To Have Or To Be: Symposium on Ownership at 77. VHB Jahrestagung



Title: To have or to be: the influence of (psychological) ownership on economic behavior

When: May 27 – May 29, 2015

Where: 77. VHB Jahrestagung, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria


Symposium Chair: Bernadette Kamleitner


  • Psychological Ownership and Loss Aversion as Determinants of Sunk Cost Effects – Presenter: Stephan Dickert
  • The Concept of Graspability in the Context of Perceived Ownership and the Extended Self – Presenter: Philipp Scharfenberger
  • What do physical properties have to do with feelings of ownership? – Presenter: Sophie Süssenbach
  • Ownership in the machine age – Presenter: Jana Korunovska



Many economic decisions center around things that people either own or wish to own. This holds for management and consumer decisions. A growing body of research suggests that the psychological experience of an object as MINE or OURs matters more than factual entitlements in driving economic behavior.

This symposium aims to highlight and discuss the breadth of the phenomenon and its influence. We do so by contrasting very different domains:

The initial contribution is situated in the management context. The target of ownership is an investment project. The contribution highlights that psychological ownership may help explain why managers may sometimes invest in failing endeavors.

The second and third contributions are both situated in a consumer context. The targets of ownership in the second contribution are meaningful experiences and possessions. The contribution highlights the role graspability may play in making objects “mine”.

The third contribution similarly focuses on factors that induce a sense of ownership in a consumer. The focus is on mundane objects such as cutting boards and the role of specific physical product attributes such as size and weight.

The fourth contribution takes a futuristic stance and outlines the potential of the concept of psychological ownership in dealing with digital goods. It highlights how perceived ownership of information may be an essential player and creative force within the data ecosystem.

Together the contributions highlight that ownership may be a unifying and practically useful lens for many economic, social, and management issues.

2 thoughts on “To Have Or To Be: Symposium on Ownership at 77. VHB Jahrestagung

  1. Pingback: To Have Or To Be: Upcoming Symposium at the 77. VHB Jahrestagung | The Science of Ownership

  2. Pingback: Exposing myself and my research at conferences – or: I have no dog, but a PhD topic to take care of | The Science of Ownership

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