Several strategies for resolving conflicts in domestic purchasing

Several strategies for resolving conflicts may be adopted. The following six influence strategies have been suggested:

1) Expert – a spouse might attempt to influence the other spouse by using superior information about decisions alternatives.
2) Legitimate – A spouse might attempt to influence the other spouse based on their position in the household.
3) Bargaining – A spouse might attempt to gain influence over the other spouse now and reciprocate that influence at some future date.
4) Reward /Referent — A spouse might attempt to gain influence over the other spouse by offering a reward.
5) Emotional – A spouse might attempt to influence the other spouse by using an emotional reaction.
6) Impression Management – A spouse might attempt to influence the other spouse by using persuasion.

Research on the nature of joint purchase disagreements (particularly for large expenditures such as new cars furniture, vacations, and major entertainment appliances) has found that four approaches seemed to predominate as spouses dealt with each other:

1) Use of punishments, threats, authority and negative emotion: Strategies included refusing to do chores, threatening punishments, behaving angrily, and stating that the spouse had no right to disagree.
2) Use of positive emotion and subtle manipulation. Strategies included putting the spouse in a receptive mood, appealing to their love and affection, and promising to do something nice in exchange for compliance.
3) Use of withdrawal and egocentrism. Strategies included denying affection clamming up, and looking hurt.
4) Use of persuasion and reason. Strategies included the use of logic or persistence to convince the other spouse to change their viewpoint.

Different decision making strategies are likely for different situations. That is, depending on the family members the products, the stage in the decision process and so forth, the strategies selected will vary.

Changing Roles and Family purchase Decisions:

Changing role patterns of husbands and wives are having numerous effects. Pervious marriage patterns meant that there were generally no decisions to be made regarding the wife’s chief life interest and sphere, nor the husband’s. She concentrated on domestic activities and he concentrated on occupational efforts. Today, however, sex role shifts toward egalitarianism mean that there is less inevitability of such a pattern, and many new and critical decisions must be made. Increasing numbers of younger and better educated man and women are bargaining with each other about their chief life interests. And this is occurring not only among those soon to be or newly married, but also among couples married for sometimes. There are virtually no non-negotiable issues among such modern marriages, for example, where to live (near his work or hers) how many children to have and when, who will perform child care and domestic chores how to spend their incomes and so forth.

In addition to the number of issues to be decided, there is also the matter of how this is negotiated. Women who have more traditional roles in marriage tend to negotiate with their husbands and try to persuade them to compromise on the basis of collective interest –what is best for the family group, for their marital relationship for the children .A woman who has adopted modern rules tends to negotiate more in terms of her own individualistic interest – what is best for her. Such a strategy seems to result in achieving more equitable compromises in terms of reaching her goals.

Although purchase influence may change over a period of time as the American family structure adapts, it is difficult to judge whether, and if so, how far purchase influence roles have shifted.

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