Consumer Behavior Decision Making L’Oreal

Consumer behavior is an important management field, the study and application of which can provide a lot of insight and value to the marketers. This research paper is based mostly on the existing theories and models of consumer behavior. The first part looks for external factors influencing consuming behavior at various stages and the second applies theories to a well known business organization, L’Oreal.

Consumer Behavior

Hawkins (2008) says that the consumer decision making process is often the result of a single problem however, at other times consumption decision is based on a number of factors. The example provided by Hawkins (2008) to explain the difference actually helps the reader in better analyzing the types of consumption requirement. Running low on gasoline while driving leads to a single factor consumption decision whereas the realization of an aging automobile, growing feeling of inadequacy or low self esteem lead to a multi factor consumption decision regarding a commodity or a service.

For the marketers of an organization, it is important to take into consideration both the types of consumption such that the overall sales of that organization are increased. Consumers are the end point of the supply chain processes. They actually are the magnetic force for all kinds of manufacturing, production and retailing processes that are taking place in a market or in an industry. The stronger the magnetic force in fact, the better will be the overall processes of production, manufacturing and retailing. It is therefore important for the organizations to capture as much of that attraction of the customers as possible. One simple reason for that is that customers are the ones that provide revenue to the business. An interesting quote by Jeff Bezoz, the CEO of Amazon.com says that it is actually the customers of the organization that give the business the money to operate and not the competitors of the organization and thus, all the strategies that the organization makes to improve the business performance (or market capitalization) should be oriented towards the customers (Stockport, 2009).

This idea then forms the core of the field of consumer behavior. Consumer behavior, initially stemming out of the study of micro economics has actually gotten extensive and intensive enough to be termed as a completely independent study of management sciences and one that can have serious policy implications for a business entity.

Consumer behavior holds that the purchasing decision of the consumer can actually be analyzed through various models and theories and using those findings, a business can orient its market plan to gain competitive advantage in the market. A number of external and internal factors become a part of understanding how and why consumers making purchasing decision, using decisions and disposing off decisions and how preferences and tastes as well as norms, cultures, peer pressures and traditions become a part of this decision making process (Lamb, Hair, McDaniel, 2011).

Since it has now been established that a number of internal and external factors play a role in influencing the consumers in their consuming decision, the breakdown of each factor is possible. As far as a business organization and more precisely the strategic managers or the marketers of the organization are concerned, external factors are the ones which they have the power over and thus they can influence the attraction felt by consumers for the product being marketed. However, before the marketing managers can actually pin point the external factors and manipulate them, each stage of the decision making process of the consumers needs to be analyzed.

Analysis of how external variables are used by marketers to influence consumer decision making at the various stages of the consumer decision making model. Illustrations through examples

Nominal Decision Making Process

Hawkins (2008, p. 561) identifies the nominal decision making process and defines it in the following words,

“Nominal decision making, sometimes referred to as habitual decision making, in effect involves no decision per se….A completely nominal decision does not even include consideration of the “do not purchase” alternative. For example you might notice that you are nearly out of Aim toothpaste and resolve to purchase some the next time you are at the store. You don’t even consider not replacing the toothpaste or purchasing another brand.”

According to Hawkins (2008) then a nominal decision making process can be broken down further into brand loyal decisions and repeat decisions.

For the marketers, development of brand loyalty is another arena that is receiving significant attention mostly because of its importance that has been highlighted through the theories of consumer behavior. The more the consumer feels loyal to the brands, the lesser he or she will actually consider buying another brand and thus the number of secure sales for the organization will increase and in the longer run, the provision of stability of revenue for the organization will also be enhanced.

The example for the nominal decision making process has already been highlighted by reviewing Hawkins (2008) however to provide another example is the purchase of soaps, bottled milk, tea brand, coffee brand or sanitary pads. Mostly, for all of these products, the consumer mechanically throw these products into the shopping cart without even considering that just right to the brand that they picked lies another, probably better brand. Development of this behaviour in the consumers requires effort and strategy from the marketing manager of the business organization.

Five Step Decision Making Model

Next is the five step decision making process as studied by Lamb, Hair and McDaniel (2011). In this model, the first step is the recognition of need of a product or service by the consumers. The second is the information search, third the evaluation of alternatives and fourth the purchase of the commodity or service. Finally, the fifth step is the post purchase behaviour. In regards to the model however, the following has been said (Lamb, Hair and McDaniel, 2011, p. 189),

“The five steps represent a general process that can be used as a guide for studying how consumers make decision. It is important to note though that consumers’ decisions do not always proceed in order through all of these steps. In fact, the consumer may end that process at any time or may not even make a purchase.”

However, this model does provide important steps that can be used by the marketers to create external influence on the consuming behaviours of the customers. Baker (2003) says that these five stages together are affected by a number of external and internal factors. These factors include the cultural, social, individual and psychological factors and are actually applicable to all the stages of the consumer decision making process. Therefore, if the customers are to use factors to influence the consumer decision making process, these factors are to be manipulated. For the purpose of this section of the research report, only external factors will be analyzed for each stage of consumption of the goods and services.

The first step is the recognition of needs. This is actually the first and the most important step that the marketers can use to attract the customers and thus gain competitive advantage and even first movers advantage in the market. This is possible by making the customers realize the need for the product that the firm is offering. Hawkins (2008, p. 565) says that,

“Marketers often attempt to cause consumers to recognize a potential problem for which the marketer has a solution…this sometimes involves making consumers aware of problems well before they arise.”

The important word here is “potential”. The usual way through which the problem solving approach goes is to at first recognize the problem and then solve it. Providing external stimulus on the need recognition stage of the decision making process, marketers are actually making the customers create a problem in their head that they did not realize existed before. Obviously this can be both real and imaginary but there is no necessity that the consumer knew of the solution to the problem before. For example, the invention of diapers stimulated the need recognition stage of the decision making process. Before that for centuries, mothers and maids were using cloth and plastic panties for their babies and everything seemed to go fine. With the advent of diapers however, it became almost a necessity. Something without which bearing a child seemed like a serious problem.

Similarly, the marketers can influence the information search stage of the consumer decision making process by providing to the consumers the necessary information through various media. Nowadays, television advertisement, billboards and internet are the favorite sources of providing the consumers with the information about the product and how that product is the one that the consumers require in solving the problem. For example when proctor and gamble came up with the diapers, pampers, they needed to provide the useful information to the consumers about the product. So that the customers who have already realized this problem and were looking for a solution find it in the shape of pampers. This then can require free samples and other promotion techniques as well. As of today however, the techniques that remain dominant have been mentioned.

The marketers can influence the third step that is of alternative evaluation by allowing the customer, through efficient marketing strategies to realize that the product the firm is offering is the best one for the consumer.  The external factor used here can be the help of celebrities to promote a product. Knowing that a specific product works better than anything else for something well known and looked up to can actually lead the consumers to be inclined more towards the purchase of that product.

