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Lecture 8

Management and Organizational Studies 3321F/G Lecture 8: CB LESSON 8

19 pages89 viewsWinter 2018

Department
Management and Organizational Studies
Course Code
Management and Organizational Studies 3321F/G
Professor
Beth Lee
Lecture
8

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CB LESSON 8
GROUP INFLUENCE AND SOCIAL CLASS
REFERENCE GROUPS
Reference group: Actual or imaginary individual/group conceived of having
significant relevance upon an individuals evaluations, aspirations, or
behavior
A set of people with whom individuals compare themselves to guide their
attitudes, knowledge, and/or behavior
By membership status
o Membership group: A group which a person either belongs to or
would qualify for memberships in
o Symbolic group: A group which a person identifies with by adopting
its values, attitudes, and behavior in spite of knowing that he or she
cannot belong to that group
By extent of interaction
o Direct reference group: A group which a person interacts on a direct
basis
o Indirect reference group: A group which a person does not come info
face-to face contact
By degree of formality
o Formal reference group: A group with formal membership structures
and rules
o Informal reference group: A group which there are no official
memberships or formal structures (e.g., just a group of friends)
o Small informal groups can exert powerful influence on individual
consumers
By nature of attraction
o Associative reference group: A group which you currently belong to
o Dissociative reference group: A group which you dont want to belong
to
o Aspirational reference group: A group which you want to belong to
REFERNCE GROUP INFLUENCES
Reference Group Influences
o Informational
o Value-expressive: Identification
o Normative
Identification influence:
o A reference group influence that occurs because we identify with, and
have internalized the groups values and behaviour
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Normative influence: Helps to set and enforce fundamental standards of
conduct
o Social pressure designed to encourage conformity to the
expectations of others
o Brand-choice congruence: The likelihood that consumers will
buy what others in their group buy
o Conformity: Doing what others in the group do
o Compliance: Doing what the group or social influencer asks
o Reactance: Doing the opposite of what the individual or group
want us to do
o Comparative influence: Decisions about specific brands or
activities are affected
CONFORMITY
Most people tend to follow societys expectations regarding how to look/act
o Change in beliefs/actions toward societal norms
Appropriate clothing/personal items, gift-giving, sex roles, and
personal hygiene
Factors influencing Conformity?
o Cultural pressures
o Fear of deviance
Sanctions against different behaviour
o Commitment to group membership
Principle of least interest
o Group unanimity, size, expertise
o Susceptibility to interpersonal influence
Social Comparison Theory:
o We look to others behavior to inform us about reality
o Occurs as way to increase stability of ones self-evaluation (when
physical evidence is not available)
Tastes in music and art
o We tend to choose co-oriented peer when performing social
comparison
RESISTING CONFORMITY
Independence vs. anti-conformity
o Marching to own drummer vs. being aware of what is expected (and
not doing it)
o Anti-conformity: Defiance of the group is the actual object of
behaviour
Reactance
o Negative emotional state when we are deprived of our freedom of
choice
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Censored books, TV shows, music lyrics
GROUP EFFECTS ON INDVIDUAL BEHAVIOR
Home shopping parties such as Tupperware and Botox parties succeed
because of:
o Informational and normative social influence
o Deindividuation
o Risky shift / decision polarization
Group Think, Bandwagon effect
DEINDIVIDUATION
Individual identities become submerged within a group
Example: binge drinking at college parties
RISKY SHIFT
Group members show a greater willingness to consider riskier alternatives
following group discussion than if members decide alone
o Diffusion of responsibility
o Value hypothesis: Moderate risk is valued in our culture. Therefore,
people want to shift toward risky decisions to gain status and
approval from other group members
SOCIAL LOAFING
People dont devote as much to a task when their contribution is part of a
larger group Social loafing
o Example: we tend to tip less when eating in groups
WHEN REFERENCE GROUPS ARE IMPORTANT
Impact of reference groups vary based on whether the product is complex or,
a product with little perceived risk (less susceptible)
Two dimensions of influence:
o Purchases to be consumed privately or publicly
o Whether a luxury or a necessity
Reference groups are most robust for purchases:
o Luxuries
o Socially conspicuous products
WORD OF MOUTH COMMUNICATION
WOM: product information transmitted by individuals to individuals
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