News at Smith

Fearless Idea 25: Find What Drives Consumers

Mar 25, 2017
World Class Faculty & Research

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SMITH BRAIN TRUST — Let’s say your company has had a very profitable year, and has decided to reward you, one of its top contributors, with a handsome, 8 percent pay increase. Well done. Now, let’s say it’s just before the holidays. Should your friends and relatives expect an 8 percent raise in your gift-giving budget?

No. They should expect even more than that, says research from Janet Wagner, an associate professor of marketing and director of the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. 

Economic Dimensions of Household Gift Giving, co-authored by Wagner and Thesia I. Garner, a senior research economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, modelled the probability of giving and the expected value of the corresponding expenditures and found that gift-giving is a luxury. As income rises, gift expenditures increase at an even higher rate.

Throughout her career, Wagner has studied service marketing management, retailing and survey research methods. She is particularly interested in how firms build customer loyalty, through customer satisfaction, trust, and value. Her most recent research focused on how service firms online and in real-life environments build relationships with customers. 

In her research study, Computer-Mediated Customization Tendency and the Adaptive e-Service Experience, Wagner and her co-authors found that for some customers, adaptive customization enhances the personal value of the e-service experience, while for others, it’s just distracting. The research, which was co-authored by Portland State University’s Charla Mathwick and Tennessee State University’s Ramaprasad Unni, was  published in the Journal of Retailing. 

Janet Wagner is an associate professor of marketing and director of the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. 

Research interests: Service marketing management, retailing, customer relationship and loyalty building, and survey research methods. Her research has been published in the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Retailing, the Journal of Service Research, the Journal of Industrial Marketing Management, and the Journal of Consumer Affairs. 

Selected accomplishments: The Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence; Excellence Awards from the Smith M.B.A. Consulting Program; Reviewer of the Year for the Journal of Consumer Research; Finalist for the Best Services Article, 2003 American Marketing Association Services Special Interest Group; Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Maryland; Teaching Excellence Award, Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Maryland; and Honorable Mention in the Journal of Consumer Research’s Ferber Award competition. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Service Research, and has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Retailing and the Journal of Consumer Research.

About this series: The Smith School faculty is celebrating Women’s History Month 2017 in partnership with ADVANCE, an initiative to transform the University of Maryland by investing in a culture of inclusive excellence. Daily faculty spotlights support activities from the school’s Office of Diversity Initiatives, culminating with the sixth annual Women Leading Women forum on March 30, 2017.

Other fearless ideas from: Rajshree Agarwal  |  Ritu Agarwal  |  Leigh Anenson  |  Kathryn M. Bartol  |  Christine Beckman  |  Margrét Bjarnadóttir  |  M. Cecilia Bustamante  |  Rellie Derfler-Rozin  |  Waverly Ding  |  Wedad J. Elmaghraby  |  Rosellina Ferraro  |  Rebecca Hann  |  Amna Kirmani  |  Hanna Lee  |  Hui Liao  |  Wendy W. Moe  |  Courtney Paulson  |  Louiqa Raschid  |  Rebecca Ratner  |  Rachelle Sampson  |  Debra L. Shapiro  |  Cynthia Kay Stevens  |  M. Susan Taylor  |  Vijaya Venkataramani  |  Janet Wagner  |  Yajin Wang  |  Yajun Wang  |  Liu Yang  |  Jie Zhang  |  Lingling Zhang  |  PhD Candidates

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.