On the fourth stage of the consumer decision making model, prices are the factors that need to be considered and used by the marketers. The consumers should know that the price they are paying for the product is actually worth it. Here, the factor and consciousness of social class can play an important role. The effect of social class on consumer behavior, apart from the direct relationship of income levels and value of consumption, there is also a direct relationship till the upper class between the realization of social class and the desire to mobilize in the social class hierarchy and the value of consumption (Loudon, 2007). It has been noted that the upper, upper middle and the middle class seriously dreams of being recognized as the elite (how o not really care about the prices but about the quality) make more expensive purchases of the products or services to reinforce their social class image in the society.

Select a company or not-for-profit organisation that you are familiar with and critically evaluate how a specific consumer behavioral theory or model can aid in understanding consumers’ actions. Demonstrate how this then guides the practical implementation of marketing strategy in your chosen organisation.

The Organization

The business entity selected for the purpose this section of the report is L’Oreal Paris. This is the largest beauty and cosmetics brand in the world. In 2009 L’Oreal completed its hundred years and recognizes its moves in the business world as that of being adventurous. L’Oreal (2011) notes that above and beyond that financial success that the organization has achieved, the journey of L’Oreal has been marked by a quest for innovation, a quest for excellence, a question for the purpose of actually existing in the market and finally a quest for diversity in regards to the range of cultures, preferences and tastes of women around the globe.

Consumer Behavior Decision Making L’Oreal
Consumer Behavior Decision Making L’Oreal

This organization has actually celebrated beauty around the globe. L’Oreal has a huge international presence and operates in five continents of the worlds excluding Antarctica and Australia from the list. By the global 100, this beauty brand was actually ranked amongst the world’s 100 most sustainable business organizations. Moreover, this organization in 2011 has been presented with the best financial performance by the Boursoscan (L’Oreal, 2011).

The overview of the organization notes that for a century the organization has been pushing back the boundaries of science to invest and meet the aspirations of millions of women and men (L’Oreal, 2011). L’Oreal seeks to provide the best cosmetics to the world in terms of quality, safety and efficacy. In 2010, the business had consolidated sales figure of 195 billion Euros. Currently, the organization is managing 23 global brands in 130 countries of the world and registered 612 patents in the year 2010 (L’Oreal, 2011).

Theory of Consumer Behavior

Behavioral School of Thought: Classical Conditioning

In regards to the core behavioral theories, Schiffman (2008) notes that there are a number of routes through which the conditioning of consumers to buy a particular product can be done. The first route is the classical conditioning in which the consumer links a certain response to a product. For example, in regards to L’Oreal, classical condition will be that using the Voluminous Mascara introduced by the organization, the eyelashes will actually look darker and prettier and the result will be similar to what Ashwariya Rai puts on her eyes. The conditioning stimulus here will be the darker, more volume eyelashes like the ones that Ashwariya Rai appears with. Through the advertisement then the unconditioned response of the consumer who needs to buy mascara turns into a conditioned one.

Behavioral School of Thought: Cognitive Associative Learning

Next, Schiffman (2008) studies the cognitive associative learning behavior. According to this view, the relationship or (congruity) between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus influences the expectations which in turn influences the behavior of the being. This theory believes that the actions that occur after certain stimuli have been provided are in fact learned and occur because of the increase in knowledge. For example in the example above, the purchase of mascara would occur because knowledge about the qualities of the product has been gained. Unlike the cognitive associative behavior however, the classical conditioning believes that the reaction that occurs is actually reflex.

Economic Theory of Consumer Behavior

Apart from these theories, one consumer behavior theory that actually stems out economics more than psychology is the theory of consumer behavior. Irwin (2005) says that the consumers according to the model provided in this theory consumes at a point where there occurs an intersection between the consumer indifference curve (the choice curve of the customer where combinations of consuming two alternative goods achieve the same level of utility or satisfaction to the customer) and the budget constraint of the individual (as understood mostly by the current income levels of the person or the saved up income from a previous period).

This model assumes that the consumers are rational individuals who are responsive to a price change of products and who also have complete information about the product and the alternatives. Also it is assumed that the individual under question is subject to a budget constraint and that he or she has to manage more than one thing in a given period of time speaking financially.

Attitudes in Consumer Behavior

Perner (2011) however studies the theory of consumer behavior which says that the problem solving approaches of the consumers are actually internal (made up of the memory and thinking process of the individuals) and external (made up of the word of mouth, the media, the store visits and the trials amongst others). In this theory then, the evaluating behavior of the individuals are made up either compensatory, non compensatory, hybrid or abandoned strategy. The first one is the decision based on overall value of alternatives. The non compensatory evaluation requires that the consuming decision meets at least one important criterion and the hybrid is a combination of compensatory and non compensatory evaluation types. Finally, the abandoned strategy is when the consumer finds the initial criteria unrealistic and proceeds to a less desirable solution to the problem. Next, Perner (2011) notes that the consuming behavior of an individual is seriously affected by the attitudes of that individual; and that in turn attitudes are affected by the intentions, the beliefs and the feelings about a particular brand.

 As far as L’Oreal is concerned, consumer behavior can be understood critically through these four theories and the findings can be further used to design a strategy to expand the consumer market and the competitive advantage of the market.

Recommended Marketing Strategies

Starting with the attitudes of the consumers, L’Oreal can be added by understanding what beliefs individuals have about the products and services that the brand itself and that the competitors of the brand provide. This can be measured and analyzed through the attitude measure developed by Perner (2011). Next, the feelings of the consumers can be understood through this attitude model. For example, a fan of Ashwariya Rai, or Penelope Cruz (the brand ambassadors of L’Oreal) will feel a push for consuming the product after aggressively understanding how they feel for the product. Also, being there for a century, this brand is also a name through the generations. Understanding those feelings of the consumers will help steer the marketing plan of the organization towards a greater organizational performance overall.

Next, the theory of consumer behavior includes the importance of prices of the product. This is actually one of the core consumer behavior theories and is the most detail about the behaviors of the individuals. In this regard the organization can use the theory to understand what effect a price change of the products and services has on the sales of the organization and the demand of the consumers. Make up, after a certain limit is usually a luxury for individuals and L’Oreal is an expensive brand.

To keep up its market share and to not lose to organizations which are charging a lower price for similar products through the substitution and the income effect it is important for the management of the organization to carefully consider the underpinnings of the theory of consumer behavior. For this purpose, if the price of the good is actually not that far away from the actual investment put into the product in terms of research and development and manufacturing, the organization can actually use the coin of high quality. The perception of consumer about the quality of the product is a vital asset when an organization is designing its price and marketing policies. The better the consumer perceive the quality of a product to be, the more he or she will be willing to spare for that product because they will know that the money is being well spent and that there will be no hazardous consequences of using a particular product.

