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2021/2022  KAN-CBCMO1000U  Perspectives on Consumer Behaviour

English Title
Perspectives on Consumer Behaviour

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Thyra Uth Thomsen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Marketing
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 18-06-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
When completing the course, the successful student will be able to:
  • Analyse consumer behaviour in a specific case setting through an insightful, reflective and critical application of relevant behavioural, cognitive, experiential, and socio-cultural approaches to consumption.
  • Perform advanced market analysis, segmentation and targeting based on secondary data.
  • Analyze and reflect on changes in consumption based on in-depth knowledge about the target segment and the theoretical foundations of the course.
  • Voice ethical considerations (e.g., sustainability issues) relevant to your analyses, while taking into account the well-being of consumers, businesses, and society at large.
  • Present a clear and coherent argument for the selection of key theories and models, and follow academic conventions in the written presentation.
Perspectives on Consumer Behaviour:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 4-5
Size of written product Max. 25 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 7 days to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Aim of the course

The course Perspectives on Consumer Behaviour is one of two foundational courses for the BCM concentration. It gives students the opportunity to develop deep knowledge about consumption phenomena relevant for business survival. It deals with the crucial issues of why and how consumers consume and how marketers may create and deliver value based on this. We take an analytical approach to consumption based on theoretical tools and secondary data and help students understand that businesses need to be compassionate about consumers’ needs - whilst keeping societal needs in mind - in order to build competitive advantage.  



Consumers can be understood in many ways depending on how we look at them. The course introduces the student to four different theoretical approaches to understanding consumer behaviour: behavioural, cognitive, experiential, and socio-cultural approaches. It examines the assumptions underlying each of these approaches, as well as their strengths and limitations in relation to the decision processes of marketing managers. After performing market segmentation, students are encouraged to apply these theoretical perspectives to analyse specific consumption settings and work critically with different solutions to cases in a collaborative environment. We seek to address humanity’s challenges by using cases that include a link between consumption and ethical concerns (e.g., sustainability issues) and how they might be resolved to the benefit of consumers, businesses, and society at large. Student groups will be diverse in terms of nationality, experience, personalities, etc. and students should use this diversity to cross-fertilize and add value to their case work.  



Course progression

Consumer Behaviour is one of two foundational courses in the study program.

Description of the teaching methods
This course is delivered in a blended learning format. That is, we combine online lectures and materials, online activities (e.g., online discussions or peer graded assignments) with on-campus group work and in-class discussion. The class is highly interactive both online and offline with a corresponding expectation that students engage in these interactions.
Feedback during the teaching period
In order to increase student learning the course includes several feedback activities. During the course, groups prepare voluntary assignments before (and sometimes in) class. Feedback on group assignments will either be given directly or collectively, to allow students to learn from the discussion of a few shared examples. Further, every week students will be able to perform a learning check activity in terms of a multiple-choice test. Finally, a peer-graded group assignment with group feedback finalizes the course and allows students to collaboratively address a case (similar to the exam). After the end of the peer-grading process, each group will receive personal written feedback and general issues will be discussed in the final class.
Student workload
Teaching 30 hours
Preparation 136 hours
Exam 40 hours
Expected literature

The course is primarily based on seminal research papers:(Indicative literature - final literature will be announced upon enrollment):


  • Arnould & Price (1993). “River Magic: Extraordinary Experience and the Extended Service Encounter”. Journal of Consumer Research, 20 (June), pp. 24-45.

  • Belk, Russ W. (1988). “Possessions and the Extended Self”. Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (September), 139-168.

  • Belk Russ W, Ger Guliz, and Søren Askegaard. (2003). ”The Fire of Desire: A Multisited Inquiry into Consumer Passion”.Journal of Consumer Research, 30 (December), pp. 326-351.

  • Fournier, Susan (1998). “Consumers and Their Brands: Developing Relationship Theory in Consumer Research.” Journal of Consumer Research, 24 (March), pp. 343-373.

  • Kivetz, Ran, Oleg Urminsky, and Yhuang Zheng (2006). “The Goal-Gradient Hypothesis Resurrected: Purchase Acceleration, Illusionary Goal Progress, and Customer Retention.” Journal of Marketing Research, 43 (February), pp. 39-58.

  • Levy, Sidney. J. (1959). “Symbols for Sale.” Harvard Business Review, 37, pp. 117-124.

  • McCracken (1986). “Culture and consumption.” Journal of Consumer Research, 13 (June), pp. 71-84.

  • Nord, Walter R., and J. Paul Peter (1980). “A Behavior Modification Perspective on Marketing.” Journal of Marketing, 44 (Spring), pp. 36-47.

Last updated on 18-06-2021