The Roles of Brand Leadership and Perceived Risk in Predicting Word of Mouth Behavior for Luxury Brand

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Title:
The Roles of Brand Leadership and Perceived Risk in Predicting Word of Mouth Behavior for Luxury Brand A Case of Private Golf Courses
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1 online resource (100 p.)
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english
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Chang, Yonghwan
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University of Florida
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Degree:
Master's ( M.S.)
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University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Sport Management, Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management
Committee Chair:
Ko, Yong Jae
Committee Members:
Sagas, Michael B.
Tasci, Asli D.A.

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branding -- leadership -- luxury -- risk
Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
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Sport Management thesis, M.S.
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theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
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Abstract:
In this study, brand leadership is defined as consumers' perception about the relatively distinctive ability of a brand to serve as a role model for other brands by achieving continuous excellence. Ultimately, brand leadership helps develop consumer loyalty toward the brand in highly competitive market environments. The purposes of this study are to: (1) examine the role of brand leadership in predicting a consumer's word of mouth behavior for luxury golf club brand, (2) examine the moderating role of perceived risk and product type in the relationship between brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation intention, (3) examine consumers' perceived risk based on their socio-demographic variables (i.e., gender, age, income, education, and ethnic background) and consumption level, and (4) revalidate scales of perceived brand leadership and luxury brand risk. The hypothesized relationships were tested using simultaneous equations analyses and the validity and reliability of scale were established through a series of confirmatory factor analyses. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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by Yonghwan Chang.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local:
Adviser: Ko, Yong Jae.
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RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2014-05-31

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1 THE ROLE S OF BRAND LEADERSHIP AND PERCEIVED RISK IN PREDICTING WORD OF MOUTH BEHAVIOR FOR LUXURY BRAND: A CASE OF PRIVATE GOLF COURSES By YONGHWAN CHANG A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORI DA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012

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2 2012 Yonghwan Chang

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3 To my wife ( Il Rang ) and daughter ( Chloe )

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4 ACKNOWLED GMENTS Numerous people have provided invaluable support toward the completion of this thesis. First of all I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the committee chairperson and my advisor, Dr. Yong Jae Ko. I am truly indebted for his advice, en couragement, tremendous support, and opportunities he provided for last two years at the University of Florida. I cannot find word to express my wholehearted appreciation for him. I would also thank other committee members, Drs. Michael Sagas and Asli Tasc i who have been really encouraging and supportive. I am also very grateful that I have worked with the best colleagues at the University of Florida and the College of Health and Human Performance. Most importantly, I deep ly thank my family and friends.

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5 T ABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 11 Significance of Luxury Brand Marketing ................................ ................................ .. 11 Statement of Problem ................................ ................................ ............................. 12 Purpose s of the Study ................................ ................................ ............................. 13 2 LITERATURE REVI EW ................................ ................................ .......................... 15 The Concept of Brand Leadership ................................ ................................ .......... 15 Understanding Brand Leadership from Information Economics Perspectives ........ 16 The Concept of Luxury Brand and Consumption Motivation ................................ ... 17 Perceived Risk and Brand Leadership ................................ ................................ .... 20 Study 1: Revalidation of Brand Leadership Scale ................................ ................... 21 Product Quality ................................ ................................ ................................ 24 Innovativeness ................................ ................................ ................................ 25 Perceived Value ................................ ................................ ............................... 26 Brand Popularity ................................ ................................ ............................... 27 Study 2: Moderating Role of Product Type on t he Relationship between Brand Leadership and Word of Mouth Recommendation ................................ .............. 28 Study 3: Development and Validation of Luxury Risk ................................ ............. 32 Study 4: Moderating Role of Perceived Luxury Risk on the Relationship between Brand Leadership and Word of Mouth Recommendation ..................... 36 Study 5: Examination of Perceived Luxury Risk based on Soc io Demographic Variables and Consumption Level ................................ ................................ ....... 39 Product type and perceived risk ................................ ................................ ....... 39 Consumption level and perceived risk ................................ .............................. 40 Gender and perceived risk ................................ ................................ ............... 41 Age, income, ethnic background and education variables and perceived risk .. 41 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 43 Selected Luxury Product and Procedures ................................ ............................... 43 Private Golf Course as a Luxur y Brand ................................ ............................ 43 Participants and Data Collection Procedures ................................ ................... 44

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6 Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 45 Degree of Luxury (Screening Question) ................................ ........................... 46 The Scale of Perceived Brand Leadership (SPBL) ................................ ........... 46 The Scale of Perceived L uxury Risk (SPLR) ................................ .................... 47 Behavioural Intention ................................ ................................ ........................ 47 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 47 D escriptive Statistics ................................ ................................ ........................ 47 Data Screening ................................ ................................ ................................ 48 Measurement Model Test ................................ ................................ ................. 48 Structural Model Test ................................ ................................ ....................... 49 Testing Moderating Effects ................................ ................................ ............... 50 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 52 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 52 Brand Leadership ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 53 Descriptive Statistics ................................ ................................ ........................ 53 Measurement Models ................................ ................................ ....................... 54 Structural Model ................................ ................................ ............................... 56 Examination of Moderating Effect ................................ ................................ ..... 57 Product type Measurement and structure invariance analysis ................. 57 Testing individual paths ................................ ................................ ............. 58 Luxury Risk ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 60 Descriptive Statistics ................................ ................................ ........................ 60 Measurement Models ................................ ................................ ....................... 60 Examination of L uxury Risk Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) .... 63 Independent Samples T Test ................................ ................................ ........... 66 Examination of Moderating Effects ................................ ................................ ... 67 Degree of Luxury ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 68 Descriptive Statistics ................................ ................................ ........................ 68 Measurement Model ................................ ................................ ......................... 68 Outcome Variable (Word of Mouth Recommendation) ................................ ........... 69 Descriptive Statistics ................................ ................................ ........................ 69 Measurement Model ................................ ................................ ......................... 69 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 71 APPENDIX: SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRES ................................ ................................ .. 81 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 84 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 99

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Descriptions of selected golf courses ................................ ................................ 45 4 1 Demographic characteristics of participants ................................ ....................... 52 4 2 Descriptive statistic s for brand leadership ................................ .......................... 53 4 3 Summary results for measurement model of brand leadership .......................... 55 4 4 Correlations among brand leadersh ip constructs ................................ ............... 55 4 5 Summary of Goodness of Fit indices for the Measurement Model (Brand leadership) ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 55 4 6 Summary of Goodness of Fit indices for the Structural Model ............................ 56 4 7 Standardized total effect (Dependent variable: word of mouth recommendation) ................................ ................................ ................................ 57 4 8 Comparison of the models and structural invariance for each individual structural path (Brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation by product type) ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 59 4 9 Standardized total effect ( Dependent variable: word of mouth recommendation) ................................ ................................ ................................ 59 4 10 Descriptive statistics for luxury risk ................................ ................................ ..... 60 4 11 Summary results for mea surement model of luxury risk ................................ ..... 61 4 12 Correlations among luxury risk constructs ................................ .......................... 62 4 13 Summary of Goodness of Fit indices for t he Measurement Model (Luxury risk) ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 62 4 14 Numbers of participants in each group ................................ ............................... 65 4 15 Overall means and standard deviations for luxury risk factors ........................... 66 4 16 MANOVA results for hypothesis testing (H6 4, 5, 6, 7) ................................ ....... 66 4 17 Results of independent samples t tests for Rounding, Playing Period, and Driving Miles ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 67

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8 4 18 Comparison of the models and structural invariance for each individual structural path (Brand leadership and word of mouth recomme ndation by functional risk) ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 68 4 19 Descriptive statistics for degree of luxury ................................ ........................... 68 4 20 Summary results for the measurement of d egree of luxury ................................ 69 4 21 Descriptive statistics for outcome variables ................................ ........................ 69 4 22 Summary results for the measurement of outcome vari ables ............................. 70

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H1 ................................ ............................ 28 2 2 A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H2 ................................ ............................ 32 2 3 A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H3 ................................ ............................ 32 2 4 A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H4 ................................ ............................ 36 2 5 A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H5 ................................ ............................ 39 2 6 A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H6 ................................ ............................ 42 4 1 Brand leadership scale the second order factor model ................................ .... 56 4 2 The direct effect of brand leadership to word of mouth recommendation (total sample) ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 57 4 3 The moderating effect of product type on the relationship between brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation ................................ ................. 59 4 4 Luxury risk scale the sec ond order factor model ................................ ............. 62

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10 Abstract of T hesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of M aster of Science THE ROLE S OF BRAND LEADERSHIP AND PERCEIVED RISK IN PREDICTING WORD OF MOUTH BEHAVIOR FOR LUXURY BRAND: A CASE OF PRIVATE GOLF COURSES By Yonghwan Chang Ma y 2012 Chair: Yong Jae Ko Major: Sport Management In this study, ion about the relatively distinctive ability of a brand to serve as a role model for other brands by achieving continuous excellence Ultimately, brand leadership helps develop consumer loyalty toward the brand in highly competitive market environments. Th e purposes of this study are to: (1) examine the role of brand leadership in predicting a consumer s word of mouth behavior for luxury golf club brand (2) examine the mo derating role of perceived risk and product type in the relationship between brand lea dership and word of mouth recommendation intention (3) ex based on their socio demographic variables ( i. e., gender, age, income, education, and ethnic background) and consumption level, and (4) revalidate scale s of perc eived brand leadership and luxury brand risk The hypothesized relationships were tested using simultaneous equations analys e s and the validity and reliability of scale were established through a series of confirmatory factor analyses. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

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11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Significance of L uxury B rand M arketing Luxury fever, the social phenomenon of a luxury spending boom, refers to a significant increase in luxury consumption (Frank, 2001; Lee & Hwang, 2011). Frank (200 1) suggested this boom occurs as a result of an increase in high income groups, as well as an increase in middle and lower luxury spending in the United States is four times faster than that of their overall spending (Twitchell, 2002). In addition to the material abundance, there are remarkable psychological rationales for the luxury fever. Specifically, a consumer has an inherent nature to desire luxury value in social (e.g., prestige) and individual (e.g., self iden tity) as well as in functional (e.g., quality value) and financial (e.g., price value) facets The sport industry is no exception. For example, private golf clubs offer customized memberships based on price and benefits. Well designed product packages and promotional strategies enable them to cultivate loyal customers who pursue luxury values. Even low income people may be able to meet their needs for luxury brand when a customized product (e.g., seasonal membership and special offer) is offered. Brand mar keting has been posited in the center of luxury fever because consumers satisfy their needs associated with self enhancement by consuming luxury brands. More specifically, luxury brand consumption is occurred not only when consumers use brands to create se lf image, but also for presenting these images to others (i.e., self brand connection; Escalas & Bettman, 2005). In this process, brand choice can send meaningful social signal (e.g., wealth) to others about the type or character of a person who use a part icular brand (Kressmann, Sirgy, Herrmann, Huber,

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12 Huber, & Lee, 2006; Han, Nunes, & Drze, 2010). For example, female golfers in a PGA village private club purchased a premium membership ($209,900) signals something much different about her social standing when compared to a woman enjoying nine hole golf in a public recreation park that charge reasonable rounding fees. As such, signaling theory (Kirmani & Rao, 2000) provides theoretical insights into understanding the nature of the brand consumption mechani sm through which a brand influences consumer purchase decision. Another insight of brand signaling highlights the importance of developing brand leadership in which specific product attributes (e.g., innovativeness) signal a leadership of a product brand i n a particular industry segment. Aaker and Joachimsthaler (2000) noted that marketers could develop brand leadership of a product by aligning their brands with visionary and strategic perspectives within their organization. For example in the sports video game industry, when Nintendo introduced a new game genre (e.g., exer gaming) with an innovative game console brand (e.g., WII FIT ), competitors like XBOX or PLAYSTATION experienced their competitors was not changed, their brand equity was damaged. As such, the concept of brand leadership relative competitive advantage in the market (Chang & Ko, 2011 ; Chang, Ko, Lee, Cho, & Arai, 2012 ) Statement of Pr oblem In the field s of sport management and marketing scholars attempt to apply a number of brand related concepts to sport business contexts. Based on the concept of brand equity, the Team Association Model (TAM; Gladden & Funk, 2002) and the Team Brand Association Scale (TBAS; Ross, James, & Vargas, 2006) were developed to enhance conceptual understanding and provide a measurement scale based on the

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13 brand equity concept in the professional sport context. Even if the TAM and the TBAS offered rich insight about understanding and managing a professional team brand, the not relational process among competing brands (e.g., other teams in the league leadership brand vs. traili ng brand). In terms of leadership research, scholars focused c.f., Branch, 1990; Chelladurai & Carron, 1983; Olafson & Hastings, 1988; Reimer & Chelladurai, 1995; Weese, 1995), sport or ganizations ( c.f., Powell, 2003), and sport events ( c.f., Parent, Olver, & Seguin, 2009). Among many, t raditional leadership theories such as charismatic and path goal leadership were applied to these settings. The concept of brand leadership is not clearl y defined yet. Additionally, a concept of luxury brand and perceived risks associated with luxury brand consumption has not been systematically investigated to date Purpose s of the Study Accordingly, the current study seeks to: (1) examine the role of br and leadership in predicting a consumer s word of mouth behavior for luxury golf club brand (2) examine the mo derating role of perceived risk and product type in the relationship between brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation intention (3) ex a perceived risk based on their socio demographic variables ( i. e., gender, age, income, education, and ethnic background) and consumption level, and (4) revalidate scale s of perc eived brand leadership and luxury brand risk For these purposes the author developed research model s (Figure 2 1, 2 2, 2 3, 2 4, 2 5 and 2 6 ). The current study will contribute to the body of knowledge in the sport and brand management field s by examining applicability of leadership theories to brand management and extending our

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14 understanding of the role of brand leadership in the consumer decision making process in the luxury sports brand consumption context. This research also enhances our sport brand con sumption. The results of this study enable marketers to anticipate the relational outcomes of brand marketing (e.g., increased brand loyalty and market share). To achieve this goal, the researchers conducted review of the theoretical background of brand le adership and perceived risk and examined how th ese construct s are related to a key consumer variable as Wo M intention in a luxury sports brand context. The comprehensive review of the literature in the field s of organizational psychology, applied managemen t, and information economics help develop research models and hypotheses.

