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Senior management perceptions of aspirational groups: A study of the UK general insurance market


  • Robson, Julie
  • van der Heijden, Hans


This study examines the concept of aspirational groups: a reference group that a firm wishes to associate with. A desire to belong to an aspirational group may provide an important source of strategy formulation. Drawing from insights from consumer marketing on aspirational groups, the study explores the composition and structure of aspirational groups compared to strategic groups in a market setting. Using qualitative data from senior managers in the UK general insurance market, this study arrives at the following findings. First, aspirational groups do not necessarily share the same composition or structure as strategic groups. Second, selection of aspirational firms is driven by attribute association. Third, aspirations can be conflicting and reversed. Fourth, firms do not seek membership of the aspirational group but isolate key attributes they aspire to. These findings contribute to knowledge on strategy formation by highlighting the important role aspirational groups play in understanding competitive market movements.

Suggested Citation

  • Robson, Julie & van der Heijden, Hans, 2016. "Senior management perceptions of aspirational groups: A study of the UK general insurance market," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 2731-2738.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:69:y:2016:i:8:p:2731-2738
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.11.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

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