In a recent article, Wright and his co-author Val Larsen made the strong assertion that aggregate consumer satisfaction is, or should be, the telos, the ultimate goal of all marketing activities. Wright and Larsen present innovative and cutting edge ideas to make this a reality. This article is the latest in a long stream of research spanning more than 30 years that focuses on consumer satisfaction and its antecedents and consequences. Indeed, in April of 2021, Wright was named editor in chief of the Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction, and Complaining Behavior.
In addition to studying the antecedents and consequences of satisfying consumer transactions, Wright also studies the value of study abroad. Today’s students will enter the global marketplace even if they never leave their home country. Most students will work for firms that either source supply from abroad or sell abroad. And if neither of these two conditions apply, students will still enter a multicultural workforce in the domestic market where they will work closely with people from different nations and cultures. Intercultural proficiency is an increasing skill that students will need to survive in the workforce of the 21st century. Wright’s study abroad research has recently focused on pedagogical issues surrounding intercultural proficiency and student learning in cultures abroad. Indeed, his research on international education is increasingly being cited for its relevance and for its preparation of students for the modern workforce.
Wright’s two research passions, satisfying experiences and the value of study abroad, were recently combined in an article examining the intensely satisfying study abroad experiences of students. Students who study abroad often report that it is the most significant thing they have done, not only in college, but in life. Wright contends that study abroad is an “extraordinary experience,” or a “transcendental customer experience” and much of his current research explores study abroad as one of these two phenomena. The marketing literature defines the extraordinary experience construct as an “intense, positive, intrinsically enjoyable experiences” that entail “a sense of newness of perception and process,” and are characterized by “high levels of emotional intensity” (Arnould and Price 1993, p. 25) emerging from the dynamic interaction with other participants. For example, faculty members, students, and service providers share the extraordinary study abroad experience with students in an authentic, unscripted and spontaneous way. Extraordinary experiences are spontaneous, authentic, and lead to intense satisfaction and delight. They are life-changing, self-defining episodes that are interpreted within the broader context of the consumers’ lives. And they are communal experiences. The marketing literature describes TCEs as being “characterized by feelings such as self-transformation or awakening, separation from the mundane, and connectedness to larger phenomena outside the self. TCEs may also be marked by emotional intensity, epiphany, singularity and newness of experience, extreme enjoyment, oneness, ineffability, extreme focus of attention, and the testing of personal limits” (Schouten et. al 2007, p. 358). While extraordinary experiences are communal, TCEs are more solitary. Both lead to transformed lives.
Recently, Wright has also begun an interdisciplinary study of the Book of Mormon using as a methodology the tools of literary criticism. This has led to three academic articles about the Book of Mormon published in a scholarly journal in 2023. He is also a member of the Book of Mormon Studies Association, a group devoted to the irenic study of the Book of Mormon.
- Wright has published over forty peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and another forty peer-reviewed conference papers.
- Wright’s basic research has been published in the Journal of Advertising, the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, the Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior and others. His pedagogical research has appeared in Marketing Education Review and the Journal of Marketing Education.
- Wright’s research has been cited more than 2,200 times.
Arnould, Eric J. and Linda L. Price (1993), “River Magic: Extraordinary Experience and the Extended Service Encounter,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 20 (June), 24-45.
Schouten, John W., James H. McAlexander, and Harold F. Koenig (2007), “Transcendent Customer Experience and Brand Community,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences, 35, 357-368.