Conclusion

Nelson (1970) studies that the consumers are continuously busy in the choice making between different products however, the consequences of these choices are dimly known by them. One of the reasons is that they lack full knowledge about the price and quality of the product. The marketers of a business organization then can utilize the consuming behavior and the attitudes of the consumers for the purpose of attracting the maximum share of revenue for the organization.

This research paper studied how the marketers can actually use external factors including the social class, peer pressure, celebrity following and fashion trends to influence the consuming behavior of the consumers.

The second part of the research report analyzed the various theories of consumer behavior. Those theories then were in critically used to apply for the case of L’Oreal Paris, one of the largest multinationals in the world. Dholakia et al (2010) says that in the case of multimedia and multi channel organization like L’Oreal, the analysis of consumer behavior is different than the usual analysis. Finally, for the applied consumer behavior theories, a number of marketing strategies were recommended for L’Oreal.

References

Baker, D. (2003) Consumer Decision Making. 4th Ed. USA: South Western.

Dholakia, H. et al. (2010) Consumer Behavior in a Multichannel, Multimedia Retailing Environment. Journal of Interactive Marketing, Volume 24 (2), Pages 86-95.  

Hawkins (2008) Consumer Behavior. 6th Ed. India: Tata McGraw Hill

Irwin (2005) Theory of Consumer Behavior. USA: McGraw Hill.

Lamb, C., Hair, J. and McDaniel C. (2011) Essential of Marketing. 7th Ed. USA: South Western.

L’Oreal. (2018). L’Oreal Website

Nelson, P. (1970) Information and Consumer Behavior. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 78 (2), pp. 311-329

Prener, L. (2011) The consumer Behavior: The psychology of marketing.

Schiffman, L and Kanuk, L. (2007) Consumer Behavior. 9th Ed. India: Pearson Education Inc

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Big Data Strategy Decision Making

Big Data Strategy and Its Use in Decision Making

The today’s highly competitive and fast moving business environment is only favorable to businesses that make the best decision. This is due to the fact that with big data intelligence at hand, businesses, such retail business industry, are able to come up with any type of data visualization which comprises of dashboards, info graphics amongst other types of data visualization. According to Krish Krishnan (2013) the volumes of data available in varying degrees of complexity, generated at different velocities and varying degrees of ambiguity, that cannot be processed using traditional technologies, processing methods, algorithms or any commercial off-the-shelf solutions.” Huge volumes of data which can give insights about data that was or it has been produced in an identifiable form can be accessed by big data and for this reason various businesses can use this form of technology in coming up with different processes of decision making.

So as the operations of the business to become efficient and effective, the businesses can also use big data. With this technology, the businesses will be able to compete effectively without the fear of being kicked out of the context. There is improved performance with this new technology as it has increased the speed, flexibility and the ease of measuring the quantities of various data automatically. When compared to the traditional technologies of data processing, the data technology due to its ability to process architecture and measure quantities of data, the data technology is found to be of more benefit and thus more advantageous.

Through the big data analytics and the newly advanced computing technology, even the complicated and the most challenging problems that are associated with various businesses are now easy to solve. Therefore, the process of finding out the useful information, hidden patterns and unknown correlations so as to come up with better and productive decision can simply be referred to as the extraction of big data analytics (Chen , et al., 2012). With this kind of technology, the best decision making and even driven innovation amongst other relevant and important steps of a business can be made by any organization’s top management can be made as a means of survival and development. This is because with this technology, with it the application of high performance tools for data mining, optimization, text mining, forecasting and relevant data extraction is much simpler and even faster.

So as to optimize funnel conversion, the data intelligence can play a very big role to ensure the management makes the decisions that are important and vital to the company business. Other roles that can be played by the data intelligence includes prediction of security threats towards the business, predicting the support the company may land, it can also detect fraud, optimization of prices and carrying out an analysis on the available markets for business and also the big data intelligence plays a role in behavioral analytics. It is noted that when it comes to a right decision making, it is very essential to adapt business intelligence in such a highly competitive and an economy that is growing worldwide so fast.

This type of technology is applicable in various situations i.e. in a data repository, customer relations, integrated marketing strategies or even identifying and weighing the constantly changing industry trends. Mobility, social collaboration, cloud and big data are a few but examples of the areas that are influenced by the industry trends  thus the business intelligence is an important aspect as it is the one that keeps the industry trends going (Chaudhuri & Narasayya , 2011). So as to achieve their motives i.e. raising the market reach, increased profits and better performance of finance, the organization groups of various sizes and companies target their customers use these data that is collected from these sources.

The structured or unstructured data in a business environment that is experiencing completion at global level and is at risky position is capable of provision of trading, assets, price related detailed information and industry related trends to an organization thereby enabling the organization to plan ahead of other competitive industries. Thus such data is very crucial to any industry that needs to grow and work for the best of its objectives in a very competitive business environment.

Big data and customer segmentation

All over the world, for the companies to compete effectively, they have had to find out and identify what their customers want .i.e. the customers’ opinions, reviews, customers’ preferences in their day-to-day needs and these companies are also putting in contest the other factors that affect their businesses as an added advantage for their co-existence in the business world. All these information after being collected, it is analyzed by the company’s experts so as to reach conclusions that will aid in their decision making.

A better decision making will put the company at a position to win the price by shooting at the target as per the objectives and aims that the company had put in place earlier. Such important information can be collected from various social media sites, official websites, interactive sites and various search engines. This is achievable when the companies that are in need of such information retrieve the information from the customer’s purchase history, search items made by the customer, the customer’s history of transaction from the data.

A company with such vital information is able to come up with a strategized marketing form of a message that is composed of customized and personalized contents that exhibit certain features that interest a specific group and thus becomes customer specific.

Retailing analytics

In the process of monitoring, to identify and to measure the extent at which the customers are influenced by the products and services offered by the company, the retailers collect the information that is customer related through the built-in data repository globally from public data and social data so as to know the opinions of their customers. Apart from the individual’s opinion on the products and services offered by the company, the data that is gathered by the company is also composed of the opinion of other people i.e. the friends’ opinions and even other parties’ opinions that are found in the sites of social media.

Data warehousing

Through the collection of data, a large quantity of structured as well as unstructured data keeps on piling and very important and valuable information about the customers is extracted from these piles of data by the companies that are seeking the information. In businesses that are retail oriented, big data intelligence and analytics is used to identify and target the relevant customers i.e. as Walmart does. Other relevant tools for customer preferences and needs are used by Walmart.

