps Mix (Diaz out of the Rada, 1998). But the studies we have shown that more effectively and that the counsel of sustainable easily accesses some society is Focus brand and the process of differentiation than that Lobortis otherwise Pricing Profitability to get the (East 1997).

2.6 THE DEVELOPMENT OF BRAND EQUITY

After a desperate conflict of another the torches vary. Some into the interior of global culture, and for that reason the great honor of from the value, some to strangers about the consumers. In an attempt to put I accounted known, is called the sword of the value. Chay (1991) is defined as Brand was so great that from the set of behavior on the part of associations’s known to the throat, a vein of And he suffered Members of the parent brand and the standard of quantity or greater merit Margins which he might be known to the brand without a name to give to them is strong and sustainable Differential competitors any more (Chay, 1991, p.30). 30, makes clear link between the value of the product, that it may be a monetary fine or untouched by the name of this and his familiar. Aaker (1991) promotes the issue is in delves be preferred or from which the perspectives View brand equity. These include the financial perspective and the consumer-based and finally, his Perspectiva, known to the extension to perspective.

Finance officer is a view of value brand and how much do we measure to be determined of consumers wanted to solve about the mark. Will he give him sometimes signify the financial perspection ibus apart from the mark. With the just perspective, looking from the known to the One must consider, indeed, the head, as the expenses of advertising.

The consumer-based perspective is we should consider the have brought you the wealth of a certain Consumer affection of a sign directly. In this regard as is Let us giving a great experience in the consumer is being done for my family.

View brand and brand extension includes the extension of perspective is do you believe that Brand it is worth immersion pad for the beginning of product range wide. If view, any brand, the success of product most of all in on high the value of the brand and known chiefly through his brand and image. After Alreck and Settle there (1999) and develop brand and change the value of the critical, as his as far as the goods of reach can be considered as equity to turn you assert that all they can to increase cash flow in of the increase of the upper column, the forum of the Pricing of the solution.

2.7 THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE TO TURN TO FAITH

Meenaghan (1995) to be found by observing thrift among the tangible image of an efficient Product or purpose, and is for a declaration known to the faith of consumers. This Faith is thus defined by Oliver (1999) that it should rebury the root of either the study of repatronize the product of the product / service in the future by constantly repeating the or the same brand, bought the same brand he set flows into the courts of law, even if the labor of situational though the cause of switching the power of acting (Oliver, 1999, p.34).
Of thoroughly sifting the berries in the (1999) it can be concluded that the faith of brand and out of a right can be sufficient for the needs of a better greater than the athletes, doing the jaws. Therefore, Oliver he sets down the degree of being understood can be made simple, estimate natures in another forum, pellentesque consumer segment. Based on this concept Smart and Getting (1998) whether we undertake the thing to them suggesting that it is not uncommon products in irrational attachments to men than the people. It occurs to Levitt (1983), but Findings to us in the form of attachments to certain consumer products so that’s out of a right to find a company of the union between the studies tried to create of consumers. This links principally through creation is lead from the strain gives Species product, design and the end of the product packaging, and / or identity of the same known to be emulated. Coupled with the authority of the past to which he suffers more serious than From the Consumer, Levitt (1983) even exist at all not irrational consumer a seminal certain signs of plants at all. That follows, noting that, which to be this is the key attributes of competitive advantage from the competitive without these, they pricing would be the only use of a doer of the distinction of the Orders of consumers offers.
Now it is clear that the marketer is to build a sustainable modern primary goal Forms of faith between the jaws of his comrades, which, exclusive of each sales products. According to Oliver (1999), who is a faithful Welcome with the additional commitment in his own time and towards the expenses of producing his own brand of Hammer blowsIf you look fresh, together with his brand could have been Customer immediately see the twinkling of a faith. And yet playable and offer only the list Hello world! Is, and Store Sales represents 80% of branded furm, Britain
(Smith 2005). And yet a new report has always consistently tries to he neglected the rest of the maiden entrants Remains at the onset of the fidelity of tourist attraction. (Smith 2005) this is the true life of example is thrown back by Alreck’s were sitting (1999) to write the doctrine of the opinions. The relationship between a brand and pertain to the faith of consumers came to be the establishment of a strong link between the morrow, and the mark. If they use the sustainable isolate and that obedience can be a rival of competition to be created. Or the strength of brand and trademark is had, what, where, after “Consumer franchise,” This is not how many expand the faithful, nor any man would make EU will deny a rival brand and products (alia, of whatever Pricing policies) have attained had decreed in number. Cox And according to Kotler (1980) and Cowley (1996) sheaves Tomorrow a strong franchise is a degree of isolation from the use of competitors Impact damage of selling and promoting the financial products a new Tomorrow as is reckoned may be pleasing to the protection of the faithful than six times he returned Customer database. (And Thakor Kohl, 1996).
To focus on the things which, according to customer faithful be able to include other benefits increased Brand societies of the faith through the value becomes the tenor of these presents a number dispensed and experienced Customer an expeditionary force strategic consequences of the forum part of his master a special focus of Industry (Cowley, 1996, Kapferer, 1995, Kotler, 1999). Dun (1997) and Chevron (1998) Suggest and the moderns who according to search marketing collected at the least, the habit of consumer information can be. The container is connected the state of the quest that will eventually lead companies of their information into which we are to instruct tailored to specific need of consumers bought from the considered wishes to Sc. Graham (2001) presents more profitable things, product believes Add to Cart critical victory, he said to the brand and is the efficient management to such an extent by a certain brand and Tomorrow the whole is not the segment of the marketplace. This can be illustrated through a comparison of the legal branded meals. If some think of tourism, that the fact that the quality of brand through the head of a flash of lightning, and some perceive it, otherwise, with the participation of the online store with a great content provider and limited.

2.8 BRANDING BEHAVIOR

Section has reviewed previous letter that the reason it is asked to define receives the to explain and the offices of instrumentally good marketing tool used consequences of the differential and competitive advantage. To give light to the section of this letter it will endeavor of their beds, were struck with brand and consumer has in a teaching. The author of he wanted to effect through the use of consumer models of deliberation the university. But first of all we must gain a clear insight in the definition of consumer behavior to purchase were struck with them to understand is a good cheer.
In the defining character of the buying of the people can be Assael (1987) the four different Buying kinds of behavior to consumers. This carries into the four species of Consumer and the various degrees of involvement in the interval between the torches he concludes. Of consumers to buy in order to represent the opinions of complex behavior are described to extend their respect to the species, so that the beginning of product. This phase will eventually develop leads the habit of a positive to the product. These are the take to the time of the middle degree the last the form of ways to the election of knowing where he bought the work.
With respect to the example of Assael, you will see the consumer of this kind, takes part in most of all the amount of experience of acquiring of them full of torches available to escape from the knowledge of the various degrees of Differences there.
Assael (1987) classified consumer-consuming to show difference about the habit of reducing, upward in the use of shopping matters not, but to consider the difference of the torch. Hence, information for consumers, seeking the difference between the product presents is the sensitive power is not enough prices, even out of some. In this case the Consumer is turned in the forum so that the difference of this was not enough, and Consumer grace, could advantage in buying. As consumers, propose complex buying behavior of consumers with the dissonant-behavior to create by reducing attention to the personal opinions of the product. If sufficient, when, indeed, in short, this Status is transformed to the product offerings. These would instantly have a favorable result, mindful of acquire.
Assael (1987) were consumed to consider the common habit of consumers to buy to suffer is not the same on the kinds of the order of the former. According to their own trying to Seeking justice, according to the product information from all of the functionality or Properties, Consumer Sales Information of this kind are founded by a bed in a passive The banner of the very Promotional activities through the medium of television, radio or print Advertising. In this character as the Assael’s (1987) model to be able it seems, the humility of-level Investment products. This difference is consumer-type that the process of already trusting in a passive way than to have learned the heads of the embedded actively.
Variety of character-are the kites give the changes of last Assael’s (1987) model are contained. Typical of them Purchase the situation sorted to show low-level exposure to a forum with a great
Product difference. At the same time consumer of this kind and its point switching “to atisfy the diversity of their work. Now, we have completely which has been wounded to the reader to determine the brand and the sentence has in the consumer The author of the process model for making the decision of the Academy elected who has not only explains the process of consumer make judgments who do one thing understood, bought, aid to and out of the post-and pre-purchase the operation. So I bequeath to the author of Howard Seth- Seth, for making the decision and the example of Howard (1969).
To the copy of the key assumption is that the key is to determine the character of the published of consumers is to understand consumer for reflection. The Howard Seth-model he shows the cognitive process of deliberation is the process by which the spiritual consuming Information super, that he who causes to the flames. Uses to this investigation, and this page was last focus of the author’s copy of the three variables, because on the tops of relevance To determine the effect of deliberation in the saw some consumer.

2.9 CHANGE IN THE PROCESS OF THE DOCTRINE OF CONSUMER

The definition of in the most simple, to define the doctrine of the time of the process of Tomorrow Welcome in this respect they or the product exposed to methods of meals. The Branding all he can comprehend the process of advertising the appearance of counsel, between the audiovisual Forms of advertising. By learning from the authors of whether it be a conscious or not of the process, known to be explained consuming a strong affection. For sometimes, very thing, your soul is great brand. The doctrine of change in the process grows, because it himself. Consuming, with the vicarage the beginning of the Excellency of knowledge Copy the character changes his colleagues to think of his life, nib, which have learned to “vicarious” (Bandur, 1977) Looking at the tourism Industry may fight you to understand why the consumer he wished to reward a branded Store to say if he himself is able to get the same at a distance to set free, the file-sharing software that is. A brand name’s is the use of celebrities’ credence to the motion by consuming his lieutenant, the essence of each letter Login Celebrities who offers the services and in patience, family members, have introduced the product and (Thurrott, 2004).
Search for the consumer of the Academy can learn to view prices on the process to understand how the Tomorrow behavior to a change from the direct are exemplary and the last two Experience gathered by the corruption of buying, or information of any Likewise the sentence. This modification of the information is to do, that a series of especially in order to be saved significant sense of consumer associations. (Dodd, 1991). Foxall and Goldsmith (1994) hints at the next to it which was above offer the consumer associations Link who had enjoyed the image of the iron tools were known in relation to offer more advanced Promotional Brand image. And these are understood by any of physical and produced Pricing Lobortis. All the elements of the stock of retained from the consumer are open to study in detail some. “Well now is the form of Views and habits that link to torch.
It was found a letter from the Catalyst process he deals with in the creation of the said The evaluation of the responses of passion. By clinging to the consumer of memory is Span into the mind thee, when I will purchase some are opposed to. Thus, Let not the partaking at times the very process of the doctrine of the use of the key of effectively seeking to Philips The reason for consuming a weight that he created imprinted on the soul of consumers be recalled after the brand and the product of the election or (Conoway, 1994)

2.10 THE TORCHES OF THE PERCEPTION OF CHANGE IN THE CONSUMER

There is no refer Foxall (1980), where he defines the perception of the angels as “the process by which the stimulus, received and interpreted, and from the particulars in reaction, be the (Foxall, 1980, P.29). This is a great, to acknowledge the singular individually but in the process of Let not the partaking depends much upon the devouring a turn of the beliefs of individuals.
Foxall (1980) says of the perception of crucial importance to judge some. In which forum Branding used to be bought not only the products that in his own functional but For the first in the social identity in forcing out some of the psychological (Foxall, 1980). From all this he can work out these concepts can be conceived by two of determining the outlined Tomorrow to move to the perception of the fires. There are a sting of discrimination and their General and the stimulus, (Erde 1998).
Erde (1998) raise the question the fundamental, or whether, the opportunity of Consumer
“The Distinction of” between the various uses in the consumer to challenge. His results should show that the Customer if the brand and was introduced is, whether advertising, packaging, word, a finite markers of the mouth, or in any way affected by the stings of the rendering of the sentence Damage grow to the brand and the sublimity of the knowledge of all his abilities to learn.

SUMMARY

In assessing the attitudes towards brands, we must consider whether all of these settings on a conscious level or position, the branding can be on a subconscious level to stay again. Vecchio (1992) Sigmund Freud’s theory describe that individuals are aware of a rare occurrence, as are their psyche, their visual behavior. This suggests that to have an unconscious level, the consumer can beliefs, their attitudes toward products form. By recognizing Freud’s theories can be concluded that unconscious desires peace focused branding used on a primordial level. This may explain, to understand the primary use of sexual imagery, or the frequent use of age discrimination to the target customer segments to associate with certain brands. Brands as well execute precious roles for organizations. Firstly, they make simpler manufactured goods usage or tracing. Brands assist to systematize records and book-keeping records. A brand as well recommends the organizational official defense for distinctive characters or features of the product. The brand name can be sheltered throughout scheduled trademarks; manufacturing procedures can be defended through patents; and wrapping can be protected through copyrights and plans.

CHAPTER 3

METHODOLOGY

3.1 INTRODUCTION

In order to understand the methodology for the preparation of this work, in this chapter to determine how effective methodical philosophy can contribute to the successful production of a unbiased and critical dissertation process and undergo recorded by understanding where to relevant conclusions detailed in Chapter 5 to achieve. This section focuses on the purpose and authentication of the research conducted by the righteous is used to set goals and answer the central question of this work to comply.
The study design could be, depending on the choice of research approaches, either in real or experimental research. When research is still at an experimental stage, may also confirmed by the study’s design. It requires a large number of pre-think what and how research is done. Knowing what will happen, you must start the process of collecting data during the evaluation process. (Robson, 2002).
But it was not wrong with the company’s design for the real world, when researchers have a conceptual framework or theory developed so that you know in advance what to look for, and pilot projects to build what intensification is possible ‘(Robson 2002). And if the real world of survey research is a more flexible design would fit. The flexible design enables researchers to design research, work and “data collection and analysis of stranded ‘(Robson 2002). E Flexible pre is not as rigid as they take too much of the technical research.
Many authors define “research” should “be interpreted as an active, diligent and systematic process of research to discover and / or revision must be done. And this spiritual research to better understands the events, behaviors, or theories and practical applications to support these facts, laws or theories. The term is often used to study a collection of information on a specific theme to describe. ”

3.2 RESEARCH APPROACH:

The survey approach is mainly inductive, to see in writing a detailed analysis of the literature and depth of field, such as the impact of the mark in the process of consumer choice, rather than to test the hypothesis that understanding the pre-market schedule.
There was the possibility of a deductive approach, using a preconceived hypothesis testing is complete. “Now, however, that the extent of the studies focusing too much on speculation and not enough on other factors that may influence consumer choice. Studying means something to collect, produce and transmit knowledge about the subject studied. (Robson 2002) is both quantitative methods, qualitative methods were used to select one or both, depending on the object and purpose of the study.
Quantitative methods are commonly used when the study area can be measured, and the answers will be achieved through rational analysis. The method of rational analysis helps answer the issues examined. Although these methods can be useful tools for studying certain aspects of society, there are aspects that are difficult to study with these methods.
Qualitative methods are reflective and descriptive quantitative methods. Every phenomenon is considered to be formed by a unique combination of qualities and characteristics. Qualitative methods can interpret various phenomena and studied to better understand the problem. However, these methods have been criticized for being too subjective, which means that data collection and analysis of material depends largely on individuals. Choosing which method is dependent on the purpose and intent of the study concerned. (Robson 2002).
Since the survey is an attempt to better understand the motivations of individuals and subjects, the qualitative method is important for the study. It is a thoughtful approach, and thus a better understanding of the region. Another reason that the qualitative method is better, the problem is likely that there are often initially used in research if the issue of research is an important area of quantitative method is often when some problems were designed to test various hypotheses. (Dickson 1973)

Qualitative and quantitative research methods complement each other, despite their obvious differences. That can be considered as a continuum from purely quantitative to purely qualitative slightly from the fusion center. To control the two survey methods can be used in a project, either simultaneously or in absolute tranquility. That way you can get more information than with only one method and qualitative research with quantitative data to support. It is important to determine which methods are best suited to the specific needs of each study, to examine in detail the various comparisons between the two methods. Definitions of qualitative research is often blurred at best, if not vague, evasive and at worst. Problems arise because the field of qualitative research is very broad, so the definition extremely difficult if not impossible. Firestone A (1987) argue that qualitative methods, which are built in a post-positivist, phenomenological view of the world, and assume that “reality socially constructed through individual or collective definition of the state.” (Firestone 1987).
Firestone contends that the purpose of this research is to understand the current situation with regard to participants. It concludes that it is important for researchers “is immersed in the phenomenon of interest.”
“In quantitative research focused on collecting data to give reliable answers to important questions in detail so the reader is referred to. The typical qualitative study proto is ethnography, the reader’s understanding of the definition of these studies help the situation.” (WA Firestone 1987) Preissle Judith (2002) agreed that the summary of qualitative research is virtually nonexistent. Preissle recognize that qualitative research is also under other names, such as interpretive research, naturalistic research, phenomenological research, descriptive research known.
Qualitative research is a not-clearly-defined categories of research studies or models, all designed to elicit verbal, visual, tactile, olfactory and taste in the form of descriptive narratives as field notes, recordings or other transcriptions from audio and videotapes and other written texts and pictures or movies. (J. Preissle 2002) Qualitative methods have gained importance over the last ten years. Many researchers have already earlier quantitative research that were not, ie a reverse or find an alternative method of study. Recently, it was considered as a complement to quantitative research and as a direct result of increased importance in research management.
He argues that in practice depends largely on many seemingly quantitative data collected about how he grew, harvested when they were raised and from whom collected. “He has, however, that these data are still considered quantitatively if the type of distortion unambiguously when (usually by statistical tests) can be found or that the distortions tend to offset each other, so find fault definition tends to cancel or that bias is reliable (repeatable) or with special characteristics (quantitative measures), the differences in means and methods of collection. (David R. Harvey, 2002).

