Profiling consumers within a corporate South African context according to their decision-making, physical and psycho-social well-being
Consumers regularly engage in decision-making to address needs and desires, but this process is complicated by globalisation and urbanisation. Decision-making is often guided by different consumer decision-making styles and the possible immediate and future consequences of decisions. However, consumers’ social environment also influences product choices, such as household equipment (HE), which often involves status-infused products. Socially encouraged purchases can result in uninformed decision-making due to the desire for social acceptance and increased psycho-social well-being. In addition, uninformed decisions regarding higher-risk products such as HE, can result in undesired high levels of stress. Longitudinal high stress levels that are not managed effectively can contribute to lowered physical well-being. This study aimed to use correlational research with a cross-sectional survey to quantitatively describe consumers’ decision-making (namely decision-making styles and consideration of future consequences) regarding medium to high risk purchases (i.e. appliances and furniture, referred to as household equipment). Possible associations of decision-making with the consumers’ physical and psycho-social well-being while working in an urban corporate setting were also determined. A total sample population of 391 respondents from urban settings in South Africa was included. Respondents completed an online questionnaire consisting of various validated scales that formed part of the first step of the study focusing on consumer decision-making. The second step entailed using existing subjective and objective physical wellness data from respondents who also took part in step one. This data from a running wellness study in the participating organisation were obtained with permission from the respondents as well as the organisation. The head offices were relatively evenly represented by the number of respondents. Respondents were mostly females, younger than 50 years of age and represented different ethnic groups. Correlations between consumers’ decision-making styles (DMS) and consideration of future consequences (CFC) of HE purchases indicated that future-oriented respondents’ DMS were mostly perfectionistic and high-quality driven. Immediate-oriented respondents’ DMS were both emotionally and performance driven. Their physical well-being was not ideal, but the majority of respondents flourished in terms of their overall mental well-being. Tendencies of practically significant correlations emerged between consumers’ DMS and CFC with the different variables of physical health and psycho-social well-being. Findings from the structural equation modelling pointed out positive as well as negative associations between decision-making and physical and psycho-social well-being. Results indicated that the decision-making of respondents regarding higher-risk products such as HE might be associated with their physical and psycho-social well-being. These findings may be useful to various role-players in the industry, health care sector and academia. Recommendations are made for the application of employee-assisted programmes for informing urban consumers in terms of informed decision-making, in an attempt to improve physical and psycho-social wellbeing and to build on current theory. Findings can serve as ground work for future multidisciplinary research to gain a more holistic understanding of consumer behaviour and high-risk purchases by integrating different disciplines. The knowledge can also be valuable in a developing country context, such as South Africa, with its unique economic and social challenges.
- Health Sciences