When Empathic Managers Become Consumers: A Self-referential Bias

Johannes Hattula, Walter Herzog, Christian Wanding Dahl, Sven Reinecke

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Abstract

How do managers predict consumer preferences? Over the past decades, numerous studies on this topic have been published (e.g., Gershoff, Mukherjee, and Mukhopadhyay 2008; Hoch 1987, 1988; West 1996). In this line of research, it has been argued that cognitive empathy, defined as the mental process of putting oneself into the shoes of consumers to understand their needs, supports managers in their construal of consumer preferences (Dahl, Chattopadhyay, and Gorn 1999). The present research, however, reveals an adverse effect of cognitive empathy in this context. Our findings suggest that cognitive empathy makes salient managers' personal consumption preferences, thereby biasing their prediction of consumer preferences.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Consumer Research
Volume40
Pages (from-to)1013-1014
Number of pages2
ISSN0098-9258
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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