3.3 RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY

There are two types of research philosophies;
Positivism and

Phenomenology

3.3.1 POSITIVISM

Positivism defines as the only provable fact is valid knowledge. The basic principle of positivism is that all factual knowledge is based on the “positive” information gained from such experiences, and ideas that are everywhere in this area of demonstrable fact metaphysical. It is a position that the purpose of knowledge only to the phenomena we experience is indescribable. The aim of science is simply what we can observe and measure stick. Knowledge of everything would also keep a positivist, is impossible. Forms of Positivism include:
Social Positivism
Critical Positivism

Logical Positivism

3.3.2 PHENOMENOLOGY:

Phenomenology is a movement in philosophy that has been adapted by some sociologists to understand the relationship between the states of individual consciousness and social progress to investigate. As an approach to sociology, phenomenology is to show how human consciousness is involved in the production of social action, social situations and social worlds.
It is the knowledge that was discovered through an open, impartial description of the experience, without reason or explanation. In the 18th Century, German-Swiss mathematician and philosopher Johann Heinrich Lambert in the description of his theory of knowledge that would distinguish the truth from illusion and error is used. Phenomenological researchers often research on small groups, social situations and organizations through face-to-face techniques of participant observation.
Researchers decided to participate in two philosophies for the efficient use of study results. First, with a philosophy of positivism is in the sense that compliance with the social reality in terms of the impact of branding to consumers in a real-life market performed. Researchers is also a form of realist philosophy that those who want the external conditions, the causes of the most influential and behavioral characteristics of the consumer to understand the attractions to be understood.

3.4 RESEARCH STRATEGY

The Auteur approaches to the study and basically inductive in the sense that verify the presence of a literary work and see the complete in-depth analysis of the sector, the author, the effects of branding on consumer choice even buy, but see preconceived assumptions.
The Auteur has used the possibility of a deductive approach, in which tijdperk preconceived hypothesis. However, according to the Auteur This is the scope of the review should be limited by creating the ideas too, and not enough on other factors that influence the process can affect consumer choice.
The purpose of this research is among other things, they are met. According to McGee P (2005) strategy of basic research is usually assumed that if the study plan, it is better to know general information komen practical research is considered the start of the strategy and the provision of special circumstances. Qualitative research is the plan, which has often emphasized the words to some extent to the collection and analysis of information provided. (Brymer and Bell, 2003-2004).
In this study, the qualitative aspects of the research have allowed a further effect, because it is the subject of high quality research. Designed and certified annual reports of companies with a variety of magazines and media, magazines, etc. Keep Hold survey for this study. Because it is known that qualitative research tends een provide a wide range of research material.

3.5 DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUE

According to Denscombe (2000-2001, p 83-158) these are the main methods for data collection; they are as follows:

Questionnaires
Interviews
Observation
3.5.1 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF QUESTIONNAIRES INTERVIEWS AND OBSERVATION

Quantitative researchers seek to identify and cut some variables in a study to find, connections and causal relationships. We tested the environment in which data are collected to reduce the risk of other variables that prevention of a study to reduce protection, accounting for the observed correlations. Control (Rowan 1981). The data collected in natural resources. Care and the significance of data collection is controlled at the time of the survey.
According to the above advantages, says the research is useful for the interview, because researchers can benefit from access to information, because the category of people, the researchers were able to speak to win, and even the nature of the information given us. The researchers had to convince the right people when it comes to all organizations that study. It has been very difficult to get the right answers to the questions.
The approach of this project is the qualitative research that the reason the data cannot be used. Lack of financial resources and lack of time, there was no way that the participants of the inspection could take place. The survey does not require practice; this is why natural objects are no longer used. The only way to test the hypothesis of talks is to examine the documents. The researchers used the method of paper.

3.5.2 JUSTIFICATION FOR MY CHOICE OF DATA COLLECTION

In this study, primary and secondary data used to meet the requirements of the investigation to complete. In this dissertation, the most important information is by conducting interviews and reports and using case studies. All types of data and information from magazines, books, essays, research reports, web sites and data collected by other researchers on the same subject was part of this research in the form of secondary data. Reaching the research depends on the number of cases, such as handling and precise explanation of the subject studied. Research is dedicated to the secondary information collected to concentrate.
This thesis research based on data, facts and figures and information from the website of the company and handouts to the background of the company, the researchers selected case study examples are the sources of some of the data and interview was also one of the sources of data. Researchers said it was the most appropriate method for research to better understanding and a deeper understanding of the objectives, strategies and expected benefits of CRM initiatives of organizations to bring.
Denscombe (2000-2001, p. 136) summarizes the advantages of the method of the interview as follows:

DEPNESS OF INFORMATION: Interviews aid to obtain the comprehensive information

INSIGHTS: The research individual is able to get very close information according to the data.

EQUIPMENT: There is no such device is necessary to perform Interviews.

FLEXIBILITY: Interview is the mainly flexible technique of data collection.
Researcher has used questionnaire on the impact of branding on consumer purchase decision process as he determine.

The main point during the data collection was to the right group of people to be found for questioning. For this purpose interviews were held to different people who had come to UK as tourists. A study done by two groups of respondents, Group A is a tourist attraction not included Store in the United Kingdom and the B group to others. Both groups of those involved are working together in the UK. There will be a study for her opinion about tourist attraction in UK and how their image affects their purchase decision. Critically evaluate external and internal environmental factors that the sights.
This will be achieved through the use of scientifically proven business models to the validity and reliability of data to ensure production.

WHO ARE MY PARTICIPANTS

The first part of the questionnaire covers the main demographic data from which the profile interview to be determined. The results were divided into two groups, users and non users of LEGOLAND UK. The sample size of each group was limited to 50 participants.
Looking at the profiles of respondents to a group, you may initially think that is favorable to a slight preference for men LEGOLAND brand. Clearly the goal is to age of 21 to 30, and both groups together, particularly complex types of buying behavior, suggesting that both groups actually have a set of beliefs and attitudes toward the brand and consequently chose whether or not the benefit of the trademark.

3.6 LIMITATIONS OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Quantitative methods have an objective approach, where data is monitored and measured the accumulation of events, the causes of behavior. Where as qualitative methods are summarized data from a different angle and try to understand and sense that the center of the evolving and dynamic nature of reality to be found.
Quantitative researchers try to identify and isolate certain variables in a study of the connections, relationships and causality to be found. You try to protect the environment, where data are collected in order to reduce the risk variables, in addition to reducing the prevention of a study of the correlations are observed. Control (Rowan 1981). In contrast. Qualitative researchers, a more holistic approach and documentation of cases and observations and interviews to conduct your research data will be collected as part of the natural resources. Care and the importance of data collection is arranged at the time of the study.
According to the above benefits, the study is useful for the interview says, because researchers can benefit from access to information, because the category of people, the researchers needed a chance to speak, even the nature of the information we provide win. The scientists had to convince the right people when it comes to all the organizations I study. It was very difficult to get the right answers to questions.
The approach of this project is the qualitative research that the reason the files could not be used. Lack of financial resources and a lack of time, there was no way that the participant’s inspection and could be completed. The study does not include the practical requirements, so natural objects are no longer used. The researchers used the method of paper.
In this study the primary and secondary data on the needs of the investigation is complete. This position is the primary information gathered from interviews and reports using case studies. All kinds of facts and information, magazines, books, essays, research reports, websites and data from other researchers on this subject a part of this research was collected through secondary data. Reaching the research depends on the number of cases, including insider information and precise explanation of the case study. The study is determined to focus on secondary data collected.

CHAPTER 4

FINDING & ANALYSIS

4.1 INTRODUCTION

In the first three chapters of this thesis, the author relies on a sound basis for the issue of branding, value and many functional applications in a modern economy and eventually buys the theoretical implications of the decisions of consumers.
This review was published by the scientific research on the subject and puts it over is with real examples. To determine the impact of the brand in a real life consumer segments, the author makes a critical issue in evaluating the use of tourist trade mark after the purchase decision of consumers to influence the tourism sector in Great Britain.
This chapter is mainly divided into four parts. The first part determines the effect of branding on the two most frequent users of the brand and non-users of the British brand through the analysis from a questionnaire with two examples of groups, their brand UK customers and non customers.
The second part of this chapter deals with external factors to determine tourism brand. This allows the creator to decide how to make the approach to brand building set in relation to those external factors.
In section three of this chapter the author examines the internal factors that determine the process, the process of branding in relation to its internal capabilities and resources.
In the last section of this chapter, the author will determine how the process of branding by external and internal forces, and how in turn are affected will influence the consumer in the purchase decision.

4.2 LEGOLAND

The LEGO Corporation started in 1932 in Denmark, initiated to import the building blocks in the UK. During LEGO products in themes, have spread fresh colours and patterns, garments, accessories, multimedia magazines and interactive game – that stay an image of American toys. Families as well as kids love together as they aid children be trained and rise; those are amusing, imaginative and educational.
LEGO, through 81% share of the toy structure sets group, has begun a movement to mark the formation of a figure of famous trademark family, adults as well as kids in 2005. Due to the increasingly familiar as Disney and Coca-Cola, the company expects to triple sales. The key to this strategy is to alternate locations.
The first guests are a number of LEGO Stores Now the goal posts, like the Mall of the Americas in Minnesota and most recently in London, Blue water Park, this full range of products, and met many great features interactive and hands-on Fun both parents and children. LEGO is a way to allow consumers access to the values in A LEGO-safe, sustainable commercial retail. The stores are “a comprehensive expression of brand, AT-families much wider range than the LEGO brand is and what it can DOEN.” In addition, the Business in Minneapolis in total sales of the brand increased in the region. n even greater expansion of the LEGO brand door are three parks in Billund, Denmark (1968), Windsor, United Kingdom (1996) and AA-recently opened in Carlsbad, California (1999). The two most recent Parks justified by the A-Very modest return on investment for the park as an independent investment met the expectation of a larger, non-quantifiable return on the goodwill of consumers and the image and reputation. Each park is part of the availability of a suitable location, the expected growth and the economy. Although this park was designed by moose met a local style, fully developed experience – things do not die door of the room high-speed racing. The parks are less hurried and collecting power-packed items met die often in the A-Science Museum.
LEGOLAND Parks are more than a great potential to offer consumers their favorite brands realized experience for them. They expect to attract 1.8 million visitors in-the Park. The success of the park is in relation to the trademark in the United Kingdom, where sales of LEGO products have increased by 13% after the opening of the Windsor Park
Furthermore; Lego may want to extend the concept of visitors and opened the fourth park in the near future. With an aggressive goal is the development of Lego brand building Other attractions such as the A-Trip LEGO Adventure Ocean Museum, which now exhibited in the Brooklyn Museum for children and a game room at the Oakland A’s stadium working to meet the Red Sox for a permanent exhibition and promotional tie-in to develop the Red Sox met.

4.3THE QUESTIONNAIRE

The following section presents the findings from the questionnaire distributed. In the analysis, the author seeks to highlight how legoland’s means of branding has affected both users and non-users of the tourists in UK.

4.4 RESPONDENT PROFILE

The first part of the questionnaire focuses on the key demographic data from which the respondent profile to determine. The results were divided in two groups, users and non users of legoland UK. The number of samples of each group was limited to 50 participants.
In the first group are the users that make up 67% of men, a male-oriented test group with 45% in the age of 21, 30 The dominant behavior of the consumer to the users of the LEGOLAND brand complex Buying Group to examine closely followed were available through the purchase. Followed for the second group of non-users, this sample group of mainly women, 58% with the majority were aged 21 to 30 largest consumer behaviors for this group through the complex Buying Group, followed closely by Dissonance reducing buying behavior type.
Looking at the profiles of respondents in a group, you can first see that a slight preference for men wearing legoland brand. Clearly the goal is the age group aged 21 to 30, and both groups together, particularly complex buying behavior types, suggesting that both groups basically a set of beliefs and attitudes towards fire and accordingly whether take advantage of the chosen brand

4.5 DATA FINDINGS

Following are the questions asked to different people in order to get all the information for the brand analysis. As it has been mentioned earlier that the mostly people were in the age from 21 to 30 years.

4.6 ANALYSIS

With regard to how they perceived the brand characteristics of both groups of consumers heavily influenced legoland users in the importance of a recognizable brand that clearly regarded as a brand that could satisfy their needs believed beats. 71% of respondents confirmed this by showing clearly that so much importance placed on the well-known brand in conjunction with a.
The non-users on the other side was a privilege to be associated with a famous brand in conjunction, are associated with 54% of the respondents in connection with a known brand, it was important, they claim. But in the choice of Legoland, was only less than half the respondents group was 43% that the label was important for them to choose whether they want to use the service or not.
It is clear that the preference of most users legoland strong brand in the hand, the dominance in complex buyer-types within the group confirmed. It was also clear that legoland efforts to represent their brand as seriously as possible, was clearly a factor in whether or not to choose the service.

4.6.1 BRAND BENEFITS

81% of users believe that brand further feature was important to them in the LEGOLAND brand choice, while only 46% of non-users are functionally important. Quality was also much less of a problem for non-users with only 22% of non-users that quality is an important factor for them. The brand of users, however, found that 62% of their important quality factor in the buying decision should be taken.
This shows that the brand is the basis of expert users to make a high quality level, where as non-users, especially for those who do not size of the product. The relative share of users, functionality and quality also indicates that LEGOLAND has paid particular attention to the size of the performance.

4.6.2 BRAND VALUES

84% of respondents are of the opinion that the image of a feeling of superiority is transferred, while 62% said that they felt more secure payments Tourist Attractions Legoland. These statistics are interesting because they see that a strong sense of latent Tourist brand equity group made this monster. If you look at the formation of Consuming beliefs, Einstellungen, and, Zehn Slott, the approval of the product, it has a sense of image and ensure the safety of the quality. These are factors fostering brand loyalty and competitive advantage.

4.6.3 BRAND CULTURE

87% of users considered that the image radiates competence Ben presented in relation to a much lower 59% of non-users. The interesting thing to note is that although the majority of non-users, making it a good brand that still prefer to visit. This may partly only 18% of non-users believe that shopping at Legoland safer than other places, explains that a significantly higher compared with 67% positive response from users. It ‘very clear on these two statistics indicate that users are not brand-less culture of the user. This explains the choice of non-market.

4.6.4 BRAND IDENTITY

The last two questions, the survey gives a sense of brand identity felt by Legoland and residential customers in the UK non-consumers. For the control group of users to meet 79%, the image of Legoland UK identity, while only 38% feel the same way the non-users. This may explain the choice not to buy. The questionnaire goes to show that 41% felt safe with the 25% does not care. This part of the study there was already evidence that the vast majority of users a strong sense of personal identity chip are a clear decision to buy. While a low 39% non-user to connect in the form of identity clearly shows a correlation between the perceptions of the signal, the active consumer Legoland UK determined.

4.7 RESULTS IN THE LIGHT OF LITERATURE REVIEW

From the above data collection it is clear that the brand name plays an important role in the sale and the success of the business. In the above findings Legoland brand has good reputation and loyalty according to the tourists visiting to UK. Though, nowadays here is amplified challenge for rising and keeping a brand name. Publicity, while the conventional medium to construct brand name, has developed into progressively less helpful.

In the light of previous research made by different researchers, my findings and results are very similar to their results and analysis.

For instance Assael (1993) by stating that the reason he favors the position of consumers, especially the participation of humble approach that they once is heavy to the use of trying to choose the Product that their current meals. Porter (1980) says that the cities of the moment of differentiation of the most important are required for the proper acquisition of “competitive to make fit, has been said in the Industry by differentiating their product line. If market segment players do nothing Differential advantage would have been, perhaps, are concerned with consuming to establish pricing (Foxall and Goldsmith, 1994). As in my findings the brand name and product prices are the way to the triumph of the trade. Other researchers like Chay (1991), Aaker (1991) and Alreck and Settle (1999) all supported my findings as the success of product is strongly associated with the brand name and its image and loyalty.

