This paper examines a purchase context in which consumers, instead of deciding on their own, delegate either a part of or the entire purchase decision to a surrogate. A path model linking the antecedent variables and delegation is tested in the context of personal computer purchases. It was found that the factors that ensure decision quality emanating from the surrogate's expertise differentials, trustworthiness, accountability, and willingness to customize increase the likelihood of decision delegation. In addition to its direct positive effect on delegation, trustworthiness mediates the effect of expertise difference, surrogate accountability, and customization on delegation. Perceived loss of control inhibits delegation, but only at the stage when the final choice decision is made. Also, if a decision task is repeatable, the high return on effort has a negative effect on delegation, but only at attribute set and choice set delegations. Contributions of the study and directions for future research are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology