STORE PRESTIGE: ISSUES OF VALIDITY AND MEASUREMENT (ARTICULATION, CONSENSUS, CULTURE).
AuthorDAWSON, SCOTT ALEXANDER.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe research concerns one of the more central components of store image, that of prestige or status. Relevant literatures include store image, occupational prestige, social class, and life style. The investigation focuses on two primary areas of inquiry. The first concerns establishing the construct validity of store prestige using a structural equations methodology. The second area examines the characteristics which cause individuals to differ in prestige grading and uses a similar methodology. Two scales are used to measure prestige, price, and quality of fifteen stores where clothing can be purchased. The results indicate that for this product class and the stores considered, individuals equate the three image dimensions at near unity. In this study the construct validity of store prestige is not supported. Future research using a broader range of retail institutions and different measurement techniques will lead to more definitive conclusions. Without firm conceptual standing of the measurement of store prestige, the second part of the dissertation is re-conceptualized. Store prestige dissensus and articulation are defined more generally as store image dissensus and articulation. The sample as a whole exhibits a substantial degree of agreement when ranking the stores according to any of the three image dimensions. Yet, for stores which may be considered more high culture, there is significantly less agreement in rankings. Although not statistically significant, there is a substantive trend toward increasing consensus in rankings among groups higher in education, occupational prestige, income, browsing, purchasing, and clothing involvement. Finally, with the exceptions of occupational prestige and income, all of these same characteristics are statistically significant predictors of store image articulation. The dissertation concludes with a model proposing cause and effect linkages of retail cognitive complexity. While the research was not originally pursued from a cognitive psychology framework, the results concerning store image articulation suggest several hypotheses involving the more general concept of cognitive complexity.