However there are some differences in my findings with reference to the previous research made in this field. For example, Oliver (1999) supported the brand faith and described that it is the only reason of success but in my findings there are many other reasons like product price and customers response are also important. Alreck (1999) and Smith (2005) strongly supported the view of brand image with the customer’s faith but in my findings there are many customers who do not go for the brand faith but they always try to find the better quality in low price. Graham (2001) presents more profitable things, which is totally opposite to my findings as my findings show that customers have strong sense of purchase.

It is clear from the discussion of my findings with reference to previous researches that mostly my findings are similar to their except some differences because of new market trends and globalization of trade and the impact of internet.

4.8 CONCLUSIONS DRAWN FROM THE SURVEYS

The survey was obviously analytical of the significance of the brand for the consumer market in the decision procedure. Obvious bulks of respondents that sense a connection among itself as well as the Legoland brand consumers have been decided. Non-users evidently small affecting or individual investment in the brand and seems to have been unaware, otherwise converted to become an association of consumer desires. One must notice so as to the six dimension of the concept of brand name crash on how customers outlook brand name. this should as well correct that there be established a clear distinction between different types of consumer behavior in every grouping of respondents. Despite the fact that the leading type of consumer behavior in both groups, the band behavior, so these are the dominant type of tourism for consumers, here is a high rate a lot elevated percentage (26% vs. 16%) of normal modes of buyers in the group of users of the chip, which exists in non-users. This shows that the behavior of consumers respond in a different way to the a range of dimension of importance that are represented by yield.

CHAPTER 5

CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 CONCLUSIONS

The purpose of the above study is to determine the effect of brand choice has at the consumer purchase choice building method to determine, as well as all tourist attraction in buying the techniques of brand management, consumer decision-making rights of the consumers of tourism.
It appears so as that really connection among the effects of the surf with the consumer buying choice procedure. That’s the way the branding process of learning, creating beliefs and attitudes in the formation of unlike nature of buyer purchasing behavior influenced recognizable. It should be noted that even proof that there are 4 diverse kind of customer business patterns, type namely the compound or complex behavior, dissonance-reducing trading or purchasing behavior of species, common buying behavior type and variety-type behavior, which all have different reactions Branding appear to motivation. Consequently an individual could close to this is important for marketing people to fit into the surf on those 4 kinds of buyer behavior in order to maximize competency.
In terms of how branding of the tourist attraction used to influence consumer purchase decision, found that brand has taken at the meaning of branding benefits issued to a brand value and brand uniqueness focus. That is attained by enlarging the present brand image and its image of the tourist attraction to the store. That has successfully leaded to the dominance in UK marketplace for tourism. However, the author’s inquiry the sustainability of this brand, such in connecting with satisfies tourists in an extensive time, the requirements as well as desires of consumers of the brand exclusive. It is satisfied, but the brand and related products, consumer-friendly brand products.
Seen as the brand is also dominant in the industry, this is the dominant tourist market expansion. But with the advent of new tourist attractions as well as the emergence of new online travel provider, will this strategy in the long term sustainability.
Thus, the writer found it essential to separate the long-term health of the brand of their tourism brand image to the request of the brand individuality to broaden the requirements, desires as well as hopes, not only of non-users of the brand group The primary work on this study, however the remaining of the consumer part of the brand enthusiasts.

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Anorexia Nervosa: a Feminist reading of a distorted perception of beauty

Introduction

The focus of this essay is to explore the eating disorder Anorexia nervosa. Anorexia was chosen for the topic for this essay as it has both a long history in human culture but is still a very current and prevalent issue. The subject of anorexia will be explored using various sociological perspectives. First, the feminist perspective will focus on women’s experiences and explore anorexia from the standpoint of a woman as opposed to the often male-dominated perspective of traditional society (Hall and Steven, 1991). The functionalism theory interprets society as a whole made up of correlated parts such as traditions, institutions, customs, etc; therefore, this perspective will examine the association between societal pressure and media influence and anorexia. And lastly, the symbolic interaction perspective analyses symbols, subjective interpersonal significance and the interaction between individuals through communication (Van der Spuy E, M de Klerk H and Kruger R, 2003) anorexia can be explained through various symbols such as food and self-image and how these are used to communicate self-image to other individuals.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by extreme anxiety about one’s weight and keeping it as low as possible by very strictly limiting the intake of food (NHS, 2011).There are various statistics relevant to anorexia available in the UK. According to The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), approximately one in 250 females and one in 2000 males will experience anorexia (2004). In the UK, approximately one in every 100 women between the ages of 15 and 30 years suffer from anorexia (Disordered Eating, 2011). However, reports have shown girls as young as five years old have weight concerns and are potentially susceptible to develop anorexia (Disordered Eating, 2011). According to Beating Eating Disorders (B-EAT 2011), around 1-2% of young women are thought to be anorexic at any one time and approximately 11 people in 100,000 develop the condition each year. Approximately 40% of people with anorexia recover completely and an estimated 30% will continue to suffer long-term effects of the illness (Disordered Eating, 2011).

Anorexia is a serious health issue because it is the leading cause of mental health-related deaths (NHS, 2011). The mortality rate for anorexia is estimated to run around 13-20% per year (Howlett et al., 1995). It is also important to study because it is associated with various health complications. One of the primary complications is loss of fertility which may cause lifelong difficulties (B-eat, 2011). There are also other complications due to malnutrition such as osteoporosis which can increase the risk of spontaneous fractures even from minor traumas (B-eat, 2011).

The feminist perspective is a sociological perspective based on a female-centered viewpoint as an alternative to the male-centered viewpoint that often dominates traditional philosophy, society, and culture (Rodgers 2005). According to Hall and Steven (1991), feminism has the three basic principles of: valuing women and validating women’s experiences, ideas, and needs; recognizing the existence of ideological, structural, and interpersonal conditions that dominate women; and a desire to change these oppressive limitations through criticism and political action. As body image is part of a woman’s concept of her sexuality, it is related to her feeling feminine and attractive and consequently her self-esteem (Fobair, 2006). Feminist theory suggests that the reason women feel dissatisfied with their bodies is because of a social phenomenon and not individual choice (McKinley, 2002). Women tend to be more concerned about the appearance of their bodies than men, who are more concerned with the functionality of their bodies (Ziebland, 2002).

Landwerlin (2001) suggests that the extreme pressure of women to conform to the idea that beauty in women is being exceptionally thin has led to an epidemic of eating disorders. Women feel the need to meet impossible demands of beauty and thinness and struggle to meet the expectations of the feminine stereotype (Parker and Mauger, 1976). Women with anorexia are obsessively pursuing the ideal feminine body shape in an exaggerated manner (Boskind-Lodahl, 1976). Boskind-Lodahl (1976) suggests that anorexic women are controlling their appearance to gain the approval of others, especially men, and gain a sense of self-worth through this validiation Chernin (1986) believes that women with eating disorders are using their bodies to express unhappiness about their role in life in a male-dominated society. Because a woman’s body is representative of her identity, women are able to express confusion about her role in society through eating disorders such as anorexia (Chernin, 1986).

Conversely, there are some feminist theorists who believe that women with anorexia are not conforming to the feminine ideal, but rather rejecting it. As women with anorexia are overly thin, they actually become unattractive and challenge the concept of being valued for their appearance (Moorey, 1991). Lester (1997) suggests that by becoming so overly thin, women are flaunting the fact that society demands this viciously harmful body type to be considered attractive. It is an unmistakable statement that she believes societal pressure is causing her to starve herself and be dangerously unhealthy (Bordo, 1997). It is in a sense over-conforming to the point where the woman disappears, first physically, then spiritually. She is trying to break away from the stereotypes of femininity beauty shoved onto her from a male-centered society (Malson and Ussher, 1997).

This feminist theory that women with anorexia are actually trying to break away from conformity can be extended. To escape the feminine role that is forced onto them, women may adopt masculine characteristics as the solution (Elks, 1994). Elks (1994) believes that women use anorexia to transform their bodies into a sexless state, by denying the normal curves of a woman that are associated with feminine characteristics such as pregnancy. It is a rejection of fertility and obligation to a family as a mother or wife. By suppressing the development of hips and breasts, women are changing their bodies into a more genderless figure (Elks, 1994). All of these feminist theories suggest that women are using their bodies as a political statement. Orbach (1989) suggests that anorexia is an ambivalence about femininity, both a rejection and exaggeration of the feminine idea whether anorexia is an over-conformity or rebellion against the notion of feminine beauty, it is still calling attention to the effects of gender roles in society.

The functionalism perspective sees society as being held together by social consensus, a functioning body that is made up of different interdependent elements such as customs, traditions, and institutions (Parsons, 1975). All of these parts affect each other so functionalism reflects on both the micro-scale individual components as well as the macro-scale function of the whole. Parsons (1975), a functionalist theorist, suggested that each individual had expectations of his and others’ actions and that these expectations were derived from the accepted norms and customs of their society Parsons suggested that individuals were expected to fulfill certain roles in society and conform to that specific society’s customs and what was seen as the norm. The perfect society then, would be one where there is no conflict between the norms of society and the performance of the individual within these institutions and traditions (Parsons, 1975). In modern society, mass media bombards images of extremely thin women as being the ideal form. Anorexia can be seen as society’s struggle to align this “norm” of very thin models and celebrities to all women.

Robert Merton, another influential functionalist theorist, had similar notions to Parsons. Merton expanded Parsons’ ideas that some structures within society may be dysfunctional (Holmwood, 2005). Merton’s theory of deviance suggested that there was a possibility of discontinuity between the cultural goal and the reaction of an individual (Merton, 1957). Among these scenarios are conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreats, and rebellion (Merton, 1957). The prevalence of anorexia in society can be explained through several of these cases. Because of the widespread exposure of thin, beautiful women in the form of advertisements, movies, television and shows, the reaction of trying to conform to this image is easy to understand. Every day women see what type society labels as beautiful and strive to conform and be just like that image. Young girls and mature women alike suffer anorexia to achieve this conformity. Anorexia can also be seen as an innovation type scenario; women see the thin models and celebrities and will attempt to become this image through unaccepted methods such as starvation and malnutrition. Ritualism occurs when an individual strives to follow society’s norms but is not rewarded in the end. This is true in the cases of women where anorexia causes severe health issues and achieving the thin body type comes at a cost of morbidity and mortality.

Merton also proposed the idea that human function could be categorized as either manifest functions which are obvious and intentional or latent functions which are vague and involuntary (Holmwood, 2005). Manifest functions are what people expect whereas latent functions are unrecognized and unexpected (Merton, 1957). Dysfunction, such as anorexia, can be seen as manifest or latent as well. Anorexia as a manifest dysfunction is recognized because it is a serious medical issue documented in hospitals and primary care. Anorexia can also be seen as a latent dysfunction since it was not necessarily anticipated as a product of media bombardment of thin models and celebrities. Anorexia can be interpreted through a variety of methods using the functionalist theory. Because anorexia is a reflection of self-image that is highly affected by society and mass media culture, the functionalist theory is a competent interpretative perspective for this topic.

And lastly, the symbolic interaction theory is a micro-scale perspective, emphasizing the interpretation of symbols and self-perception as constructed by others through communication and interaction. Symbolic interaction not only examines the interaction between individuals but also within the own individual (Van der Spuy E, M de Klerk H and Kruger R, 2003). Because human actions consist of identifying the self as an object, it serves as a symbol which a woman can use to communicate to others and herself. Anorexic women are communicating their refusal to eat and the resulting thinness of her body as a symbol to others. Kaiser (1990) suggests that the self develops from the combination of the interaction with other individuals who give feedback and with those individuals with whom she compares herself. These other individuals may be friends, peers, stereotypes, etc. The woman compares herself to these other groups and takes their feedback into consideration in the development and perception of her self-image and body.

Blowers et al (2003) suggests that this external pressure from different groups causes women to internalize societal norms that thinness is beautiful and important for success for a woman. When comparing magazines read by young women and by young men, Heilman (1998) found that ten times as many promoted the thin figure in advertisements targeted to women. Through media alone, young women are more susceptible to body image issues and according to Marcotte et al (2002), young women become more depressed than their male counterparts during teen years. This depression and low self-esteem could push these girls to resort to anorexia to match the model figures seen in so many advertisements. Kaiser (1990) proposes that a symbol should communicate the same thing to others and herself. So women apply self-control to behave a certain way in order for others to have a specific image of her. Individuals who suffer from anorexia exhibit this exact behavioural pattern of demonstrating extreme will power to refrain from eating (Slabber, 1985).

Symbolic interaction proposes that clothes, food, and physical appearance can sometimes used to simplify social interactions (Van der Spuy E, M de Klerk H and Kruger R, 2003). All of these items serve as symbols which are used to communicate the self to others and to themselves. This symbol of the body is a mental picture that one has at any given time and a positive body image correlates strongly to a feeling of acceptance (Van der Spuy E, M de Klerk H and Kruger R, 2003). Dissatisfaction with their body image is correlated to eating behaviours in females as young as grade school children (Vander Wal and Thelen, 2000). Women with anorexia have a distorted body image and continue to strive to be as thin as possible (Drewnowski et al, 1995). Further encouraged by mass media and modern society’s fashion culture, women see the clothes they are supposed to wear on extremely emaciated figures (Kaiser, 1990). Kilbourne stated that women are driven by the fear of being overweight, as the intolerance against fat people, more specifically fat women, is one of the few remaining prejudices that are found socially acceptable (Benokrates 1999).

Anorexic women also view food as an important symbol in her life. She is obsessed with the idea of it and at the same time rejecting it completely because it symbolizes weight gain (Kaiser, 1990). Further obsession on this symbol turns food and the idea of eating into a neurotic fear of gaining weight which leads to starvation to the point of malnutrition and danger. This feeling of power and control over abstaining from food becomes a symbol of herself and the extent of her will power and so becomes addicting and repetitive (Wardlaw1999). The symbols and interactions with other individuals that anorexic women interpret and experience play a large role in the development and continuation of their anorexic condition. Associating the symbol of food with becoming fat, which goes against the media stereotype of beauty in women, perpetuates anorexic tendencies in symbolic interaction theory.

Anorexia is a serious health issue but with the help of various sociological perspectives, the intentions behind it can be understood so the affected individuals can be helped as best as possible. Understanding anorexia through the feminist perspective explores the topic from the viewpoint of the women, as opposed to the generally male-dominated perspective of traditional society. Feminist theory suggests that anorexic women are overly conforming to the idealised thin figure of the women to express unhappiness in the male-dominated society. Other feminist theory thought suggests anorexic women are actually rejecting the feminine role in society by becoming so emaciated; they shed their feminine shape and become an androgynous figure that rejects their role as a mother or wife. The functionalist perspective examines anorexia as one part of society that interrelates to other aspects of society, all coming together in a social consensus. This social consensus promotes various actions in individuals such as conformity, innovation, and ritualism. Women are driven to conform to the thin image of celebrities and models and use innovative methods such as extreme starvation to achieve these results. However, these results may be without reward if it leads to health problems and possibly death. Symbolic interaction perspective investigates anorexia in terms of how individuals perceive symbols and its interaction with other individuals and also themselves. Women view food as a symbol of weight-gain and grow to detest it, becoming obsessed with the idea of rejecting food. These anorexic women interpret their self-image as a reflection of what others think of them and use this feedback to view themselves. The media ideal of the thin female form influences women into viewing this as the only acceptable form of beauty in women. All of these sociological perspectives provide insightful logic into how anorexic women think and offer rationale behind their actions and motives. Studying anorexia through various sociological perspectives gives a comprehensive overview of many possible theories and explanations as to why this disorder afflicts these women. By truly understanding the underlying rationale behind these women’s actions, it is possible to help these women carefully and efficiently.

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Nuclear Power Plants: Public Perception of the Risks and Threats

The dissertation looks at the way the public perceive the risks and threats offered by nuclear power plants within the UK. A process of content analysis, looking at news articles from The Times and The Telegraph 2012, was used.The public perceptions of nuclear power has always been markedly different to other means of generating electricity, despite the small number of incidents in reactors, with a strong tendency amongst the public, exacerbated by the media, to see such power in a negative way.The study examines the ways in which the media are able to influence public perception strongly, and in a negative way.

The study includes an extensive literature review to contextualise the discussion. The background of nuclear power plants is discussed, looking at how nuclear power was discovered, and the development of functioning power plants. The growth of concern about nuclear power is traced, and the role of the media also examined. In particular, the mechanisms by which the media are able to sway public opinion are considered. The literature review is supported by a number of useful illustrations, graphs and tables.

