Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Advisor(s)

Tracey Kizzer, PhD

Second Advisor

Kimberly Jentsch, PhD

Third Advisor

James Johnson, PhD

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to examine existing and potential motorcycle owners’ susceptibility to military interpersonal influence as it relates to brand identification, brand loyalty and purchase intention for cruiser and touring motorcycles, otherwise known as heavyweight motorcycles. The study also explores the generational influences on these relationships with regards to Generation Y and Baby Boomers. It contributes to existing literature by applying the susceptibility to interpersonal influence scale originally developed by Bearden, et al. (1989) to military influence. The research extends brand relationship literature (Fournier, 1998; Lam, et al., 2012; Kuenzel & Haliday, 2010) to heavyweight motorcycles. The methodology employed PLS-SEM analysis of data obtained from 226 online respondents who participated in a survey utilizing adapted existing scales. The study finds that susceptibility to military interpersonal influence positively relates to brand identification with heavyweight motorcycles and that it is also positively related to brand loyalty and purchase intention as mediated by brand identification. Generation strengthens the relationship between military influence and purchase intention as mediated by brand identification and is stronger for Baby Boomers than Generation Y. Direct effects of military influence to purchase intention and brand loyalty were negative, indicating that mediation was partial and competitive. The competitive mediation points to a missing mediator in the conceptual model that should be a focus of future research. The findings confirm that the military serves as an information or normative influence for motorcycle consumers, but only when this influence interacts with the brand’s identity.

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