Minority Consumers’ Experiences of Marketplace Discrimination in Services: a Conceptual Model of Antecedents and Customer Outcomes

Gianfranco Walsh, Institute for Management, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
Donna McGuire, University of Strathclyde Business School, Scotland
Marketplace discrimination is common in commercial transactions in the US and other western countries. Previous research has largely focused on discrimination experienced by members of ethnic minorities and their coping strategies. However, discrimination can be attributed also to age, gender, physical ability, and sexual orientation. Drawing on Social Identification Theory, marketplace discrimination is conceptualized as an outcome of service employees distinguishing between customers in terms of in-group and out-group members, whereby the latter are perceived more negatively. The aim of this research is to develop a conceptual model that links perceived marketplace discrimination to potential determinants as well as customer outcomes. Based on a review of the literature and depth interviews, specific research propositions are developed that offer insight into the types of discrimination members of different minority groups experience and of their coping strategies. All participants claim to have experienced marketplace discrimination and many use subsequent coping strategies.
[ to cite ]:
Gianfranco Walsh and Donna McGuire (2007) ,"Minority Consumers’ Experiences of Marketplace Discrimination in Services: a Conceptual Model of Antecedents and Customer Outcomes", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 278-279.