A methodology section justifies the choice of content analysis as a research tool, and considers other ways of investigation which could be, or which have been, used to address the way the public perceive nuclear power. Content analysis offers a way to look at public perceptions by analysing relevant texts in which those perceptions are expressed or shaped. It looks for particular concepts occurring in these texts, and assesses the extent to which each occurs. The relationship between key terms is also assessed. It has been used similarly in other studies looking at this area, for example Perko, Turcanu and Geenen (2012). The method chosen is justified against other possible ways of gauging public opinion, for example through surveys or time series analyses.Many previous studies have collected quantitative data, underlining the need for qualitative analyses such as the one presented here.

Using content analysis, the study uncovers a number of features of media discussions of nuclear power. The results section looks, in turn, at the number of nuclear related articles, the main claims made by these articles, the position taken by the author and whether any evidence to support the claims is given, and if so what that evidence is. The study finds that the media does influence the public perception of nuclear power, and that they are biased in the way they present nuclear power to the public. It also finds mixed positive and negative portrayals of nuclear power. Finally recommendations for future research are made.

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Title: NUCLEAR POWER PLANT: PUBLIC PERCEPTION TO THE RISK AND THREAT

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Nuclear power plants: public perception to the risk and threat

ABSTRACT

This dissertation investigates the public’s perceptions to the risk and threat of nuclear power plants. In order to answer the study’s objectives, content analysis was employed on news articles from two UK newspapers (The Times and the Telegraph), which was published from June-November 2012. This quantitative methodology is applied based on the assumption that the media has a significant influence in the formation of public opinion. As such, the media’s portrayal of nuclear power plants, specifically in news reports, affects public perception.

Results from the literature review show that the media tends to have biases towards nuclear power related issues. Moreover, findings from the content analysis reveal that both newspapers reviewed had an overall unfavourable position towards nuclear power plants. However, the content analysis showed that the UK public is more concerned about the high costs of building new power plants, especially in terms of possible higher electricity charges in the future, rather than safety concerns.

Chapter 1: General Introduction

1.1. Introduction / Background

Unlike other electricity generating methods, there has always been a very strong awareness of the potential hazards from nuclear power plants, specifically in terms of the danger from nuclear criticality and the release of radioactive materials. Despite the fact that there had only been three major reactor accidents in the history of civil nuclear power (i.e. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima), there is strong public concern regarding the safety of nuclear energy generation (World Nuclear Association 2012). This may be due to the original application of nuclear power in weapons production – made infamous by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. And although the primary use for nuclear power has shifted to commercial energy generation, the scars of the past remain as the nuclear power industry has continued to struggle in cleaning up its image.

The media’s intense scrutiny has also contributed to the public’s awareness and perceptions on nuclear power plants. Nuclear accidents have been highly publicised by the media and in many cases, the threats of nuclear power plants have been highlighted in media reports. According to Adams (2009), ‘the sensationalism prevalent in establishment news outlets has resulted in an over abundance of stories about leaks, spills, and minor incidents that were often portrayed as potentially catastrophic near misses’ (sec.3). This negative depiction of nuclear power is believed to have contributed to anti-nuclear sentiments from the public.

In recent years, the nuclear power industry’s image has become more positive as governments considered it as a sustainable source of energy and were planning to include it in their future energy mix. However, the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident brought back into focus major concerns about the safety of generating electricity from nuclear power plants. This incident is seen by many as the crucial factor which undermined the resurgent support for nuclear power. It is also believed to have sparked public fear about nuclear energy and have renewed anti-nuclear movements all over the world (San Francisco Chronicle 2011).

Looking back at the high-profile media coverage brought about by the accident, it seemed that the Fukushima incident renewed doubts about the safety and long-term viability of nuclear power plants. Comparisons were made with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, as fears of nuclear meltdowns and the effects of radiation, spread across the public (McNeill 2011).

Recent talks about expanding nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom have revived the media’s interest and public scrutiny regarding the risks and threats of nuclear energy. Shortly after the Fukushima disaster, the UK government’s plan to develop new nuclear power plants in the country was derailed as several nuclear energy companies have decided not to proceed with the projects. In September 2011, Scottish Southern Energy pulled out of a deal to develop a new nuclear power station in Sellafield, West Cumbria (BBC 2011). In March 2012, German-based energy utility companies E.ON and RWE announced that they will not continue their Horizon Nuclear Power project, which was supposed to develop nuclear reactors at Wylfa in North Wales and at Oldbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire (Maddox 2012). More recently, in October 2012, French nuclear engineering group Areva and the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, announced that they had dropped their bid on the Horizon project (Vaughan 2012). The withdrawals of energy companies in developing new nuclear power plants in the UK is believed to have been due to the backlash from the Fukushima disaster, as well as rising costs of nuclear power plant construction and nuclear energy production (BBC 2011).

Taking all these into consideration, this research seeks to analyze how the media has depicted news about nuclear power plants. The main assumption of this study is that the media can affect or influence the public’s perceptions on the threats and risks of nuclear power plants. As such, this research analyses media reports on nuclear power plants in order to understand how it is being depicted by the media. The expectation from this analysis is that negative media portrayals of nuclear power plants will have a negative impact on public perceptions; while positive media portrayals will have positive influence on public perceptions.

This study also provides a basic quantification of how much more media coverage is given to negative media portrayals vis-a-vis positive media portrayals. The assumption is that the number of negative articles versus the number of positive articles will show the media’s general view on nuclear power plants.

1.2. Aims and Objectives

The primary aim of this research is to investigate the public’s perception on the risk and threat of nuclear power plants. In order to achieve this, media reports about nuclear power plants were analysed. This is based on the assumption that the media has a big influence or impact on public perceptions. Therefore, analysing how the media is depicting nuclear power plants will provide important insights on the public’s opinion. The hypothesis is that negative media portrayal of nuclear power plants leads to negative public perception; while on the other hand, positive portrayal of nuclear power plants lead to positive public perception. Additionally, the research seeks to classify and quantify press reports on nuclear power plants as either positive or negative.

The following are the objectives of the study:

(1)To find out the public’s perception on the risk and threats of nuclear power plants

(2)To investigate how the media (i.e. news reports) depict/portray nuclear power plants to the public

(3)To classify and quantify press reports on nuclear power plants as either positive or negative

1.3. Research Methodology

The main research method used is Content Analysis, also known as Textual Analysis. Content analysis is a way ‘to gather information about how other human beings make sense of the world’ (McKee 2003, p.1). This is useful in exploring the topic because it can be used to analyze public perception based on news reports about nuclear power plants.

In conducting the research, news articles about nuclear power plants, which were published in two UK newspapers over the past six months, were analyzed. Important features and components of the news articles were coded. A matrix was created to categorize and interpret the news articles. This will help in evaluating the news articles as either being positive or negative towards nuclear power plants.

1.4. Main Achievements

The main contribution of this thesis is that it can help to expand the literature regarding nuclear power plants, specifically in terms of the perceptions on its risk and threats, based from the point of view of media and the public. One of the achievements of this dissertation is the deconstruction of news articles (using content or textual analysis) in order to understand whether it is positively or negatively depicting issues concerning nuclear power plants. This will provide insights on the media’s general treatment of and attitude towards the nuclear power industry, as well as helping to understand how the media influences the public’s perceptions.

1.5. Summary of the Dissertation

Chapter 2 of this thesis discusses the review of relevant literature. This helps in providing important background information on the topic, especially regarding past studies that may be related to this research. Chapter 3 provides a review of available research methodologies. This talks about methodologies which can be used to investigate the topic. Chapter 4 contains the main body of the research, specifically the methodology used, description of data collected, and the analysis and discussion of results. The final chapter provides the conclusions of the study and the recommendations for future research.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1. Introduction

The nuclear power industry has garnered much interest and scrutiny not only from the public, but also from academics, government agencies, and the media. Many studies have been conducted to investigate the various aspects of nuclear power generation, especially in terms of safety concerns and public opinion. This thesis will examine relevant literature in order to gather important information, which will help in building the main arguments that are necessary for a critical analysis of the topic.

2.2. Background information on Nuclear Power Plants

The science of atomic radiation, atomic change, and nuclear fission was developed from 1895 to 1945. During 1939 to 1945, most of the development was focused on the atomic bomb. In 1945, shortly after the end of World War II, the focus shifted towards the harnessing of nuclear energy in a controlled fashion for use in naval propulsion and electricity generation. From 1956 onwards, the main agenda for nuclear energy was to come up with technological developments and innovations to make nuclear power plants safer and more reliable (World Nuclear Association 2010).

The origins of nuclear science can be traced to explorations on the nature of the atom. It was the discovery of radioactive elements that spurred various experiments to investigate nuclear reactions and transformations (World Nuclear Association 2010). The most significant of these experiments was conducted by Enrico Fermi. In 1934, Fermi discovered the potential of nuclear fission. In 1942, he successfully created the first controlled and self-sustaining nuclear reaction (EBSCO Host 2012).

Fermi’s discoveries paved the way for more nuclear research and provided the world with a great source of power. However, the first application of nuclear power was not as an energy source but as a means to produce weapons. Fermi’s work became an integral component of the Manhattan Project, which was a nuclear research and development programme conducted by the governments of the US, UK and Canada during World War II. The project entailed the production of enriched uranium and the construction of large reactors to produce plutonium for use in nuclear weapons. These were eventually used in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 (World Nuclear Association 2010).

During the course of developing more nuclear weapons (led by the US and Russia), scientists realized that the enormous heat produced during the nuclear fission process could be harnessed either for direct use or for generating electricity. This new energy source also had various potential applications, such as in shipping and submarine propulsion. This realization later led to the establishment of civil nuclear energy programmes. By the 1960s, nuclear energy had become commercialized, with private firms constructing and operating nuclear power plants with approval from the government (World Nuclear Association 2010).

As of July 2012, there are 435 nuclear power plants that are operating in 31 countries. The US, France and Japan are the biggest users of electricity generated from nuclear energy. The US leads in terms of number of reactors in operation; while France leads in terms of share in nuclear electricity generation (European Nuclear Society 2012; IAEA 2012).

Figure 1. Nuclear Power Plants by Location

Source: European Nuclear Society (2012)

Figure 2. Number of reactors in operation, worldwide (as of July 2012)

Source: European Nuclear Society (2012)

Figure 3. Producers of Nuclear Electricity

In recent years, as the pursuit for greener, renewable energy sources to meet greenhouse emissions limits became an important part of government policy, many nuclear experts advocated for nuclear power as a viable source of green energy. Additionally, the rising prices of fossil fuels and the need for reliable domestic electricity supply have played a role in the resurgence or renaissance of nuclear power. In the next 10 years, new nuclear power plants will be built in China, India and South Korea. In Europe, Finland, France and the UK are also planning to expand their nuclear power plants (World Nuclear Association 2011).

2.1. Concerns about Nuclear Power

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, as nuclear power plants were constructed around the world, nuclear energy was hailed as a safe, clean alternative to other energy generating methods, such as coal or oil. The public only became aware of the potential dangers of nuclear power on March 28, 1979, when the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania suffered a partial meltdown. Although no one was injured from the accident, it highlighted the potential hazards from nuclear power and sparked fear and criticism from the public. Critics felt that the threat of a nuclear meltdown was an unacceptable risk. On the other hand, supporters maintained that with appropriate safety precautions, the risk of a nuclear meltdown is very small, almost to the point of being impossible (EBSCO Host 2012). Since then, there have been endless debates about the safety of nuclear power. Other high-profile nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011) only intensified these debates.

Another factor, which has damaged the image of nuclear power, is its own history: specifically, the initial application of nuclear fission for weapons production during World War II. In the years following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as the severe human and environmental damage caused by nuclear weapons came to light, the incident created mixed reactions from the public and the debate about the ethical justification of this event continues to this day (Pavlik 2012).

The anti-nuclear movement, which is a social movement opposing nuclear technologies, is the direct result of the above concerns about nuclear power. Initially, the movement was focused on nuclear disarmament. However, as nuclear power plants become commercialized during the 1960s and 1970s, some activist groups ‘raised alarms about the possibility of large scale nuclear accidents’ (Anon 2011, sec. 3).

The anti-nuclear movement gained much support following the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, as the movement’s speculations about the dangers of nuclear power plants seemed to materialize. Since then, the movement has prioritized on its agenda opposition towards the use of nuclear power plants. The movement has also been most active after major nuclear events; for instance, after the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters (Anon 2011).

Opposition to and concerns about nuclear power are centred on the following themes: (Martin 2007, p.43)

Nuclear accidents – the reactor core of a nuclear power plant could overheat and meltdown; resulting in the release of massive amounts of radioactivity
Waste disposal – the by product of nuclear power are significant amounts of radioactive waste, some of which remain dangerous for thousands of years
Nuclear proliferation – the facilities and knowledge to generate nuclear energy can be readily modified to create nuclear weapons
Cost – the building of reactors and the production of nuclear power are very costly
Nuclear terrorism – terrorists or criminals could target nuclear facilities and use it for malicious activities
Civil liberties – the risk of nuclear accidents, proliferation, and terrorism may be used to justify curtailing of citizen rights
Uranium mining – a considerable amount of uranium is found on indigenous land
Alternatives – the availability of other renewable energy sources and more energy efficient technologies provide a more practical alternative to nuclear power

Of these concerns, nuclear accidents and disposal of nuclear waste have had the greatest impact on the public. These concerns have also been used as the main arguments of anti-nuclear activists in campaigning against nuclear power use (Martin 2007).

2.2. Nuclear Power and the Media

The controversial origins of nuclear power (i.e., as a weapon for mass destruction) has made it an easy target for the media. The media’s apparent interest in all things nuclear can be traced to the ‘Ban-the-bomb’ movements of the 1960s, as the public became concerned with the effects of nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific from 1954. Moreover, the opposition of a number of well-known scientists, including Albert Einstein, Leo Szilard, and Eugene Rabinowitch (some of which were members of the Manhattan Project), to nuclear weapons had clearly fascinated the media and the public (Anon 2012). Since then, nuclear-related incidents have been highly-publicised by the media.

Mazur (1981) argues that one of the main problems with media coverage on scientific issues is that reporters’ process for data gathering is flawed: (a) the sources for scientific information are usually partisans in the controversy; (b) reporters usually get information from people they know, or based on the person’s reputation, or based on the stature and proximity of a source’s organization/affiliation; and (c) scientists, who have the technical expertise to become adequate sources, are almost never asked by reporters. These flawed practices consequently lead to biases in the reporting of scientific news and therefore, lead to biased public opinion.

Rubin (1987), in his comparative analysis of how the media reported on Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, found that both official sources and journalists have shortcomings when it comes to reporting of nuclear incidents. The author found that the optimistic bulletins of official sources regarding nuclear incidents had provided too little facts, which consequently diminished their credibility with journalists and the public. On the other hand, from the point of view of journalists, ‘a major or even moderate nuclear power plant accident is much more serious than an earthquake, flood, or hurricane’ (p.45). As such, any delay of information from official sources tends to motivate journalists to assume the worst about these official sources and they instead turn to alternative sources of information. This kind of behaviour highly compromises the accuracy of information and tends to produce a great deal of ‘worst-case scenario spinning’ (p.45). Rubin supported the findings of Mazur (1981) as he pointed out that journalists sometimes resort to worst-case scenario reporting instead of providing a more balanced view.

Similarly, a study by Friedman, Gorney & Egolf (1992) examined how the US media had treated the nuclear industry during coverage of the Chernobyl accident. Media coverage of five US newspapers and evening newscasts from three major US television networks were analysed in the study. The study tried to find out whether the media had provided enough background information about nuclear power and the nuclear industry during the first two weeks of US media coverage on Chernobyl – to ensure that the American public ‘would not be misled in their understanding of and attitude towards nuclear power’ (p.305). Additionally, the study also investigated whether reporters took advantage of the incident to condemn nuclear technology or the nuclear industry. Results of the study show that despite heavy media coverage of the accident, only 25% of the coverage allocated information on the safety, track record, and status of nuclear power plants. As such, there was insufficient information to help the public have a better understanding of nuclear power or to put the Chernobyl accident into proper perspective. However, it was found that reporters had generally showed balanced views of pro and anti-nuclear sentiments, and they did not show extreme amounts of panic-inducing, negative information. This study also supports Mazur’s (1981) and Rubin’s (1987) findings that media have some biases against nuclear power, especially in terms of providing more information regarding the safety of nuclear power plants.

