ABSTRACT - Bruns°, Scholderer and Grunert (in press) reconstruct means-end chain theory and lifestyle within a dual-process framework, incorporating. Our Motivation Research approach is grounded in the means-end theory of decision-making, used to build powerful and persuasive communications campaigns. A full-enterprise simulation was evaluated from the perspective of the means-end theory. The study is exploratory in that it examines the relationships among.


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The means-end approach is based on the assumption that consumers see products as means to important ends.

Means End Theory

This means that the personal consequences produced by a product are more important more self-relevant than the characteristics of the means end theory itself. A product is self-relevant to the extent a consumer sees it as instrumental in achieving important consequences or values.

When means-end knowledge is activated from means end theory or formed in a situation, the person perceives the product to be personally relevant and feels involved with it Celsi and Olson Thus, means-end knowledge structures are the cognitive basis for involvement.

They also account for how and why consumers feel involved with a product in a particular situation.

Since researchers have not measured the product-related knowledge that underlies involvement, we conducted a simple study to demonstrate the usefulness of means-end theory in representing personal relevance.

In particular, we wanted to explore two broad issues about the content and structure of consumers' product knowledge: How does the means-end knowledge about a product differ means end theory more and less means end theory consumers?


Are there systematic differences in knowledge about attributes, consequences, or values? Do more involved consumers have a more complex network of knowledge compared to less involved consumers?

Means-ends analysis

Do the interrelationships differ at the attribute, consequence, or value levels? We measured subjects' involvement with the activity of playing tennis because most people's self-relevance is focused on playing tennis, not on tennis means end theory.

We measured subjects' product knowledge about tennis rackets because this is the most critical product for playing the sport. Subjects were 58 people from a University community, selected on a convenience basis.

All but four of the subjects were college students. We measured subjects' involvement with playing tennis using Zaichkowsky's Personal Involvement Inventory PII scores can range from Most people in the low involvement group were novices who played tennis only infrequently means end theory were uninterested in the sport.

People in the medium involvement group played tennis occasionally to frequently and were moderately interested in the sport. means end theory

Mean End Chain Theory Definition | Marketing Dictionary | MBA

People in the high involvement group played competitively on a daily basis and were highly committed to the sport in fact, several were means end theory the university tennis team.

In hard laddering as well as in soft laddering, the interviewing technique forces respondents to elaborate their answers in an increasingly abstract way.


A particular sequence is assumed attributes-consequences-valuesbut earlier levels of abstraction are means end theory not considered necessary for later levels of abstraction to be reached.

Moreover, reversed paths are not considered to reflect a different cognitive process. Hence, there is no way data gathered by means of a laddering interview could disconfirm means end theory chain theory.

The bottom-up route is defined as a hierarchical categorization process, and the top-down route as goal-directed action.