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https://doi.org/10.15488/14302...
Doctoral thesis . 2023
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Essays on psychological ownership, digital transformation, and sustainability in the retail industry

Authors: Harms, Stephan;

Essays on psychological ownership, digital transformation, and sustainability in the retail industry

Abstract

New technologies and enhanced information systems are fueling digital transformation in many industries, including through the creation of new digital interfaces to communicate with and involve customers and suppliers. Information systems and management scholars have emphasized the far-reaching consequences of these endeavors for such areas as strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The success of digital transformation depends on the willingness of the individuals involved, including customers, employees, and suppliers, to embrace these new technologies. Digital transformation is particularly difficult for family firms, as they usually follow conservative strategies, show resistance to change, and face resource restrictions, factors that limit their ability to pursue such substantial change to their business model. However, other factors can help family firms as they seek to transform and thrive: their strong and continuous organizational culture and their sustainable business activities, both of which are rooted in their socioemotional wealth considerations and strong social capital. Drawing on the technology acceptance model, we set out to explore the following research question: How do organizational characteristics of family firms shape the acceptance of new technologies among members within their supply chain? Our grounded theory model contributes to the literature about digital transformation in family firms by linking firm-level strategy to organizational and individual attributes; identifying factors that facilitate or hinder family firms’ digital transformation, such as a culture of innovation and change, as well as social capital embedded in inter- and intra-organizational relationships; and guiding managers of family firms on how to enhance their digital agenda.

Scholars emphasize the importance of psychological ownership (i.e., a feeling of possession towards an object independent of legal ownership) for desired behaviors and attitudes in corporate contexts. Psychological ownership is a multi-level phenomenon, meaning that the emotional attachment it implies might pertain to the overall organization as well as to organizational sub-units (e.g., business units). Hitherto, however, there is little empirical evidence on the antecedents, consequences, and vertical spillover effects of psychological ownership. To address this research gap, our paper presents arguments explaining how psychological ownership positively affects organizational performance by diffusing from higher levels of the organization towards lower levels. Furthermore, we suggest that error management culture and high affective commitment within teams, constitutes environmental conditions that let psychological ownership thrive. To test our theorizing, we created a unique dataset combining archival data with two surveys among 1,536 employees and 66 managers of an organization. Our results indicate that psychological ownership towards the business unit indeed enhances performance and mediates the effect of psychological ownership towards the entire organization. Additionally, our findings suggest that error management culture and the increase of affective commitment in teams pose mechanisms that can enhance psychological ownership towards the business unit. With these findings, our study yields important theoretical and practical implications.

The success of the ongoing sustainability transformation depends in large parts on both the sustainability in firms’ production of goods and the consumption choices of individuals. While firms and consumers already separately contribute to sustainable development, a key challenge still lies in accelerating collaborative efforts. In this study, we develop a conceptual model to demonstrate how firms can motivate sustainable consumption behavior amongst their customers by involving them in their sustainability activities. In particular, we introduce psychological ownership as the underlying mechanism that explains how customer involvement in sustainability activities translates into changes in individuals’ consumption choices. We further argue that this mechanism depends on the type of sustainability that a firm undertakes, i.e., whether it is embedded in or peripheral to a firm’s core business. Results from two scenario experiments and one field experiment broadly support our theorizing and contribute to management research by showing how firms can go beyond delivering sustainable products and services toward actively shaping consumption behavior. Our results additionally reveal that firms can derive further benefits from customer involvement in embedded sustainability since it incites higher extra-role behavior in the form of feedback-giving than involvement in peripheral sustainability, which firms can exploit to develop their sustainability strategy further.

Country
Germany
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Dewey Decimal Classification: ddc:000

Keywords

Einzelhandel, Dewey Decimal Classification::000 | Allgemeines, Wissenschaft, Digitale Transformation, Sustainability, Nachhaltigkeit, Psychologisches Eigentum, Psychological Ownership, Digital Transformation, Retail Industry

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    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
0
Average
Average
Average
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