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Journal Selections from MSI

The Perils of Managerial Empathy

"Empathic" managers are more likely to use personal preferences, and less likely to use marketing research.

Does empathy increase a manager’s ability to take a consumer’s perspective? Johannes Hattula, Walter Herzog, Darren Dahl, and Sven Reinecke show that it can have the opposite effect. 

In four empirical studies with 480 marketing managers, they find that managerial empathy activates executives’ private consumer identity and, thus, their personal consumption preferences. Further, these self-referential preference predictions make managers less likely to use market research results.

However, when explicitly instructed to do so, managers were able to suppress their private consumer identity in the process of perspective taking, thus reducing self-referential preference predictions.

Download article from the American Marketing Association (free until December 2, 2015)
Managerial Empathy Facilitates Egocentric Predictions of Consumer Preferences by Johannes D. Hattula, Walter Herzog, Darren W. Dahl and Sven Reinecke, Journal of Marketing Research (April 2015)  

Journal Selections from MSI (November 2015)

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