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15 CHAPTER 2 L ITERATURE REVIEW The Concept of Brand Leadership The concept of brand leadership was first introduced by Aaker (1996) and defined as supportive brand processes and the ab ility of a brand to continually achieve excellence (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2000; Yakimova & Beverland, 2005). More specifically, Aaker and Joachimsthaler (2000) suggested a strategic brand management system through the brand leadership model to clearly un derstand a market dynamics and to occupy and maintain a competitive position in a highly competitive market environment. For example, in the case of the Virgin, an airline brand, Aaker and Joachimsthaler (2000) suggested four cores and external attributes of the brand (i.e., service quality, innovation, fun and entertainment, and value for money) as a means for developing brand leadership. The concept of brand leadership helps understand market dynamics and develop strategic perspectives by offering perceiv ed competitive relationships (i.e., market dynamics) among leading and trailing brands in a specific industry segment. Specifically, brand leaders may play a significant role as an exemplar and positively influence other brands in visible (e.g., imitation vision or objective). They also help procure and cultivate loyal customers. In sum, the brands within a specific industry and relies much upon specific actions of a company (Aaker, 1996). Ultimately, the development of the brand leadership perceptions among key consumers has direct and positive influences on their consumption behavior. Based on the understanding, Chang and Ko (2 011) define brand leadership as

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16 perception about the relatively distinctive ability of a brand to serve as a role model for other brands by achieving continuous excellence (p. 3 ) Understanding Brand Leadership from Information Economics Persp ectives The information economics perspective on brand research explicitly considers the imperfect and asymmetrical informational structure of the market (Kirmani & Rao, 2000; Srivastava & Lurie, 2004). It postulates that the different level of product inf ormation flows between consumers and firms causes an information asymmetry problem (Healy & Palepu, 2001). It also stresses the role of the credible aspects of brand as the main determinant of consumer brand relationships (Baek & King, 2011). Accordingly, signaling theory from the information economics perspective provides theoretical insights into understanding the nature of the consumer decision mechanism through which a brand influences consumer purchase behavior when consumers are uncertain about produc t attributes and/or benefits. For example, previous studies (Rao, Qu, & Ruekert, 1999) on signaling theory focus on product quality as the unobservable attribute because uncertainty with respect to quality may not be resolved fully prior to purchase. Howev er, due to a rapid growth of information technologies (e.g., Internet and mobile phone), consumers can easily obtain desired information (e.g., quality and innovativeness) about the brand. The technology advancement help s reduce information asymmetry betwe en firms and consumers. Additionally, a variety of communication medium (e.g., word of mouth or search engine) helps increase credibility and leadership of a brand as a meaningful signal through the rich information about a brand and product quality. Based on this understanding, the author assumes that specific aspects of product attributes and benefits (e.g., product quality, value for

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17 money, innovativeness, and popularity) as observable signals can convey brand leadership as unobservable trait of a brand. Moreover, the signaling theory from the information economics perspective provides systematic understanding of the relationship among brand leadership, perceived risk and loyalty. The signaling framework from the information economics perspective proposes that the reductions in perceived risk are a direct consequence of brand leadership and these reductions drive brand loyalty. It occurs because obtained information about the brand such as product quality or brand popularity can signal the in the market place. When the information is positive and strong enough, then the signal can decrease perceived risk, ultimately motivates consumers to buy the same subset of brands repeatedly (Erdem & Swait, 1998). The Concept of Luxury Brand and Consum ption Motivation The concept of luxury brand stems from the T heory of D emand E lasticity in the context of economics (Wolak, 2003). Demand elasticity refers to the demand for some brands (e.g., necessities) may be quite stable against price or income change s, while that for other brands (i.e., luxuries) is relatively more influenced by price or income changes (Kemp, 1998). In contrast, in the field of psychology, the T heory of a H ierarchy of N eeds proposed by Maslow (1970) provides another rationale for the concept of luxury brand. According to the theory, low level needs (e.g., necessities like physiological, safety, and belonging needs) must be satisfied before pursuing high level needs (e.g., luxuries like self esteem and self actualization), which become important sources of motivation. For instance, starving people would not be interested in pursuing enjoyment or accomplishment through various sports activities because they would fill their hungry stomachs before purchasing sports equipment or services. S omeone may

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18 argue that starving artists pursue self actualization even though physiological needs may be imperfectly satisfied. However, because the argument may be specialized to a particular segment of people, the present research assumes that the theory of a hierarchy of needs may fit general segments of people. As such, the two theories have provided a justification for the concept of a luxury brand. Along with the theoretical origins, in the business literature necessity is generally defined as a produ ct that is necessary for ordinary day to day living, while luxury is a product that is not needed for ordinary day to day living (Bearden & Etzel, 1982). Based on this notion, the author understands that sports products are more closed to luxury than nece ssity because sports itself may be a luxury. In other words, people who enjoy sports would meet their minimum needs (i.e., physiological and safety needs) and therefore they may not be as interested in the necessities. Moreover, demand for sport products in general are significantly more influenced by price or income changes. In the business literature, several scholars empirically examined and concluded that sports products can be classified by both necessity (e.g., running shoes ; Chaudhuri, 1998) and lu xury brands (private golf clubs ; Bearden & Etzel, 1982 ). Additionally s ports products and brands are extremely diverse. Even within the same brand, there are various product lines with different technology features and customer segments As such, the conc ept of luxury and luxury brand are still controversial. Due to the fuzzy concept of the luxury, there is a lack of consensus among scholars regarding the definition of luxury brand (Vigneron & Johnson, 2004) The concept also varies depending on cultur al b ackground (e.g., Spillman, 2002; Turner, 2006) and personal identity (e.g., Matsuyama, 2002). Despite such controversies, the

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19 most commonly accepted typologies suggest that luxury products involve satisfying consumer needs, which critically depend on socio economic status (Dubois & economic class, luxury is constructed as a hierarchy consisting of accessible luxury for middle class, intermediate luxury for professional class, and inaccessible luxu ry for elite and the levels are mostly determined by product price (Vickers & Renand, 2003). Based on the belief, the author concludes that the higher the sports brand is priced and limited availability/accessibility, the closer the brand is to a luxury. W hy do consumers pursue luxury? C is an important construct for answering the question & Dasgupta, 2009) suggests that people consume luxury products to flaunt. According to the theo ry, it is simply caused by the belief that higher price means higher quality. At therefore be categorized and Renand ( 2003) differentiated luxury products from non luxury ones by using They also pointed out that consumption of luxury products is not only dependent on social cues such as conspicuous and status consu mption but is also dependent on personal and individual cues such as hedonic motives and the need for sensory pleasure. R ecently in business literature (e.g., Wiedmann, Hennigs, & Siebels, 2007), based motivation has been applied to provi de comprehensive understanding of luxury consumption motivation Values, in general, are considered as beliefs that guide the selection or evaluation of desirable behavior or end states (Schultz

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20 e motives for luxury brand consumption are not simply tied to a set of social aspects of displaying status, success, distinction and the human desire to impress other people. They also depend on the nature of the financial, functional and individual utilit ies of the particular luxury brand ( Vickers & Renand, 2003 ) It is suggested that luxury value lies in social (e.g., prestige) and individual (e.g., self identity) aspects as well as in functional (e.g., quality value) and financial (e.g., price value) asp ects. Perceived Risk and Brand Leadership When consumers have to choose one of alternatives (e.g., purchase decision) especially it is a high priced luxury, they usually experience a certain level of risk for various reasons (e.g., lack of knowledge or ex cessively high price ). In these uncertain situations, brand leadership may serve as a key solution for the risk reduction because ( Kim, 1995 ) In other words, for marketers, deve loping brand leadership can be an effective strategy in dealing with an uncertain and uncontrollable consumption behavior because from a consumer s perspective it may be the easiest way to obtain necessary information and gain confidence about the brand. O therwise, consumers may have to make bets about the uncertain outcomes of the purchase decision. As such, brand leadership operates as a key strategy for risk handling behavior for consumers (Kim, 1995) The concept of perceived risk comprises two componen ts: the uncertainty of an outcome and the importance of negative consequences associated with the outcome of a choice (Stone & Gronhaug, 1993). Individuals may vary with respect to both components. However, the distinctions between uncertainty and the impo rtance of

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21 negative consequences in consumption decision have become blurred in consumer research, and quite often the two terms are used interchangeably (Stone & Gronhaug, 1993). As such, most risk research within consumer psychology show that risk is thou ght to arise only from potentially negative outcomes, in contrast to other disciplines such as behavioral decision theory where both positive and negative aspects are considered when evaluating risk (Dholakia, 2001). This study incorporates both perspectiv es and focus es on risk perceptions by using types of products (i.e., luxury and non luxury golf courses ) and consumers recommend ation of the golf courses. In this context each product type has risks inherently associated with it, which may become signifi cant to the consumer when he or she interacts with the products in some manner, such as considering and deciding whether to purchase the golf membership or recommend the golf course s to significant others I n the field of business marketing, several differ ent types of risk have been identified They include risks associated with performance, financial, social, psychological, source, physical, and time consumption (Campbell & Goodstein, 2001; Garbarino & Strahilevitz, 2004; Jacoby & Kaplan, 1972; Lim, 2003; Stone & Gronhaug, 1993). In the case of luxury sports brands four types would be prominent: functional, financial, hedonic, and self image risks. More theoretical and practical rationale is provided in the Study III. Study 1 : Revalidation of Brand Leader ship Scale The purpose of S tudy 1 is to revalidate the brand leadership scale to provide a psychometric properties in terms of the leadership of service brands in the field of sp orts service marketing.