Due to continuous piling up of data, a huge data is created as a result. To most businesses this huge data pose a challenge as it becomes tiresome in the event of scanning of products at POS as well as some data also piling from the surveillance cameras etc.  A lot more value can be achieved by a business through proper management of data and thus the business processes can be improved by a large extent which as a result can cause the whole business to succeed. This value can also lead to a good decision making which can as well transform the methodology and value tools for undertaking the business activities. By using Enterprise Data Warehouse concept in any operations of the business, for decision making, any business enterprise is capable of transformation of raw data into knowledge that is quite useful.

Data bases and business intelligence

Big data has been declared by Forbes as the greatest weapon for business prosperity for sales and marketing of various products and this is because with data at hand, the businesses are transforming all over the world since the various businesses have sought to find the actionable insights from the unstructured data that is highly piled. A database that consists of data taken from e-commerce sites, customer call records, customer history and social media sites has been put forward by Walmart. This kind of data presented by Walmart is not structured data but is an extensive and complex data that is accumulated in its data repository which in order to mine, collect and manage needs the tools for data analysis and specialized software.

Walmart focuses on implementing business intelligence and the other tools for data visualization like reports, charts and dashboards and maintenance of such information in in their database for easier retrieval and use when the information is in need. For the marketing manager at Walmart to retrieve the customers’ tastes and preferences, complaints, purchase history and opinions, they use the information from the data so as to divide their customers into categories depending on their characteristics. This is because this mode of characterizing enables Walmart to beat the competition as it is able to understand the competition completely.

Micro-segmentation

Through targeting the behavior and the attitude of the customer towards the products and services offered by a company aids the company to go through the decision making of the customer so that it becomes simple for the companies involved to measure and put into records the differences in products that seek to identify the market and those customers participating in the businesses.

Segmentation is where the company is able to come up with relevant a very message that is passed in media perceiving and in it having a greater ability to break through a broad region and generate a response that is desirable and in turn cause a desirable action or behavior on the target group and cause an engagement of that individual or group thereby resulting in their loyalty to the company thus achieving the expected objective. Therefore, the process of understanding the customer and their behavior and engaging them is the only key to micro-segmentation.

Big Data Dissertation
Big Data Dissertation

Fig I: Customer understanding and benefits

Activity-based data

From mobile data, history made from purchases, data from call center, queries concerning the products incentive responses, the search information and tracking that is made from various websites are some of the activities that enable Walmart to understand its customers. Social media sites like Facebook and tweeter among others have also been monitored and recorded to have given a pushing hand in marketing of products through the marketing messages that they bare. The information about the customer demand can also be provided by the collection of data from the tracking tools on the websites.

The social influence can also be as a result of sentiment data which are affected by the reviews and comments that are made online, the associated company, the involved product and the records that are made concerning the customer in terms of the services offered to such a customer or the products sold to that customer. This information is stored in the database as it can be of use in the future or may be used elsewhere. Through the various activities that leverage the efficiency and the effectiveness of insights that are of high value when it comes to decision making matters, the real cost of micro-segmentation is reached and known as soon as there is an identification of the target market and customers at large.

Master data management

To clean up the old data and create new, accurate, modern and a complete set of data that is necessary for carrying out management and also the growth of the business enterprise, master data management is fondly used. Very crucial and important information about the products, the accounts, relationships, suppliers and customers is exhibited by the master data and through it , the business enterprise is able to understand who it supplies goods and services to, the products or goods that it offers, the services it offers, the accounts it holds with its customers and its suppliers at large. The lack of such information to the enterprise lands it in a dangerous spot and therefore, the enterprise needs this information so as to operate usefully.

A business enterprise is able to allow changing needs in enterprise and also allowing the enterprise to form business processes through integration of data through the master data management which in turn allows the whole activity to go through. There are several advantages that are exhibited by the initiatives on the Master data management. These advantages include the naturally strategic initiatives, the master data management initiative have also affected a good number of business areas at Walmart at large.

The managers at Walmart have been able to solve a number of problems and issues pertaining to their customers, effectiveness of the products they offer etc. And all these are by the business intelligence practices and analytics combined with both the management and the IT involved processes. This is because the master data management has the phrases that direct the organization to the objectives. These phrases that made the master data management relevant include “single view of my customer”, “time span of introducing a new product”, “profitability report of this week” and “how long it would take to penetrate a specific market”. This has thus made Walmart a great competitor when it comes to big data and its management and as a result maximizing its profits and increasing its performance financially.

Big Data Strategy Dissertation
Big Data Strategy Dissertation

Fig II: Master data management at Walmart

IT process management and Big Data

For an organization to come up with good strategy for decision making in various occasions, both the big data and the IT process management must be involved as a single unit. This is because these two are very important in development and maintenance of the data repository which is composed of the information on the opinions, preferences, clients, orders, complaints and the information of many more factors.

The main objective of the IT data is to achieve the goals that were set on the area of business provided while the business analytics that is applied and the decision making process are used and for a good decision making be approached, the business intelligence process, the IT system and the enterprise solution system have to be done harmoniously. For collection and storage of information on an online customer and the transactions carried out, the information technology system is put into use. This information collected and stored can be further utilized during the process of decision making (Mayer-Schönberger, 2013) and therefore making it vital for categorizing of the clients to a given business enterprise.

Merging unstructured data with structured data

The middleware technology is an efficient and affordable and effective technology that is applied and used in the drawing of valuable information. The middleware technology is developed from the merging of both the structured data and unstructured data which is used in the business intelligence system. The various companies develop management systems and data integration and come up with the integration of big data- the integration used for the extraction of reports, data visualization and charts e.g. the Net-mark which was developed at NASA as one of these integrations and the management systems. This software can be scaled and be measured; it is cost effective and very efficient.

Once this software receives unstructured data, for it to be used for analysis or reports, the software cleans automatically and regulates the structure in it. (Mayer-Schönberger, 2013). These are some of its properties and it allows for merging of data as the enterprise involved would like the data to be represented.

Importance of social media in decision making

Social media has today become an important factor in the today’s world of business which is competitive. Social media has enabled various individuals across the world to share and communicate with each other over the internet. There are different activities and behaviors in various social networking sites with a particular trend. Businesses can therefore use the internet to monitor such behaviors and activities so that they can get information about the market trend and the preferences of customers.

Activities, likes, comments, recommendations, time spent on pages, feedback and online reviews about a given product on social sites can provide useful information that managers may need during decision making process. Companies such as Walmart can point out a trend of clothing and fashion that exactly match the needs of their customers (Leonardi, 2013).

Conclusion

The use of business analytics and tools in information technology management, big data technology, data warehousing, etc. has helps various businesses in the present business environment. Development and maintenance of database is today used to monitor and record customers’ behaviors such as purchases and transaction histories. Information from internet search engines, and comments, complaints, tastes and preferences can be used by companies to study their customers. Customer behavior and preferences can also be studied through information about their online activities and participation in internet campaigns.

