Consumer Behaviour

Home Admissions Course Guide Consumer Behaviour

This Course Guide has been taken from the most recent presentation of the course. It would be useful for reference purposes but please note that there may be updates for the following presentation.

MKT B363

Consumer Behaviour

Coming soon

Welcome to MKT B363 Consumer Behaviour.

MKT B363 Consumer Behaviour is an elective, higher-level, five-credit course within the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree programme.

The course equips you with the core concepts, frameworks, and tools used by marketers when analysing, interpreting, and predicting consumer responses to marketing efforts and the opportunity to use these in marketplace situations.

This course will be delivered in a custom textbook format, supplemented by a Study Guide, online multimedia components, and learning support sessions.


Course aims

The overall aims of MKT B363 Consumer Behaviour are to:

  • introduce you to the importance of consumer behaviour in today's rapidly changing marketing landscape;
  • introduce you to the process and types of consumer decision-making;
  • develop an understanding of both the internal and external factors that impact consumer behaviour; and
  • provide an analytic framework for developing the consumer behaviour component as part of the overall marketing strategy.


Course learning outcomes

Upon completion of MKT B363 Consumer Behaviour, you should be able to:

  • apply models of consumer decision making to specific examples of consumer behaviour;
  • evaluate the influence of individual determinants and environmental factors on consumer behaviour; and
  • formulate strategies for making contact with consumers and shaping their opinions and behaviour.


Course overview

The following table gives a general overview of the course structure. It suggests the amount of time you should allow for completing units and provides a broad schedule for you to plan your work. This estimation includes time for reading the units and custom textbook, completing activities, self-tests and assignments, attending live online tutorials, and preparing for your final examination.


UnitTitleNo. of weeksAssignment
1Introduction to consumer behaviour2

1 written assignment

4 online quizzes

2Consumer decision-making3
3Internal factors influencing consumer behaviour — Part I3
4Internal factors influencing consumer behaviour — Part II3
5External factors influencing consumer behaviour3


In Unit 1, you will develop a basic understanding of the key concepts and theories in consumer behaviour. In Unit 2, you will explore the process of consumer decision-making. In Unit 3, you will learn about some of the influential internal factors affecting consumer behaviour. These include perception, learning and memory, and motivation. Unit 4 explores how perceptions of the self, personality and lifestyles, and attitude affect consumer behaviour. It also discusses how marketers change consumer attitude through persuasive communications. Lastly, in Unit 5, you will look at how external factors (i.e. culture, subculture, and group) exert influence on consumer behaviour and the adoption of new products/services.

In this custom textbook-based approach to the course, learning units have been selected from two consumer behaviour textbooks.

Your study pathway through the custom textbook is set out in an HKMU-produced Study Guide. In addition to the guided activities already provided in the custom textbook, you will have access to additional multimedia materials from HKMU's Online Learning Environment (OLE) and regular learning support sessions.

By incorporating the latest editions of book chapters, the custom textbook will provide you with a rich coverage of the latest developments in the field of consumer behaviour.


The custom textbook

The title of the custom textbook is MKT B363 Consumer Behaviour. The chapters are selected from the following textbooks:

  • Schiffman, L G, & Wisenblit, J (2019) Consumer Behavior, 12th Global Edition, Harlow: Pearson Education.
  • Solomon, M R (2020) Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being, 13th Global Edition, Harlow: Pearson Education.

The Study Guide will indicate at which point you should read each chapter of the custom textbook.


Introductory video

  • To start off, you should watch the introductory video for the course in the ePub version of this Course Guide or on the OLE. Then turn to the Study Guide for further guidance through the course.

The Study Guide

The Study Guide serves two functions. First, it provides you with information on the aims, learning outcomes, assessment strategies and means of support for this course. Second, it sets out your study pathway through the custom textbook and other course learning resources.

You will therefore need to keep this document by your side as you work through the course.

The Study Guide is divided into five units:

  1. Introduction to consumer behaviour
  2. Consumer decision-making
  3. Internal factors influencing consumer behaviour — Part I
  4. Internal factors influencing consumer behaviour — Part II
  5. External factors influencing consumer behaviour

The Online Learning Environment (OLE)

This course is supported by HKMU's Online Learning Environment (OLE). You will find course materials and the latest course information on the OLE. You can also communicate with your tutor, the Course Coordinator and classmates through the OLE discussion board.


