In the literature of buyer behavior theories, a distinction is made, at least implicitly between the buying behaviors of organizations and consumers. The distinction stems primarily from the assumption that while consumers act as willful individuals when they ‘ buy’ products while organizations act as a rational group and make ‘ purchases’ . The intentionally made subtle distinction between buying and purchasing essentially evinces at the attitude of envisioning individual consumers as idiosyncratic and organizations as a group of professional decision makers in the process of transactions. Because of such differentiation, a bifurcation has been observed in the process of buyer behavior related to theoretical development.
Although beneficial for the purpose of teaching and planning, according to the author, such divergence has prevented the development of theoretical structures that act as generic to both forms of buyer behavior. Although traditionally consumers are distinguished from organizations particularly in case of buying behavior due to the implicit understanding that while the consumer as an individual decision maker tends to be whimsical and responsive to sudden bursts of irrationality, organizations do not and professional organizational behavior is bound to be rational as it is the result of joint decision making in the presence of constraints like set objectives and priorities which prevent irrational and indulgent choices, the author argues against such distinctions pointing out the individual buyer although does not have to abide by constraints faced by professional organizations, has to make choices always being constrained by being a part of another organization – society.
The differentiation is disagreed with by questioning the assumption that same individuals act differently under organizations that are contextually different, one being a professional organization while the other is the society the individual is embedded in.
It is posited that theoretical enrichment is to be derived if buyer behavior is studied without differentiating between consumers and organizations.
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