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22 Aaker (1996) suggested three dimensions of brand leadership including market size, popularity, and innovation. Popularity and innovation are acceptable; however, market size is questionable because consumers generally find it hard to recognize the size of the market for the brand. Market size is a financial concept and is generally measured by the number of users times their marginal willingness to pay. Therefore it can increase both because the number of users increases and because their marginal willingness to pay changes (Acemoglu & Linn, 2004; Melitz & Ottaviano, 2008). Accordingly, market size is a measure from the supply side perspective instead of the demand side perspective. Perceived popularity therefore may substitute and e mbrace the market size measure (Mishra, Umesh, & Stem, 1993). A few scholars directly (Chaudhuri & Holbrook, 2001; Ulrich & Smallwood, 2007) and indirectly (Conger & Kanungo, 1987; Martin & Siehl, 1983) suggest that to serve as a role model for other brand s, have a powerful influence in the same or similar industry segments, and ultimately maximize devoted customers, a brand should be qualified for competitive related (e.g., innovative technology) and credible related requirements (e.g., developed popularit y) which can also be a competitive advantage over the trailing brands. For example, in the contexts of strategic and operations management, Sirikrai themselves (e.g., dom inating the market segment), but also have a direct influence on the industry segment since their competitiveness can reflect the competitiveness of an industry as a whole. In addition, as elements of the competitiveness, the RBV (resource based view of a firm; Barney, Wright, & Ketchen, 2001) and OM (operations management; Gordon &

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23 Sohal, 2001) theories assert that internal factors of firms (e.g., quality, advanced technology, and price) are the most fundamental and important factors affecting profitabili ty, ultimately governing the market and industry segment. Similarly, in the context of brand management, Brown and Dacin (1997) and Mayer and Davis (1999) noted that competitive and credible brand could remind consumers of qualifications, skills, expertise capability and knowledge of a brand. In the context of service marketing, Johnsona and Graysonb (2005) also concluded that competitive and reliable sources such as expertise or performance of a service provider significantly affect the relational outcome s (e.g., the positive relationship between provider and partner). Moreover, Chaudhuri and Holbrook (2001) concluded that a brand evoking positive feeling and belief could generate higher customer loyalty, market share, and a price premium. There are two i mperative underlying assumptions of such research in Chaudhuri & Holbrook, 2001) may be able to considerably influence trailing competitors by dominating the market segment. competitiveness is relatively higher than following competitors (Chaudhuri & Holbrook, 2001), price strategies (e.g., price breaks) of a leader in the market as a whole can have a big impact. This generally occurs bec ause consumers are willing to pay premium prices for leading brands, and show less sensitivity toward price premiums. Business literature has suggested that the constructs of competitiveness and credibility embrace expertise, performance, and trustworthine ss derived from resources and capabilities of firms (e.g., Dholakia & Sternthal, 1997; Malshe, 2010; Newell & Goldsmith, 2001). Since the resources and capabilities refer to tangible and intangible

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24 assets of a firm (Barney, Wright, & Ketchen, 2001; Gordon & Sohal, 2001), the concept of brand leadership herein therefore can be defined by several unique attributes of a product brand. However, not only there is no consensus about dimensionality of the brand leadership, but also existing measures were developed without rigorous psychometric tests, and they were not parsimonious enough to manage. Accordingly, after extensive literature review of brand studies and brand leadership and on the basis of the definition and the conceptual sequence previously discussed, the authors developed a conceptual framework of brand leadership that is defined by four salient dimensions: (a) product quality, (b) innovativeness, (c) perceived value, and (d) brand popularity (Figure 2 1) Product Q uality Product quality is generally defined as the consumer's judgment about a product's overall excellence or superiority (Zeithaml, 1988). From a marketing perspective, the quality of a product depends on how well it fits patterns of consumer preferences. Johnson and Grayson (2005) argued that technical aspect of product quality (i.e., purchase the product. Similarly, in the context of economics, Kranton (2003) demonstrated that producing high quality goods could be interchangeably perceived with a credible firm because product quality is an extrinsic signal of credibility. Harvey (1998) also argued that superior servic e quality (e.g., fancy interior design) is recognized as an important competitive advantage because high quality of the product or service can maximize customer satisfaction. Correspondingly, a considerable amount of literature (e.g., Kroll, Wright, & Heie ns, 1999 ; Srivastava, Fahey, & Christensen,

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25 2001 ) has examined product quality as a key source for credibility and competitiveness. quality as one of dimensions of perceived brand leadership. Innovativeness In marketing and management research, the concept of innovativeness is interchangeably used with innovation and generally defined as the capability of a nological resources, skills, knowledge, capabilities, or strategy (Im & Workman, 2004). However, innovativeness highlights the capability of a firm to be open to new ideas and work on new solutions while innovation focuses on the outcome of firm activity. Accordingly, innovativeness has more enduring characteristics rather than a success at one point in time (Kunz, Schmitt, & Meyer, 2011; Trott, 2008). Namely, innovativeness is more conceptually congruent with brand leadership in terms of sustainable succes s. Martin and Siehl (1983) suggest that innovativeness or novelty is the most important virtues to be a leader in an organization. Moreover, the authors argued that the exemplary acts of a leader (e.g., unconventional or innovative behavior), when successf ul, evoke surprise, admiration, and imitation in followers. Product innovativeness is most frequently used as a measure of the degree of newness of a new product. Numerous business researches show that more innovative products are associated with sustaini ng firm competitiveness (e.g., Roberts, 1999; Williams, 1997) or higher firm performance (e.g., Johne & Snelson, 1988; Langerak & Hultink, 2006). To be innovative, and ultimately to be a brand leader, firms should be proactive in acquiring new technologies and use sophisticated technologies in the development of their new products (Gatignon & Xuereb, 1997). Based on the belief, the

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26 capability of a brand to be open to innova tive ideas and work on new solutions. Perceived Value More and more business managers caution that excellent product quality and industry (Butz & Goodstein, 1996). As a ne xt source of competitive advantage, they suggest to improve on superior customer value delivery (Woodruff, 1997). Perceived what they give and, in return, receive (Zei thaml, 1988). There has been considerable research to examine and identify what customer value really is (e.g., Sweeney & Soutar, 2001). Among that, the most common definition of customer value is the ratio between quality and price (e.g., Grewal, Monroe, & Krishnan, 1998). Moreover, as a basic component of product attributes, there is a positive and significant relationship between perceived product quality and value for money (Rao & Monroe, 1989). Based on these understandings, the current research adopts the perceived value as monetary exchange. According to Kamins, Alpert, and Perner (2003), distinguishing brand leadership requires examining the comparative size of the market shares among all brands within the same or similar category. A greater number of larger market shares equates to an result in the value equation serves as a key indicator of higher market shares, which can enable firms to maintain their leading pos itions resulting from the give and take component of perceived value (Holbrook & Corfman, 1985). For example, Rolex, a leader in the watch industry, is known for its expensive price. However, consumers who

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27 purchase the brand are willing to pay the premium price because they perceive that they are getting (e.g., prestige and confidence) something of higher value than what they are giving (e.g., set amount of money). Based on this notion, the author assumes perceived value as one of dimensions of perceived br and leadership. Brand Popularity Brand leadership can also stem from the bandwagon effect of using (or being seen using) a popular brand (Hellofs & Jacobson, 1999). Customers follow well known brands or products to boost their self esteem without carefully examine the specific features of a product, or cost and benefits of consuming the products. Buyers can also assure their purchase decision by enhanced confidence generated from popularity, especially when consumers evaluate products among alternatives. Th is is consistent with previous research. For example, Kim (1995) examined the specific benefits of leading brands (or popular brands) in global competition and concluded that buyers give significantly high respect to the leaders even if the leaders may not be proven best in terms of their product quality. Based on this notion, brand popularity can be viewed as increased levels of brand recognition and awareness. Many firms allocate much effort to increasing market share of their product brands and enhancing the positive image of the brands, which ultimately helps in creating and maintaining brand popularity of the products in the market (Aaker, 1991; Raj, 1985). When a brand becomes popular in a market, it helps a brand in maintaining its leadership position for a longer period of time (Kim, 1995). In general, this may put consumers under "social pressure" to conform to a market trend (Dean, 1999). Based on the understanding, the authors defined brand ularity of a brand reflected by brand awareness and consumption.

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28 Overall, prior studies suggest that brand leadership can be determined by the competitiveness and credible sources of a brand and the relative size of the market share among brands in the sam e or similar category. Specifically, increased market share is interpreted as an extrinsic signal of superior product quality (Caminal & Vives, 1996; Hellofs & Ja cobson, 1999), innovativeness ( Gehlhar, Regmi, Stefanou, & Zoumas, 2009; Ulrich & Smallwood, 2 (Kamins et al., 2003), and increased popularity (Dean, 1999; Kim, 1995; Raj, 1985). Using these dimensions, firms develop and maintain brand leadership and distinguish Gehlhar et al., 2009). H1 Consumer product quality, Innovativeness, value, and popularity. Figure 2 1. A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H1 Study 2 : Moderating Role of Product Type on the Relationship between B rand Leadership and Word of Mouth Recommendation Once the relationship between perceived brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation is examined, the author also examines that how the direction and

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29 association of the relationship changes depending on various situations. This is postulated because within a correlational analysis framework, the various situations as a moderator significantly functions as a third variable that affect the level and even the direction of the relationship between a predicto r and an outcome (Baron & Kenny, 1986). Specifically, the author posits product type in Study 2 (i.e., luxury private and non luxury public golf courses ) and perceived risk in Study 4 as potential moderators that may alter the degree of the effect of perce ived brand leadership to word of mouth recommendation. In the fields of sports marketing and management, the moderating role of product type has not been investigated in depth when investigating the effect of perceived brand leadership to their word of mou th recommendation. The proposed research models (Figure 2 2 and 2 3 ) will contribute to the brand management body of knowledge by extending our understanding of brand leadership and its role in the sports product consumption context. Results from this stud y should inform marketers of the interactions of perceived brand leadership, product type, and behavioral intention. Furthermore, the results should provide justification for further investments into their sport product brands to better meet the needs of t heir consumers. This study also aids future research by providing a foundation for further investigation regarding sports luxury brands consumption behavior. A Research Model and Hypothesis D evelopment The current study conceptualizes brand leadership as a higher order latent construct underlying four related but distinct leadership constructs namely, product quality, Innovativeness, perceived value, and brand popularity. Researchers (Ulrich & Smallwood, 2007;

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30 perceived brand leadership is an term success based on market shares in the industry. purchase, hypothesizing that it was higher when cons umers believed the brand to be a leaders are purchased more frequently; furthermore, more of them are purchased at a single time (Ehrenberg, Goodhardt, & Barwise, 1990 ). Kato and Honjo (2009) demonstrated a brand leader with the largest market share as determined by dollar sales of all brands in the category. As market share serves as a quality indicator across brands, products, and categories, brand leadership signals market confirmation of quality as well as purchase intentions (Caminal & Vives, 1996; Hellofs & Jacobson, 1999; Zeithaml, 1988). The current study postulates that product type as a potential moderator may alter the degree of the effect of perceived brand l eadership to word of mouth recommendation (Figure 2 2 and 2 3) Product type including luxury and non luxury has making process. For example, in the hospitality industry, Kim and Kim (2005) examined the underlying restaurants. The stepwise regression analysis of the study showed that the influence varied depending on a performance in chain restaurants rather than in luxury hotels, brand awareness is found

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31 to have significantly positive effects on performance in lux ury hotels rather than chain restaurants. Also, the more the product is considered to be a luxury (e.g., private golf course), the more the effect of innovativeness and the less the effect of popularity of a product brand in terms of word of mouth recomme ndation. It is hypothesized because generally luxury consumption is motivated through uniqueness, conspicuousness, and prestige of a brand (Amaldoss & Jain, 2005; Atwal & Williams, 2009; Fionda & Moore, 2009). It is consistent with prior research. For exam ple, Vigneron and Johnson (2004) proposed non personal and personal perception of luxury brands. As non personal perceptions, uniqueness (i.e., scarcity and exclusivity) and quality were included which are equivalent to physical value/function of a product As personal perceptions, they also identified the extended self, which encouraged luxury brand purchase because consumers use luxury brands as a means of classifying or distinguishing from others. Therefore, the underlying assumption of the study is that perceived innovativeness and making processes, particularly in luxury consumption rather than other aspects of brand leadership (e.g., popularity). Accordingly, the first two sets of hyp otheses were developed as follows: H2 value, and popularity are positively related to their word of mouth recommendation. H3 Product type (luxury vs. non luxury) plays an import ant moderating role in the relationship between brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation. Particularly, the more the brand is perceived as a luxury, the more influence quality and of mouth recommendation.