A recent study by Friedman (2011) analysed the traditional and new media coverage of nuclear accidents and radiation, by comparing the media reporting on Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. The author found that the internet made an enormous difference in terms of the amount of information that was made publicly available during the Fukushima accident, compared to the information provided by traditional media during the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. Although journalists still contributed significantly to the news about Fukushima, citizens also actively participated in the reporting and discussion through blogs, social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) and YouTube. Moreover, the internet helped traditional media in improving its coverage and providing more explanatory information, which allowed readers to better understand technical information. As a result, the media coverage for Fukushima was better than Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. This study opens up new perspectives about media reporting on nuclear power.

Academics and some media practitioners themselves acknowledge that the media has made mistakes by broadcasting or publishing unconfirmed information or speculations about nuclear incidents. For instance, during the Fukushima accident, journalists often refer to the term ‘meltdown’ without providing adequate perspective on its meaning and seemingly without concern for the consequent fear from the public that is induced by its usage (Russell 2011; Nisbet 2012).

Similarly, Bell (2011) criticizes the media hype over the coverage of the Fukushima accident. He contends that much of the media coverage regarding the nuclear component of the Fukushima accident has ‘lacked objectivity and proportionality, compounding already high public anxiety and confusion levels’ (sec 1). The media had also put too much attention on the hypothetical dangers of radiation. Moreover, realistic risks have been exaggerated, usually by poorly informed journalists and ‘alarmist agenda-driven commentators presented as experts’ (sec. 1). Bell (2011) criticizes media’s sometimes panic-inducing reports and worst-case conjectures – calling them irresponsible and unnecessary.

According to Nisbet (2012), ‘the long-term consequence of sensationalistic reporting is a general weariness and suspicion of nuclear energy’ (sec.6). The author also states that it cannot be denied that media’s perspectives and framing of nuclear energy is an integral element in the future of nuclear technology. The nuclear power industry depends on government subsidies and support. As such, it remains subject to the whims of politics, and as a consequence, it is ‘vulnerable to media portrayals and swings in public perceptions’ (sec.8).

The vast majority of studies conducted about media and nuclear power, particularly how media portrays nuclear power-related issues, reveal that the media has a tendency to be biased against nuclear power. Despite the nuclear industry’s efforts to improve the safety and security of nuclear facilities, these kinds of news do not get as much media coverage compared to negative incidents. The nuclear industry has also presented the contribution of nuclear energy towards climate change mitigation; however, this information is not widely known to the public. The media’s bias towards nuclear power has been ingrained for so many years and it will take a lot of effort, as well as a major paradigm shift, to change the framework that media has used in presenting nuclear power-related issues to the public.

2.3. How Public Perception on Nuclear Power is influenced by the Media

Numerous studies have proven that the media has a significant influence in shaping public opinion. As early as the 1970s, there have been studies about the agenda-setting function of mass media. According to a study by McCombs & Shaw (1972), broadcasters, editors, and newsroom staff have a key role in forming political reality through the way they select and present news. As a result, the public not only receive information about a given issue, but they also learn ‘how much importance to attach to that issue based from the amount of information in a news story and its position’ (p.176).

Mutz (1989) also explored the role of perceptions on the opinions of others in terms of forming public opinion. The author investigated two interrelated theories: (a) the third person effect, and (b) the spiral of silence. Results of the study were strongly supportive of some components of the third person effect, specifically that ‘perceptions of the influence of media reports on others were consistently greater than perceptions of influence on self’ (p.3). Mutz findings support the belief that media has an influence in forming public perceptions.

A study by Gunther (1998) found that mass media can influence personal opinions and an individual’s perception about what other people are thinking. His theory of the ‘persuasive press inference suggests that people infer public opinions from their perceptions of the content of media coverage and their assumptions of the persuasive impact of that coverage on others’ (p.486). Again, Gunther’s study supports the role of media in influencing public perceptions.

McCombs (2004) acknowledges the immense role of the mass media in shaping public opinion. He also states that the agenda-setting role of the mass media connects the storytelling origins of journalism to the arena of public opinion – a relationship which has significant consequences for society.

The far-reaching influence of media on public perceptions extends to discussions about nuclear power. Gamson & Modigliani (1989) conducted a study regarding media discourse and public opinion on nuclear power. The authors treated media discourse and public opinion as ‘two parallel systems of constructing meaning’ (p.1). They investigated the relationship between these two systems by analyzing the discussions on nuclear power in terms of four general media: (a) television news coverage, (b) newsmagazine accounts, (c) editorial cartoons, and (d) syndicated opinion columns. The analysis covered data from 1945 to 1989. The authors conclude that media discourse is an ‘essential context for understanding the formation of public opinion on nuclear power’ (p.1). This helps to explain the changes in public support for nuclear power, as influenced by media publicity. For example, there was a decline in support for nuclear power prior to the Three Mile Island (due largely from publicity caused by anti-nuclear movements) and a rebound of support after the media publicity had died out.

Mazur (1981) also conducted a study investigating media coverage and public opinion on scientific controversies. However, Mazur’s research did not specifically focus on nuclear power; rather, he investigated media coverage and public opinion on various scientific events. Mazur contends that ‘the rise in reaction against a specific scientific technology appears to coincide with a rise in quantity of media coverage, suggesting that media attention tends to elicit a conservative public bias’ (p.106).

A study by Pollock, Lilie & Vittes (1993) examined the conditions where mass attitudes towards particular issues are vertically constrained by core cultural values. According to the authors, vertical constraint is shaped by three inter-related variables: (a) the objective content of the issue, (b) the way the issue is framed by elites, and (c) the individual’s level of attentiveness to the controversy. In terms of discussions on nuclear power, it was found that a ‘value-based interpretation favoured by elites and promoted by the media is faithfully reflected in how the public understands the issue’ (p.29). Similar to the findings of other researchers, this indicates that the public highly depends on how information is promoted in the media and on the opinions of influential people, and they use this as the basis for forming their own perceptions. This is especially true for issues about nuclear power. Since nuclear power is a highly technical subject, individuals are dependent on the opinion of elites and the media, who are perceived to be better informed.

2.4. Summary

The history of nuclear power and major events in nuclear power plants help to provide insights on how public perceptions have been shaped throughout the years. The controversial origins of nuclear power in weapons production have generated suspicion and negative sentiments. Moreover, nuclear accidents such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima have increased the negative perceptions and fears about nuclear power plants (Anon 2012).

The concerns about nuclear power focus on the following: (a) nuclear accidents, (b) radioactive waste disposal, (c) nuclear proliferation, (d) high cost, (e) nuclear terrorism, (f) curtailing of civil liberties, (g) uranium mining in indigenous lands, and (h) availability of alternative energy sources (Martin 2007, p.43). Despite assurance from experts on the relative robustness of nuclear powered electricity generation, there are still fears about its safety, especially the possibility that nuclear power plants could meltdown and release dangerous radioactive materials (Anon 2012).

The media’s intense interest in nuclear-related issues can be traced to the controversial origins of nuclear power as a weapon of mass destruction. Since the 1960s, the media has been fascinated with nuclear power and have often given major coverage about nuclear power issues. Various studies have established that the media has biases in reporting nuclear-related issues and this often lead to biased public opinion (Mazur 1981; Rubin 1987; Friedman, Gorney & Egolf 1992). A number of academics and media practitioners also acknowledge that media’s sensationalistic reporting of nuclear events creates suspicion and weariness with nuclear energy (Russell 2011: Bell 2011; Nisbet 2012).

Researchers have also proven that the media has a considerable influence in shaping public perceptions about nuclear power. The media’s powerful role as an agenda setter and its influence in shaping public opinion has been proven in numerous studies (McCombs & Shaw 1972; Mutz 1989; Gunther 1998; McCombs 2004). Various studies have also proven that the public base their perceptions on nuclear power on the media’s coverage and portrayal of nuclear events (Gamson & Modigliani 1989; Mazur 1981; Pollock, Lilie & Vittes 1993).

Chapter 3: Review of Available Research Methodologies

3.1. Introduction

A number of studies have attempted to examine the public’s perceptions on nuclear power. Various methodologies have been applied in order to accomplish this. In reviewing the available research methodologies, it was found that mostly quantitative research techniques have been applied in previous studies. Quantitative research techniques employ the use of numerical data in the analysis and interpretation of results (Given 2008). The review of available research methodologies served as the foundation in the selection of the methodology used in this research.

3.2. Content Analysis

Content analysis or textual analysis is a research technique often used in the study of communication. It is a research tool that is used in the ‘objective, systematic, and quantitative description of manifest content in communications’ (Palmquist 2005, sec.1). Content analysis can be used either in qualitative or quantitative research and can be applied in vast areas of study. In this research, content analysis is being examined as a quantitative research technique. Below are two examples of studies about public perceptions on nuclear power using content analysis.

Perko, Turcanu & Geenen (2012) examined the Belgian press coverage of the Fukushima nuclear accident and investigated the changes in public perception related to nuclear power. Two research methodologies were used in the study: (a) Content analysis of two Belgian newspapers, which covered the first two months after the accident; and (b) Public opinion survey, using more than 1000 face-to-face interviews in Belgium, conducted on the third month after the accident. The results of the content analysis show that the accident generated massive media coverage during the first few weeks with focus on various topics. However, attention decreased over time and eventually became limited to topics about the future of nuclear energy and the safety and crisis management of nuclear power plants. On the other hand, survey results show that the Fukushima accident has induced some changes in the public’s opinion about nuclear power.

Pujol (2011) conducted a comparative analysis of media storylines regarding the Fukushima accident from the US, UK, Australia, and India. The analysis of the storylines was done using content analysis. Results show that the in the US, more than 50,000 news articles regarding the Fukushima accident were published by newspapers during the review period. This is ten times the number of published articles from the UK and Australia. The least number of articles were published in India. Based on the principles of content analysis, the researcher assigned weights to the components in the news articles. These weights were later on measured for the analysis. Using content analysis the following aspects were evaluated in the news articles: (a) References to past nuclear accidents or bombing; (b) Relative presence in the storyline of some of the main issues related with nuclear crisis, i.e. explosion, meltdown, radioactive, and evacuated; (c) Key element in the construction of the storyline, i.e. Fukushima is a – nuclear crisis, nuclear disaster, nuclear accident, nuclear emergency, etc.; and (d) Sources used by the media.

Figure 4. Content Analysis Results by Media Storyline (1)

Source: Pujol (2011)

Figure 5. Content Analysis Results by Media Storyline (2)

Source: Pujol (2011)

Figure 6. Content Analysis Results by Media Storyline (3)

Source: Pujol (2011)

3.1. Surveys and Public Opinion Polls

Probably the most common research methodology used in determining public perception on nuclear power is through survey or public opinion polls. Surveys employ the use of questionnaires and these are administered to the sample population. Survey results are analysed using statistical techniques. Since survey represents data collected from a sample of the population, its findings can be generalised to the population. Surveys are useful in collecting data about a phenomenon that cannot be directly observed, such as opinions (Babbie 1973). Below are some examples of surveys and opinion polls regarding public perception on nuclear power.

3.1.1. Surveys for Academic Investigation

Brody (1984) examined the differences in opinion about nuclear power between males and females. The author found that based on various public opinion literatures, ‘women are more opposed to nuclear power than men’ (p.209). Using data from two Harris surveys on nuclear power, conducted in 1975-1976, Brody tested a number of hypotheses using competing explanations to account for sex difference. Findings support the stance from past studies that the greater concern about safety explains why women are less supportive of nuclear power. In contrast to men, women perceive nuclear plants to be less safe. Moreover, women tend to evaluate a number of problems with nuclear power as more serious, especially those that involve danger to health and human life. These differences are believed to account for the differences in the support of men and women for nuclear power.

In recent years, the UK has been witnessing political debates regarding the potential of nuclear power as a component of the state’s future energy policy mix. The call for nuclear power is spurred by the need for climate change mitigation and a more reliable energy source. Pidgeon, Lorenzoni & Poortinga (2008) conducted a quantitative study to find out how the public is responding to this issue. The data used for the study is a major British survey conducted in October-November 2005. A national representative quota sample of 1,491 respondents, aged 15 years and above was administered with the survey questionnaire. Survey results show that a high percentage of the British public are open to accepting nuclear power if it contributes to climate mitigation. However, this is a highly conditional view, as very few respondents actively chose this option over other renewable energy sources. In other words, most respondents ‘express only a reluctant acceptance of nuclear power as a solution to climate change’ (Pidgeon, Lorenzoni & Poortinga 2008, p.69).

3.1.2. Public Opinion Polls

GlobeScan Inc, as commissioned by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), conducted a large survey in 2005 to evaluate global public opinion regarding nuclear issues. The survey was conducted in 18 countries with approximately 1,000 adult respondents in each country. Survey results show that 54% of respondents across all countries believe that the risk of nuclear terrorism is high because of the insufficient protection of nuclear facilities. It was also found that while majority of respondents (62%) generally support the use of existing nuclear reactors, 59% are not in favour of building new nuclear power plants. Additionally, 25% of respondents believe that nuclear power is dangerous and that all operating nuclear power plants should be shut down (GlobeScan 2005).

Figure 7. Views on Nuclear Security (IAEA)

Figure 8. Support for Nuclear Power (IAEA)

Figure 9. Support for Nuclear Power (IAEA)

In 2007, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), together with Bisconti Research Inc and GfK, conducted a survey to find out the American public’s perception on nuclear energy’s role in reducing greenhouse emissions. Respondents were interviewed over the phone and the survey was administered on 1,000 adults. Survey results show that only 42% of respondents highly associated nuclear energy with clean air. This suggests that despite the vast amount of media and government attention on global warming concerns, there seems to be a lack of information on the role of nuclear energy in reducing greenhouse gasses. The survey also reveals that people who are aware of nuclear energy’s contribution in mitigating climate change have a more favourable opinion towards nuclear power in general. Additionally, findings show that although Americans see nuclear energy as important in the future, they do not recognize how much electricity it supplies today. These findings indicate that there are misperceptions about the US energy supply and that the public is underestimating the contribution of nuclear energy in mitigating greenhouse emissions (NEI 2007).

After the 2011 Fukushima accident, various public opinion polls were conducted in order to find out public perceptions on nuclear power, especially to determine if public opinion was influenced by the incident. One such poll was conducted by CBS News to measure public opinion about nuclear energy a few weeks after the incident. The telephone poll was administered to a total of 1,022 adults across the US. Results show that only 43% of respondents said that they would approve building of new nuclear reactors in the US. This is a steep decline from 2008, wherein 57% of respondents said that they approve of building new power plants. This indicates that support for nuclear energy in the US was negatively affected by the Fukushima accident. Moreover, when comparing poll results from the last three decades, it was evident that support for more nuclear power plants have gone up and down – up as the US looked for ways to meet electricity demands and down due to nuclear accidents at home and abroad. To illustrate, support for nuclear power plants was 69% in 1977 (the highest level ever recorded), but in 1979, support plunged to 46% after the Three Mile Island accident. Then after the Chernobyl accident, support dropped further down to 34%. The new poll also revealed that nearly 7 out of 10 Americans think that nuclear power plants in the US are generally safe. However, almost two-thirds said they were concerned that a major nuclear accident might occur in the country. Additionally, 58% said that the government was not sufficiently prepared to deal with a major nuclear accident. In terms of whether the overall benefits of nuclear power outweighed the risk, 47% agreed while 38% disagreed. Moreover, in terms of gender, majority of men approved of building new nuclear power plants; while most women disapproved (Cooper & Sussman 2011).

A similar poll was conducted in Sweden shortly after the Fukushima accident. The poll, conducted by Synovate, was administered to 1,000 respondents. Results show that 36% of respondents want to get rid of nuclear power plants. This is 15% higher than the results from a similar survey done in 2009. The results are clearly linked to what happened in Japan. This suggests that the Swedish public is getting more sceptical about nuclear power due to Japan’s nuclear crisis. (Associated Press 2011).

In the UK, GlobeScan Inc, as commissioned by the BBC, conducted a poll to find out public opinion on nuclear power. The poll was conducted from July-September 2011 and was administered across 23 countries, with a total of 23,231 respondents. Results show that compared to 2005, most people were more significantly opposed to nuclear programmes in 2011. Support for nuclear power remains high in the UK, US, China and Pakistan. On the other hand, opposition to nuclear power grew significantly in Germany, France, Russia, Japan, India, Indonesia and Mexico. Overall, only 22% of respondents agree that nuclear power is relatively safe and that more nuclear plants should be built. In contrast, 71% thought that nuclear power could be replaced by other energy sources. Additionally, 39% agree to continue using existing nuclear power plants without building new ones; while 30% prefer to have all reactors shut down immediately (Black 2011).