Such information about customers can be used to make strategic decisions for the effectiveness and efficiency of the company. Business analytics and intelligence is not limited to decision making only but can be used also in marketing, operation and supply chain management among many other applications. Walmart has been using business intelligence in cross selling, segmentation, campaign, advertisement channeling, monitoring of customer behavior and sentiment analysis to study and know their customer needs.

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Approaches for Research Dissertations

Qualitative or Quantitative?

Approaches for all research, whether qualitative or quantitative, requires interpretation and contextualization by the researcher. Narrative statements or a series of figures will not give the answer to the research question or statement (hypothesis) by themselves.

Therefore it is important to choose a research approach (or approaches) that will give the correct ‘type’ of data to answer your research question.

A number of approaches are available when gathering data, but these don’t have to be used in isolation. For instance a focus group can elicit viewpoints which may need exploring further will a larger research cohort using a closed question survey. For this reason, it is important to plan your approach thoroughly before you start, to ensure your research question can be answered and to let your respondees know what is expected of them.

Don’t forget that whichever research method is chosen, it needs to have a robust ethics form that has been approved before contacting participants and starting to gather data.

Approaches that can be used:

Focus groups

This is where a group of people discuss a particular problem, facilitated by the researcher. The group interaction and the sharing of ideas not only means that rich and meaningful data can be pulled out from the focus group but also during the course of the focus groups, ideas can be co-constructed between participants which can be used to further the depth of research.

Structured interviews

When using structured interviews, the questions are written beforehand and are strictly adhered to regardless of the answer.

Semi-structured interviews

Whilst pre written questions are also used in semi structured interviews, this approach allows for the researcher to spontaneously build on answers given, allowing the base question to be answered but also elaborating on any areas which may impact on the research answer.

Survey

Surveys are an excellent way to reach a large number of people. This approach works if there is a clear idea of the questions that will elicit research to support the hypothesis. A mix of qualitative (open text fields) or quantitative (set questions and answers) can be used.

Case study

This approach is valuable when more in depth research is required and allows the researcher to investigate the issues in the place or time that they occur. The researcher will observe the participant and often will have follow up meetings to clarify or build on the information gained.

Narrative enquiry

This method works on the ideology that it is less important what is said, then how it is said. The story a participant will tell may not be entirely factual but it will be their perception of what happened which gives greater in sight. This approach is linked to discourse analysis methodology.

Appreciative enquiry (AI)

AI shifts the traditional focus of looking for the negative impacts of an issue and instead approaches the issue from a positive perspective.

Ethnographic

Ethnographical methodology requires the researcher to embed themselves in the participatory groups own setting, for a sustained time in order to observe, talk and learn from participants.

There are a number of branches from the ethnographic methodology:

Auto ethnographic

More than just an autobiographical account, an auto-ethnographic researcher should reflect on events and use these to uncover meanings and feelings that a purely narrative account may miss.

Visual ethnographic

Using video, photos and artefacts as the main source of research data rather than supplementing it.

Netography

Researchers using this methodology are involved and participants or ‘lurkers’ in virtual groups and communities. Ethical issues need to be carefully considered with this approach.

Soft Systems Methodology (SSM)

Instead of studying isolated issues, SSM is a holistic way of looking at and solving problems. These are often presented in mind map formats, making this a good research methodology for visual learners.

Questions to ask before choosing a research approach:

  1. Will we learn more about this topic using quantitative or qualitative approaches?
  2. Which approach will produce more useful knowledge?
  3. Which will do more good?

References

Taken from:  Cousin. Glynis, (2009) Researching Learning in Higher Education. Routledge. UK.

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Top 10 Business Studies Essays

Top 10 Business Studies Essays

In this post we will give you an insight into our Top 10 Business Studies Essays for college and university students. These essays and assignments will prove valuable reading and will assist you in structuring your own business studies assignments. We have many titles that will help university business studies students. Subject areas that we provide include: business management, HRM, marketing, economics, finance and accounting, all of which will be covered off in a business studies degree.

Below are some outstanding business studies essays and assignments to get you started. Be sure to reference all material in accordance with your university’s guidelines and code of conduct.

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Innocent Drinks Brand Marketing Strategy

Innocent drinks was created in 1999 by three young entrepreneurs and has been 90% owned by The Coca-Cola Company since 2013. They produce smoothies, juices and veg pots which are sold in the UK and in a few European countries. The innocent drink brand values are healthy, natural, sustainable and ethically responsible. These values are reflected in their products, made exclusively with natural and sustainable sourced ingredients, with no added sugar and no concentrate, and whose 10% of profits go to charity. Innocent drinks communicate their brand values through above-the-line and below-the-line advertising by using subtle marketing techniques that seek to communicate the brand’s personality. According to academics core values are essential to defining the corporate brand identity and support the brand promise being made to the customer, and they guide internal and external brand building.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - Innocent Drinks Marketing
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – Innocent Drinks Marketing

Managing Human Capital

Human resource is the most crucial asset of a firm since the organizational growth and profitability are determined by the effective human resource management, according to Reece (2013). When a firm successfully places the best employee to the suitable position, the productivity tends to increase. In this case, an effective and efficient employee adds value to the organizational well-being. The employees of a firm deal mostly with the customers and service delivery to the customers is determined by the level of motivation to the employees. A motivated employee tends to engage with the job with higher intensity and persistence. This higher intensity and persistence result in quality and timely service to the customers. Hence, customer satisfaction is closely linked with the employee motivation. Employee satisfaction as well as customer satisfaction leads to the organizational growth and profitability for a firm, claimed by Truss et al (2012). In this case, the role of customer satisfaction on sales turnover can be referred. When customers are satisfied, the loyalty of the customers increases. Besides this, the customers also do word of mouth marketing for the firm which lead to growth in sales. Thus, the profitability and growth of the firm is ensured.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - Human Capital Management
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – Human Capital Management

Corporate Finance – Mergers and Acquisitions

Business organisations are primarily instituted with the rationale of maximizing shareholder value through growth. To achieve this end, businesses will have to operate in a competitive landscape characterized by high uncertainties. Given the kind of environment they operate, businesses can be affected by financial volatility such as the credit crunch of 2008. One of the strategies to offset this financial distress is through Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A). This report will carry out a performance review in the banking sector on the acquisition of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) by Lloyds Banking Group within the precarious times of the global financial recession in 2008.