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32 Figure 2 2. A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H 2 Figure 2 3 A proposed m odel for HYPOTHESIS H3 Study 3 : Development and Validation of Luxury Risk The purpose of Study 3 is to revalidate scales of luxury risk developed within the consumer psychology f ield As noted above, the notion of risk comprises two components: the uncertainty of an outcome and the importance of negative

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33 consequences associated with the outcome of a choice (Stone & Gronhaug, 1993). Individuals may vary with respect to both compone nts. However, over time, the distinctions between uncertainty and the importance of negative consequences have become blurred in consumer research, and quite often the two terms are used interchangeably (Stone & Gronhaug, 1993). As such, most risk research within consumer psychology show that risk is thought to arise only from potentially negative outcomes, in contrast to other disciplines such as behavioral decision theory where both positive and negative aspects are considered when evaluating risk (Dholak ia, 2001). In this study, incorporating both perspectives, the focus is on risk perceptions at the level of the product types especially luxury products According to this view, each product type (i.e., luxury and non luxury) has risks inherently associat ed with it, which may become significant to the consumer when he or she interacts with the products in some manner, such as considering and deciding whether to recommend the luxury product I n the marketing literature, various types of perceived risk have been identified such as performance, financial, social, psychological, source, physical, and time risks (Campbell & Goodstein, 2001; Garbarino & Strahilevitz, 2004; Jacoby & Kaplan, 1972; Lim, 2003; Stone & Gronhaug, 1993). However, because there have not been systematically examined a comprehensive risk perc eptions toward luxury products the author dimentionalized luxury risk based on the concept luxury value. The assumption stems from cost benefit or benefit cost analysis (Mishan & Quah, 2007 ) from econo mics which refers to a systematic process for comparing benefits (i.e., value) and costs (i.e., risk) of a decision. It occurs because decision making process, when some values (benefits) are satisfied, automatically the risk corresponding

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34 t he benefit is decreasing and vice versa For example, when a consumer who perceives monetary value toward a luxury brand, at the same time, financial investment risk may be de reduced. As such value and risk or benefit and cost would be two sided faces. Th e analysis of the expected balance of benefits and costs can be understood from tradi tional decision making theory, Subjective Expected U tility (SEU ; Savage, 1954 ) from economics The theory has been widely adopted as the guide for rational deci sion making in the face of uncertainty. In the SEU theory both the probabilities of an outcome and the utilities are derived from individual preferences ( Starmer, 2000 ) Most importantly, based on SEU, individual consumers maximize their expected value con tingent on their risk perceptions ( Riddel & Shaw, 2006) Based on the understanding, the author concludes that luxury risk is closely related with luxury value. In business literature, luxury value has been addressed as toward luxur y brand that guide the selection or evaluation of desirable behavior or end states ( Tsai, 2005 ; Wiedmann, Hennigs, & Siebels, 2007 ; Wilcox, Kim, & Sen, 2009 ) A few scholars (e.g., Husic, & Cicic, 2009 ; Tynan, McKechnie, & Chhuon, 2010 ; Wiedmann, Hennigs, & Siebels, 2009 ) have proposed multi dimensional framew orks of luxury value to provide comprehensive understanding of consumer motives and value perception in relation to luxury consumption. The most consensuses are four latent luxury value dimensions: fun ctional, financial, individual, and social dimension of luxury value perception. Functional dimension refers to the core benefit and basic utilities that drive the consumer based luxury value including quality, durability, and reliability Finan cial dimens ion refers to the financial dimension addresses direct monetary

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35 aspects including price and investment. personal orientation on luxury consumption including hedonistic value. Social dimension refers to the perceive d utility individuals acquire by consuming products recognized within their own social groups including prestige value. Based on the extensive literature review the authors re conceptualized the perceived risk by selecting and defining most salient risks factors commonly agreed in the literature. They include functional, financial, hedonic, and self image risks (Figure 2 4) In this study, performance of a brand relative to their exp ectation. For example, some golf course may have poor landscape or provide roughly grown grass due to sluggish course of consuming a brand and uncertainty about whether the brand is worth that amount of money. For example, if a consumer fails to obtain expected satisfaction after using the course, consumers may consider it is not worthwhile for the money paid. Hedonic risk certainty of a brand not performing in a way to offer excitement and aesthetic beauty. For example, when consumers fail to achieve expected level of excitement or enjoyment, they may perceive hedonic risk. Self k about their self image tarnished by consuming a brand. For example, when a consumer purchases an excessively priced golf membership, the consumer may worry about appearing too sumptuous. As such, in this study, four risk perceptions are specified for lu xury golf course brands in consumer decision making process, and especially in recommendation situations.

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36 H4. of functional, financial, hedonic, and self image risks. Figure 2 4. A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H4 Study 4 : Moderating Role of Perceived Luxury Risk on the Relationship between Brand Leadership and Word of Mouth Recommendation As noted above, the author posits perceived luxury risk as a potential moderator that may alter the degree of the effect of perceived brand leadership on revisit intention. Th erefore, the purpose of Study 4 is to examine the moderating role of perceived luxury risk in the relationship between brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation. In the fields of sports marketing a nd management, the moderating role of consumer luxury risk perceptions has not been investigated in depth when investigating the effect of brand leadership on their recommendation intentions. This study looks at the role of brand leadership as a key source handling behavior. The propo sed research model (Figure 2 5 ) will contribute to the brand management body of knowledge by extending our understanding of brand leadership and its role in the

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37 consumer risk handling behavior in the sports product consumption context. Results from this study should inform marketers of the interaction of perceived brand leadership, risk, and behavioral intention. Furthermore, the results should provide justification for further investments into their sports p roduct brands to better meet the needs of their consumers. This study also aids future research by providing a foundation for further investigation regarding sports luxury brands consumption behavior. A Research Model and Hypothesis D evelopment As previou sly discussed, when consumers have to choose one alternative, they will always experience some level of risk because of various reasons (e.g., seeking personal uniqueness and socially oriented prestige). In these uncertain situations, brand leadership may serve as a key trustworthiness. In other words, brand leadership becomes the crucial strategy for dealing with an uncertain and uncontrollable future because they m ay be the fastest way to obtain information and confidence about the brand. Otherwise, consumers may have to make bets about the uncertain outcomes of the purchase decision. For example, Kim (1995) argued that everything else being equal, consumers reduce risk by purchasing a popular brand rather than others because perceived brand popularity can provide value to customers by enhancing their confidence in forming purchasing decisions. However, when consumers already have some knowledge about the brand or po sitive experience with the products, they may not rely much on the information (e.g., brand popularity). Moreover, this study assumes that the degree of perceived uncertain outcomes and the types of perceived risk may adjust the effect of perceived brand l eadership to their intention to recommend. For example, a consumer who has a

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38 limited budget and perceives a relatively higher financial risk toward a product brand perceive d brand leadership on their recommendation intention would vary, depending on the level and sorts of risks. Accordingly, this study hypothesized that: H5 Perceived luxury risks play an important moderating role in the relationship between brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation. Word of mouth recommendation has been included as the dependent variable, which is generally considered as a low cost and reliable way of transmitting information about products and services ( Lim & Chung, 2011) In busin ess literature, WoMr has been numerously examined as intentions because it plays an important role in information diffusion in consumer markets and shaping consumers ( Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels 2009 ; Tuk, Verlegh, Smidts, & Wigboldus, 2009 ). Numerous studies seeking to predict human behavior have used the theory of reasoned action ( Ajzen, 2005; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) and the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991). According to Ajzen (1991, 2 001), people act according to their intentions and perceptions of control over their behavior. These intentions are affected by attitudes toward the behavior, perceptions of behavioral control, and subjective norms. In the fields of sports marketing and ma nagement, a number of studies have included results supporting the assertion that intentions play an important role in guiding actual behavior (Fink, Trail, & Anderson, 2002).

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39 Figure 2 5. A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H5 Study 5 : Examination of Percei ved Luxury Risk based on Socio Demographic Variables and Consumption Level The purposes of Study 5 on their socio demographic variables (e.g., personality traits, gender, age, income, education, and e thnic background) and consumption level (Figure 2 6 ). In business literature, a considerable amount of scholars have examined the level of perceived luxury risks in various contexts as being a crucial factor in consumer decision making processes (e.g., Erd em, Zhao, & Valenzuela, 2004; Richardson, Jain, & Dick, 1996). But, little research has examined in depth the determinants of the level of perceived luxury risks (i.e., functional, financial, hedonic, and self image risks) on the private and public or luxu ry and non luxury continuum. Product type and perceived risk Generally, the more the product is considered to be a luxury (e.g., private golf courses), the greater the perception of risk in terms of choosing brands and uncertain negative outcomes in the pr oduct class. It is because non luxury products possess

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40 fewer differences among brands and accordingly, less risk is perceived than with luxuries (Wisner, 2004). An experiential approach to consumption (e.g., Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982) provides another rat ionale for the product type being associated with perceived risk. The experiential approach postulates that consumers go through different paths to meet risks depending on product type, where consumer behavior is regarded as pursuit of subjective, emotiona l and symbolic consumption experiences. In other words, when a product is close to premium, prestige, luxury, and high priced, it has more non tangible and symbolic benefits than tangible and functional benefits (Chaudhuri & Holbrook, 2001). Thus, the more the product is considered to be a luxury (e.g., private golf course), it is more likely to be related to a greater potential for non functional risks (e.g., social and psychological) in addition to overall risks. Accordingly, the first hypothesis in this section is: H6 1. Consumers in private golf courses perceive a higher level of social and psychological risks than those in public ones. Consumption level and perceived risk br ands may vary depending on their enthusiasm for golf. The National Golf Foundation categorizes golfers based on the number of rounds played per year including avid players (i.e., golfers who play more than 24 rounds per year) and casual golfers (i.e., golf ers who play less than eight rounds per year). To elucidate the relationship between types of golfers and perceived risk, the author applied the concept of product involvement level (Bauer, Sauer, & Becker, 2006). Specifically, avid players in general may have more ongoing concerns for golf course brands (i.e., enduring involvement), and may meet more recommendation situations (i.e., situational involvement) rather

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41 than casual golfers as a result of more frequent playing. Therefore, avid golfers are likely to perceive risks rather than casual players. It is consistent with prior research. For example, Dholakia (2001) empirically examined and concluded that psychological anxiety results from increased stable involvement, and heightened situational involvement significantly contributes to social and functional concerns. Accordingly, this study hypothesizes that: H6 2. Avid golfers perceive a higher level of risks than casual golfers. Gender and perceived risk In the field of social and behavioral science, some scholars argue that men and women do not only perceive the same risks somewhat differently, but also perceive different risks (Gustafson, 1998). However, most psychometric studies documenting gender difference in risk perceptions (e.g., online and retail s hopping) reveal a consistent pattern, which is that women have been found to perceive greater risks (Garbarino & Strahilevitz, 2004; Olofsson & Rashid, 2011; Verhagen, Meents, &Tan, 2006). This suggests that females will also perceive consequences of a neg ative outcome as more severe. More formally: H6 3 Female golfers perceive a higher level of risks than male counterpart. Age, income, ethnic background and education variable s and perceived risk Who are the luxury clients? In general, luxury consumers are in fact very rich and highly educated. Chevalier & Mazzalovo (2008) noted four segments of luxury consumers who have net assets exceeding USD $1 million including millennium (e.g., sport stars), old (e.g., inherited wealth), new (e.g., those who have made a fortune themselves), and middle money (e.g., professionals). They also highlights that all the clients of the segments expect the products they consume to be of outstanding quality,

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42 expensive, scarce and difficult to obtain. Moreover, Chevalier and Mazz alovo (2008) and Schroeder, Salzer Mrling, and Askegaard, (2006) suggest that the luxury consumers are affective because they consider their own pleasure (e.g., need for beauty) to be more important than any other rational criteria (e.g., perceived value for money). Therefore, they may perceive higher performance and social risks rather than financial risk. Based on this understanding, the author argues that they may perceive risks differently compared to general consumers. Accordingly, this study hypothes izes that: H6 4 5, 6, & 7. There are significant differences in perceived risks between customers with different socio demographic characteristics. Figure 2 6. A proposed model for HYPOTHESIS H6

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43 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Selected L uxury Product and P roc edures Private Golf Course as a L uxu ry B rand Golf courses are usually classified into private and public based on exclusivity of benefits. A private golf course is used in private at some location. Except for selected members, people would be unaware that one uses the product brand (Grewal, Mehta, & Kardes, 2004). Accordingly, their marketing strategy is high priced service that offers additional benefits or values in service and quality to cultivate a specific market segment (e.g., high class). In contrast to private clubs in a public golf course, if others want to, they can identify the golf course brand with little or no difficulty (Grewal, Mehta, & priced products that offer additi onal value (i.e., value for money) to customers in service and quality. In sum, in the field of sports service marketing, private golf courses in terms of premium and luxury highlight conspicuousness of a brand and exclusivity of benefits in contrast to in clusivity of the same (i.e., public golf courses). In addition, the author used existence of exclusive membership package to identify luxury golf course. Social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979) and social categorization theory (Turner, 1985) provide a rationale for such identification. The individual has a motivation to categorize the self in terms of one group membership through consuming luxury. Moreover, the individual may see the self in terms of one of several possible social memberships (e.g., high class) that generate various symbolic benefits (e.g., self enhancement or symbolic interaction; Vickers & Renand, 2003). This means that a golf course as a brand can be a meaningful signal and be closely linked to

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44 the self (Escalas & Bettman, 2005; Vi gneron & Johnson, 2004). Based on this understanding, the author concludes a private golf course that provides an exclusive membership package as a luxury brand. Participants and Data Collection P rocedures The research is based on data gathered from five golf courses (i.e., two private and three public courses ; T able 3 1 ) located in North Florida. The author selected the state of Florida as a sampling frame because there are over 1,300 public and private golf courses in this state more than any other stat e s (Haydu & Hodges, 2002). Before collecting data, the author obtained an approval regarding data collection from the club owners and head managers. The questionnaire was administered to actual customers of the selected golf courses between January 25 and February 12, 2012 Data were collected at multiple areas (i.e., club house and main entrance ) of the selected courses. Questionnaires were distributed to an intercept sample of 400 customers, who were intercepted individually as they entered the courses th rough the main entrances In particular the author exclude d people who mostly participate in sports activities as professional athletes or medical care (e.g., intensive care unit). This is because their sport participation motivation may be closely relate d to fulfilling lower level needs (e.g., physiological need), or they may have inevitably higher demands for sports products regardless of income. The author and research assistants were stationed at the booth assigned by the clubs staffs. The research ass istants explained the participants that involvement in the study was voluntary and thereafter distributed the informed consent form. All participants in initial contac t, the participants were given a brief explanation of the purpose of the

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45 research and instructions about how to properly fill out the survey. On average, it took approximately 10 minutes for the participants to complete the questionnaire. No compensation w as provided to the survey participants. A total of 37 0 completed questionnaires were returned ( 92.5% response rate ) of which 333 useful cases were included in data analysis. Overall, it is believed that the results contained in this thesis are reflective of the perceptions and intention of those customers at the selected golf courses. Table 3 1. Descriptions of selected golf courses Features Club A Club B Club C Club D Club E Type Private Private Public Public Public Location Florida Florida Florida Flor ida Florida Holes 18 18 18 18 18 Par 71 72 72 60 72 Yardage (yd.) 7,000 7,100 6,500 3,900 6,500 Year built 1921 1964 1964 1969 1987 The number of members 500 600 N/A N/A N/A Annual membership fee ($) 8,000 9,500 N/A N/A N/A Green fee ($, weekend /w cart) N/A N/A 35 25 30 Instrumentation The selection of the measures utilized in the study was a three step process. First, extant scales of focal constructs were collected from the relevant literature. Second, a panel of scholars assessed the scales wit h expertise in brand marketing and management and service quality content. Various items in the scales were dropped or revised based on the feedback from the panel of scholars. After the expert review, 39 items were retained to measure the 13 constructs. E ach construct was measured using multiple items and a 7 point Likert type scale format with response categories anchored by 1 (strongly disagree) and 7 (strongly agree).

