This PhD develops a theoretical framework of consumer behaviour, drawing on existing
literature in economics, psychology and consumer behaviour. That framework allows the
articulation of the forms of buying behaviour used by individuals to structure their
purchase decisions. Four common forms of buying behaviour are identified and the thesis
focuses on two; rational/ discrete and relational/ dependent. A theorised linkage is
established between the forms of consumer behaviour and financial instruments, through
an examination of the characteristics of financial instruments. Those linkages are tested
empirically using qualitative and quantitative techniques, the results of which are then
tested using bivariate, statistical significance test and multivariate analysis. From these
results the theorised linkages developed in the thesis are then accepted or rejected.
The outcome of empirical research and testing is a deeper understanding of consumer
behaviour and the development of ideal-types to describe patterns of consumer behaviour.
It also results in the development of a dynamic model of consumer behaviour which
synthesises the empirical results and the creation of a contingency view of strategy. This
view of strategy integrates the organisational challenges facing firms with the
understanding of consumer buying behaviour developed in the dissertation. It argues that
the strategic and organisational challenges facing financial services firms are contingent on the form of buying behaviour adopted by individual consumers.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.