- Undecidable? Categorization and its effects
- Award date
- 8 December 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
The main aim of this thesis is to gain a better understanding of the effects of categorization when products can be categorized into multiple categories or cannot be clearly categorized into an existing category.
This thesis focuses on products or producers that cannot be easily categorized because they are new. Insight from studies in organization theory and marketing literature on categorization are structured through four themes. The first theme involves the phenomenon of category spanning and the consequences of spanning multiple categories. Theme 2 relates to the phenomenon that different types of market actors might disagree on the categorical membership of the same product or producer. Theme 3 deals with the fact that categories are dynamic and evolve over time. The fourth theme relates to communicating categorical membership by providing - or not providing - visual and textual category cues. These four themes are addressed in four different chapters.
In Chapter 2 a framework for developing effective product service systems that span multiple categories is described and empirically tested. Chapter 3 introduces the concept of category cues and describes how producers’ decisions to use these category cues are influenced by their competitive context and their competitive position. Chapter 4 explains how providing category labels that vary in their degree of matureness affect consumers’ newness perceptions and willingness to pay. Finally, Chapter 5 proposes the concept of a classification gap and describes how such a classification gap has a negative effect on the market performance of a product. Based on these findings, practical implications are provided that will help producers to manage categorization issues, during the development and marketing phase of new products.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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