Learning support

You will be supported throughout the course by regular learning sessions in the form of live online tutorials. Five two-hour live online tutorials will be provided.


UnitLearning supportNo. of hours
1Live online tutorial 12
2Live online tutorial 22
3Live online tutorial 32
4Live online tutorial 42
5Live online tutorial 5 and revision2
1–5Live online surgery2
Total 12


At the commencement of this course, a tutor will be assigned to help you in your study. Please note that much of your communication with HKMU during the course will be with your tutor, who will mark your assignments and offer timely feedback. Your tutor is eager to help you complete this course successfully, and will closely monitor your learning progress by keeping regular contact with you. If you encounter difficulties in your studies, you should always turn to your tutor for assistance. It is believed that learners who maintain regular contact with their tutors often achieve better performance in their studies.

You will be informed of the name and telephone number of your tutor once you are assigned to a tutorial group. Your tutor will set aside certain preferred hours of contact every week in order to attend to your telephone queries. They will inform you of these preferred hours in the first live online tutorial session. Please show consideration for your tutor by making telephone contact only during the preferred hours.

Do not hesitate to contact your tutor when you need assistance in your studies, for example, if you:

  • do not understand any part of the study units; or
  • have difficulties in working on the self-tests or activities; or
  • have queries about assignment questions, tutor's feedback, or the grading of an assignment.

You are strongly advised to keep a copy of each assignment you submit in case you need to refer to them during telephone conversations with your tutor.

To assist you in this course, your tutor will conduct non-compulsory live online tutorials throughout the term. In each of these sessions, key concepts and crucial techniques will be reviewed and reinforced; topical issues will be discussed and individual students' questions answered. How effective these learning sessions depends largely on your willingness to participate. Adequate preparation for discussion will also enable you to benefit more from these sessions.

You will be notified of the details of these sessions once you are assigned to a tutorial group. Although these sessions are non-compulsory, you are strongly recommended to attend all of them. They will help you in your studies and enhance your chance of achieving better performance in the course. They will also offer invaluable opportunities for you to exchange your views with other learners who are striving towards the same goal.

Tutors are required to start learning sessions on time. If a tutor fails to turn up 30 minutes after the scheduled starting time, learners may assume the session is cancelled and should report the case to the Course Coordinator for the arrangement of a make-up session.

Your tutor is responsible for grading your submitted assignments. If you disagree with the grading, try to resolve the issue with your tutor. Remember your tutor is your first point of contact with HKMU in all academic matters. If your tutor is unable to resolve a problem, then you should contact the Course Coordinator immediately.



This course is designed to enable you to move easily from the stated objectives, through the study units, to the assignments and examination. You are expected to undertake regular self- assessment activities while working your way through the study units. When completing the assignments, you should apply concepts and theories acquired during the course.

Formative assessment includes various self-assessment activities (e.g. self-tests, activities, and online discussions) that you will undertake while working your way through the study units. These activities allow you to develop and monitor your own progress.

Continuous online assessment comprises four online quizzes, worth 10% of the total course mark, that are designed to measure your progress in this course on an ongoing basis. You will attempt a combination of short questions on the Online Learning Environment (OLE) unit by unit. Once you've completed a unit's teaching and learning activities, you should then individually complete that unit's online quiz within the designated period.

Summative assessment consists of one assignment and a final examination. The assignment accounts for 30% of the total course mark. The final examination accounts for 60% of the total course mark.

The different assessment items are outlined in the following table.


Course learning outcomesAssignment/QuizWeightingExamination
Apply models of consumer decision making to specific examples of consumer behaviour. (LO1)

Assignment 1 (Essays/case studies)

4 online quizzes



Evaluate the influence of individual determinants and environmental factors on consumer behaviour. (LO2)
Formulate strategies for making contact with consumers and shaping their opinions and behaviour. (LO3)



There are one compulsory assignment and four online quizzes for the course. They account for a total of 40% of the overall course assessment.

  • Assignment 1, worth 30% of the total course mark, evaluates materials covered in Units 1 to 4, achieving LO1 to LO3.
  • Four online quizzes, worth 10% of the total course mark, evaluate materials covered in Units 1 to 4, achieving LO1 to LO3.

How to submit assignments

You must use word processing software (such as Microsoft Word) to prepare Assignment 1, and submit it via the Online Learning Environment (OLE). The assignment must be uploaded to the OLE by the due date.