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46 Degree of Luxury (Screening Q uestion) conceptualization? D oes the author select ed correct golf course brands in terms of luxury and non luxury? To address these questions, the author asked screening questions in terms of degree of luxury. To measure perceived d egree of luxury, the author revised and adapted three luxury items from existing research (Bearden & Etzel, 1982; Grewal, Mehta, & Kardes, 2004). The private golf courses were categorized as luxury and public courses were categorized as non luxury. The Sca le of Perceived Brand L eadership (SPBL) Based on the conceptual framework discussed in the previous section a Scale of Perceived Brand Leadership (SPBL) was revalidated. The first element of product jective judgment about a Zeithaml, 1988). Three items (i.e., multiple semantic type scales) were adapted from existing scales (Cronin, Brady, & Hult, 2000). Three perceived given; Zeithaml, 1988) scale items were adopted from previous research (Sheth, Newman, & Gross, 1991; Sweeney & Soutar, 2001). To measure prod uct innovativeness, the author revised and adapted seven innovativeness items that resources, technological resources, skills, knowledge, capabilities, or strategy (Capon Farley, Hulbert, & Lehmann, 1992; Kunz, Schmitt, & Meyer, 2011; Sen & Bhattacharya, 2001). Finally, t o measure brand popularity, the author adapted and modified three

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47 brand popularity items from existing scales (Alba & Hutchinson, 1987; Rossiter & Percy, 1987; Yoo & Donthu, 2001). The Scale of Perceived Luxury R isk (SPLR) Based on the conceptual framework discussed in the previous section a Scale of Perceived Luxury Risk (SPLR) was developed to measure functional, financial, hedonic, and self image risk s. The author adapted and modified 12 items (i.e., three for each risk) from previous research ( e.g., Biswas, Biswas, & Das, 2006 ; Stone & Grnhaug, 1993 ; Weber, Blais, & Betz, 2002 ). Behavioural I ntention To measure consumer word of mouth recommendation t he author modified and applied three WOM items from existing research ( Hartline, M. D., & Jones K. C, 1996 ). Data Analysis Data analysis was performed in four stages First, descriptive statistics for the variables were obtained. Second, data from the su rvey was screened. Third, measurement models for the constructs were analyzed followed by structural models being tested. Finally, interaction effects of potential moderators were examined. Collected data was entered into and analyzed using SPSS 17.0 and A MOS 17.0. Descriptive S tatistics Descriptive analyses were demographic characteristics (i.e., gender, income, educat ion, age, and ethnic background ) and consumption level (i.e., avid and casual golfers) to d escribe the basic characteristics of the data in this thesis Various descriptive statistics of the variables used in this study such as measures of central tendency (e. g., mean, mode, and

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48 median) and measures of variability (e. g., range, variance, and s tandard deviation) were obtained. Data S creening Prior to the main analyses, all the variables were examined employing various SPSS programs for accuracy of data entry, outliers, and fit between the characteristics of the data. Outliers in the variables we re evaluated using extreme values output from the Explore analysis. Elimination of case or variable, transformation, and score alteration were considered to reduce the influence of outliers based on the nature of the outlier. Normality of the observed vari ables was assessed through examination of histogram and summary descriptive statistics employing SPSS Descriptive. Measureme nt Model T est The data was first subjected to further scale purification using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Psychometric pro perties, theoretical relevance of the items, and scale parsimony were assessed. After the scale purification process, the CFA was conducted using the AMOS 17.0 software to evalu ate the measurement models on 10 latent constructs (i.e., perceived quality, va lue, innovativeness, popularity, functional risk, financial risk, hedonic risk, self image risk, word of mouth recommendation and degree of luxury ). The results of CFA were examined with the overall fit index scores, including comparative fit index (CFI) standard root mean squared residual (SRMR), and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA). The CFI value close to .95 or higher and the SRMR value less than .08 imply good fitting models (Hu & Bentler, 1999). The RMSEA value less than .06 suggests a good fit, between .06 and .08 indicates an acceptable fit, and higher than .10 implies an unacceptable fit (Brown & Cudeck, 1992;

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49 were also employed to examine how well the subscale items were correlated with each other. When the values are greater than .70, the reliability is indicated as acceptable (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994). Additionally, Average Variance Explained (AVE) values were utilized to evaluate how well the item s measuring a specific subscale collectively explain reliability of the construct is indicated as acceptable (Fornell & Larcker, 1981). To establish convergent and disc riminant validity, as Fornell and Larcker (1981) suggested, the author examine d item loadings, factor correlation, and comparison of the squared correlations of any two latent constructs with AVE values. The author also assert s established convergent valid ity when item loading is equal to or greater than .70 (Hair, Black, Babin, & Anderson, 2009). Moreover, as Kline (2010) and Fornell and Larcher (1981) suggested, the author also consider ed convergent validity is established when correlations among construc ts are less than .85 and a squared correlation between constructs are lower than the AVE value for each construct. Structural Model T est The proposed models were tested trough Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) through AMOS. The author employ ed SEM analys is because it enables incorporating two structures (i.e., a measurement and structural models) in a single structure, in which multiple equations can be estimated simultaneously (Kline, 2010). Using the covariance matrix resulting from the CFA of the measu rement model, the hypothesized associations were simultaneously tested through SEM analysis.

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50 Testing Moderating E ffects The author examine d five moderator variables and 40 hypotheses employing the multiple group SEM to determine any significant difference s across groups. Specifically, the author access ed the moderating effects of product type (i.e., luxury and non luxury) and four perceived risks (i.e., low and high level of functional financial, hedonic and self image risks ) on the relationship between perceived brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation Before comparing groups, it is necessary to assess factor invariance of the measurements because the structure of the compared constructs (i.e., dimensions of perceived brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation ) may be not equal across groups (Schmitt & Kuljanin, 2008). The author test ed factor structure equivalence across the two groups (i.e., private vs. public, high level of risks vs. low level of the item loadings, the factors covariance, and the factor variances were constrained to be equal for both groups (Byrne, Shavelson, & Muthn, 1989). After the measurement invari ance test, the author conduct ed multiple group SEM analysis within Amos to assess the moderator variable effects of product type and level of risks on the structural models. The examination s of the moderating effect were conducted in a three step process. First, two structural models were created for a comparison of statistics. The first model was an unconstrained model in which path coefficients were allowed to vary across two subgroups. The second model was a constrained model in which path coefficients w ere constrained to be equal across the two subgroups.

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51 The next step was to test the difference between the unconstrained and constrained models. The chi square value difference was used to compare the chi square values of the unconstrained structural model and the constrained structural model. The unconstrained model has less degree of freedom than the constrained model, so the chi square value would always be lower for the unconstrained model than for the constrained model. If chi square values improved si gnificantly when moving from the unconstrained model to the constrained model, the testing moderator variable would have had a differential effect on the tested causal path, and could be confirmed as a moderator. The last step was to compare the path coeff icient between the two groups. The independent t value was employed to compare two path coefficients within the Amos program.

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52 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Demographics Demographic characteristics of participants ( N = 333) are depicted in Table 4 1 The majority o f the participants were male (79 %). The average age of the participants was 50 years old ( M = 49.92, SD = 16.6) and 90% of participants were white/Caucasian. The averages of golf playing rounds per month are 8 ( M = 7.9, SD = 6.8), playing periods is 9 years ( M = 9.3, SD = 10.27), driving miles to play golf is 20 ( M = 20.2, SD = 40.46). Table 4 1 Demographic characteristics of participants Variable Club A Club B Club C Club D Club E Total Gender Male 85 (86 %) 29(46.8%) 65(89%) 63(85.1%) 21(84%) 263 (79 %) Fe male 14 (14 %) 33(53.2%) 8(11%) 11(14.9%) 4(16%) 70 (21 %) Total 99(30%) 62(19%) 73(22%) 74(22%) 25(7%) 333(100%) Age 18 30 4(4%) 7(11%) 22(30%) 16(22%) 11(44%) 60(18%) 31 50 21(21.2%) 35(57%) 20(28%) 29(39%) 5(20%) 110(33%) 51 70 57(57.6%) 17( 27%) 28(38%) 21(28%) 7(28%) 130(39%) 71+ 17(17.2%) 3(5%) 3(4%) 8(10%) 2(8%) 33(10%) Average play rounds per month 10 7 6 7 6 Average play period (year) 17 5 2 9 2 Average driving miles to play golf 16 5 19 26 19 House hold income $9,999 or less 1(1%) 1(1.4%) 3(4.1%) 2(8%) 7(2%) $10,000 $39,999 3(3%) 8(1 2 .7%) 19(26%) 12(16.2%) 7(28%) 49(18 %) $40,000 $69,999 1 6( 1 6%) 19(30.6%) 17(23.3%) 27(36.5%) 8(32%) 87(3 3%) $70,000 $119,999 32(32%) 16(25.8%) 21(28.8%) 21(28.4%) 6(24%) 96(29%) $120,000 $199,999 30(30%) 11(17.7%) 9(12.3%) 9(12.2%) 2(8%) 61(18%) $200,000 or higher 20(20 %) 5(8.1%) 6(8.2%) 2(2.7%) 33 (12%) Education level Some high school 7(9.6%) 1(1.4%) 8(2%) High school graduate 3(3%) 5(8.1%) 2(2.7%) 1(1.4%) 11(3%) Some co llege 9(10%) 6(9.7%) 63(86.3%) 21(28.4%) 12(48%) 111(33%)

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53 Table 4 1. Continued Variable Club A Club B Club C Club D Club E Total Education level College graduate 44(44%) 38(61.3%) 1(1.4%) 23(31.1%) 6(24%) 112(34%) Graduate degree 43(43%) 11(17.7%) 28 (37.8%) 7(28%) 89(27%) Other 2(3.2%) 2(1%) Ethnicity African American 3(4.8%) 7(9.6%) 2(2.7%) 1(4%) 13(3%) Asian American 1(1%) 3(4.8%) 2(2.7%) 1(1.4%) 7(2%) Caucasian/White 97(98%) 47(75.8%) 63(86.3) 63(85.1%) 23(92%) 295(90%) Native American 3(4.8%) 1(1.4%) 4(1%) Hispanic 2(3.2%) 1(1.4%) 1(4%) 4(1%) Other 1(1%) 4(6.5%) 1(1.4) 6(8.1%) 10(3%) Brand Leadership Descriptive S tatistics Descriptive statistics for brand leadership varia bles are presented in Tables 4 2 The m eans of the brand leadership items for the public and private golf clubs ranged from private M = 5.3, SD = 1. 2; for public M = 5.0, SD = 1.3) on the 7 M = 3.7, SD = .9; for public M = 4.4, SD = 1.0). Table 4 2 Descriptive statistics for brand leadership F actors and items Private Public M SD M SD When compared to other competing PUBLIC/PRIVATE golf courses, this golf course: Quality Is higher in quality standards 4.4 1.6 4.1 1.0 Is superior in quality standards 4.5 1.1 4.2 1.0 Offers higher qual ity golf course features 4.5 1.1 4.2 1.0

