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Cognitive Dissonance Theory and It’s Significance for Management and Marketing

Autor:   •  November 27, 2018  •  1,567 Words (7 Pages)  •  154 Views

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The second and third paper deal about the application of cognitive dissonance theory in studying consumer behavior in marketing and management. Reading the paper gave me an insight into the importance of cognitive dissonance theory in explaining employee attitude and behavior during organizational changes. Organizational changes such as mergers and acquisitions may cause employees to show initial dissonance and resistance to changes in existing adaptive behavior. I feel it is the job of the management in such as case to study the various factors causing dissonance and attempt to realign the logic of actions of the employees in the new environment. Besides the management should also make use of dissonance theory to study the job satisfaction level by attempting to align the moral and ethical values of the management and company with the personal values & Self concept of the employees to prevent any sort of employee disorientation. Another research area mentioned in the paper has been the use of cognitive dissonance theory in studying of entrepreneurial behavior. This according to me is an important and interesting field because thought of huge amount of effort, time and high risk investment would cause the entrepreneur to lose initial objectivity and indulge in thought about the outcome of such an investment. This leads to cognitive dissonance in mind to which the entrepreneur seeks answer to negate it. The paper also discusses the significance of dissonance theory in study pre and post purchase consumer behavior. I was quite amazed to see the application of Organizational behavior in Marketing techniques and forecasting. Checking consumer dissonance post purchase has always been a challenge for marketing and focus has not been on specific segment of consumers. Applying the cognitive dissonance theory made it possible by segmenting the consumers into innovators and non innovators. This made it look quite simple and logical as focus on innovators would ensure customer loyalty at early stage by reinforcing their choice and removing dissonance by providing product information post purchase.

The third paper drives the fact that one of the major reasons behind cognitive dissonance has been the mismatch between the actions and the self concept of the individuals. I feel the values and ideals of any individual are guided by his self concept. When any external influence or his own actions does not align with his self concept then dissonance occurs and the individual tries to self affirm himself to achieve cognitive consistency.


The three papers I read gave an impression of the importance of Cognitive dissonance for managers, marketing professionals to develop their future strategies by observing and understanding the employee attitude to environmental changes and to win over consumer confidence post & pre purchase by eliminating the dissonance in their mind and reaffirming them of their purchase. Besides the relation between cognitive dissonance, logic of actions and self concept also threw light on the cause behind dissonance and the motivation towards achieving cognitive consistency by realigning of logic of actions and self affirmation.


Bacharach, S. B., Bamberger, P., &Sonnenstuhl, W. J. (1996). The Organizational Transformation Process: The Micropolitics of Dissonance Reduction and the Alignment of Logics of Action. Administrative Science Quarterly, 41(3), 477-506. doi:10.2307/2393939

Cummings, W. H., &Venkatesan, M. (1976). Cognitive Dissonance and Consumer Behavior: A Review of the Evidence. Journal of Marketing Research, 13(3), 303.doi:10.2307/3150746

Telci, E. E., Maden, C., &Kantur, D. (2011). The theory of cognitive dissonance: A marketing and management perspective. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 24, 378-386. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.09.120


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