Special Session on Psychological Ownership at AMS 2014



When: May 21 – May 23, 2014

Where: 2014 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN

Link: www.ams-web.org


  • Psychological ownership: Concepts, evidence, and implications for marketing research
    Iiro Jussila
    Anssi Tarkiainen
    Marko Sarstedt
    Joseph F. Hair
  • Psychological ownership and object design: To own is to take control
    Bernadette Kamleitner
    Sophie Süssenbach
  • Owning the Intangible: The Roles of Motivational Orientation and Perceived Two-Way Communication on Psychological Ownership and Product Valuation
    Colleen P. Kirk
  • Examining the Role of Psychological Ownership and Feedback in Customer Empowerment Strategies
    Doreen Neubert
    Kati Zeller
    Marko Sarstedt


Iiro Jussila is a Management Professor at the School of Business in Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). He has more than 70 international publications on topics such as co-operation, family business, and psychological ownership. Jussila’s book “Psychological Ownership and the Organizational Context,” co-authored with Professor Jon L. Pierce (University of Minnesota Duluth), was amongst three finalists for the Academy of Management’s highly regarded George R. Terry Book Award in 2012. Jussila is a Board Member in the International Family Enterprise Research Academy. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management (JCOM) published by Elsevier.

Bernadette Kamleitner is full professor of Marketing with a focus on Consumer Behavior and head of the Institute for Marketing and Consumer Research at Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria. She holds a PhD in psychology and a PhD in marketing. Her research focuses on the intersection of those fields and in particular on psychological processes driving financial decisions.

Sophie Süssenbach is a teaching and research associate and PhD student at Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria. In her PhD she focuses on the antecedents of psychological ownership.

Colleen P. Kirk is Assistant Professor of Marketing at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY and her research interests focus on consumer emotions in decision-making, especially related to technology appropriation and psychological ownership. Colleen Kirk has published in Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Brand Management, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Journal of the Academy of Behavioral Finance and Economics, and International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, among others. Her recent awards include “best doctoral student paper” from the Academy of Behavioral Finance and Economics and “best reviewer” at the 2013 Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit in Chicago.

Marko Sarstedt is a Full Professor of Marketing at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg (Germany) and Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Business and Law of the University of Newcastle (Australia). His main research interest is in the advancement of research methods to further the understanding of consumer behavior. His research has been published in top-tier journals such as Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, International Journal of Research in Marketing, MIS Quarterly, and Journal of World Business. According to the 2012 Handelsblatt ranking, Dr. Sarstedt is among the top five marketing researchers younger than the age of 40 in Germany.



Over the past decades, the field of management has witnessed the rise of psychological ownership as an important individual-level predictor of work place motives, attitudes, and behaviors, some positive and others negative in nature. Individual psychological ownership refers to the personal sense of possession an individual holds for a material or immaterial target (i.e., “This is MINE!”).

Marketing researchers have only recently started to adopt the concept of psychological ownership and its associated theory. While initial studies provide valuable insights into the role of psychological ownership in shaping certain consumer perceptions and intentions (e.g., customer satisfaction, relationship intentions, word-of-mouth, willingness-to-pay, and competitive resistance), they are also limited in their focus on selected paths to psychological ownership (e.g., consumer control over the product or service). More specifically, it seems that both the antecedents and consequences of psychological ownership have been examined in isolation and hypothesized effects are based on cumulated findings rather than on comprehensive theories. Furthermore, negative or dysfunctional outcomes of psychological ownership have not yet been examined in a marketing context, but research in organization studies gives reason to expect that research on this front would be valuable. In summary, marketing research on this topic is in the early stages with studies being relatively dispersed. Thus, there is a strong need for an integrated view on psychological ownership toward products and services.

Against this background, this special session intended to provide a forum for topical issues that advance our understanding of psychological ownership and its usefulness in marketing research by bridging contributions from numerous academic fields.


The lead presentation by Iiro Jussila (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland), one of the world’s most renowned researchers in the area of psychological ownership, gave an overview of major contributions in the organization, management and marketing literatures, offering insight into an overall picture of psychological ownership. The aim was to provide the audience with a more integrated view of the phenomenon and to discuss opportunities for marketing research adopting the individual psychological ownership construct and associated theories.

Bernadette Kamleitner and Sophie Süssenbach (Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria) examined the impact of physical properties and design of an object on psychological ownership. Two experiments demonstrated that both size and weight impact psychological ownership over an object through their effect on perceived controllability.

In the third presentation, Colleen Kirk (Mount Saint Mary College, New York, USA) examined the effect of consumer motivational orientation on psychological ownership over digital products. The results of two experiments suggested that psychological ownership is stronger when consumers are recreationally motivated than when they are task-oriented, an effect enhanced when consumers perceive an ability to communicate with a digital product.

Finally, Marko Sarstedt (Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany) shed light on psychological ownership’s moderating role in customer co-creation processes. His presentation shows that the interaction between psychological ownership and negative third-party feedback diminishes brand image and, ultimately, consumers’ willingness-to-pay.

One thought on “Special Session on Psychological Ownership at AMS 2014

  1. Pingback: Excited to Foreshadow | The Science of Ownership

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