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54 Table 4 2. Continued Factors and items Private Public M SD M SD Value Is reasonably priced 5.2 1.2 5.0 1.2 Has better course features for the price 5.2 1.3 4.9 1.3 Offers more benefits for the price 5.1 1.3 4.9 1.4 Innovativeness Is more dynamic in improvements 4.8 1.2 4.2 1.5 Is more creative in products and services 4.7 1.2 4.1 1.5 Is more of a trendsetter 4.7 1.3 3.9 1.4 Popularity Is more preferred by golfers 4.9 1.4 4.8 1.5 Is more recognized b y golfers 4.7 1.4 4.8 1.5 Is better known among golfers 4.8 1.4 4.9 1.4 Measurement M odels T he measurement model (Figure 4 1 ), which specified four latent factors to be correlated with each other, was tested. Four items were dropped based on the result s from the initial CFA, leaving 12 observed variables for 4 latent factors. Factor loadings, theoretical relevance and parsimoniousness of the model were considered collectively in reaching a final decision regarding which items to retain a nd which to elim in ate. Table 4 3 df = 146.388/48 = 3.050, RMSEA = .080, CFI = .961, SRMR = .043). For second order measurement m odel also df = 146.802/50 = 2.936, RMSEA = .076, CFI = .961, SRMR = .043 ; Table 4 5 ). Convergent validity was established by high factor loadings in the suggested value of .70 except one item (Hair, Black, Babi n, & Anderson, 2009) To examine discriminant validity, an analysis of correlation between measured constructs was conducted. Correlations between constructs ranged from .39 (Perceived Value and Popul arity) to .55 (Perceived Value and Innovativeness) and were not excessively high (e.g., < .85; Kline, 2005; Table 4 4

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55 ranged from .80 (Quality) to .92 (Innovativeness), indicating appropriate internal consistency. The AVE value s ranged from .67 (Perceived Value) to .86 (Quality; Table 4 3 ), indicating good construct reliability. In addition, each squared correlation should be smaller than AVE (Fornell & Larcker, 1981). All AVE estimates were found to be greater than the squared correlations (Table 4 3 and 4 4 ). Table 4 3 Summary results for measurement model of brand leadership Factors and items AVE When compared to other competing PUBLIC/PRIVATE golf courses, this golf course: Quality Is higher in quality standards .70 .80 .86 Is superior in quality standards .74 Offers higher quality golf course features .72 Value Is reasonably priced .68 .90 .67 Has better course features for the price .90 Offers more benefits for the price .85 Innovativeness Is more dynamic in improvements .85 .92 .76 Is more creative in products and services .90 Is more of a trendsetter .86 Popularity Is more preferred by golfers .80 .82 .78 Is more recognized by golfers .95 Is better known among golfers .85 Table 4 4 Correlations among brand leadership constructs 1 2 3 4 1. Quality 1.00 2. Value .41 1.00 3. Innovativen ess .46 .55 1.00 4. Popularity .28 .39 .40 1.00 Table 4 5 Summary of Goodness of Fit indices for the Measurement Model (Brand leadership) Model X2 df X2/ df CFI RMSEA SRMR First order measurement model 146.388 48 3.050 .961 .079 .043 Second order me asurement model 146.802 50 2.936 .961 .076 .043

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56 Figure 4 1 Brand leadership scale the second order factor model Structural M odel Brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation (WoM) The proposed structural mod el presented earlier in Figure 2 2 was analyzed here using the refined constructs and variables that resulted from the processes of the measurement analysis. The overall goodness of fit statistics for the structural model showed a good fit of the data to the model with (X2 = 235.865 df = 80, X2/ df = 2.948, SRMR = 0.0426, RMSEA = 0.077, CFI = 0.951 ; Table 4 6 ). Table 4 7 and Figure 4 2 summarize overall results. Table 4 6 Summary of Goodness of Fit indices for the Structural Model Model X2 df X2/ df CFI RMSEA SRMR Brand leadership WoM 235.865 80 2.948 .951 .077 .0426

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57 Table 4 7 Standardized total effect (Dependent variable: word of mouth recommendation) Quality Value Innovativeness Popularity WoM 38*** .53*** .095 .24*** ***p< .001 ***p< .001 Figure 4 2 The direct effe ct of brand leadership to word of mouth recommendation (total sample) Examination of Moderating E ffect Product type Measurement and structure invariance analysis It is necessary to assess factor invariance of the measurement prior to comparisons between groups because there is reason to believe that the structure of the compared construct is not equal across groups (Nuevo et al., 2008). As the first stage of measurement invariance test, the factor loadings were constrained to be equal for both groups (i. e., public and private). The difference in the chi square statistic for the measurement weight was insignificant (X2 [9] = 14.619, p = .102); therefore, the factor

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58 structure between the private group and public group sample can be assumed to be invariant. To test for structural invariance, the author first allowed a free estimation of the structural coefficients in both the private group and public group samples. Relaxing all equality on the structural coefficients resulted in a chi square statistic of 419 .909 ( df = 164). To test whether the structural coefficients between the constructs in the private group were similar to those in the public group samples, constraints on structure weights were added. The difference in the chi square statistic was signific ant (X2 [13] = 24.645, p = .026 ), showing that the causal links in the structural model differed significantly betw een the two samples ( Table 4 8 ). Testing individual paths The next step was to test the difference in the individual paths. The chi square di fference was performed again to identify which of the causal relationships caused the structural difference. Table 4 10 indicates that significant differences in the chi square statistic were found for the four individual paths: Quality WoM ( p = .000) V alue WoM ( p = .000) Innovativeness WoM ( p = .000) and Popularity WoM ( p = .000). The multiple group analysis confirmed that there were structural differences in the model, in particular in the way the private club consumer group and the public club consumer group samples perceived the links between all of the sub dimensions of brand leadership and word o f mouth recommendation. Table 4 9 and Figure 4 3 summarize the results of the multiple group SEM analysis.

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59 Table 4 8 Comparison of the models an d structural invariance for each individual structural path (Brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation by product type) Model Model fit indices X2 difference Moderating effect Unconstrained model X2(160) = 408.855, p = .00 RMSEA = .069, CFI = .925 Measurement weight X2(170) = 422.059, p = .00 RMSEA = .067, CFI = .924 13.205(10), p = .212 Structural weight X2(174) = 434.985, p = .00 RMSEA = .067, CFI = .922 26.130(14), p = .025* Supported Quality WoM X2(161) = 411.884, p = .00 RMSEA = .069, C FI = .925 30.290(1), p = .000 Supported Value WoM X2(161) = 413.704, p = .00 RMSEA = .069, CFI = .924 48.490(1), p = .000 Supported Innovativeness WoM X2(161) = 414.358, p = .00 RMSEA = .069, CFI = .924 55.030(1), p = .000 Supported Popularity WoM X2(16 1) = 417.688, p = .00 RMSEA = .069, CFI = .923 88.330(1), p = .000 Supported *p < .05. Table 4 9 Standardized total effect (Dependent variable: word of mouth recommendation) Quality Value Innovativeness Popularity Public .23** .53*** .007 .30*** Private .49*** .37*** .29** .02 *p < .05. ** p < .01. ***p< .001 Note. Coefficients for private club (coefficients for public club) *p < .05. ** p < .01. ***p< .001 Figure 4 3 The moderating effect of product type on the relationship between brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation

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60 Luxury Risk Descriptive S tatistics Descriptive statistics for luxury risk variables are presented in Table 4 10 The means of the luxury risk items for the pr iv ate golf clubs ran ged from 3.4 to 3.9 Sta ndard deviations ranged from .7 to 1.6 That it is not enjoyable Hedonic Risk factor had the hi ghest means ( M = 4.0, SD = 1.6 ) on the 7 point Likert type scale. The ima ge Risk factor had the l owest means (for private M = 3.4, SD = .7 ). Table 4 10 Descriptive statistics for luxury risk Factors and items Private M SD When I play golf in this golf course, I am concerned Functional About its maintenance 3.7 .7 About its quality 3.7 .8 About its uniqueness 3.9 .7 Financial 3.6 1.2 That it would be a bad way to spend my money on it 3.7 1.0 That the membership is too expensive for the benefits it offers 3.6 1.1 Hedonic That its aesthetic beauty may NOT be exactly as I pursued 3.6 1.2 That it would NOT offer me exitement 3.6 1.0 That it is NOT enjoyable 4.0 1.6 Self image That it would NOT fit in with my self image 3.8 1.1 That it would NOT be approved by some people whose opinion I value 3.9 1.0 That it would NOT give me status 3.4 .7 Measurement M odels T he measurement model (Figure 2 3 ), which specified four latent factors to be correlated with each other, was tested. Four item s were dropped based on the results from the initial CFA, leaving 12 observed variables for four latent factors. Factor loadings, theoretical relevance and parsimoniousness of the model were considered collectively in reaching a final decision regarding which items to retain a nd which to

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61 eliminate. Table 4 1 1 df = 89.300/48 = 1.860, RMSEA = .073, CFI = .964 SRMR = .05). Second ord er df = 92.863/50 = 1.857, RMSEA = .073, CFI = .962 SRMR = .05 ; Table 4 1 3 ). Convergent validity was established by high greater than the suggested value of .70 except three items (Hair, Black, Babi n, & Anderson, 2009; Table 4 1 1 ). To examine discriminant validity, an analysis of correlation between measured constructs was conducted. Correlations be tween constructs ranged from .14 ( Functional risk and Self image Risk) to .76 ( Financial Risk and Hedonic Risk) and were not excessively high (e.g., < .85; K line, 2005; Table 4 1 2 alpha estimates ranged from .74 ( Self image Risk ) to .95 ( Financial Risk), indicating appropriat e internal consistency The AVE values ranged from .78 ( Self image Risk) t o .92 ( Financial Risk; Table 4 1 1 ), indicating good construct reliability. In addition, each squared correlation should be smaller than AVE (Fornell & Larcker, 1981). All AVE estimat es were found to be greater than the squared correlations ( Table 4 1 1 and 4 1 2 ). Table 4 11 Summary results for measurement model of luxury risk Factors and items AVE When I play golf in this golf course, I am concerned Functional About its maintenance .60 .81 .81 About its quality .79 About its uniqueness 92 Financial .90 .95 .92 That it woul d be a bad way to spend my money on it .96 That the membership is too expensive for the benefits it offers .93

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62 Table 4 11. Continued Factors and items AVE Hedonic That its aesthetic beauty may NOT be exactly as I pursued 93 .83 .8 9 That it would NOT offer me exitement .61 That it is NOT enjoyable .83 Self Image That it would NOT fit in with my self image .75 .74 .78 That it would NOT be approved by some people whose opinion I value .78 That it would NOT give me status .59 Table 4 12 Correlations among luxury risk constructs 1 2 3 4 1. Functional risk 1.00 2. Financial risk .32 1.00 3. Hedonic risk .40 .72 1.00 4. Self Image risk 14 .36 .25 1.00 Table 4 13 Summary of Goodness of Fit indices for the Measureme nt Model (Luxury risk) Model X2 df X2/ df CFI RMSEA SRMR First order measurement model 89.300 48 1.860 .964 .073 .05 Second order measurement model 92.863 50 1.857 .962 .073 .05 Figure 4 4 Luxury risk scale the second order factor model

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63 Examinat ion of Luxury R isk Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) A one way between groups multivariate analysis of variances was performed to assess if socio demographic variables ( i.e., gender, age, income, and education ) and consumption level (i.e ., the n umbers of years playing period, rounds of golf played and average driving miles to play golf) influenced components of perceived luxury risks (i.e., functional, financial, hedonic, and self image risks ). MANOVA requires categorical variables for independe nt variables. Several independent variable s (i.e., age, the number of years playing period, rounds of golf played, and average driving miles to play golf ) represented a continuous variable. Thus, each was converted into a categorical variable by recoding p articipant scores so that the individuals scorin g in approximately the lowest 50 % were re corded to a score of 1 and participants with score s in approximately the highest 5 0% were recorded to a score of 2. For the two categorical variables (i.e., income an d education), to separate into two groups, the author used mean scores of Income ( M = 4.29, SD = 1.2 ) and Education ( M = 4.16, SD = .81) items. Thus, each participant score was recoded so that the individuals scoring between 1 and 4 were recorded to a scor e of 1 and participants with scores b etween 5 and 6 were recorded to a score of 2. The number of selected participants in eac h group is shown in the Table 4 1 4 Descriptive statistics for the dimensions of luxury risk are also presented in Tables 4 15 Pre liminary assumption was tested to check for normality, linearity, univariate and multivariate outliers, homogeneity of variance covariance matrices, and multicollinearity, with no serious violations noted. There was a statistically significant difference between males and females on the combined dependent variables, F ( 4, 156 ) = 4.03, p 91. When

