Start Date

7-1-2011 10:30 AM

End Date

7-1-2011 11:45 AM

Track

1. Track 1 – Formal Paper Presentation

Subject Area

Consumer Behavior

Faculty Member

Martin O'Neill oneilm1@auburn.edu

Abstract

The paper attempts to shed light on the key drivers of consumer tipping behavior and reports the findings from an exploratory study aimed at addressing consumer motivations and their influence on consumers’ willingness to tip. When approaching the research issue, the phenomenon presents an interesting subject for study. In the United States alone, such occupations as servers, bartenders, maitre’d, concierges, hair stylists, bus boys, and bellhops all depend on tips as a primary source of income. Considering that many occupations derive the majority of compensation from tips, “estimated tips in US restaurants alone are about $27 billion annually.” (Azar, 2007, 252) In an economic sense, tipping is not only a custom throughout numerous countries; for many individuals it is a way of life. Clearly, the custom of tipping impacts the lives of millions on a daily basis and while there are no definitive answers regarding why consumers tip the way they do, previous research does provide plausible theories on tipping behavior(s). Research suggests that consumers tip for a variety of reasons, such as compliance to social norms and pressures, social approval, equity in exchange relationships, service received and a variety of other environmental factors (Grassman & Lynn, 1990). Against this background, this study has one overriding objective, to shed light on those motivations driving the consumer’s decision to tip while utilizing exploratory factor analysis.

Keywords

Tip, Service, Social norm, Consumer Motivation



Share

COinS
 
Jan 7th, 10:30 AM Jan 7th, 11:45 AM

To Tip or not to Tip? An Exploratory Study of the Motivations Driving Consumer Tipping Behavior

The paper attempts to shed light on the key drivers of consumer tipping behavior and reports the findings from an exploratory study aimed at addressing consumer motivations and their influence on consumers’ willingness to tip. When approaching the research issue, the phenomenon presents an interesting subject for study. In the United States alone, such occupations as servers, bartenders, maitre’d, concierges, hair stylists, bus boys, and bellhops all depend on tips as a primary source of income. Considering that many occupations derive the majority of compensation from tips, “estimated tips in US restaurants alone are about $27 billion annually.” (Azar, 2007, 252) In an economic sense, tipping is not only a custom throughout numerous countries; for many individuals it is a way of life. Clearly, the custom of tipping impacts the lives of millions on a daily basis and while there are no definitive answers regarding why consumers tip the way they do, previous research does provide plausible theories on tipping behavior(s). Research suggests that consumers tip for a variety of reasons, such as compliance to social norms and pressures, social approval, equity in exchange relationships, service received and a variety of other environmental factors (Grassman & Lynn, 1990). Against this background, this study has one overriding objective, to shed light on those motivations driving the consumer’s decision to tip while utilizing exploratory factor analysis.