Figure 10. Public Poll Results (BBC)

Figure 11. Public Poll Results (BBC)

Results from various studies, which employed surveys and public opinion polls, show that public perception towards nuclear power plants has mostly leaned towards a negative viewpoint. Even for studies that were commissioned by nuclear associations and nuclear advocates, the findings are the same: majority of the public has negative perceptions about nuclear power.

Public opinion on nuclear power has gone up and down over the years depending on the situation. However, it can be observed that nuclear accidents have caused nuclear power acceptance to decline dramatically. Moreover, despite the improvements in nuclear safety and the role of nuclear energy in mitigating climate change, majority of the public is still hesitant about nuclear power plants.

3.1. Time Series Analysis

Time series analysis is one of the methodologies used in analysing public perceptions on nuclear power. Time series analysis requires data to be gathered over a period of time. Data is then analysed for changes in the population over the course of time. Time series analysis is focused on a specific population and this is sampled repeatedly (Babbie 1973).

A study by Rosa & Dunlap (1994) investigated three decades of public opinion on nuclear power. The authors examined the ‘rebound hypothesis’ which states that ‘large changes in public opinion towards increased opposition are likely to be temporary’ (Rosa & Dunlap 1994, p.295). This hypothesis was based on the results of opinion polls taken shortly after the 1986 Chernobyl accident and a year after the accident. In the weeks following the Chernobyl incident, public support for nuclear power declined and concerns about nuclear safety increased significantly in all opinion surveys. However, based on survey results taken a year after the accident, there were signs that nuclear power was gaining back some support. The authors found that the rebound hypothesis does not hold true for long-term survey results. Results of the Time Series analysis, from data taken for the past 30 years, show that public opinion has become increasingly unfavourable towards nuclear power instead of rebounding or regaining support.

Peters et al (1990) also used time series analysis in their research. They conducted a study to find out the opinion of West German population on the issues regarding Chernobyl and nuclear power. The authors conducted three large scale surveys in West Germany during November-December 1986, May-June 1987, and May-June 1988 in order to analyse the long-term influence of the Chernobyl accident on the opinions, attitudes and behaviour of the public. The study gave particular attention on: (a) the perception of threat caused by the event; (b) the credibility of the information sources, and the consequences drawn for dietary behaviour; (c) and attitudes towards the future use of nuclear power in West Germany. Results of the study indicate that most of the sampled population feel uncertain about the health consequences of the Chernobyl accident. Respondents also feel that information about the accident, which was given to the public from different sources, was generally insufficient. The results of the first and the third survey showed that the respondents’ assessment of the danger of the Chernobyl accident was not reduced throughout the three year sampling period. However, the political opposition towards the future use of nuclear power had decreased to some extent. Additionally, results from two elections (held after the Chernobyl accident), indicate that majority of the population – despite being critical and concerned about the risks of nuclear power – do not demand major changes in West Germany’s energy policy (Peters et al 1990).

The data from time series analysis are taken from a longer sampling period and as such, it is easier to see patterns from the respondents. Results from the time series studies also show that public perception on nuclear power plants tend to be negative and support for nuclear power may even decrease over time.

3.2. Summary

The review of available research methodologies shows that various research techniques can be used to analyze public perceptions on the risk and threats of nuclear power plants. Previous studies used quantitative research methodology. Several quantitative techniques were used in different researches: (a) Content Analysis; (b) Surveys and Public Opinion Polls; and (c) Time Series Analysis. In this study, content or textual analysis will be used to answer the objectives and research questions.

Chapter 4: Research Methodology and Results

4.1. Introduction

This research seeks to determine public perception on the risk and threats of nuclear power plants. In order to answer the study’s objectives, content analysis (also known as textual analysis) was conducted on news articles from two UK newspapers. The aim of this analysis is to examine how the media, particularly newspapers, are portraying nuclear power related issues to the public. Results from the analysis will provide valuable insights on the public’s perceptions on nuclear power.

4.2. Methodology Used and Implementation

Content analysis is defined as a ‘research technique for the objective, systematic, and quantitative description of manifest content of communication’ (Palmquist 2005, sec.1). Content analysis is used to verify the presence of certain words, concepts, themes, etc. within texts and to quantify these in an objective manner. Examples of texts are books, essays, newspaper headlines and articles, historical documents, advertising, etc. In conducting a content analysis, the text is first coded or broken down into manageable categories. Then, these are examined either through conceptual analysis or relational analysis. The results of the analysis will be used to make inferences about the messages within the texts, writer, audience, and/or the culture and period to which these are a part of. Content analysis can examine certain aspects such as comprehensiveness of the coverage, intentions, biases, prejudices, etc. (Palmquist 2005).

There are two basic methods within content analysis (Palmquist 2005, sec.3). In this study, relational analysis was used in evaluating the data.

(a)Conceptual Analysis – a concept is chosen for investigation and the rate of its incidence within the text is recorded. It verifies the existence and frequency of concepts in a text. The researcher aims to examine the presence of such concepts in the context of his/her research question (i.e. whether there is a strong incidence of positive or negative words used in relation to a specific argument or respective arguments).

(b)Relational Analysis – builds on conceptual analysis by probing the relationships among concepts in a text. It is important to first decide which concept types will be explored in the analysis.

The following are the guidelines for coding and evaluating the news articles: (Department of English at Northern Illinois University 1997):

(a)What issue is being addressedWhat is the author’s major claim?

(b)What position does the writer take?

(c)What evidence or reasons does the author supply to support the claim?

4.3. Reliability, Validity and Generalisability

In terms of reliability and validity, the main issues for content analysis are regarding: (a) Stability – consistency in coding the data; (b) Reproducibility – consistency in classifying categories; and (c) Accuracy – the extent to which the classification of a text corresponds to a statistical standard (Palmquist 2005). Issues of reliability can be addressed by being consistent in coding and categorization.

Another issue with content analysis deals with generalisability. In content analysis, the generalisability of conclusions is very dependent on how concept categories were determined and how reliable those categories are. By developing rules that allow coding and categorization to be reproducible over time, the conclusions of the study will be more sound (Palmquist 2005).

4.4. Description of Data Collected

Data used for this research are news articles from two UK newspapers, namely The Times and The Telegraph. The sampled newspapers were randomly selected from a list of five newspapers using draw lots. The sampling period is the past six months, from June 20, 2011 to November 20, 2012. Throughout this period, all nuclear power related articles were collected and analysed. The important features and components of the articles are coded and classified. After coding, these were examined and quantified. The final phase of analysis and interpretation involves inferring from the results and juxtaposing them against the objectives of the study.

4.5. Analysis and Discussion

The analysis and discussion of results is broken down into subsections, which reflect the major findings of the study. The analysis is also partly modelled after the study of Pujol (2011), which evaluated news articles according to the presence of specific components.

4.5.1. Number of nuclear power-related news articles

Results show that in the past six months, there were a total of 61 news articles published regarding nuclear power. Of these, The Times published a total of 42 news articles or equivalent to 69%; while the Telegraph accounted for 19 news articles or 31%.

Most articles were published in October 2012 (The Times: 31%; Telegraph: 47%). This is due to the developments in the bidding of private companies for the construction of new nuclear power plants in the UK. The backing out of several investors, the entry of new players, and the announcement about the winning bid garnered a lot of media attention. This resulted in a spike in the number of published articles during this period.

The Times

The Telegraph

Total

%

Total

%

Jun-11

3

7%

1

5%

Jul-11

10

24%

2

11%

Aug-11

3

7%

2

11%

Sep-11

12

29%

4

21%

Oct-11

13

31%

9

47%

Nov-11

1

2%

1

5%

Total

42

100%

19

100%

69%

31%

Table 1. Number of nuclear power-related news articles

In analysing news articles from The Times, it was found that the newspaper’s articles about nuclear power can be classified as either Japan focused or UK focused. In contrast, the Telegraph only published news reports that are specific to the UK.

Japan centric news articles deal with local news from Japan, while UK centric news articles discuss issues relevant only to the UK. To make analysis easier and more insightful, the frequencies and coding were further subdivided between Japan focused and UK focused news articles. Japan centric news reports accounted for 38%; while UK focused articles represented 62% of the total articles published.

The TimesTotal

%

Japan Focused16

38%

UK Focused26

62%

Total42

100%

Table 2. Number of news articles by country focus

For Japan centric articles, most of the news reports published (equivalent to 44%) were from the month of July 2012. This is due to the wave of protests in Japan against the restarting of nuclear power plants in the country. The anti-nuclear movement in Japan peaked during this period as thousands of Japanese rallied against the government’s plan to reopen nuclear power plants which had been shut down for inspection after the Fukushima accident.

For UK focused news articles, the most number of reports were published in October 2012 (equal to 46%). This is due to the high media coverage about the development in the bidding for the construction of new power plants in the UK.

Times (Japan Focused)

Times (UK Focused)

Total

%

Total

%

Jun-11

2

13%

1

4%

Jul-11

7

44%

3

12%

Aug-11

2

13%

1

4%

Sep-11

3

19%

9

35%

Oct-11

1

6%

12

46%

Nov-11

1

6%

0

0%

Total

16

100%

26

100%

Table 3. Number of news articles by country focus & by month

The results of the analysis show that compared to the period shortly after the Fukushima accident, the number of news articles about nuclear power is much less in the last six months. From the findings of Pujol (2011), nuclear power related news reports following the Fukushima accident was over 5,000 in the UK. The lesser coverage of nuclear related issues, due to the lack of highly controversial incidents resulted, in less articles published.

4.5.2. Issues being addressed in the articles / Author’s major claim(s)

Due to the differences in the issues being addressed across the various articles, the analysis is divided into three segments: (a) The Times: Japan Focus; (b) The Times: UK Focus; and (c) The Telegraph.

The issues being addressed in Japan centric articles from The Times revolve mainly around topics related to the Fukushima disaster. Despite the fact that the accident happened over 18 months ago, 94% of news articles still referred to the incident. Moreover, 88% of news reports discussed about nuclear safety concerns. This indicates that The Times views the Fukushima accident as a significant and newsworthy event and it continues to be an important issue in their news articles.

The Times (Japan Focused)Frequency mentioned from total articles

% From total articles

Abandon nuclear power10

63%

Fukushima disaster15

94%

Fukushima employee issues2

13%

Nuclear protest10

63%

Nuclear safety concerns14

88%

Nuclear/atomic bomb1

6%

Restarting nuclear reactors7

44%

Total59

Table 4. Issues addressed in the news articles – The Times: Japan Focused

For UK centric news articles from the Times, majority of articles (equivalent to 62%) dealt with the building of new nuclear power plants in the UK, especially in terms of bidding developments. Additionally, 54% of total news reports mentioned that the building of nuclear power plants is costly. These two topics are related as the discussion of building new power plants is often associated with costs. The main arguments about the UK government’s plan to expand its nuclear power programme revolve around the high cost of building new power plants.

The bidding for UK’s new power plants also generated a lot of media buzz because of several complicated developments throughout the bidding process. Several groups had dropped out of bidding for the projects amid various concerns, about cost issues, safety concerns, and the fallout from the Fukushima accident. The entry of new players towards the deadline was also seen as a news-worthy event. To top it off, the project was awarded to a Japanese firm and the winning tender was much higher than analysts had expected.

The Times (UK Focused)Frequency mentioned from total articles

% From total articles

Backlash from Fukushima disaster1

4%

Building of new nuclear power plants creates more jobs2

8%

Building of new nuclear power plants is costly14

54%

Building of new nuclear power plants (bidding)16

62%

Concerns for nuclear waste disposal1

4%

Government subsidy4

15%

Importance of nuclear power for future energy mix2

8%

Nuclear energy is green energy5

19%

Nuclear reactor decommissioning1

4%

Nuclear safety concerns2

8%

Positive use of nuclear waste1

4%

Sale of nuclear fuel production asset1

4%

Total50

4%

Table 5. Issues addressed in the news articles – The Times: UK Focused

The results from the Telegraph echo those of the Times (UK Focused). Majority of news articles (89%) discussed the building of new nuclear power plants in the UK, especially the developments in the bidding process. Similarly, 79% of news reports mentioned about the high costs of building new power plants.

TelegraphFrequency mentioned from total articles

% From total articles

Backlash from Fukushima disaster5

26%

Building of new nuclear power plants creates more jobs4

21%

Building of new nuclear power plants is costly15

79%

Building of new nuclear power plants (bidding)17

89%

Government subsidy8

42%

Nuclear reactor decommissioning1

5%

Nuclear safety concerns4

21%

Sale of nuclear fuel production asset1

5%

Vulnerability of energy supplies1

5%

56

Table 6. Issues addressed in the news articles – The Telegraph

The results of the analysis reveal that, based from the point of view of news publishers, the UK’s primary concern with nuclear power plants revolves around the high costs of building new power plants. Although the backlash from the Fukushima accident and safety concerns were mentioned, they seem to be minor concerns and did not receive a lot of media coverage during the period reviewed. The UK press, and therefore the UK public, seem to be more concerned about how much it would cost to build nuclear power plants, especially if the public will be made to pay for the increases in power bills because of the new power plants.

It is also very interesting to note that The Times had separated its coverage of nuclear-related issues in Japan with those of the UK. This distinction seems to imply that Japan focused news articles were more concerned with the Fukushima accident and safety issues. Moreover, the treatment of nuclear issues was much more negative in Japan centric news articles than in UK focused news. This is supported by the fact that in Japan based articles, nuclear protests received a lot of media coverage. On the other hand, UK centric news articles were somewhat more positive towards nuclear power issues. The separation and divergence in the coverage of nuclear power related news in Japan versus the UK seem to indicate that Japan’s nuclear issues are worse than that of the UK.

In comparing the results of the content analysis with the findings from previous studies, it is obvious that currently, the main concern of the UK public (as portrayed in the media) is not about safety issues but rather the high costs associated with the building of new nuclear power plants. This is in contrast to previous studies, which showed that the public was highly concerned about the safety risks and threats from nuclear power. Additionally, the UK public’s concerns on nuclear power safety seemed to have eased up compared to the period after the Fukushima disaster.

4.5.3. Writer’s position in the news article

Overall, news articles from both newspapers show an unfavourable position towards nuclear power. For The Times, 79% of news articles were not favourable towards nuclear power; while it was 58% for the Telegraph. It is interesting to note that the Telegraph seems to be more positive towards nuclear power, with 42% of news articles showing a positive position. This implies that the Telegraph is presenting more news reports that are favourable to nuclear power than The Times.

The Times

Telegraph

Total

%

Total

%

Favourable of nuclear power9

21%

8

42%

Not favourable of nuclear power33

79%

11

58%

42

100%

19

100%

Table 7. Position towards nuclear power (a)

In analysing The Times based on country of focus, the results are very interesting. Japan centric news articles are highly unfavourable of nuclear power plants, with 94%. On the other hand, for UK focused news reports, although the result was still unfavourable towards nuclear power, the percentage is much lower at 69%. This supports the previous finding that news reports about Japan are much more negative towards nuclear power compared to UK articles. Again, this indicates that the UK press seem to believe that Japan’s nuclear issues are worse compared to the UK.

Times (Japan Focus)

Times (UK Focus)

Total

%

Total

%

Favourable of nuclear power1

6%

8

31%

Not favourable of nuclear power15

94%

18

69%

16

100%

26

100%

Table 8. Position towards nuclear power (b)

The results above support the findings from numerous researches which proved that the media tends to have a biased view towards nuclear power. The findings are not surprising and only highlight the conclusion of other researchers.

4.5.4. Evidence or reasons to supply the author’s claim/s (Source of Information)

The discussion for source of information is also segmented based on the following: (a) The Times: Japan Focus; (b) The Times: UK Focus; and (c) The Telegraph. This is because writers use different information sources in their articles.

For the Japan centric news articles, the reports have one primary information source. Writer’s firsthand account accounts for 50% of information sources. This is due to the fact that most of the news articles revolved around the nuclear protests that were happening in Japan. As such, the writer (assigned in Japan) was reporting his/her personal account of the protests.

The Times (Japan Focused)Total

%

Business sources1

6%

Government authorities2

13%

Politicians3

19%

Scientists / Experts2

13%

Writer’s firsthand account8

50%

16

100%

Table 9. Source of Information – The Times: Japan Focused

The main source of information for UK focused news articles in The Times is business sources, which accounts for 62%. As discussed previously, majority of news articles in The Times (UK centric) were about the building of new nuclear power plants and the related bidding process. As such, the newspaper took a mostly business approach in the treatment of news reports. The focus of most articles was developments in the tender submissions, especially issues regarding the private companies that were bidding in the projects. This accounted for the high frequency business related sources. It is also interesting to note that The Times mostly uses one primary information source for their reports. Additionally, there are instances when the specific details about information sources (i.e. name/s of person/s interviewed) were not mentioned.

