Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Pam S. Ellen

Second Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Curasi

Third Advisor

Dr. Lars Mathiassen

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Edward Rigdon


Many types of product meanings have been investigated in the consumer behavior literature, and these layers of meaning have been shown to influence consumer behavior. However, very little research has attempted to investigate product meanings having to do with provision networks, that is, the people, places, resources and processes involved in creating products and delivering them to the consumer. In addition, researchers in several fields have argued that consumers have lost an awareness of provision networks due to their increasing size and complexity in the modern economy. This research indicates that some consumers are indeed cognizant of the systems of provision for the products they consume. The results of this study indicate that some consumers expend effort to create and ascribe provision meanings for some products, and that these meanings in turn affect the consumer’s consumption decisions and experiences. In spite of the commodifying effects of modern market systems, these consumers exhibit an appreciation for products as the outcome of a complex system of relationships among people, places, resources and processes and have thus become reconnected to the provision of what they consume.


Included in

Marketing Commons