Drawing on qualitative and quantitative information this report aims to establish the profitability effect of the acquisition on acquirer. The report also reflects on the rationale that necessitated this acquisition and the effect its announcement had on shareholder value. Secondary data in the form of profitability ratios (2004 to 2013) will be sourced from OSIRIS and FAME financial databases. Other qualitative information for analysis will be sourced from annual reports of the banks and credible news agencies. Share prices to be used to perform the event study will be sourced from Yahoo Finance. Performance indicators in the form ratios will be analysed using graphical interpretation of results with the help of Microsoft Excel. The event study will be performed using the market model in deriving the abnormal returns on the day of the announcement. The performance of the acquirer will be bench-marked through a trend and peer analysis review.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - Corporate Finance Mergers Acquisitions
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – Corporate Finance Mergers Acquisitions

Psychographic Segmentation Of Luxury Goods

Market segmentation can be defined as the division of a market into smaller segments of buyers with distinct needs, characteristics or behaviors that might require separate marketing strategies or mixes. Psychographic segmentation is a mechanism of market segmentation that is utilized to divide the heterogeneous whole market into sub markets whereby each individual shares homogeneous traits, socioeconomic statuses, personality or behavioral characteristics. The luxury goods industry is a market that consists of copious products that present themselves as being of superior quality and functionality in juxtaposition to competitors, while also attaining esteemed regard and a high perceived quality by consumers in the market.

This report fundamentally examines the luxury goods industry with relation to aspects such as size, brand leaders, competition, market trends and consumer decision making, while subsequently utilizing theoretical knowledge of psychographic segmentation to explore managerial implications and strategies associated with the presence of certain consumers in the luxury goods industry. All information will be substantiated by expertise knowledge in the form of peer-reviewed journals, while also utilizing market-specific information derived from the passport database to enhance statistical and theoretical knowledge of the industry, and the methods of psychographic segmentation implemented to assess the luxury goods market.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - Psychographic Segmentation
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – Psychographic Segmentation

Leadership – A Critical Assessment on Leader-Member Exchange (LMX)

Leadership is the key to ensuring the desired efforts by different parties within a firm to achieve the goals and visions whereby the stakeholders are inspired and motivated for the achievement of individual goals as well as organisational goals. As the application of proper leadership theory can ensure the growth of a firm, the choice of leadership theory is often described as a complex decision to make. Considering the vision and mission of a firm, the leaders must choose to implement a leadership theory that can truly contribute to the organisational growth as well as employees’ professional development.

Through innate qualities and hard work, leaders make a firm competitive in the industry. On the other hand, by showing flexibility; leaders transform their leadership style based on the opportunities and threats from the internal and external environment. In this paper, by focusing on a single approach different theories of leadership are assessed comprehensively. These theories of leadership are the benchmark for leaders to reinforce their control throughout the organisation. Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theory of leadership is critically assessed in this paper to comprehend the development and implication of the theory in organisational framework.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - Leader-Member Exchange
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – Leader-Member Exchange

Professional and Personal Development – Leadership Theories

To be a successful leader in any organization, leadership theories help to give guidance of skills and character to people. Several leadership theories like trait theories, contingency theories, behavioral theory and Leader –Member Exchange theory will be described here that helps to give different guidance in different situations. Among all these leadership theories, trait theories are one of the effective theories. In this study, Trait theories significance and empirical reviews are determined properly that helps to determine habitual pattern of behavior. Traits are different in different situations in different types of people that influence behavior. Leaders should be transforming their leadership styles in different situation to adjust with market demand and to enhance leadership qualities and approaches. When leaders can get effective leadership skills and attributes, then they can handle any type of situation easily and enhance organizations well-beings as well as individual development.

The objectives of this study are given here:

  • To analyze some leadership theories and determine one important and effective leadership theory
  • To inscribe a reflective evaluation of preferred theory to understand substantial body of academic and professional knowledge about this theory
  • To trace out development of leadership approach

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - Leadership Theories
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – Leadership Theories

Marketing Analysis on Red Bull Company

Red Bull was the first company to offer Energy Drinks throughout the world, creating a completely new category on the consumer beverage marketplace, therefore becoming synonymous with energy drinks for a large number of consumers. This new category of Energy Beverages is sold in over 169 countries worldwide, making Red Bull Energy Drink market extremely broad. The product Red Bull sells is of course the drink and as described above there are some variants, but in the essence it is all based on the traditional recipe of the energy drink. Red Bull offers the customer a refreshing beverage that includes various stimulants. However a big part of the product is the branding; e.g. the substance found in the cans of Red Bull might seem extremely similar to competitors, the brand name, including the iconic packaging, is what defines the product that is offered by Red Bull and creates value for the customer.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - Marketing Analysis Red Bull
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – Marketing Analysis Red Bull

Marketing Management Energy Drink Industry

Managing and appraising the funds and activities of firm relates with the marketing management. In order to reduce the costs and increase the profitability of a firm, managing the marketing issues effectively is crucial. A start-up energy drink company has decided to launch their products. In this case, the United Kingdom (UK) environment will be considered to assess the internal and external environment of the new firm. With the help of different models like PEST, SWOT, Five Forces, etc. the firm’s internal and external issues as well as competitive factors will be assessed. A marketing plan will be developed considering the SMART objectives along with the 7P analysis of the firm. The energy drink industry is a competitive industry with giants like Monster, Rockstar, Red Bull, etc. operating in the industry. To formulate the marketing strategy of the start-up, a critical assessment of the marketing and promotional assessment of the giant firms will be conducted.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - Marketing Energy Drink Industry
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – Marketing Energy Drink Industry

Strategic Management – British Airways Business Environment

Strategic management deals for better arrangement of corporate strategies and strategic significance to maintain optimum administration practices. Any business strategy gives the guidelines and ways of enhancing company’s profitability and achieving competitive advantages. This report will be described several terms and concepts of strategic management based on British Airways Company. As a consultant of British Airways, I have to suggest business new or incremental strategy for business resilience and sustainability. At the very first part of this report, internal and external environmental factors will be described by using SWOT analysis and Porters five forces model. A new or incremental strategy will be recommended based on company’s strategic capabilities, competitive analysis and organizational structure. Recommended strategy will be critically analyzed and developed a relationship with human resource capital, financial conditions, operational conditions and technological conditions in the second part. Change management program will be determined in the last part of this report and factors to be determined that may hamper or enhance change management program here.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - British Airways Environment
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – British Airways Environment

Consultancy Report – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

This report has focused on the need for strategic change within GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a UK based global pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor. The report has identified the strategic need of change within the international value delivery system of GSK. This report has identified that GSK is facing problem with its current hierarchical organisational culture which has been resulted in interrupted organisational communication and inefficiency in the value delivery process. The factors driving the change process are volatile financial performance, changing customer buying behaviour and the intensity of the market rivalry. McKinsey’s 7S Change Model has been suggested to bring the strategic change within GSK. The challenges to the change process that have been identified are employee resistances to change, resource constraints and ideological resistances to change. The change process is aimed at enhancing organisational efficiency, organisational value, uninterrupted organisational communication and employee engagement.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - GlaxoSmithKline Consultancy Report
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – GlaxoSmithKline Consultancy Report