The Times (UK Focused)Total

%

Business sources16

62%

Government authorities2

8%

Individual accounts/opinion3

12%

Local community sources2

8%

Private organisations1

4%

Scientists / Experts2

8%

26

100%

Table 10. Sources of Information – The Times: UK Focused

Based on the analysis, most news articles relied on business sources for their information (34%). Another important data source was government authorities (31%). The prevalence of business sources is also attributed to the fact that most published news articles revolved around the bidding process for the building of new power plants in the UK.

Moreover, an important finding is that the Telegraph tends to include statements from government authorities in their reports in order to corroborate information from business sources. This indicates that the Telegraph tends to use multiple information sources for its news articles. Additionally, the Telegraph seems to provide more balanced information because it presents views from both business and government sides.

TelegraphTotal

%

Business sources10

34%

Government authorities9

31%

Individual accounts/opinion4

14%

International commissions1

3%

Politicians4

14%

Private organisations1

3%

29

100%

Table 11. Sources of Information – The Telegraph

4.6. Summary

Based on the findings of the content analysis, it showed that The Times (69%) published more news articles than the Telegraph (31%) during the period reviewed. It is interesting to note that The Times segmented their news reports according to country of focus, specifically Japan and the UK. Japan centric articles comprised 38%, while UK focused articles accounted for 62% of total nuclear-related news reports from the Times. The Telegraph did not mention news about Japan and focused its reports entirely on the UK.

The peak of the publication of news articles also depends on the occurrence of time-specific developments. For Japan focused news articles, most reports were published in July 2012 due to the nuclear protests happening in Japan. On the other hand, for UK centric news reports, majority of articles were published during October 2012. The same is true for the Telegraph.

Most nuclear power-related news reports in the UK were published during October because this was the time when the government announced new players in the tenders for the development of new nuclear power plants. It was also during this month that the winner of the project bid was announced.

In terms of the issues being addressed in the news articles, there are big differences between The Times’ Japan centric reports and its UK focused articles. For Japan centric reports, references to Fukushima disaster (94%) and nuclear safety concerns (88%) were very high. This is somewhat surprising given the fact that the Fukushima accident occurred more than 18 months ago. This implies that The Times still considers the accident newsworthy despite the passage of time.

For UK centric news reports (both from the Times and the Telegraph), most articles dealt with the building of new nuclear power plants, especially developments during the bidding process, and the high costs associated with new power plants. This implies that the focus of the UK press, and consequently the UK public, is issues related to the construction of new power plants rather than safety concerns. This observation also indicates that the UK press seem to consider Japan’s nuclear situation to be worse than the UK.

In analysing the overall position towards nuclear power, both The Times (79%) and the Telegraph (58%), showed an unfavourable view of nuclear power plants. However, the Telegraph seemed to have a more positive view of nuclear power plants (42%).

The results are more insightful when comparing Japan centric and UK centric reports of The Times. Japan focused news articles are much more unfavourable to nuclear power plants (94%); while UK focused reports account for 69%. This supports the observation that the UK press seem to view Japan’s nuclear issues more negatively.

In terms of information sources, The Times’ Japan centric reports use primarily the firsthand account of the writer (50%). This is due the fact that most reports were about the nuclear protests happening in Japan, so the writer was reporting from his/her actual experiences.

For The Times’ UK focused news reports, the primary source of information is business sources. The Telegraph used both business sources and government authorities as information source. These findings are due to the fact that most news articles revolve around the bidding developments for the construction of new nuclear power plants in the UK.

Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1. Conclusions

In concluding the dissertation, the objectives of the study are answered. Results from both the literature review and the content analysis are used to address the study’s objectives.

(1) To find out the public’s perception on the risk and threats of nuclear power plants

One of the main assumptions of this thesis is that the media influences the perceptions of the public. The literature review was able to establish that the media does influence formation of public opinion (McCombs & Shaw 1972; Mutz 1989; Gunther 1998; McCombs 2004). And that the media’s influence extends to issues relating to nuclear power (Gamson & Modigliani 1989; Mazur 1981; Pollock, Lilie & Vittes 1993).

Results of previous studies gave some indications on how the public perceives the risks and threats of nuclear power plants. Some studies reveal that women are more unfavourable of nuclear power than men (Brody 1984; Cooper & Sussman 2011). Nuclear power also received more positive perception from the public in the context that is being used for mitigating climate change. However, there seems to be a reluctant acceptance of nuclear power as means to resolve climate change (Pidgeon, Lorenzoni & Poortinga 2008; NEI 2007).

In terms of support for nuclear power plants, several surveys and opinion polls show public support for existing nuclear reactors. However, majority of the public are not in favour of building new power plants. Additionally, a number of respondents are calling for the total shutdown of nuclear power plants (GlobeScan 2005; Cooper & Sussman 2011; Black 2011).

The Fukushima accident also influenced public opinion as more people had unfavourable perceptions towards nuclear power plants after the accident (Cooper & Sussman 2011; Associated Press 2011).

Based on the results of the content analysis, it can be inferred that the UK public’s perceptions towards the risk and threats of nuclear power plants have somewhat abated in the last six months. Most of the news articles featured in UK newspapers (The Times and Telegraph) are focused on the cost of building new power plants and developments in the bidding process (i.e. withdrawal and entry of private companies/bidders, winning tender, etc). Safety issues are not featured as much in news reports, which implies that this is not the primary concern of UK citizens during the review period.

(2) To investigate how the media (i.e. news reports) depict/portray nuclear power plants to the public

The literature review showed that the media tends to have biases towards issues related to nuclear power plants. This is due to flaws in data gathering procedures and the tendency of journalists to resort to worst-case scenario reporting when information is lacking. This in turn leads to biased public opinion (Mazur 1981; Rubin 1987; Friedman, Gorney & Egolf 1992).

Moreover, some academics and media practitioners point out that the media tends to overhype nuclear incidents, especially regarding the Fukushima accident. Additionally, some journalists used technical terms related to nuclear power plants without understanding its proper context (Russell 2011; Nisbet 2012, Bell 2011).

Based on the results of the content analysis, the issues addressed in the news articles vary. For The Times’ Japan centric news reports, the reference to the Fukushima disaster and nuclear safety concerns were often mentioned. For the UK centric news articles (both from The Times and the Telegraph), the main issues discussed pertain to the building of new power plants (i.e. bidding developments) and the high cost of new nuclear reactors.

It can be inferred that there is a significant distinction in the issues addressed between Japan centric and UK centric articles. Japan focused news reports concentrate on the safety aspects of nuclear reactors; while UK focused articles were more concerned with the high costs of building new nuclear power plants.

(3) To classify and quantify press reports on nuclear power plants as either positive or negative

Based on the results of the content analysis, both The Times and the Telegraph had a generally unfavourable position towards nuclear power plants. However, the Telegraph seems to have a better outlook on nuclear power. This indicates that the Telegraph presents more positive news articles about nuclear power compared to The Times. The results from the content analysis support the findings from other studies that the media tend to have a biased, negative view towards nuclear power plants.

5.2. Recommendations for Further Research

It is recommended for future research to conduct either in-depth interviews or focus group discussions in order to find out public perceptions towards the risk and threats of nuclear power plants. This will provide good insights regarding the topic, as well as allow the participants to discuss in detail the reasons behind their opinions.

Using qualitative methods, such as in-depth interviews or focus group discussions, is also a different approach compared to the usual quantitative techniques. The use of qualitative methodologies is expected to give interesting results to the topic, as well as providing a rich data source.

Chapter 6: References

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Employees’ Perception of Selection Systems

Introduction

This paper summarises the views of two authors on how job applicants or potential employees perceive selection procedures. Both articles focus on employees’ perceptions of selection methods.

Article 1: “Applicants Perceptions of Selection Procedures and Decisions: A Critical Review and Agenda for the Future”.

The first article is written by Ryan and Plolyhart (2000) and is titled “Applicants’ Perceptions of Selection Procedures and Decisions: A Critical Review and Agenda for the Future”. This article is motivated by the fact that low unemployment rates have increased the competition for employees, which has forced organisations to review the various components used in selecting job applicants and how job applicants’ perceptions of those procedures can affect the attractiveness of the organisation to potential employees. Another motivation for this study is the fact that there is lack of better research on applicant perspectives. Thirdly, the article notes that social justice theorists are looking for ways to apply social justice theory concepts to applicants’ perceptions of selection methods. Moreover, there is an increasing diversity in the workforce as well as racial differences in perception of selection procedures which can affect the manner in which job applicants perceive organisations and thus the attractiveness of those organisations to potential employees.

The article notes that one of the main assumptions of most research in this area is that the manner in which job applicants perceive selection procedures and processes affects the manner in which the applicant views the organisation and thus the decision on whether to apply for a job vacancy to that organisation or not. The article also suggests that differences in perceptions between minority and majority groups on certain selection procedures can account for some of the differences in job performance that is often observed between these two groups.

The article begins by reviewing the works of Schimittand Gilliland (1992) and Gilliland (1993). These studies develop a model which provides a link between between applicants’ perceptions of selection systems and situational factors and their subsequent “attitudes and behaviours” towards those organisations. The model postulates that applicants’ perceptions of the procedural justice system are influenced by situational characteristics. These characteristics include the type of test administered during the selection process, the human resource policy of the organisation and the behaviour of the human resource staff of the organisation. The overall fairness of the selection system is influenced by the degree to which the applicants’ perceptions of the procedural justice of the selection system meet the expectations of applicants. The framework further stipulates that applicants’ prior experiences with a selection system would affect the evaluation of the system. Distributive justice rules of equity, equality, and need have an impact on the perceptions of the distributive fairness of the final decision reached through the selection system. Distributive justice rules are in turn influenced by performance expectations and the salience of discrimination. In a nutshell, the framework concludes that there should be a relationship between outcomes such as “job application decisions, test motivation, self-esteem, self-efficacy, endorsement of the company’s products, job acceptance decisions, job satisfaction, and performance among others” and applicants’ perceptions of fairness of the selection process.

After reviewing the framework, the authors then move on to provide a critical review of the empirical literature and evaluating how they conform to the framework. The review focuses on four key areas including:

The perceptions that have been studied;
The factors that determine applicants’ perceptions;
The consequences of holding more positive or negative perceptions; and
The theoretical frameworks that have been presented.

With respect to the applicants’ perceptions that have been studied, the article notes that the most commonly researched perceptions include applicants’ feelings regarding degree to which the selection system is related to the job, feelings about the fairness of various aspects of the selection system and its associated outcomes, as well as feelings about test taking motivation.

The authors provide a critical review in this area and conclude that a major concern with most of these studies is that their constructs are imprecise with respect to the manner in which they are defined as well as the variability with which they are operationalised. As a result, the authors conclude that a better conceptualisation of research on test behaviours and on fairness is required to improve understanding. The authors however, admit that the work of Chan et al (1998) to a certain extent provides a link between test attitudes and perception of fairness although the study focused only on two concepts from each line of research. According to the authors, lack of an improved integration of studies on test attitudes on fairness and test attitudes makes understanding difficult. For example, it is difficult to determine whether potential employees who are more anxious perceive procedures are more unfair as opposed to those who are less anxious. In addition, it is difficult to determine whether beliefs about testing have a higher impact on perceptions of fairness of a procedure than characteristics of the procedure and selection situation itself. The author notes that notes that most test-taking attitude measures are perceptions of oneself (including motivation, anxiety, etc) while justice-related perceptions typically focus on the fairness of the test used in making hiring or rejection decisions. The authors argue that there should be a relationship between applicants’ motivation and anxiety and the justice-related perceptions.

The authors also suggest that it is important for other perceptions to be tested. Basically most of the studies under review focus on how the motivation or perceptions of applicants influence their perceptions of fairness. This approach neglects the impact of other perceptions of fairness that may be critical for the improvement of selection systems.

Article 2: “Fairness Reactions to Selection Methods: An Italian Study”.

This article is written by Bertolino and Steiner (2007). Like the first article, this article begins by reviewing the works of other authors who provide different conceptual frameworks on the relationship between applicants’ perceptions of fairness of selection systems and their attitudes and behaviours towards the organisations. This article cites the work of Schuler (1993) whose framework suggests that the reaction of applicants to a selection process is a function of the key characteristics of the selection techniques employed. In addition, the article reviews the work of Anderson and Ostroff (1997) who focus on the socialisation impact of selection methods. Like the first article, the second article also reviews the work of Gilliland (1993) who employ organisational justice theory to comprehend the reaction of applicants to selection systems.

Unlike the first article, which is based solely on a critical review of empirical literature on the reaction of applicants to selection systems as well as the underlying models of selection systems, the second article is based on both primary and secondary information. It begins by reviewing literature, and then conducts and exploratory study on the reaction of applicants to selection systems using a sample of 137 Italian students. The study is motivated by the fact that despite the presence of evidence on selection systems, most of the studies have been conducted in other countries with no attention given to Italy. The article notes that cultural differences may play an important role in the manner in which applicants perceive selection systems and thus their reaction to those systems as well as their attitudes towards the organisation. Based on the four dimensions of culture proposed by Hofstede (1980, 1991) (individualism vs collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity vs femininity, and power distance), the article suggests that it is possible for selection systems to be avoided by these four dimensions. For example, the article reviews the work of Ryan et al. (1999) who show that uncertainty avoidance can affect the selection practices of many countries. In addition, the study reviews the work of Triandis (1990) who argue that people from countries with high uncertainty avoidance prefer predictability, knowing what others will do, and having clear instructions and expectations. This means that employees who work in countries with high uncertainty avoidance should be more inclined towards engaging in structuring activities, including the standardisation of practices. On the contrary, those in countries with low uncertainty avoidance should be less committed to formal structures and should be prepared to accept spontaneous changes in practices.

The study employed a survey questionnaire to study the reaction of Italian student to selection systems. The questionnaire used in the study is the one developed by Steiner and Gilliland (1996) which presents 10 different selection methods used in the U.S or Europe. The questionnaire asked students to think about a job they would apply for upon completion of their course

Using a within-subject analysis of variance (ANOVA) the ratings of process favourability was compared across 10 selection methods. The evidence suggests that there are significant differences across the 10 selection methods. The selection method that received the most favoured rating was “work-sample test”. Resumes, written ability tests, interviews and personal preferences had the second favourable rating. Personality tests and biographical information blanks received a neutral rating while honesty tests and personal contacts received negative ratings.

The authors conclude that their results are similar to those obtained from other countries. In particular, they observe that employer’s right, opportunity to perform and face validity are the procedural dimensions that had a high correlation with process favourability for all four countries that were studied.

The two articles are similar in that they both begin by providing a theoretical framework on selection methods. Both articles provide the same theory which shows that there is a relationship between applicants’ perceptions and their reactions to selection systems. However, the first article differs from the second one in that it is based solely on the review of secondary literature. The article does not arrive on any conclusions with respect applicants reactions to selection systems. Rather, it identifies weaknesses in the literature and provides recommended procedures for improvement in future studies. On the contrary, the second article employs primary data to study how employees’ perceptions of selection systems affect their reactions to those systems. It compares findings to previous studies and concludes that culture has no significant impact on employees’ reaction to selection systems in Western countries. The study observes that the findings from France, Italy and other Western countries are similar to those obtained in studies from the United States. This shows that the different cultural dimensions mentioned in Hofstede (1981, 1990) do not influence the manner in which employees perceive selection systems which means that it does not affect the manner in which the react to those systems. The foregoing suggests that other factors may be affecting employees’ perceptions rather than culture.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Based on the discussion of the two articles above, one can conclude that employees’ perception of selection procedures influences the manner in which they behave towards the organisation and the decision to accept or reject an offer to work for a particular company. These perceptions may even influence the applicants other interactions with the company such as deciding to buy or not to buy the company’s products. The main difference between the two articles is that one focuses on criticising research on selection systems while one focuses on understanding how employees perceive selection systems across countries and how those systems affect their reaction. Based on this conclusion, it is important for organisations to note that the manner in which they design their selection system can affect the perception of applicants and as such affect the attractiveness of vacancies to potential applicants. Selection systems can even influence the ability of a company to attract qualified applicants. If employees have a negative perception about a particular company, they may not be motivated to apply for a vacancy in that company and this may make it difficult for the company to fill the vacancy with a qualified applicant. Consequently, employers should seek the most favourable selection systems so as to increase their ability to attract qualified applicants to their jobs. The first article shows that research on selection systems is limited. Therefore, this paper recommends that more research should be conducted on selection systems and how employees perceive those systems. By so doing one can provide better recommendations to employers to aid them in designing their selection systems.

