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Monika Lisjak wins Veni grant for compensatory consumption research

Monika Lisjak, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) can carry out her research plan and learn more about compensatory consumption thanks to a Veni grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).



The grant, based on her research proposal Compensatory Consumption: Costs and Remedies, will allow Monika Lisjak to study how consumers use consumption to deal with setbacks they face in life. These setbacks include receiving negative evaluations at work, experiencing a breakup, or being discriminated against because of ethnic or religious identity.

Research suggests that when people experience such situations, they often respond by acquiring and consuming products to compensate for their setbacks – a phenomenon referred to as compensatory consumption. The objective of Lisjak’s research is to find out how compensatory consumption will best help people to deal with such personal setbacks, while at the same time avoiding overconsumption.

Research generally distinguishes two compensatory consumption strategies. One strategy is to engage in ‘within-domain compensation’ – seeking products that signal accomplishment in the domain of the setback. For example, after receiving a negative evaluation at work, people may be more likely to purchase products that signal competence. Another strategy is to engage in ‘across-domain compensation’ –  seeking products that signal accomplishment in a domain unrelated to the domain of the setback. For example, after receiving a negative evaluation at work, people may buy products that signal good parenting.

Although these are two fundamentally different strategies, little is known about the effectiveness of these strategies in improving consumer well-being. Over the next three years, Lisjak will systematically compare the effectiveness of these strategies, and identify remedies that can transform a less effective strategy into a more effective strategy. In addition, she is going to examine how policymakers and marketers could nudge consumers to choose an effective strategy in the first place.

“I am extremely happy to be one of the only 152 researchers receiving a Veni grant,” says Monika Lisjak. “My hope is that my work will help people successfully cope with their setbacks, and increase their well-being.”

About Veni grants

A Veni grant is worth €250,000, made available by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and is one of the individual grants from NWO to promote scientific talent. The promising scientists are doing research into a wide range of subjects. Veni researchers completed a PhD no more than three years before receiving the grant. They are free to choose the subject of their research. With this approach, NWO and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science encourage curiosity-driven and innovative research. Veni enables researchers to take an important step in their scientific career. They mainly use the Veni grant to cover their salary costs during the research period of three years and to acquire specific equipment if that is necessary.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is ranked among Europe’s top 10 business schools for education and among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan. www.rsm.nl

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at mschouten@rsm.nl.

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