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Compensatory Consumption and Consumer Compromise: A Theoretical Review, Qualitative Exploration, and Comprehensive Model

KOLES, BERNADETT (2020) Compensatory Consumption and Consumer Compromise: A Theoretical Review, Qualitative Exploration, and Comprehensive Model. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 10 October 2023.


The present thesis focuses on compensatory consumption and consumer compromise. The approach taken is novel in that it embraces a comprehensive process-based view of compensatory consumption, emphasises the importance of contextual considerations, captures a continuum of compensatory engagements, and discusses compensation and compromise simultaneously as they occur within the consumer’s lifeworld. The research employs a set of phenomenological interviews, reaching beyond the current literature that is predominantly experimental and reliant upon student samples and US panel data. This study gave rise to four different consumer types that emerged as a function of four key pillars: 1) the extent of congruence between actual and ideal self-states and consumer identities, 2) the extent of self-acceptance, 3) the underlying motivations that drive compensatory and compromisory engagements; and finally 4) the extent of need satisfaction achieved from the compensatory consumer experience. The present work is important in that it makes a variety of theoretical and methodological contributions to the field of compensatory consumption, advances our understanding of the interrelations between compensation and compromise, and proposes meaningful insights to complement existing consumer research. In particular, relevant links are established within the area of goal theory and how they relate to compensation as opposed to compromise; the literature on post-consumption rationalisation as a form of defence; and finally, the role of non-consumption and anti-consumption in compensatory engagements. Managerial implications are highlighted, and future research directions are offered.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Compensatory consumption, consumer compromise, consumer identity, goal theory, rationalisation, anti-consumption, phenomenological interviews, consumer journey
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Business > Management and Marketing, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Oct 2020 16:08

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