Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Relationships Between Advisor Characteristics and Consumer Perceptions
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE). (Center for Banking and Finance)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4394-4020
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Bank Marketing, ISSN 0265-2323, E-ISSN 1758-5937, Vol. 31, no 3, 147-166 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the relationships between advisor characteristics and consumer risk perception, willingness to follow advice and perception of advisor credibility in a financial services context. It answers calls for more knowledge about financial advisors’ influence on financial decision‐making among consumers.

Design/methodology/approach – An experimental study, displaying financial advice together with photographs of advisors, was completed by convenience sampling of 200 Swedish consumers and analysis using statistical techniques to compare groups: two‐way between‐groups ANOVA.

Findings – This study shows that advisor gender affected consumer risk perceptions, willingness to follow advice and perception of advisor credibility in a financial services context, whereas advisor mood affected only consumer willingness to follow advice. No biases depending on buyer–seller similarity were found.

Research limitations/implications – The study focuses on consumer perceptions – not real‐life investment choices. Conclusions are drawn from a relatively small sample. However, the policy implications are important, suggesting that characteristics other than those of consumers (e.g. gender, educational level, occupation, financial literacy) can be of relevance for policymakers in their attempts to improve consumer protection.

Practical implications – The findings provide useful insights for marketing practitioners that could help adjust information disseminated to consumer segments and that could have implications for marketing and hiring practices in the financial sector.

Originality/value – This paper illustrates the role of advisor characteristics in consumer financial decision‐making and calls for more research on financial advisory services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013. Vol. 31, no 3, 147-166 p.
Keyword [en]
Financial services, Consumer behaviour, Risk perception, Financial advice, Financial advisor, Lay consumer, Buyer seller relations, Sweden
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116372DOI: 10.1108/02652321311315276ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84875628672OAI: diva2:589159

QC 20160418

Available from: 2013-01-17 Created: 2013-01-17 Last updated: 2016-04-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Financial Advisory Services: Exploring relationships between consumers and financial advisors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Financial Advisory Services: Exploring relationships between consumers and financial advisors
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The need for more knowledge about different aspects of financial advisory services has been highlighted by scholars of many disciplines, and calls for more in-depth studies of this practice have been put forward. The purpose of this thesis is to answer this call and, thereby, enhance knowledge about financial advisory services and the provision and receipt of advice occurring in a face-to-face encounter between a professional advisor and a consumer. The thesis consists of five papers in which different methodological and theoretical lenses are applied to the study of the practice. A mixed methods approach is applied to the object of study—financial advisory services. This approach entails using qualitative methods to analyze video-recorded interviews and quantitative methods to analyze survey data. The qualitative methods are used primarily to generate new constructs and ideas, whereas quantitative methods are used more to confirm and deepen the knowledge of constructs and relationships.

The findings show that there are important aspects of financial advisory services that have been previously neglected. The characteristics of both consumers and advisors, as tested from the aspect of gender, are shown to have importance for both consumer and advisor perceptions of different aspects of core elements of financial advisory services. Focusing on the micro-foundations of the relationship between customer and advisor in financial advisory services reveals the importance of mirroring for customers in perceiving a relationship. Two types of interactions that customers do not consider to be relationships are identified. Scholars have referred to occasions in which customers are too trusting as “the dark side of trust”, meaning that the customer becomes less actively involved in the relationship with increasing advisor trust.  Applying a concept borrowed from psychotherapy—working alliance—has opened up possibilities for further exploration of the inner workings of the financial advisory session. This thesis proposes and tests the concept of a working alliance as a way of enhancing theory and, thereby, the understanding of relationships between consumers and service providers.

The results of this thesis have implications for theory by contributing to the understanding of relationships. The implications for policymakers, the industry, and advisors and customers are many. Exploring the practice of financial advisory services lays the groundwork for discussions on, and elaborations of, regulations, educational programs, and hiring practices within the industry, as well as on financial literacy programs directed toward consumers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. 114 p.
TRITA/KTH/CEFIN-DT, ISSN 1654-9376 ; 07
financial advice, conusmer finance, financial services, financial decisioin making, risk perception, relationship, working alliance
National Category
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116207 (URN)
Public defence
2013-01-25, D1, Lindstedtsvägen 17, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (Swedish)

QC 20130117

Available from: 2013-01-17 Created: 2013-01-16 Last updated: 2013-01-18Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Söderberg, Inga-Lill
By organisation
School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE)
In the same journal
International Journal of Bank Marketing
Business Administration

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 68 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link