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EMAC 2022 Annual

Why do consumers discard products prematurely? A Consumer Value Perspective

Published: May 24, 2022


Pia Furchheim, ZHAW School of Management and Law; Nicole Kreidler, West Virginia University


As we push closer to 1.5 degrees Celsius, it is apparent that we need to go beyond sustainable buying behavior and holistically look at the entire consumption cycle. The present paper investigates factors that drive consumers’ desire to replace their current cellular phone in a longitudinal study. Building on the Investment Model by Rusbult et al. (1998) and consumer value theory, we show that product commitment is a function of a person’s satisfaction with that product, the quality of alternatives, and the investment size. The results indicate that the product relationship and product commitment generally weaken over time, while the perceived quality of alternatives and the likelihood to replace the phone increase. Additionally, we show that consumer value (hedonic and utilitarian) is an important driver of satisfaction. Importantly, the results show that while the effect of the utilitarian value on satisfaction remains stable over time, the influence of the hedonic value significantly declines.