Analysis of Supply Chain Management at IKEA

The purpose of the paper is to evaluate three dimensions of supply chain management at IKEA. The supply chain management is wide concept and IKEA retail business is familiar with it. The IKEA business is being evaluated in its first dimension the structure adopted by it. Logistics structure, supply chain structure and product development structure are being studied in this report. The second dimension of report has showed that what kind of issues and problems in its current logistics structure. Lastly, it has showed that how structure is recommended so that it can meet challenges in future while adopting business in most competitive business. The first part of report also showed that what is uniqueness of business and show it has adopted that uniqueness ideally. The business nature of business and retailing process development are core elements of report. The main concern of report is to identify that how much IKEA is responsible towards society and its customer and even with its suppliers. This is only possible with low cost production, just time model n supply chain management and cost effective supplier selection. The report has ensured with several mindsets about supply chain management that how IKEA is leading in retail industry.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - IKEA Supply Chain Management
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – IKEA Supply Chain Management

Cultural Influence on International Marketing

The era of globalization is here as economies are integrating with other economies, expanding and are exposing themselves to universal marketing decisions. Marketers in the international market need to understand that promotion of a product is adversely affected by cultural patterns in various countries. The demand trends for various products and choices of people depend on cultural values, customs, and tradition of a specific region. Culture is depicted entirely by the attributes and way of life of a particular group of people. This entails the way people speak, believes, their dressing styles, learning, attitudes values, and norms. Many factors are there which affects the marketing process for a product like economy, competition, target market, and budget but culture play an essential role on impacting consumer preference which was not seen as a critical element many years ago. Marketing processes relate to planning, product promotion to cope with cost control, maintaining quality and competition.

Top 10 Business Studies Essays - Culture International Marketing
Top 10 Business Studies Essays – Culture International Marketing

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Youth Crime Juvenile Delinquency

Theories Explaining Youth Crime

Youth crime equally known as juvenile delinquency is the participation in criminal activities by minors who have not attained the age of majority. Consequently, such behavior remains informed by various factors some of which can be alluded to as the cause of criminal actions (Goldson & Muncie, 2015). Common youth crimes include, for instance, underage drinking and smoking which are primary status offenses, violent crimes for instance robbery with violence and property crimes like burglary or theft. Despite the propensity of such crimes, little is known as to why young people turn to criminal tendencies. Subsequently, numerous theories have been postulated to explain the causes and core reasons as to why young people engage in youth crime. Thus, this essay endeavors to draw contrast and comparison between two such academic theories explaining youth crime; differential and labeling theories of youth crime.

The differential theory of crime notes that the criminal activities among the youth are acquired through social contact. Therefore, criminal mind and behavior are acquired through contact with a society which in turn represents the people (McShane, 2013). Developed by Edwin Sutherland in an attempt to explain the reason as to why youths engage in criminal actions, the emphasis of the theory is that criminal behavior among minors is a learned behavior. Consequently, a person learns to engage in criminal activity by devoting most their time in the company of individuals who have committed crimes, and such individuals believe that the commission of such crimes is acceptable. The young person in such learning environment, therefore, indulges his attitude, motive and drive for such a crime through careful understanding of the crime from an offender.

Labeling theory, on the other hand, notes that youth crime is a social construction, primarily by the ruling class. Postulated by Howard Becker in 1963, the theory is anchored on the tenets that the individuals in charge of the control of the society label young men from powerless class as deviant. Such labeling is however premised on stereotypical assumptions, and the effect is that young people of these social classes consider themselves criminals based on self-fulfilling prophecies (Kroska, Lee & Carr, 2017). Where the young person considers themselves a deviant as postulated by the ruling part of the society, they end up in criminal careers. Consequently, comparison drawn therefore between differential theory and labeling theory is that crime is socially construed and not innate. The different process that minors go through help in developing the criminal behavior, either from learning or from being labeled deviant.

Youth Crime and Sociology

According to differential theory, the learned behavior among the minors who commit a crime is not inherited, and neither is it invented. However, the criminal nature remains informed by the social norms and values that they draw from whom they substantially are in contact with socially (Akers, 2013). As such, no minor is born with the techniques and skills relevant enough to commit a crime.  Labeling theory equally draws on the same line by outlining that the deviant behavior is not inborn but instead created by the act of labeling. As such, every minor is born free of criminal behavior, and deviant behaviors remain non-invented. Eventually, this comparison indicates that the criminal activities amongst the youth are predicated on interactions with society and not personality as at birth.

Subsequently, another comparison between differential theory and labeling theory is the legal connotation that represents their foundation. According to Becker, the construction of the rules informs the creation of deviant behaviors within young men (Sjöström, 2017). However, it is the reaction of the people towards a deviant behavior that sufficiently leads to the final formation of criminal behavior due to social dissent that hampers the self-concept of the young person. Similarly, differential theory notes that law defines crime despite being caused by social interaction with intimate and non-intimate interactions. Therefore, the legal consensus in determining the ground basis of crime remains similar in both theories.

Eassey & Krohn (2017) notes that witnessing of criminal behavior does not inform the development of criminal behavior in young people. However, such actions are acquired through communication as the primary interaction process. Consequently, where a young person communicates with another person who has committed deviant action or is in the process of such commission, then such is likely to result in the formation of criminal behavior. However, the most robust interaction that leads to criminal behavior is the intimate relations between family members.

Third parties and media on the other are less influential in developing such behavior. The same contrasted against labeling theory indicates that criminal behavior is instead a construction of the rules by the those controlling the society (Akers, 2013). According to Howard Becker, for instance, a fight in a low-income community is a measure of deviant behavior or delinquency. However, in a high-income neighboured, the authorities fail to classify the same as delinquency. As such, crime is developed not from the actions of youth but the reactions of others towards the initial action.

In the differential theory of crime, the learning of the criminal behavior must include the acquisition of techniques and skills in performing the criminal activity. Additionally, the minor must also develop the motive and attitude necessary for the crime from the social interaction. (Gray, Durkin, Call, Evans & Melton, 2015). For example, where a young person interacts with a person who has been involved in murder through verbal communication, they are likely to learn the technique and motive employed by such person.

However, the choice to engage in similar youth crime remains predicated on the social norms and values that such a young person appreciates. The norms are equally learned through verbal communication and different actions. In labeling theory, however, not every deviance is labeled criminal except for negative labels. The formulation of the rules of the society determines whether deviant actions are outlawed or not and represent the primary source of criminal behavior.

Labeling theory provides for two types of deviance; primary and secondary. Primary deviance is emotive reactions to the behavior in question while secondary deviance denotes extreme case of social dissent as a reaction towards the behavior. The difference between the two is that in primary deviance the self-concept is minimally affected while in secondary deviance, the young faces ostracization from the social settings. The resultant effect of secondary deviant is that the young person, therefore, seeks such social recognition from groups that condone such behavior (Cullen & Jonson, 2014).