Failure to upload an assignment in the required format to the OLE may result in the score of the assignment being adjusted to zero.


Assignment submission extension policy

The assignment policy of the University as stated in the Student Handbook should be observed. You are required to submit the assignment for this course in accordance with the date communicated by your Course Coordinator. You may apply for a submission extension on the grounds of illness, accident, disability, bereavement or other compassionate circumstances.

Applications for extensions must be submitted online via the OLE. Please note the following:

  • Supporting documents must be submitted to justify applications for extensions of over seven days.
  • Applications for extensions should normally be lodged before or on the due date.
  • Applications are considered by:
    • your tutor for extensions of up to seven days;
    • the Course Coordinator for extensions of 8 to 21 days; and
    • the Dean for extensions of over 21 days.

After an assignment is submitted via the OLE, it is your responsibility to check that the assignment has been successfully submitted. Extension applications due to any problem with uploading will not be accepted. The University cannot accept any responsibility for assignments that are not received by your tutor due to any problem with submission via the OLE. As a precaution, you are advised to keep a copy of each assignment you submit.



The final examination for MKT B363 Consumer Behaviour is worth 60% of the total course mark. The examination will be of two hours' duration and will consist of a case/scenario, followed by specific questions. The purpose of the examination is to assess your understanding of the materials covered in the entire course, achieving LO1 to LO3.

Case studies are a useful and increasingly popular form of learning and assessment in the Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration. In this section we will look at why case studies are used and then suggest some learning strategies that you can use to approach case studies. We will also briefly discuss some problems that you may encounter as you learn from case studies.


What is a case study approach to learning?

One main purpose of a case study is to explore an issue or a number of issues in relation to an organization. The intention is to get you to carefully diagnose an organization, focus on key problems and suggest how these might be resolved. Often the case is a real-life account of an organization which you are required to analyse in order to focus on a problem. Usually, the information that is provided is incomplete and you are often expected to observe developments in the organization over a period of time. The case study approach is an excellent opportunity for students to actively apply material learned and conceptual knowledge acquired to the reality of an organization.

At HKMU, case studies may be used as part of assignments, exams, study units or day-school exercises. You are normally given some information about a company (this could be both text and graphical information, such as figures and tables). You are then asked to think about some problems related to the company and to use concepts and apply theories that you have learned in the course to propose possible solutions for the company.

Let's have a look at two kinds of case study questions that you might be asked to work through in your courses. The first example is quite structured, while the second is much more open-ended.


Two examples of case study questions

  1. Read the case study entitled 'ABC Consultants' and consider the following issues:
    • Using your understanding of the resource-based model, what measures could be taken to improve ABC's returns?
    • Drawing on your broad understanding of the consultancy industry, assess ABC's relative competitiveness and its profit potential.
    • To what extent do internal factors account for ABC's financial weaknesses?
    • Based on your assessment of ABC's financial weaknesses, formulate a new strategic intent and develop a mission statement for ABC.
  2. Read the case study entitled 'XYZ Industries'.
    • Identify the key problems that are currently faced by XYZ's management.
    • Propose viable solutions to these problems.


Why case studies

As you can see from the above examples, a case study approach to learning requires a great deal of thinking and often will not easily yield a quick 'wrong' or 'right' answer. However, case studies are also good preparation for dealing with real-life business problems. Some cases may be short and relatively simple; others longer and complex. The purpose for both types of cases is the same: to give you an opportunity to develop your skills in analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the organization under examination, to consider the processes at work within the organization, and to make decisions about future actions.

Case studies are not meant to replace textbooks, but rather to prompt you to draw connections between theories and practice, and to apply abstract ideas, concepts and principles to specific concrete situations. Ultimately, case analysis will help you develop a number of skills that are crucial in business. In particular, they will help you to:

  • analyse complex, unstructured, sometimes ambiguous situations;
  • identify critical issues and problems;
  • question your own and others' assumptions;
  • improve your problem-solving skills;
  • develop your ability to find alternatives and make informed decisions;
  • make decisions with incomplete information and think strategically;
  • self-educate yourself and draw on a broad range of resources and knowledge; and
  • present and justify your recommendations in writing.

You may find that there are many possible 'right' answers to the questions in a case study. This illustrates that there is often no single best way to responsibly manage and solve real-life business problems.


