Status Inequalities in Business Exchange Relations in Luxury Markets

M (Miriam) Pocock

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternally prepared


In this thesis we examine purchase exchanges between high status buyers and suppliers of lower status in luxury markets. While extant literature has treated status inequalities as an objective distinction in status rank, Study 1 on boat builders presents a novel approach towards conceptualising emerging status inequalities on the basis of the buyer’s varying status salience at the impending exchange. Given contingent factors (purchase visibility; buyer status position; type of market uncertainty), we demonstrate this from the buyer’s willingness to trade-off incumbent supplier status for improved product attributes from a lower status supplier. Studies 2 and 3 address end-consumer evaluations of high status cars equipped with components of varying visibility from lower status suppliers. Results in general portray the end-consumers’ higher preference towards acquiring improved components regardless of supplier status. When comparing lower status suppliers of unknown and of known reputation, consumers manifested a more favourable attitude towards high status cars which include low visibility components from new entrant suppliers. We moreover demonstrate effects of potential status transfer in the affiliation. In spite of their newness, unknown suppliers of ingredients of high visibility, benefit from a higher perceived reputation than similar suppliers of low visibility ingredients.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • van Riel, Cees, Supervisor
  • Berens, Guido, Co-supervisor
Award date6 Apr 2017
Print ISBNs9789058924797
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2017


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