An Empirical Test of Contingency Theory

  • Barbara Carroll


In a test of Fournier and Mick's (1999) contingency theory of consumer satisfaction, this work identifies two predictors of a relatively more emotional (as contrasted with rational) satisfaction experience. Two stages of work were undertaken. First, an exploratory investigation suggested that consumers do find a rational-emotional continuum meaningful for describing the nature of their satisfaction with a self-identified product. This early stage also suggested two context-specific predictors of differences in the rational-emotional nature of satisfaction. A subsequent large-scale survey focusing on packaged goods provided empirical support for a relatively more emotional experience with relatively more hedonic (as contrasted with utilitarian) product categories and with brands that permit a greater degree of self-expression.
Journal Articles