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64 the results for the dependent variables were considered separately, the only difference to reach statistical significance, using a Bonferr oni adjusted alpha level of .0125 was Financial Risk, F ( 1, 159 ) = 10.51, p = .001. An inspection of the mean scores indicated that males repo rted significantly higher levels of perceived Financial R isk ( M = 4.09, SD = 1.79 ) than females ( M = 3.25, SD = 1 .35 ) There was no statistically significant difference between age groups on the combined dependent variables, F (4, 156) = 2.02 p There was a statistically significant difference between low number of rounding group ( M = 4.1 5, SD = 1.69 ) and high number of rounding group ( M = 12.80, SD = 5.86 ) on the combined dependent variables, F (4, 156) = 14.268 p .73 When the results for the dependent variables were separately examined the difference s to reach statistical significance, using a Bonferr oni adjusted alpha level of .0125 were Functional Risk, F (1, 159) = 39.511 p = .000 Financial Risk, F (1, 159) = 26.2 71 p = .000 Hedonic Risk, F (1, 159) = 39.742 p = .000 and Self image Risk, F (1, 159) = 2 1.547 p = .000 An inspection of the mean scores indicated that in general high number of rounding group repo rted higher levels of Functional ( M = 4.52, SD = 1.15) Financial ( M = 3.74 SD = 1.56 ) Hedonic ( M = 3.26 SD = 1.39 ) and Self image risks ( M = 3.19 SD = 1.27 ) than low number of rounding group ( Functional Risk: M = 4.18 SD = 1.09 ; Financial Risk: M = 3.20 SD = 1.47 ; Hedonic Risk: M = 2.74 SD = 1.78 ; Self image Risk: M = 2.27 SD = .99 ). There was a statistically significant difference between two experience groups (short playing period group ( M = 3.71 yr. SD = 2.25 yr. ) and longer playing period group ( M = 19.73 yr. SD = 11.02 yr. ) on the combined dependent variables, F (4, 156) =

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65 5.312 p = .000; When the results for th e dependent variables were considered separately, the differences to reach statistical significance, using a Bonferr oni adjusted alpha level of .0125 were Functional Risk, F (1, 159) = 9.433 p = .00 3 Financial Risk, F (1, 159) = 10.025 p = .002 and Hed onic Risk, F (1, 159) = 17.924 p = .000. Again, a n inspection of the mean scores indicated that high number of playing period group reported slightly higher levels of Functional ( M = 4.44 SD = 1.22 ), Financial ( M = 3.70 SD = 1.66 ), and Hedonic risks ( M = 3.23 SD = 1.36 ) than low number of playing period group (Functional Risk: M = 4.26 SD = 1.01 ; Financial Risk: M = 3.23 SD = 1.33 ; Hedonic Risk: M = 2.76 SD = 1.22 ). There was a statistically significant difference between long distance travelers ( M = 24.64 miles, SD = 13.08 miles ) and short distance traveling group ( M = 7.76 miles, SD = 3.08 miles) on the combined dependent variables, F (4, 156) = 5.25 p Lambda = .88 However, w hen the results for the dependent variables were considere d separately, there were no pairs to reach statistical ly significant difference using a Bonferroni adjusted alpha level of .0125. There was no statistically significant difference between high income group and medium level income group on the combined dep endent variables, F (4, 156) = 2.05 p = .09 0 bda = .95 There was no statistically significant difference between highly educated group and group with low and medium education level on the combined dependent variables, F (4, 156) = 1.33 p = 2 Table 4 14 Numbers of p articipants in each group Label Gender Age Rounding Period Driving Income Education Group 1 47 83 74 71 87 88 105 Group 2 114 78 87 90 74 73 56

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66 Table 4 15 Overall m eans and standard deviations for luxur y risk factors Variable M SD # of Items Functional risk 4.3623 1.13431 3 Financial risk 3.4907 1.53752 3 Hedonic risk 3.0207 1.31956 3 Self image risk 2.9979 1.16458 3 Table 4 16 MANOVA results for hypothesis testing (H6 4, 5, 6, 7) Lambda F df Error df p Value Gender .906 4.027 4.000 156.000 .004 ** Age .9 51 2.018 4.000 156.000 .095 Rounding .732 14.268 4.000 156.000 .000*** Period .880 5.342 4.000 156.000 .000*** Driving .881 5.249 4.000 156.000 001** Income .950 2.050 4.000 156.000 .090 Education .967 1.326 4.000 156.000 .263 Note. Rounding = the average number of playing rounds per month; Period = the playing period (yr.); Driving = the average driving miles to play golf *p < .05. ** p < .01. ***p< .001 Independent Samples T T e st To evaluate if the consumption level is different depending on gender the number of playing round, playing period and the average driving miles to play golf were compared using t test. The results of i ndependent samples t tests indicate that t here wer e no significant differences between male and female consumers in terms of their the number of playing round, t(159) = 1.191, p = .413 and driving miles to play golf, t(159) = .097, p = .608 (Table 4 17 ). However, there was a significant difference

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67 between male and female consumers in terms of their playing period, t(159 ) = 3.824, p < .05. Table 4 17 Results of independent samples t tests for Rounding Playing P eriod and Driving Miles N M SD t Rounding Male 114 9.0984 5.45820 1.191 Female 47 7.7436 8.07112 Playing period (yr.) Male 1 14 14.4508 12.39642 3.824* Female 47 6.6667 4.81409 Driving miles Male 114 15.3421 12.77361 .097 Female 47 15.5532 11.91238 *p < .05. Examination of Moderating E ffects Luxury risk Measurement an d structure in variance analysis To test if there was a significant structural difference between the highly perceived risk group and low perceived risk group, the author separated the overall samples into two groups using mean scores of luxury risk items. However, the numbers of respondents in each subgroup were not reached a minimum of 101 to adequately access fit analysis (Ding et Functional Risk items were between 4.5 and 7 in 7 point Likert type scale ( n = 131). The ( n = 127). The author discarded 75 samples the cases with 3.5 4.5 mean scores in order to differentiate the two groups. Next, the fac tor loadings were constrained to be equal for both groups (i.e., high risk and low risk). The difference in the chi square statistic for the measurement weight was significant (X2 [9] = 21.189, p = .012); therefore, the factor structure between the high ri sk group and low risk group sample be assumed to be variant ( Table 4 18 )

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68 Table 4 18 Comparison of the models and structural invariance for each individual structural path (Brand leadership and word of mouth recommendation by functional risk) Model Model fit indices X2 difference Moderating effect Unconstrained model X2(164) = 339.919, p = .00 RMSEA = .060, CFI = .94 Measurement weight X2(173) = 361.108, p = .00 RMSEA = .060, CFI = .94 21.189(9), p = .012 Structural weight X2(177) = 364.806, p = .0 0 RMSEA = .060, CFI = .94 24.887(13), p = .024 Not Supported Degree of Luxury Descriptive S tatistics Descriptive statistics for degree of luxury variable are presented in Table 4 19 The means of the degree of luxury items for the public and private golf clubs ranged from 2.5 M = 5.3, SD = 1.2; for public M = 2.5, SD = 1.1) on the 7 had the lowest mean (for private M = 5.1, SD = 1.3; for public M = 2.5, SD = 1.1). Table 4 19 Descriptive statistics for degree of luxury Factors and items Private Public M SD M SD Considered luxurious for golfers 5.1 1.3 2.5 1.1 Considered luxurious for many people 5.3 1.2 2.7 1.1 L uxurious to me 5.2 1.4 2.7 1.3 Measurement M odel T he measurement was tested employing Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) Table 4 20 E values. Each

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69 Black, Babi n, & Anderson, 2009 ). .96 indicating appropriate inte rnal consistency. The AVE value was .91 indicat ing good construct reliability. Table 4 20 Summary results for the measurement of degree of luxury Factors and items AVE Considered luxurious for golfers .96 Considered luxurious for many people .93 .96 .91 L uxurious to me .93 Outcome V ariable (Word of Mouth R ecommendation) Descriptive S tatistics Descriptive statistics for brand leadership outcomes are prese nted in Tables 4 21 The means of the word of mouth recommendation items for the participants ranged from 4.5 to 4.9. Standard deviations ranged from 1.1 to 1.5. Table 4 21 Descriptive statistics for outcome variables Factors and items Private Public M SD M SD My future intention to recommend this golf course to friends and family is Word of mouth recommendation Impossible/Possible 4.6 1.2 4.5 1.2 Very unlikely/Very likely 4.8 1.1 4.9 1.5 Improbable/Probable 4.6 1.3 4.9 1.5 Measurement M odel T he measurement was tested employing Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) Table 4 22 ading was greater than the suggested value of .70 (Hair, Black, Babi n, & Anderson, 2009 ). .76 indicat es adequate level of inte rnal consistency. The AVE value was .81 indicat ing good construct reliability.

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70 Table 4 22 Summary res ults for the measurement of outcome variables Factors and items AVE My future intention to recommend this golf course to friends and family is Word of mouth recommendation Impossible/Possible .84 Very unlikely/Very likely .90 .76 .81 Improba ble/Probable .88

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71 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purposes of this thesis were to: (1) examine the role of brand leadership in predicting luxury golf club brand consumption, (2) examine the moderating role of perceived risks and product type in the relations hip between brand leadership and demographic variables (e.g., gender, age, income, and education) and consumption level, and (4) revalidate scale of perceived brand leadership and ris ks. The purpose of study 1 was to revalidate scale of perceived brand leadership. The results showed that the hypothesized four factor model fitted the data well for the sports service brand (i.e., private and public golf courses). The 12 items brand leade rship scale captures perceived quality, value, innovativeness, and popularity in a reliable and stable way. All factor loadings were high and statistically significant. The overall model goodness of fit results and the measurement model supported the propo sed four factor model. The three steps of a confirmatory factor analysis provided consistent and comparable results. These studies have several important theoretical implications that benefit scholars in the brand management field, and, more specifically, brand leadership research. First of all, this study extends previous leadership studies in human resource management and organizational behavior and extended those previous studies to the product and organization branding context. However, the author found a gap between the theoretical backgrounds of p revious leadership studies in the field of human resource management (e.g., trait, situational, and contingency theory) and brand management literature This is due in part, to a lack of theoretical and syste matic understanding of leadership concept in brand research To fill this conceptual void the

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72 current research attempted to define the concept of brand leadership. Second, despite considerable interest in the concept of brand leadership, there have been f ew attempts at its measurement and scale development. Th e results of th is study contribute not only to improve our understanding of brand leadership but also provide a reliable and valid measurement tool based on a multi dimensional conceptual model The model test suggests that leadership perception toward a brand, culminating in a positive word of mouth recommendation toward the product brand. It is expected that the parsimonious meas urement tool developed in this study enable brand researchers to effectively investigate potential consequences of brand leadership (e.g., cognitive, affective, and behavioral brand loyalty). The findings of the current research have numerous implications for managers in the product branding. The 12 items measurement scale is parsimonious and easy to administer. The author believes that the measurement scale helps practitioners regular basis. The application of this scale can provide brand managers with critical benchmarking strategies by providing information about the strength and weakness of a product brand compared to other competing brands, which enable them to make an effic ient allocation of resources to maintain a balance among the brand leadership dimensions. Such understanding will also facilitate managers to set reasonable goals for building brand leadership in the competitive market environment. Ultimately, this tool ca n be useful in sponsorship and endorsement practice by effectively measuring and

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73 Study 2 proposed that product type as a moderator alters the degree of the effect of perceived brand le adership on word of mouth recommendation (WoM) Product type defined by luxury and non luxury has been selected and examined as a critical factor behavioral intention The results suggest ed that the all paths ( from Perceived Quality, Value, Innovativeness, and Popularity to WoM ) of brand leadership showed significant differences between the two groups. Specifically, f or the private club group, the three paths including Quality, Value, and Innovativeness were found to be significant. M ean while, for the public club group, the three paths including Quality, Value, and Popularity were found to be significant Namely, although Quality and Value are important and significant factors for both groups, Innovativeness was significant only for pr ivate group and Popularity was significant only for public group. The results are consistent with existing psychological theories such as social identity or categorization theories (Hornsey, 2008) and research in the field of luxury marketing. Specifically consumers in private golf course s tend to seek conspicuousness of a brand and exclusivity of benefits in contrast to inclusivity of that (i.e., public golf courses). It occurs because consumers in a private course have a motivation to categorize them self in a special group membership through consuming exclusive brand (i.e., highlighting innovativeness or uniqueness of a brand) that generate various symbolic benefits (e.g., self enhancement or symbolic interaction; Vickers & Renand, 2003; Wilcox, Kim, & Se n, 2009). In addition to the psychological theories, in the field of luxury marketing, numerous scholars identified psychological motivation for consuming luxury. For example, Eastman and Goldsmith (1999) argued that luxury purchases are not onl social status or

