Tell me about it! The use of a co-constructed, auto-ethnographic storytelling methodology to provide enhanced insight into the consumer's purchasing experience

Allbwn ymchwil: Cyfraniad at gynhadleddPapuradolygiad gan gymheiriaid


This paper acknowledges the incongruity between the business environment and a story-telling methodology, but illustrates how the socially-constructed ontological nature of the business landscape can yield valuable insight and results from such content-rich data. Whilst frequency of occurring phenomena is sometimes needed, the positivistic characteristics of such research can fail to allow understanding of the social context. This paper addresses this discrepancy by offering awareness of how auto-ethnography can provide context-rich data relating to the personal experiences of the researcher. With this interpretivistic method, we acknowledge that epistemologically, the researcher is both the research subject, and the medium for the interpretation of such data, and is therefore an extremely important component in the development of the knowledge that merges from such research. The methodology used for the creation of the auto-ethnographic stories that form the basis of this study, is that of co-constructed narrative, which takes an inductive approach. Auto-ethnography provides a link between the individual and its culture, and sees the embodiment of the self within a social context. As a method of data collection, auto-ethnography has been demonstrated to provide an overt link between theory and personal narrative. In the case of this study, co-constructed auto-ethnography links the theoretical constructs surrounding consumer decision-making within the context of international fashion brands, with the personal stories of two researchers who have purchased fashion items. The motivation for this study came from an informal discussion with a Jordanian PhD student who had purchased a Jordanian dress in New York. The student’s supervisor also had a story to tell about the purchase of a Jordanian dress, and it became clear that these stories had similarities, but also significant differences in terms of attitude and values. It was therefore decided that a collaborative story-telling exercise be undertaken, and through these stories, rich, qualitative data were generated. The two participants provided an epistolary account of their experience, within which, each section was subject to a response from the other author, which provided shared meaning. The paper also integrates elements of community auto-ethnography, where a third, collaborative researcher provides an objective view of the auto-ethnographic stories, and illustrates how significant meaning may be obtained from the rich data in terms of socio-cultural issues and aspects of the consumer decision-making processes regarding the purchase of international fashion brands. The narrative voice that is heard through the auto-ethnographic data provides information and gives insight into a personal and individual reality, but also allows comparison of these realities, and interpretation of the reasons for similarity and difference of behaviour and perceptions. The written stories also entertain and draw in the reader to the story in a way that allows the reader to gain a deep understanding of the phenomena being described. Auto-ethnography acknowledges that researchers have a specific and distinct voice (both individually and collectively) which allows a critical appraisal of the ‘situatedness’ of the self within a social context, and thus provides considerable focal insight. We find that the perception of brands differs according to the individual’s background and value system, and that brands from one’s own country may be perceived in a lesser light to those brands from overseas, which take on an exotic quality due to their origin. Whilst the findings from this methodology are not generalizable, they are more reliable, as they minimise the loss of meaning through third-party interpretation. The veracity and credibility of the auto-ethnographic contribution is the responsibility of the narrator, although this very phenomenon brings a challenge to the detached researcher (in this case, through the community ethnographic perspective) to distinguish between the event as it happened, and the event as it is retold. We conclude that story-telling through auto-ethnography can provide much relevant data to the business world which will allow a greater insight into the hearts and minds of consumers than quantitative research.
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
StatwsCyhoeddwyd - 5 Rhag 2018
Digwyddiad4th International Colloquium on Design, Branding and Marketing : 'Experience and value creation in design, branding and marketing' - University of Hasselt , Hasselt, Gwlad Belg
Hyd: 5 Rhag 20187 Rhag 2018
Rhif y gynhadledd: 4th


Cynhadledd4th International Colloquium on Design, Branding and Marketing
Teitl crynoICDBM 2018
Gwlad/TiriogaethGwlad Belg
Cyfeiriad rhyngrwyd

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