Consuming spirituality: the pleasure of uncertainty

Shaw, D. and Thomson, J. (2013) Consuming spirituality: the pleasure of uncertainty. European Journal of Marketing, 47(3-4), pp. 557-573. (doi: 10.1108/03090561311297454)

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<p>Purpose – Although consumption of spirituality and growth of the market in this area have been well documented, it has been largely neglected in marketing. Existing literature exploring spirituality has suggested consumers in this area can experience uncertainty, but lacks clarity as to whether this uncertainty results in negative or positive affective states. The aim of this paper is to explore the theoretical concept of consumer uncertainty.</p> <p>Design/methodology/approach – The research adopts a qualitative exploratory approach through the use of interviews. It explores the theoretical concept of consumer uncertainty and its impact on affect.</p> <p>Findings – The research reveals that consumers of spirituality did indeed embrace many of the products and services offered by the market in this area and they also experienced uncertainty, however, rather than negative as much of the literature surrounding uncertainty suggests, the uncertainty they experienced resulted in positive affective states.</p> <p>Research limitations/implications – It is acknowledged that the current research is limited by its exploratory nature, however, it highlights that consumer uncertainty should not always be viewed as negative and provides important insights into the consumption of spirituality.</p> <p>Originality/value – The current research makes a number of contributions. First, consumption of spirituality in marketing is under researched. The current research found that individuals did embrace the market in this area and enjoyed the uncertainty inherent in many of the products/services on offer. Second, uncertainty as pleasure is under researched generally in the literature. The current research has contributed to this literature through findings which reveal that uncertainty can result in positive effect and this is stable even when individuals do not know that the outcome of uncertainty will be positive or that their uncertainty will be reduced.</p>

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shaw, Professor Deirdre
Authors: Shaw, D., and Thomson, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:European Journal of Marketing
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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