Title: Risk-related situational involvement and enduring involvement as indicators for configuration customer confusion

Authors: Martin K.J. Waiguny; Gernot Moedritscher

Addresses: Department of Marketing, Advertising, Retailing and Sales, Faculty of Business and Law, Auckland University of Technology, WU 316, 46 Wakefield St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand. ' Department of Controlling and Strategic Management, biztec Industriestiftungs Institute eBusiness, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, Universitätsstrasse 65-67, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria

Abstract: Adapting product configuration tools to consumers' needs remains an important factor in mass customisation in the endeavour to avoid confusing and distracting users. To distinguish customers' information needs we use an important moderating variable from consumer behaviour: involvement. We show in our research in mass customisation settings that it is necessary to differentiate between enduring involvement and situational involvement as the information processing entailed by each is very different. Risk-related situational involvement increases the likelihood of users becoming confused; however enduring involvement might mitigate this effect to some extent and generally tends to reduce confusion. In the light of these findings, we suggest using this knowledge as a criterion for assessing customers' information needs in a configuration setting, and also propose using type of involvement as an important predictor so that the choice set generated by an integrated recommendation-configuration tool can depend on how likely it is that consumers will become confused.

Keywords: customer confusion; involvement types; product configuration; mass customisation; customer involvement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2012.047395

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2012 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.152 - 170

Available online: 18 Jun 2012 *

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