Some guidelines for analysing case studies

The following strategies should help you to successfully analyse case studies:


1 Read the case and become familiar with the facts

First, skim read the case to obtain a general understanding of the main point(s). Highlight or underline the pertinent points as you read.

Read the case again, and this time note down the critical facts (such as names, time sequences and where events occurred). Try to understand how events have influenced decisions.

Identify the important individuals or stakeholders, and try to assess the importance of the supporting information in the case. How reliable is this supporting information? Are there any gaps in the information given?

Make a note of any questions that you may have as you read through the case.


2 Assess the context of the case

Try to understand the environment of the organization and the wider context of the case.

Ask yourself questions about:

  • The state of the organization: What is the state of this organization — good, bad or in- between? Usually this involves thinking about interpersonal relationships, and assessing production or financial problems.
  • Key players and systems: How do people and systems operate in this organization? Why do they operate like this? Are the systems undergoing change? How successful are the changes? Is there anyone who may sabotage a future strategy? Is there someone who can ensure the success of a future strategy?
  • Significant trends: How does this industry operate? What are the main or unique characteristics of the industry? What were they five or ten years ago, and what are they likely to be in the future? What impact are certain trends likely to have on the organization under investigation? How does this organization's performance compare with that of its competitors?
  • Constraints: Clearly identify all constraints in the A constraint may be viewed as anything (usually beyond the control of the organization) that may prevent an otherwise feasible course of action from becoming a success. What is outside the control of individuals in the case study? For example, it is unlikely that any company or individual in Hong Kong could prevent a foreign government from imposing tariff barriers on imports.

Doing a SWOT analysis is a good way to get a better understanding of the organization and the context or environment in which it is operating. A SWOT analysis considers the Strengths and Weaknesses of the organization, and the Opportunities and Threats which the organization is facing in the external environment.


3 Recognize the case's symptoms

Read the case again and as you read, try listing all the symptoms of the case. The symptoms of a case are not the problems, but they may help you to identify the problems. Symptoms are all the things that are undesirable or that are not as expected. For example, falling sales could be a symptom of several problems such as poor market segmentation, poor product quality, or problems in a supply chain. At this stage of your analysis, you should just try to observe all the symptoms, and avoid prematurely identifying problems or suggesting solutions. (Like a doctor during a medical consultation, you would first need to observe and note all the symptoms of your patient before giving a definite diagnosis of the problem.) Then think about how the symptoms may be interrelated. Relationship diagrams, like the one below, may help you to see the relationships between symptoms.




4 Diagnose the case's problems

After getting a good grasp of the symptoms, you're ready to determine key issues that need to be analysed more closely. You are now diagnosing the situation, like a doctor diagnosing a patient's condition. Ask yourself, 'What seems to be the trouble in this organization?' and make a list of what you now perceive to be the key problem(s). You will probably need to go back to the details of the case and as you do this, you may add to or refine your list of potential problems.

If there are several problems, you will need to order and prioritize them. You might want to number the problems according to your perception of their importance, or make a matrix, like the one below, showing the relationships between various criteria and each problem.


CriteriaProblem #1Problem #2Problem #3
Importance: What will happen if the problem is not addressed?   
Urgency: How quickly must this problem be solved?   
Centrality: To what extent does this problem cause others?   
Solvability: Can this problem actually be solved?   


Also try to establish if there are relationships or themes in common among the problems. Perhaps different problems in your list are actually variations of a broader central problem.

Ask yourself what assumptions you have made about the case. Are these assumptions reasonable and supported by facts? Would other people objectively suggest the same problems based on the facts you have? Are you suggesting problems that are not supported by the facts of the case?

After you have considered and prioritized the possible problems and questioned your assumptions relating to these problems, you should write a statement of the problems as you perceive them. Avoid suggesting solutions at this stage.

Once you have a problem statement, you need to find evidence in the case to support your problem diagnosis. Also, try to identify ideas, concepts and theories from your textbook and course units which help to explain what is happening in the case.


5 Formulate criteria for a 'good' solution and identify possible constraints to solutions

Before you propose a solution, you need to consider the characteristics of a 'good' solution. Obviously, your solution should bring benefits such as improved productivity, reduced costs or greater profits. However, it also needs to be viable and be able to accommodate the constraints that you have already identified. For example, you should ask yourself, 'Is the solution legal? Is there a budget for this solution? Does it conflict with the organization's culture?'

