Buyer-seller negotiation in consumer markets: an intention congruence approach
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Purpose. The purpose of this study is to understand how the degree of congruence between buyers’ and sellers’ intentions to negotiate impacts buyers’ postpurchase emotions and attitudes. In addition, the study examines whether buyers’ self-confidence and negotiation expertise can increase buyers’ perceptions of control and regret, as well as buyers’ postpurchase satisfaction and enjoyment with the purchase. Traditionally, marketplace exchanges have been classified as either fixed price or negotiated. The present research treats marketplace exchanges along a continuum of intention congruence to test the relationships between intention congruence and outcome variables of control, regret, satisfaction and enjoyment with the purchase. Design/methodology/approach. The authors studied the perceived difference between buyers' and sellers' intentions to negotiate and how the difference impacts buyers' postpurchase attitudinal and emotional outcomes. A mail survey of automobile buyers resulted in a sample of 291 respondents. An automobile is a significant and irreversible purchase for a buyer. Thus, automobile markets often host transactions that evoke dissonance and regret for buyers if things go awry. In addition, buyers and sellers vary considerably in their desire to negotiate, thus reflecting a range of intention congruence in negotiation. Therefore, a survey of automobile buyers was considered appropriate for testing the effects of intention congruence on buyers’ postpurchase outcomes. Findings. Results indicate that when buyers are willing to negotiate but sellers do not reciprocate equally, buyers feel less in control of a transaction. Contrarily, buyers experienced greater control and lesser regret when buyers’ perceptions of sellers’ intention to negotiate exceeded buyers’ own intentions to negotiate. Results also suggest that when buyers’ intentions to negotiate were congruent with buyers’ perception of sellers’ intention to negotiate, greater dyadic levels of negotiation marginally lowered buyers’ perceived regret. Overall, an intention-congruence perspective adds to the current understanding of negotiated exchanges and is a meaningful approach for improving postpurchase outcomes for buyers. Research limitations/implications. The study used only the consumers’ perspective of negotiation. Although this is supported by studies in power and dependence because the consumers’ perspective is valuable and valid, a true dyadic measurement of the negotiation process can only be obtained if the sellers’ view is also incorporated. This remains a key limitation of this study. Practical implications. The results suggest that sellers may be better off honoring buyers’ intentions to negotiate. Intention incongruence negatively impacted buyer satisfaction when buyers perceived sellers to be less eager to negotiate. However, where sellers seem more eager to negotiate, incongruity favored buyers and positively impacted buyers’ postpurchase outcomes. Thus, for sellers, it is worthwhile to consider adding policies that honor negotiation. Originality/value. Past research classifies marketplaces exchanges as either fixed price or negotiated. The present study uses intention congruence as a continuum between transaction partners. The intention congruence approach allows a closer examination of both the symmetry and strength of intentions to negotiate in a dyadic exchange. Given that markets are comprised of buyers and sellers who display considerable variability in intentions to negotiate, examining intention congruence allows for a more realistic study of negotiation behavior in business-to-consumer marketplaces.
The version of record is available at https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-09-2021-4877. The full citation is as follows: [Buyer-seller negotiation in consumer markets: an intention congruence approach. Journal of Consumer Marketing (2023)]. 'This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org'
Shehryar, O. (2023). Buyer-seller negotiation in consumer markets: an intention congruence approach. Journal of Consumer Marketing.