Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Business and Economics


Marketing and Supply Chain

First Advisor

Dr. Aaron Garvey


Chapter 1. This research examines whether the use of blockchain technology to back a brand’s claims (i.e., blockchain augmented claims) influences consumer preference for sustainable products. Consumers are demanding higher levels of transparency from brands and are also showing keen interest in consuming sustainable products, which includes products that promote social, environmental and economic sustainability. Recent advancement in digital technology, specifically blockchain, is offering an opportunity for brands to meet both these consumer demands. In five laboratory studies, I demonstrate that blockchain augmented claims, as compared to traditional industry practices (i.e., use of third-party labels and brand’s self-made claims), increases consumers’ purchase intentions of sustainable products through consumers’ confidence in a claim’s legitimacy. Furthermore, this effect of blockchain augmented claims is stronger for consumers who are more (vs. less) concerned about the sustainable cause supported by the brand. Taken together, my theory and findings offer timely insights to brands that are planning to invest in blockchain technology.

Chapter 2. Ingratiation, a communication tactic used to increase interpersonal attractiveness, is a common persuasion tactic used to influence consumers into purchasing products. With the increasing access to AIs by the consumers, it is likely that ingratiation would be used by developers of AIs to influence consumers’ behavior. The current research explores how an ingratiating AI affects users’ evaluation of the AI’s usefulness, characterized by users’ willingness to accept recommendations from the AI and users’ perceived accuracy of the AI. I find positive effects of ingratiation by an AI on a user’s willingness to accept recommendations, and the perceived accuracy of the AI in making future predictions. Results also support that the positive effect of ingratiation occurs as it enhances perceived AI objectivity. Finally, I also find that the perceived human-likeness of the AI moderates this effect such that the positive effect of ingratiation occurs when an AI is perceived to be machine-like (vs. human-like).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This research was supported by the research budget awarded to doctoral students in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain at the Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky. The funds were available from Fall 2018 till Spring 2023. The funds were awarded on a yearly basis with the amounts varying between years listed above.