Try to brainstorm alternative solutions. Aim to generate a broad and creative range of options and then try to rate each according to various criteria.

The following matrix demonstrates how this can be done.


 CostEase of implementationImpact on organization cultureImpact on profits
Option 1*******
Option 2*********
Option 3********


Also refer to ideas, concepts and theories from your course materials as you consider and assess each possible solution.

It's often wise to propose a solution that allows for plausible alternatives if it should fail. Managers use the term 'satisfice' when they are considering acceptable alternative solutions — that is, they consider whether a solution is able to satisfy the situation while also making some realistic sacrifices to the existing constraints. Such a solution is a satisficing one rather than a maximizing one.

Finally, don't forget to consider the possibility of taking no action. What will actually happen if no action is taken? Are any (or all) of the solutions less viable than taking no action at all?


6 Recommend a viable solution

After you have assessed the merits and pitfalls of each alternative solution, select the best solution for the situation.

Remember that the solution needs to be viable. Can the recommended solution be introduced? Are there the resources and the willingness to implement it? Be realistic about what may work. Explain why it is the best solution within the constraints of the existing context and explain how it can be applied to the organization. Suggest a time frame for the solution's implementation.

Outline possible strategies for implementing your solution, either partially or completely. You should consider as many feasible courses of action as possible should be considered before choosing the one that seems the most likely to succeed. The more ideas you have, the greater your chance will be of finding a solution that will work well. The complexity of most organizational problems means that it is highly unlikely that one idea alone will correct the situation. Usually a combination of actions is required, and these need to be funded differently, timed carefully and staffed as necessary.


7 Present your solution as a written recommendation

Review your final solutions and then prepare a set of written recommendations. These should clearly outline your proposed solutions in relation to the problems that you have identified. Your recommendations should also include details of why these solutions are the most appropriate given the circumstances and constraints of the case. Finally, you need to clearly state how and when your proposals will be implemented.

Your tutor and your course Assignment File can provide some guidelines on how to present your recommendations.


Some mistakes to avoid as you analyse cases

When you first tackle case studies, you should be careful to guard against the following mistakes:

  1. One of the most common mistakes made in case analysis is repeating or simply summarizing the facts of the Your tutor is already very familiar with the case details, so you do not have to restate them. You are required to use and analyse the facts, not repeat them. Your analysis should contain only enough case material to support your arguments. Therefore, be analytical!
  2. You may often be tempted to just deal with symptoms and ignore the causes of the It is very important to analyse the background of the case (and the climate in which the events of the case unfold).
  3. Avoid discussing problems in isolation and do not overlook their interrelatedness. If you try to think in terms of 'systems' rather than individual problems, you will be more likely to avoid this pitfall.
  4. Students often fail to state the assumptions underlying their If any important assumptions have been made, have you questioned them and are they reasonable and appropriate? Avoid using and interpreting case material selectively in order to justify a preconceived solution.
  5. Practical limitations and constraints may sometimes be For example, a recommendation that a whole team be fired is probably unrealistic.
  6. A very common mistake is poor integration of the facts in the case with the concepts, principles, and theories in the Such integration is vital. Ask yourself if relevant theories from your course have been fully and constructively applied.
  7. Finally, recommendations are too often not spelled out in detail or are A timetable for implementing them is also often omitted.

Analysing cases poses many challenges and this is one reason the case study method is so rewarding. It is a very active form of learning. It offers you a risk-free opportunity to gain managerial and organizational experience and should greatly increase your confidence to make informed decisions in the real world.

Good luck and we hope you enjoy working through the cases that you encounter!

MKT B363 Consumer Behaviour provides you with the fundamental concepts and theories of consumer behaviour and analytical skills needed to identify and solve consumer-related issues and problems.

The course is presented through a blend of printed and multimedia materials. As you work through MKT B363, you will need to refer to your Study Guide, your custom textbook, and the OLE, and you will be provided with support through regular learning sessions.

The course is assessed through one assignment, four online quizzes and a final examination.

We hope you'll find MKT B363 stimulating and effective for your professional development.

If you wish to defer your studies of this course until a later date, you should apply for deferment of studies. For the regulations governing deferment of studies, please refer to your Student Handbook. If you have applied for deferment of studies, you should continue with your studies of this course and submit the required assignments until formal approval is given by the University.

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