References

Bertolino, M., Steiner, D. D. (2007) “Fairness Reactions to Selection Methods: An Italian study”, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 15, Number 2

Ryan, A. N., Ployhart R. E. (2000) “Applicants Perceptions of Selection Procedures and Decisions: A Critical Review and Agenda for the Future”, Journal of Management, 26, 565-606

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A comparative study of Omani employees’ perception toward managers’ leadership styles and management competences in public and private sectors.

Introduction

Leaders are fast becoming recognised as the key to success for organisations across the globe and as such studies on how leaders are created and how leaders interact with others are becoming much more prevalent (Chemmers, 1997). That said, the area of leadership in the Oman context has been largely overlooked when it comes to academic study and it is here that the research is going to focus. Leaders within business are increasingly being perceived as those who are responsible for either the success or the failure of the organisation in question and therefore their role within the organisation and the perception that others have of them are likely to be critical to their actions.
Leadership has both an extrinsic and an intrinsic role. Firstly, it could be argued that leadership reflects the way in which the public view the company or the perceptions that those outside of the organisation have of how the company manages its operations; secondly, leadership looks at the way in which the employees and those who work directly with the managers are inspired and encouraged to perform in a suitable manner to meet with the organisation’s goals (Chemmers, 1997).
Merely defining what is meant by “leadership” and the various styles that are seen to be available for such leaders is an academic study in itself, with one of the most accepted definitions being that of Chemers (1997, p.1) who stated that leadership is seen as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. This type of collaborative approach will form the basic underlying concept of leadership, regardless of the jurisdiction in which it is operating.
Following on from this background understanding the research will then go on to look at how leadership in Oman can be developed to achieve greater commercial success with reference to the distinction between public and private sector organisations.

Background of the Study

Although there has been a large amount of general literature in the area of leadership and the emergent theories of leadership that have come about in recent years, there has been a small level of understanding regarding the role of leadership within the developing region of Oman. It has been suggested by Dorfman in 2004 that one of the main difficulties is that organisations in Oman are typically not very transparent with their operations and this can make it harder to identify any form of business strategy, let alone one that is rooted in the perceptions of individual employees. Taking an internal view of the way in which an organisation works is a crucial element of then looking at the role of the leader and how they can influence the performance of employees. It is argued here that one of the key issues is, in fact, that the political context of the region has a real and direct impact on the organisation and the types of leadership that are likely to be effective. Crucially, it is also necessary to look at the cultural and political factors that are at play within Oman and not to simply assume that Arab culture will prevail. As a further point, by way of background, it is also noted by Dorfman that in Oman (as is the case in many developing regions) the public sector is often the driving force with internal practices, such as leadership development emanating from public sector agendas.
Finally, it is worth noting that Oman itself is a relatively small country when looking at population, with a total of 3.5 million. On the face of it, the country has many similar characteristics with its Arab neighbours and is also subject to rapid economic growth; however, it is suggested in this paper that Oman has a unique geographical and political scope which encourages the organisations, both public and private, to outperform other countries in the same region (Haligan, 2007).
There are arguably multiple factors that are likely to impact on how leadership is dealt with in Oman and these will be considered in greater detail in the thesis when comparing the approaches in the public and private sectors. These are briefly identified by Haligan in 2007 and include the political development in the region and the British influence, in particular. Issues of religion and culture are also thought to be important in the region and these are arguably factors that remain prevalent, even where there are economic changes or there are factors that may otherwise impact on the operation of the business.

Problem Statement

The problem statement for this research paper is to look primarily at the comparison between the public sector and private sector leadership skills, with reference to the employees’ perceptions of their leaders. Although this is a relatively specific area of study, there are potential issues that need to be looked at surrounding the study, in order to ascertain the impact that the various leadership styles have on the perceptions of employees and therefore on their ultimate behaviour. Employee behaviours are arguably linked to the leadership style, but it is also expected that other underlying factors, such as religion, culture and politics will have an impact. A comparison between public and private sectors may provide a greater understanding of these issues and the ways in which leaders can improve their own behaviours, in the future, to influence the performance of their employees.

Research Question and Objectives

The question here is to undertake a comparative study of the role of the managers and their leadership styles, from the point of view of employee perspectives, in both the public and private sectors in Oman with a view to presenting overall findings. In order to be able to provide a balanced response to this research question, there are several other objectives that need to be looked at, so that the answer to the research question can then provide future guidance, which can add value to those involved in corporate Oman.
Firstly, there is a requirement to understand the various leadership styles that may be employed by leaders and the way in which these are likely to develop within the workplace. Factors that may impact on the choice of leadership approach will also be looked at, with reference to the corporate climate in Oman. For example, it may be thought that the political context is relevant to the leadership style and that this will then be different in the public and private sectors. Similarly, it may be argued that religion or culture plays a much greater role than whether or not the organisation is public or private sector orientated.
Secondly, as well as the actual factors that influence leadership styles, the next part of the research is to look at the impact that leadership styles have on employee perceptions of the leaders themselves, or indeed the organisation. The ultimate aim of this research is for those involved in leadership to be able to understand how they can influence employee behaviours to the benefit of the organisation, in the future. With this in mind, the research question will need to be broken down, to understand the factors that are present but unchangeable and those which can be influenced, so as to create a more balanced view as to what leaders and managers can do to change the operation and the perceptions of their employees within the workplace.

Background Literature Review

Despite the fact that there is a large amount of literature available in terms of leadership styles, all of which will be looked at as part of the main research, the real essence of this research will be to look at leadership in the context of Oman and Omani culture. Over the years, it is argued that Omani culture and how it deals with politics, in particular, is that it has supported a participative leadership approach as being the dominant form of accepted leadership within the culture. This was the subject of the discussion in the paper of Eickleman, (1987) who found that the people of Oman, in general, operated by consultation, with leaders being largely selected based on merit, rather than on succession. This type of underlying culture is important as a means of understanding the prevailing culture and the likely employee perceptions of their leaders.
Specific research in the area of Omani business has also taken place, identifying that the way in which leaders are selected by priests within the community by merit from a religions context which offers an opportunity for further analysis within the commercial context. Arguably, this type of social selection was also seen to be prevalent when Al-Ghailani researched the area, in 2005, considering how this then influences human resources practices. It was found in this research that the use of social criteria was often seen as important when it came to recruitment and promotional decisions. This was evidenced in the 2005 research by the fact that it was found that many religious leaders were petitioning the public sector to recruit family members into certain roles. He found that there were essentially two different leadership structures in operation, the first looking at merit and the notion of recruiting to fill a need and the second based on family and cultural issues. This two fold approach suggests that leadership is unlikely to be a black and white scenario and perceptions are going to vary from person to person not just from organisation to organisation. By looking at other areas of research into leadership and therefore the employee perceptions that emerge as a result of the leadership, it can be seen that there are very distinct opinions, with those such as Farazmand, (2006) noting that this social element in fact complements leadership and improves perceptions, rather than being a detriment to the European and Western approach.
A specific research paper that looked at the leadership values in Oman was undertaken by Neal et al (2005), which found that positive leaders were seen as those displaying attributes of strong charisma, being largely interactive and also having a degree of authority inherent in their attitude. This indicated that those successful leaders in Oman were not actually far remote from the Western ideals. In particular, Neal et al. found that an effective leader in Oman needed to be concerned with the personal welfare of all of the employees and that a further level of respect is given to the use of legal authority, which is seemingly logical given the high level of bureaucracy within the region.

Methodology

The methodology that is going to be used in the research here is inductive in nature, as it will look at the observations and actions of the various different managers, before then attempting to produce an overall theory that could ultimately apply across both private and public sector organisations.
The first step of this research, therefore, is to undertake a full literature review and analysis of the leadership approaches and those factors that theoretically have a means of determining the different perceptions which are going to emerge from employees in relation to the leadership skills displayed. From this general theoretical understanding, primary research in the form of case study interviews will then be undertaken, with the author looking specifically at two organisations, one in the public sector and one in the private sector. Although it is recognised that ideally several different organisations should be looked at, it is noted that the reality is such that focusing on two organisations will allow for sufficient depth of comparison between the styles of leadership. This will then be used to produce a theory and a set of suggestions as to how the information can then be applied to establishing a set of recommendations for managers across Oman and indeed across other similar jurisdictions.

Limitations / Ethical Considerations

A key limitation which has been identified is that the case study element will only look at one organisation from the public sector and one from the private sector. It would be desirable to look at a broader range of organisations and even to undertake such research over a period of time, to ascertain how these issues change and the long term impact of culture and politics, at that point in time. There may also be concerns that the employees will not be as open as they could be, due to concerns about what their manager will think; therefore, anonymity is crucial and is something that needs to be taken to the forefront when collecting data.

References

Al-Ghailani, R. (2005). Equal opportunity in public office in principle and practice: An empirical study of the Omani Civil Service. Doctoral dissertation, University of Hull, Hull.

Al-Hamadi, A., Budhwar, P., & Shipton, H. (2007). Management of human resources in Oman. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(1), 100-113. London

Chemers M. (1997). An integrative theory of leadership. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, CA, Publishers.

Dorfman, P., & House, R. (2004). Cultural influences on organizational leadership. In R. House, P. Hanges, M. Javidan, P. Dorfman, & V. Gupta (Eds.), Culture, leadership and organizations, the GLOBE study of 62 societies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Farazmand, A. (2006). Public sector reforms and transformation: Implications for development administration. In A. Huque & H. Zafarullah (Eds.), International development governance. Boca Raton, FL: CRC/Taylor and Francis.

Halligan, J. (2007). Leadership and the senior service from a comparative perspective. In B. Peters & J. Pierre (Eds.), Handbook of public administration (pp. 63-74). London: Sage.

Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Jabbra, J., & Jabbra, N. (2005). Administrative culture in the Middle East. In J. Jabbra & O. Dwivedi (Eds.), Administrative culture in a global context. Whitby, ON: de Sitter.

Neal, M., Finlay, J., & Tansey, R. (2005). “My father knows the minister”: A comparative study of Arab women?s attitudes towards leadership authority. Women in Management Review, 20(7/8), 478-498.

Riphenburg, C. (1998). Oman: Political development in a changing world. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Winckler, O. (2000). Gulf monarchies as rentier states: The nationalization policies of the labor force. In J. Kostiner (Ed.), Middle East monarchies: The challenge of modernity (pp. 237-256). London: Lynne Rienner.

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Critical and Creative Thinking Questions

1) Sensation and perception are closely linked. What is the central distinction between the two?

Sensations can be defined as the passive process of bringing information from the outside world into the body and to the brain. The process is passive in the sense that we do not have to be consciously engaging in a “sensing” process. Perception can be defined as the active process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting the information brought to the brain by the senses.

2) If we sensed and attended equally to each stimulus in the world, the amount of information would be overwhelming. What sensory and perceptual processes help us lessen the din?

Perceptions vary from person to person. Different people perceive different things about the same situation. But more than that, we assign different meanings to what we perceive. And the meanings might change for a certain person. One might change one’s perspective or simply make things mean something else. You would also use vision to observe different people who were having a conversation as well as listening to observe all the conversation taking place.

3) What senses would likely be impaired if a person were somehow missing all of the apparatus of the ear (including the outer, middle, and inner ear)?

If someone was to lose total hearing that would be devastating. If you were to totally lose your hearing you would be losing one of the most important senses you have and this can affect you in other areas including your equal equilibrium not being able to walk straight can cause major ramifications in your life like blurred vision, headaches as well as the loss as speech

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Perceptual Errors

1) Prototypes:- Usually according to the group or profession you belong to, you are assumed to have certain characteristics, whether you have them or not. In our organisation, we have a team manager who has an impression of being unapproachable and unfriendly, only because of his position. Due to this reason none of the employees approach him for help, even though it might hurt productivity.

Since a few colleagues and myself have a habit of observing people’s behaviour, we knew all this fear is baseless. We didn’t hesitate in asking him for help and he was very pleasant and found solutions to our problems and made us very comfortable while he was at it. So, in my opinion to reduce this kind of a perceptual error, its advisable to remember principle on similarity. Wherein, its not necessary that people from similar background are similar in nature. We should always see a person as a separate individual.

2) Horn Effect:- According to this effect/error, when a person is found to have an undesirable trait, he is automatically assumed that all his traits must be undesirable, which may or may not be true. To explain with an example, I have a colleague in my office who is precise and sticks to the point when having a conversation with a customer. Once one such matter was escalated considering that he sounded rude to the customer.

And though he was cleared after been given some advice, because of that one event he is always considered to be deficient in other necessary traits, where he actually is pretty good. Inspite of his being very disciplined, it was assumed that he was late in his project, when the fact was the opposite! In such a case, I think the person has to make an effort to clear such a generality. Also the appraiser should take into consideration all the facts of the person’s behaviour and progress, rather than assuming that he will be wrong always.

3) Hallo Effect:- This effect is similar to horn effect, the only difference being that here the person is assumed to have all positive traits because of one desired trait. We have just such an example in our team, where one of the executives had scored the best in the first quarter. This led to a general assumption that she is good at all necessary statistics, which was not the case. This employee has a habit of coming later from breaks, of not going by rules and generally escaping slights due to favouritism. This also affects the morale of the people who work hard but their effort is not recognised. But when she was given the responsibility of helping with the KRO’s of the few newer executives, she couldn’t handle it and this led to waste of time and overall poor performance.

This could have been avoided if there was unbiasedness and proper checking done related to the statistics of the person rather than assuming she would be good at everything.

4) Primacy Effect:- This is an error in perception when a person tends to base somebody’s judgement depending on the first impression of that person. For instance, in our organisation we have a new team leader join in to handle our team. Now since this guy was a little timid initially and because it was a new rols and place for him, most of the people in the office didn’t take him seriously. To add to it some of his mannerisms were a little girlish, which led to most of the office crowd calling him ‘gay’. Presently, after knowing him more, even if people are not pulling his leg about being gay, he still not given his due respect. Anything that goes beyond his control in terms of disciplinary issues, he is blamed for saying that he doesn’t have a proper hold on his team!

I think the best way to reduce such an error in an organisation would be to observe the person in question over a period of time, unbiasedly, and then form an opinion about him. Its not necessary that first impressions are always the last impressions.

5) Recency Effect:- This is an effect where you form an opinion on a person based on what was last observed about him or what was the last thing he spoke which stood out, in a positive or a negative way. In my office, we have a team leader who is highly work-oriented and keeps to himself. I had an impression that he never talks to anyone other than work, which is a good thing, but I always founds it a little too technical or unfeeling. But recently I had to change my opinion. The same person had supported me to get holidays because of my bad health, when I’d not even asked for any support. Though he still is the same, but that last gesture of his changed my entire opinion of him.

Ideally, here is a case of both primacy error and then recency error. Though not all effects could be errors, necessarily. The vital thing is we should not judge others based on one single point be it initial impression or latest impression. We need to keep our minds open about the person.

6) Selective Perception:- We tend to perceive things according to our beliefs or interests in this kind of a perceptual error. We may note only that what we like, to suit our own needs. For instance, there is a colleague of mine who never used to talk to me before. But since I’ve started my MBA, she’s been talking and asking me all sort of information about it. It is a topic of her interest. But she wouldn’t talk on any other matter. Here I feel, she perceives selectively, only according to what she wants. In an organisation, it is better for anyone to avoid such an error, because you loose out on lot of potential growth, of self and others. We need to notice and make use of all talents of an employee.

7) Contrast Effect:- We need to be very alert when making decisions that we are not making that decision based on anything observed in contrast to the situation or the person that we are observing. Because such an error could make us go wrong when selecting right people. I can explain this error by mistake that I’d done where I was supposed to monitor the two new members who was supposed to join the team. Now from both these girls one appeared very childish and rather loud as compared to the other one who was a quiet soul and who looked professional and competent.

And I formed my opinion that the louder character was not very mature in handling some KRO’s and achieving them consistently. Which later I realised, was a completely wrong opinion of her. She not only was quite disciplined and organised, she was more lively and kept things light when work became too serious. The other girl, was rather in her own world and least motivated. Effect like this when you have two contrasts in front of you could be difficult to detect, but if you observe each person and compare their performance and behaviour to the standard norm, you would be more accurate.

8) Projection Error:- This is a kind of error when you project your attributes and traits or emotions onto others. Here the person maybe completely different from you, but because we may not have noticed that we might assume the other person also to be like us. We have a member in our team who always talks about team bonding and team strength. I too believe that a team is strong and succeeds more often if it works together towards the same goal. I did an error of assuming that this person will also think the same and share the responsibilities and duties of a project equally.

All the work was delegated accordingly and everyone was expected to do their bit. But to my surprise that person was all talks and no show! He not only did pass on thatr work to another member of the team, his ways also brought discontent amongnst the members and divided the group further. I realised that I’d thought of him being like me and giving his 100% to whatever he does. But that was not the case sadly. If I would have recognised that earlier I would’ve corrected myself and given him work accordingly.