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The usefulness of Schwartz's ‘Values Theory’ in understanding consumer behaviour towards differentiated products

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The Values Theory adopts a generic framework whereby a set of values is employed across consumer decision-making contexts in a manner that makes no distinction among various product categories. The present study advances this theory by exhibiting the adaptation capability of the generic values instrument (the Portrait Value Questionnaire, PVQ), demonstrating that tailor-made PVQ versions can reflect consumers' motives towards differentiated products (i.e. organic foods). A questionnaire was completed by approximately 1000 households in each of eight EU countries (N = 8171). The organic food-relevant PVQ was developed through a preliminary qualitative phase (i.e. a means-end chain analysis), and its factorial design was validated through CFA, showing high statistical performance. PVQ-based European clusters with strong self-transcendence values comprised large numbers of organic purchasers. Moreover, results point to the fact that when a circumplex taxonomy, such as the PVQ, is applied in a real context (i.e. organic food purchases), the situation-relevant value domains merge into new hierarchical dimensions in absolute respect of the original taxonomy. This conclusion points to PVQ's robustness in adaptability to different situations of human value perspective.
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Keywords: PVQ; behaviour; differentiated products; value segmentation; values

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Aarhus University, Denmark 2: National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition (INRAN), Italy 3: University of East Anglia, UK

Publication date: 2012-10-01

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