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security behavior, a concept that touches on the behavior of consumers in regard to information technology systems is an important one to the global IT industry. Johnston and Warkentin (2010) for instance studied the influence of elements of fear appeal on the level of compliance of various end-users with the specific recommendations aimed at enacting specific individual IT security actions towards threat investigation. The authors performed an in-depth examination that yielded into the development as well as testing of a conceptual framework that represents an infusion of the concept of technology adoption and the theories of fear appeal. In this paper we investigate the concept of information security behaviors with a specific focus on consumer behavior and its related theories.
Extant literature has been dedicated to the concept of consumer behavior. The human information behavior has for a long time been studied under different environments and circumstances. Consumer is noted by Solomon (1995, p.7) as the " study of the processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires." In the context of marketing, the term consumer is used to refer to the very act of purchase as well as the entire process of buying an item. Engel, et al. (1986, p.5) on the other hand defined consumer behavior as the act of people directly involving themselves in the obtaining, using as well as the disposing of economic goods as well as services. Consumer behavior also includes the decision process that comes before the acts which also determines the act. It has been noted that simple observation cannot provide enough insights into the very complex nature of the concept of computer choice. Researchers have been noted to be continuously looking for better and more sophisticated methods and concepts to be used for the investigation of the concept of consumer behavior. The disciplines that are often employed in the analysis of this concept are psychology, sociology as well as social psychology.
In order to come up with the best conceptual framework to be used for studying consumer behavior, it is necessary that we start by a thorough consideration of the existing literature in consumer research as well as the various schools of thoughts that have influenced that discipline as noted by Marsden and Littler (1998). The existing paradigms of consumer research are noted to include a set of fundamental assumptions that are taken into account by researchers while engaging in this study (Kuhn, 1962).
This implies that a set of dimensions exists in literature that can be used in characterizing as well as differentiating the multiple perspectives that exists in regard to consumer behavior.
A review of literature indicates that the field of consumer behavior in itself came into existence as a distinct study discipline in the early periods of 1960s. A main factor in its emergence was the very formation of the body called Association for Consumer Research in the 1969. The membership of this organization in now over 1700 people. The ever increasing maturity of this discipline is reflected in the annual conference proceeding known as Advances in Consumer Research. Several other journals have been launched in line with the growing desire to understand as well as control aspects of consumer behavior. These include the Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Consumer Psychology.
As the field of consumer behavior evolved, researchers have become drawn to several other related disciplines. These disciplines include psycho-physiology and even literature as noted by Solomon (1995).
The existing literature treats the field of consumer behavior as a subset or rather sub-discipline of the marketing field. The aim however is to help in the identification of how the field of consumer research can be effectively practiced. The value of the specific knowledge that is generated from the study of consumer behavior should be evaluated according to the ability of such knowledge to improve the level of marketing practice effectiveness. In regard to this perspective, the entire concept of marketing management is noted to somehow rest squarely on consumer behavior as well as how this relates to price, product, promotion as well as distribution strategies.
Successful marketing is indicated in the existing literature to be the main aim of various corporations.
In the more affluent and competitive economies, a successful marketing campaign is noted to depend on how well an organization can match all the elements of a marketing mix. These results from the perfect integration of all these strategies with the nature of consumers' willingness to buy and in doing so in manner that is better than their rival's.
According to the work of Foxall (1987), the consumer-oriented management that results from the matching of the consumer behavior is noted to be as a consequence of the enormous discretion which is exercised by the purchasers who reside in these economies.
There are various perspectives on the concept of consumer behavior. In the next section, we discuss these perspectives into details.
The Rational perspective
A review of literature reveals that economist were the very first people to dominate the field of building models in the context of consumer buying behavior. One of the earliest economic views considered the concept of consumer behavior as a single act of product or service purchase while also regarding it as a post-purchase reaction.
The economic theory maintains that the purchase intention of given product or service is as a consequence of a mainly "rational" as well as conscious economic consideration. Therefore, an individual buyer is noted to be motivated to seek to use up his or her income in goods that would truly deliver the most level of satisfaction (utility) in accordance to their personal tastes, preferences and relative price considerations.
Therefore the individual buyer is noted to be in a quest to spend his or her income on the goods that would deliver the most level of utility (satisfaction). This view's antecedents can be traced to the famous works of Adam Smith (1776) (Smith,1776). Marshall (1980) then came with way of consolidating the classical traditions with the neoclassical one within the economic context. He used these two in coming up with a more refined theoretical framework; a theoretical framework which later became known as theory of marginal utility.
The aim of this theoretical framework is to simplify the various assumptions and in the processes aid in the examination of the various effects of changes in the single variables such as price while holding all the other factors constant.
Economic models like the Marshallian theory of "marginal-utility" are noted to be useful in the provision of behavioral hypotheses. The validity of these types of hypotheses never rests on whether all persons act as very calculating machines while making their purchasing decisions.
The Marshallian model is however noted to ignore the very fundamental question of how brand and product preferences are carefully formed.
Westing and Albaum (1975) noted that pure economics alone can never be used in explaining the various observed variations in the level of sales. There are however a number of sub-disciplines within the economics discipline that are designed to provide a rather rational explanation for the behavioral, preferential, psychological as well as aggregate variations in behavior.
The behavioral perspective
In contrast to the view (economic) expressed above that stresses the importance of having an internal though process in the process of consumer decision making line of though, the behavioral perspective is noted to have an emphasis on role of external environmental factors in the learning process, a notion which is arguably the main cause/influencer of behavior.
According to the behaviorist approach, the consumer can be treated as a "black box" while assuming that the concept of consumer behavior is a rather conditioned response to the external events.
The behavioral view also focuses on various elements of the external environmental cues like advertising. These cues are noted to stimulate a given consumer to respond through a learning process. A large berth of literature points out the role of strategic emphasis of the various behavioral modification theories like the ones talking about the how to devise a standard set of expanded techniques of behavioral modifications. These techniques include respondent conditioning, vicarious learning and operant conditioning among others. All these can be used to modify, influence and even control consumer behavior as noted by Peter and Nord (1982).
Other researchers like Thorndike (1911) as well as Watson and Rayner (1920) went ahead to propose various models to be used in the study of learning principles. Their points-of-view are however dominant in the two main learning approaches namely; the instrumental learning and classical conditioning.
Classical conditioning is noted to take place whenever a stimulus that effectively elicits a response is appropriately paired with yet another stimulus that in the first place can never elicit a response when left on its own. Over wide period of time, this second stimulus is noted to cause an exact response by virtue of association with the first stimulus.…[continue]
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