Relationship between decision-making styles and social power of consumers of table tennis sports brands (comparison of domestic and foreign brands)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Master's degree in sports management, non-profit Ivanki University of Tehran

2 Assistant Professor of Sports Management, Department of physical Education, Farhangian University, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Sports Management, Department of Sports Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


The objective of this research is to investigate the relationship between decision-making styles and social power among consumers of table tennis sports brands, with a specific focus on comparing domestic and foreign brands. In today's dynamic market, where consumer behavior plays a pivotal role, understanding the factors that shape consumer choices and the dynamics of social power is crucial for organizations and enterprises operating in the multi-billion dollar sports goods industry. Consumer behavior is influenced by various internal and external factors, including individual preferences, social interactions, and the power dynamics within consumer-seller relationships. By delving into the concept of purchase decision style, this study aims to understand how consumers make choices when selecting table tennis sports brands. The examination of decision-making styles will shed light on whether consumers prioritize factors such as quality, brand reputation, fashion trends, hedonistic experiences, price considerations, indifference, confusion, or loyalty. Furthermore, the study will investigate the notion of social power and its impact on consumer-seller relationships. Social power reflects the ability to influence or control others in social interactions, and in the context of the table tennis sports market, it encompasses the extent to which sellers can harness and dominate consumers' financial resources. Similarly, the power of sellers is influenced by their role as suppliers of goods and services that meet consumers' needs. The research will explore how the interdependence between consumers and sellers shapes their power dynamics and ultimately affects consumer behavior. To achieve these objectives, the study will employ a comprehensive scale designed to assess consumer power. This scale will measure various dimensions, including consumer influence, consumer resistance, social influence, and social resistance. By quantifying these dimensions, the research aims to provide a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between decision-making styles and social power among consumers of table tennis sports brands. Ultimately, the findings of this research will contribute to the body of knowledge on consumer behavior in the sports goods market and provide valuable insights for organizations and enterprises seeking to succeed in this highly competitive industry. By recognizing the significance of decision-making styles and social power, companies can tailor their marketing strategies, enhance customer satisfaction, and establish long-lasting relationships with their target consumers.
The present study employed a descriptive-correlational research design to investigate the relationship between decision-making styles and social power among consumers of table tennis sports brands, specifically comparing domestic and foreign brands. The target population of the research included both male and female purchasers of table tennis sports products. Due to the unlimited and unknown size of the population, a sample size of 382 individuals was determined using Cochran's formula for unlimited populations. The sampling method used was convenience sampling. The data collection instrument consisted of two parts. The first part comprised demographic questions, including age, gender, marital status, education level, sports background, consumer type, and income. The second part of the research instrument consisted of two standardized questionnaires. The first questionnaire was the Sproles and Kendall (1986) consumer decision-making style questionnaire, which consisted of 41 items and eight subscales: quality-oriented, brand-oriented, fashion-oriented, hedonistic, price-oriented, careless, confused, and loyal. The second questionnaire was Brill's (1992) consumer social power questionnaire, consisting of 30 items and four subscales: consumer influence, consumer resistance, social influence, and social resistance. Both questionnaires utilized a five-point Likert scale, ranging from "completely disagree" (1) to "completely agree" (5). The face and content validity of the questionnaires were determined by obtaining feedback from fifteen university professors and experts in the field of sports marketing management. The reliability of the questionnaires was assessed using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. For data analysis, descriptive statistics including frequency and frequency percentage were computed using SPSS 25 software. Additionally, a structural equation model was employed to present the data using AMOS 24 software.
The results indicated that consumer decision-making styles, specifically the fashion-oriented, pleasure-oriented, and loyal styles, had a significant negative impact on consumers' social power. According to the determination coefficient of 43.9%, the variations in consumers' social power were related to pleasure-oriented, loyal, and fashion-oriented styles. Additionally, the research results from the ANOVA test revealed that decision-making styles, such as brand-oriented, pleasure-oriented, price-oriented, indecisive, and confused, differed between men and women. Furthermore, a significant difference was found in the social power of male and female sports consumers.
In conclusion, the findings of this study provide important insights into the relationship between decision-making styles and social power among consumers of table tennis sports brands. The results highlight the significant impact of specific decision-making styles on consumers' social power. Firstly, the research identified that fashion-oriented, pleasure-oriented, and loyal decision-making styles had a notable negative influence on consumers' social power. This suggests that individuals who prioritize fashion trends, seek hedonistic experiences, or exhibit strong brand loyalty may experience a decrease in their social power within the context of consumer-seller relationships. This finding emphasizes the need for marketers and organizations to consider the diverse decision-making styles of consumers and adapt their strategies accordingly. Moreover, the determination coefficient of 43.9% indicates that a substantial proportion of the variations in consumers' social power can be attributed to pleasure-oriented, loyal, and fashion-oriented decision-making styles. This highlights the importance of understanding and catering to these specific styles in order to effectively influence consumers' social power and ultimately shape their purchasing behavior. Additionally, the research results from the ANOVA test demonstrate that decision-making styles differ between men and women. Specifically, brand-oriented, pleasure-oriented, price-oriented, indecisive, and confused decision-making styles exhibited significant differences between the genders. This gender-based variation in decision-making styles emphasizes the need for marketers to consider gender-specific preferences and tailor their marketing strategies accordingly to effectively target and engage male and female consumers. Furthermore, a significant difference was found in the social power of male and female sports consumers. This indicates that the level of influence and control exerted by sellers may vary between genders within the table tennis sports market. Marketers should be cognizant of these gender-based dynamics and seek to develop strategies that empower both male and female consumers, thereby enhancing their social power and fostering stronger consumer-seller relationships.
In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights into the relationship between decision-making styles, social power, and gender differences among consumers of table tennis sports brands. The findings underscore the importance of understanding and addressing diverse decision-making styles and gender-specific preferences in marketing strategies. By tailoring their approaches to accommodate these factors, marketers can effectively influence consumers' social power, enhance consumer satisfaction, and ultimately drive success in the competitive sports goods market.


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