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74 prestige, but also are dependent on personal and individual preferences such as value based motivation, luxury consumers choose to buy particular products to satisfy their higher level of needs (e.g., excitement or sensory pleasure). Moreover, Li, Bailey, Kenrick, and Linsenmeier (2002) concluded that luxury consumption behavior and seeking higher level of needs are more frequently ob served for the consumers who have higher income level. The current study also show ed that members in private golf club generally have higher income level than customers in public golf courses cat egoriz ed consumer decision making styles, which can be used to explain luxury consumption behavior. Briefly, of the eight decision making styles Q uality C onsciousness P rice and V alue consciousness, confusion due to over choice, and impulsiveness are prop osed to reflect utilitarian aspects of shopping behavior, while brand consciousness, novelty and fashion consciousness, recreational and hedonistic shopping, and brand loyalty are proposed to reflect nonessential hedonic shopping behavior (Bakewell & Mitch ell, 2003). Based on the CSI t he results of S tudy 1 and 2 suggest that customers in public golf courses tend to be both utilitarian and hedonic shopping styles in their decision making process, putting more weight on quality, value, and innovativeness asp ects of brand leadership Meanwhile, quality, value, and popularity ( utilitarian aspects of shopping behavior ) were found to be significant predictors of golf consumption behavior in the public golf club s. T he consideration of each brand leadership dimensi on enables managers to develop effective business strategies to differentiat e themselves from other competing

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75 brand and promote status oriented consumption (Han et al. 2010). As noted above, upper class consumers with high level of income and social status tend to be more conspicuous when making a purchase decision (Dubois & Duquesne 1993; Goldsmith, Flynn, & Kim 2010). Moreover, they are willing to pay premium prices and prefer to dissociate from other class segments through their product choice. T hey per ceive the product brand as an indicator of the consumer's personality or the affinity between For this group of consumers, managers may need to highlight unique aspects of product brand in terms of innovativeness and quality rather than popularity of the product On the other hand, the results of current study suggested that for mass market, popularity and price related facets might be more sensitive aspects than innovativ eness of the product brand in the decision making process. They may not be able to purchase high end product brands, or their risk perceptions are likely to be higher in functional or financial risks as opposed to personal (e.g., hedonic and self image) ri sks In sum the results of the current study conclude that brand leadership provides essential information for consumers in making their purchase decisions (Aaker 1996; Supphellen & Gronhaug 2003). By adapting conceptual framework and measurement tool of the brand leadership outlined herein, firms will be able to distinguish their brand from their Study 3 attempted to revalidate scale of perceived luxury risk. The results showe d that the hypothesized four factor model fitted the data well for the golf course brand s (i.e., private golf courses). The 15 items luxury brand risk scale captures functional, financial, hedonic, and self image risks in a reliable and stable way. All fac tor loadings

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76 were high and statistically significant. The overall model goodness of fit results and the measurement model supported the proposed four factor model. Incorporating the brand leadership and luxury risk scales, these studies have several impor tant theoretical implications that benefit scholars in the brand management field, and, more specific ally, luxury branding research. The relationship between brand leadership and luxury risk stems from cost benefit or benefit cost analysis (Mishan & Quah, 2007) in the field of economics The cost benefit analysis refers to a systematic process for comparing the outcome including benefits (i.e., brand leadership ) and costs (i.e., luxury risk ) consequences of a purchase decision. When a consumer perceived values (benefits ) for a product brand increase automatically their perceived risk s corresponding to the benefit decreased and vice versa. For example, when a consumer perceives monetary value toward a luxury brand, at the same time, their perce ived financial risk may be reduced. As such value (benefits) and risk ( cost ) would be two sided faces T herefore taken together, the Scale of Perceived Brand Leadership (SPBL) and the Scale of Perceived Luxury Risk (SPLR) developed in this study may allo w academicians and practitioners effectively investigat ing potential consequences of luxury brand marketing efforts (e.g., consumer attitude and loyalty ). Study 4 examined luxury risk as a moderator, which alters the degree of the effect of perceived brand leadership on word of mouth recommendation. Except for Functional risk, three l uxury risk dimensions (i.e., financial, hedonic, and self image ) could not be examined due to a small sample size. As noted earlier to test a significant structural differenc e between the highly perceived risk group and low perceived risk group, the numbers of respondents in each subgroup should reach a minimum of 101 to

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77 adequately access fit analysis (Ding et al., 1996). Only for functional risk, the numbers of respondents in each subgroup reached the minimum sample size and was analyzed. A s a moderator, however, structural invariance test using functional risk could not be analyzed because the measurement of brand leadership for low and high functional risk was unequal. Nonet heless there are several important theoretical and managerial implications As previously discussed, the author assumes that when consumers have to decide to recommend a golf course to others, they will always experience a certain level of risk for severa l reasons (e.g., seeking personal uniqueness and socially oriented prestige). In these uncertain situations, brand leadership may serve as a key solution for the risks other words, brand leadership becomes the crucial strategy for dealing with an uncertain and uncontrollable future because they may be the fastest way to obtain information and confidence about the brand. Otherwise, consumers may have to make bets about t he uncertain outcomes of the purchase decision. Current study defined relative to their expectation, which may include product quality relevant aspect of a brand. Ther efore, it is postulated that functional risk may alter the degree of the effect of quality to word of mouth recommendation rather than other factors including perceived value, innovativeness, and popularity. However, the unconstrained models (i.e., brand l eadership and word of mouth recommendation) suggest that the effect of quality on word of mouth recommendation was significant regardless of the moderating effect of functional risk Accordingly, even if consumers perceive low level of functional risk,

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78 per ceived product quality of a brand is very important in predicting their behavioral intention. F uture studies using a large enough sample size need to be done to systematically examine the moderating effect of luxury risks on the proposed link between brand leadership and behavioral intention. Study 5 perceived luxury risks based on their socio demographic variables ( i.e., gender, age, income, education, and ethnic background) and consumption level (e.g., the numbers of years playing per iod, rounds of golf played and average driving miles to play golf). There was a positive relationship between t he three consumption variables (i.e., rounds of golf played prior experience and average driving miles to play golf ) and perceived luxury risk The results indicated that avid players have more ongoing concerns for luxury golf course brands (i.e., enduring involvement), and meet more purchasing situations (i.e., situational involvement) rather than casual golfers as a result of more frequent pla ying (Li, Bailey, Kenrick, & Linsenmeier, 2002) It occurs because psychological anxiety results fr om increased stable involvement and heightened situational involvement significantly contributes to social and functional concerns (Dholakia, 2001 ). As such avid players are more sensitive in quality of product and perceive higher level of luxury risk in choosing golf brand In terms of the socio demographic variables, only Gender was found to be significant Specifically, male s ( M = 4.09, SD = 1.79) perceiv e a higher level of luxury risk than female s ( M = 3.25, SD = 1.35) for Financial Risk The results are not consistent to the main consensus of existing research In the field of social and behavioral science, most psychometric studies documenting gender

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79 di fference in risk perceptions suggest t hat female consumers were found to perceive greater risks (Garbarino & Strahilevitz, 2004; Olofsson & Rashid, 2011; Verhagen, Meents, &Tan, 2006). However, the results of the current study may reflect that the effect o f golf experience itself was stronger than gender in influencing their perceive d luxury risk. T he consumption level was compared based on gender through independent samples t test The results indicate d that there was a significant difference between male and female consumers in their golf experience ( playing period ; t( 159 ) = 3.824, p < .05 ) Specifically, male golfers tend to have more experiences ( M = 14 years SD = 12.3) than female golfers ( M = 6 years SD = 4.8 ) Accordingly, the author conclude s that even if consumer literature suggest that female generally perceive greater risk than male this pattern can vary depending on their prior experiences as found in the result of the current study. This thesis has several limitations that must be addressed f or future research. First, this study focused solely on a specific sport service product category (i.e., private Therefore, replicating this study with a broader and w ider sampling frame in various luxury product contexts (e.g., mobile phone, computer, or automobile product brands) could help provide fluent analytical environments and ultimately, improve the generalizability of the results. Second, the use of a simple r andom sampling limits our ability to fully generalize the findings to other samples. Because a primary disadvantage of the sampling method is that it may not in fact be a random sample, sampling distribution would be highly skewed (e.g., even non luxury co level were high). Hence, we encourage use of alternative sampling methods such as

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80 stratified random and cluster sampling method to ensure that the collected samples are from various consumer groups in any further study of luxury bran d marketing. Lastly, this thesis considered only word of mouth recommendation as an ultimate outcome and a dependent variable. There are numerous consumer variables that could provide meaningful implications (e.g., satisfaction, trust, and loyalty). Theref ore, future research needs to take into account other outcome factors to better understand of the hypothesized relationships.

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81 APPENDIX SURVEY QUESTIONNAIR E S Dear Participants; The collected information in this survey will be primarily use d to evaluate leadership and perceived risks of selected private and public golf courses in the state of Florida This research is very important for the further growth of the golf industry. It would be greatly appreciated if you would simply complete t he following questionnaires. There are no known risks to you if you decide to participate in this survey and we guarantee that your responses will not be identified with you personally. We promise not to share any information that identifies you with any on e outside my research group. There are no direct benefits or compensation to you for participating in the study. Your participation is voluntary a nd there is no penalty if you do not participate Regardless of whether you choose to participate, please l et me know if you would like a summary of my findings. If you have any questions or concerns about completing the questionnaire or about being in this study, please contact the addresses below. If you have any questions about your rights as a research part icipant, please contact the IRB. Thank you again for your cooperation and the valuable information you are providing in this survey. Sincerely,

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82 I. The questions below are about your perceptions about the GOLF COURSE Please read each question careful ly and rate the extent to which you STRONGLY DISAGREE (1) or STRONGLY AGREE (7) with each item by circling or checking the appropriate number in the scale beside each statement When compared to other competing PRIVATE golf courses, this golf course: Str ongly Strongly Disagree Agree (Example): Is a lot better 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is higher in quality standards 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is reasonably priced 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is more dynamic in improvements 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is more preferred by golfers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is superior in quality standards 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Offers more value for money 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is more creative in products and services 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is more used by golfers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Offers higher quality gol f course features 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Has better course features for the price 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is more of a trendsetter 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is more recognized by golfers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Offers higher quality services 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Offers more benefits for the price 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is more adaptive to new ideas 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Is better known among golfers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 When I play golf in this golf course, I am concerned Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree About it s maintenance 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That the financial investment in it would NOT be wise 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That it would NOT meet my expected level of enjoyment 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That it would NOT fit in with my self image 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 About its quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That I really would NOT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That its aesthetic beauty may NOT be exactly as I pursued 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That it would NOT be approved by some people whose opinion I value 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 About its superiority to other s 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That it would be a bad way to spend my money on it 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That it would NOT offer me exitement 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That it would NOT give me status 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 About its uniqueness 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That the membership is too expensive for the benefits it offers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 That it is NOT enjoyable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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83 II. Please either check the appropriate box or fill in the blank for the items below I am: Male Female I am: __________ years old How many rounds do you play a month?_____________ Rounds How long have you been playing in this golf course? _________Year; __________Month How many miles do you drive to play golf in general? ___________ M iles My annual house hold income is: __________ $9,999 or less $10,000 ~ $39,999 $40,000 ~ $69,999 $70,000 ~ $119,999 $120,000 ~ $199,999 $200,000 or higher My highest level of education is: So me high school High school graduate Some college College graduate Graduate degree Other__________ I am: African American Asian American Caucasian/White Native American Hispanic Othe r __________please specify: __________ This golf course is: Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree Considered luxurious for golfers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Considered luxurious for many people 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Luxurious to me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I typically, Spend more money than I have 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Worry about what people think of me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Overuse my credit 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Spend m ore than I can afford 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Need the approval of others 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Abuse my credit 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Do what others do 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My future intention to recommend this golf course to friends and family is Impossible/Possible 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very unlikely/Very likely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Improbable/Probable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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99 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Yonghwan Chang earned his Master of S cience degree (sport management) in health and human performance from the University of Florida in May 2012. He received his Bachelor of Science in physical e ducation from Seoul Natio nal University in February 2008. B rand marke ting is a significant component of his academic life. Yonghwan Chang has been working hard to help branding his team, organization, and himself. Particularly, during the m he has done his best to exceed the expectations of the D epartment (TRSM) and College ( HHP ) and to become an exemplary student at UF. Eventually, as an excellent student brand, he believes he can represent the program, department, and college very well He is extremely passionate about sports branding research Currently, including his m has been working on several brand related projects focused on athlete and product branding (i.e., endorsement and sponsorship and service marketing) For his exceptional research productivity, he rece ived an award (first prize winner ) in the 2010 graduate student poster presentation competition sponsored by the College (HHP) He also received the Outstanding International Student Award (Outstanding Academic Achievement) from the UF International Center Most honorably he received a Graduate School Fellowship Award from the College (HHP) at the UF pursuing doctoral degree. These awards are indications of his passion and expertise in sport brand research. His ultimate career goal is to become a notable scholar in the fields of sport marketing an d management, and, eventually, he pursue s to (1) bridge academia and

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100 practice in these fields and (2) foster and teach students who have interest in this area and the p otential for contributing to it.