An example is drawn from acts of criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution usually causes stigmatization due to the negative label according to its association. The effect of such labeling is in the action of equating the past of an individual to current deviant to the point of creating a belief that the person is a criminal. Therefore, the stigma that young people face represents one means which informs their involvement in the crime. In contrast, no stigmatization in differential theory causes criminal behavior. Such is occasional on substantial social interactions that are informed by criminal behavior.

Another critical contrast between differential theory and labeling theory is the consequence of the primary action. The primary action in differential theory is social interaction while for labeling theory is negative labeling (Akers, 2013). The consequence of social interactions does not necessarily lead to criminal behavior as the youth still has to weigh such an option based on social norms and values learned. Despite the acquisition of knowledge, technique, and skill for the commission of the crime, the same is restrained by social controls. However, negative labeling primarily leads to the development of criminal behavior, especially in secondary deviance. Tentatively, due to societal segregation, the push for the search of an accommodating group causes the young person to only associate with persons tolerant of such deviant behavior.

Further, the aim of labeling theory is concentration on the reaction towards a deviant behavior committed by a young person. As such, there is unintended bias by academicians in the formulation of deviance as a source of criminal behavior among the youth. The concentration of differential theory, however, is twofold (Goldson & Muncie, 2015). First, the criminal behavior must be informed by social interactions of intimate relations although this must not always be the case. Secondly, criminal behavior only stems where the influence of communication is supported by lack of social norms and values for the offending young man. As such, there must be either a positive or negative social inclination for a crime to either result after the acquisition of knowledge, skills, motive, and technique to commit the crime in question.

Youth Crime
Youth Crime

Tentatively, the differential theory provides that where the person in the association is the primary actor in the commission of a crime and believes that such a crime is acceptable, then the criminal behavior is likely to result (Cullen & Jonson, 2014). Nevertheless, for such criminal behavior to arise, then the benefits of the commission of such a crime should outweigh retraction from such conduct. The variation of interactions and learning occasionally differ although the propensity to developing criminal behavior is based on consistency towards exposure. The same does not apply in labeling theory where the propensity of labeling affects the individual only where it is negative to the point of inflicting fulfillment of self-prophecy. Additionally, deviance only creates criminal behavior where it is secondary, and there is social dissent towards the action of the individual. Conclusively, criminal behavior according to labeling theory is not learned but placed upon a youth due to societal reactions.

The differential theory further contends that the learning of criminal behavior is similar to all other learning mechanisms employed in different spheres. However, the downside of such an argument is the motive for the uptake of such process (Muncie, 2014). Thus, according to the theory, all other learning mechanisms must be motivated for individuals to engage in such learning process. Consequently, criminal behavior needs motive before the young person gets into the process despite contentions that it is spontaneous. However, such notions are dismissed with the consideration that learning is innate despite the motive. In contrast to labeling theory, no learning is required while at the same time, the categorization is deliberate rather than spontaneous and lack of motivation

Crime actions represent the expression of specific needs that an individual either desires or desperately need. However, not all crimes are based on needs and want, and at the same time individuals can aspire and achieve needs without resorting to criminal behavior. Such notion represents a primary tenet of the differential theory (Kroska, Lee & Carr, 2017). For instance, in a scenario where two young people desire money and gold and one resort to crime to satisfy such need while the other opts for legitimate means. Thus, the mere need for gold does not inform the reason as to why the other engaged in crime and the other didn’t. The answer in the scenario above is predicated on social norms and values that the two different young people hold and exposure to criminal activity. Consequently, crime results due to the pre-exposure to criminal behavior and subsequent ignorance of the societal norms and values.

On the other hand, Labeling requires negative secondary deviance and social dissent towards the behavior for development of criminal behavior. An illustration stems where authorities treat similar behaviors in different social settings differently. Where for instance a particular kind of deviance is tolerated when unknown to the public although the society takes part in it secretly, such deviance when uncovered results in the development of criminal behavior (Akers, 2013). Such kind of deviance, for example, is taking of illegal drug substances. Although it is usually secretly undertaken, occasional public recognition of such deviance results in being branded criminal and subjection to public shame. It is such reactions that result in the development of criminal behavior in young people. The same becomes extreme where social dissent forces the particular young man to resort to groups that accept the kind of deviance that represent their common relationship.

Lastly, a contrast can also be drawn from the impact of the primary factor in the commission of the crime. The differential theory contends that the impact of learning from known criminals who have accepted criminal behavior may or may not result in the commission of a crime (Goldson & Muncie, 2015). Labeling theory on the other hand points that the deviance if secondary and negative and therefore results in social dissent, then criminal behavior automatically arises due to identity problems. Thus, the probability of development of criminal behavior between the two theories varies among the young people.

In conclusion, it remains apparent that the two academic theories endeavor to create rationale and motive for the rampant statistics involving youth crime. The differential theory alludes the criminal activity within the youth population to the social interactions that they undergo. Such social interactions are either from intimate relations that is family members and relatives or from non-intimate relations including strangers.

Where the young person is exposed to interactions through communication from persons with criminal experience and such persons accepted the crime, then the young person is likely to develop criminal behavior. Nevertheless, for such behavior to ensue, then the young person’s adherence to norms and values within the society remains compromised. In labeling theory, criminal behavior arises among young people where deviant behavior is associated with social dissent, and such reactions create the segregation of the young person from the social recognition they require. Resort to groups that appreciate such deviant behavior automatically results in the development of criminal behavior. Conclusively, both theories provide that criminal behavior among the youth be socially construed and not innate or inherited.

References

Akers, R. L. (2013). Criminology theories: Introduction and evaluation of youth crime. Routledge.

Cullen, F. T., & Jonson, C. L. (2014). Labeling theory and correctional rehabilitation: Beyond unanticipated consequences. Labeling theory: Empirical tests, 63-88.

Eassey, J. M., & Krohn, M. D. (2017). Differential Association, Differential Social Organization, and White‐Collar Crime: Sutherland Defines the Field. The Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Criminology, 156.

Goldson, B., & Muncie, J. (Eds.). (2015). Youth crime and justice. Sage.

Gray, A. C., Durkin, K. F., Call, J. T., Evans, H. J., & Melton, W. (2015). Differential association and marijuana use in a juvenile drug court sample. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice11(1), 2015.

Kroska, A., Lee, J. D., & Carr, N. T. (2017). Juvenile Delinquency, Criminal Sentiments, and Self-Sentiments: Exploring a Modified Labeling Theory Proposition. In Advances in Group Processes (pp. 21-47). Emerald Publishing Limited.

McShane, M. (Ed.). (2013). An Introduction to Criminology Theory. Routledge.

Muncie, J. (2014). Youth Crime. Sage.

Sjöström, S. (2017). Labeling theory. Routledge International Handbook of Critical Mental Health.

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