Effects of providing total cost of ownership information on attribute weights in purchasing decisions

Sebastiaan Morssinkhof*, Marc Wouters, Luk Warlop

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)
    9 Downloads (Pure)


    Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) involves the monetary quantification of nonfinancial attributes and the subsequent aggregation of these attributes into a financial summary measure. We consider monetary quantifications that are not perfect, because some attributes are missing from the TCO information. We investigate how the provision of TCO information affects attribute weights, and how this effect is moderated by the Comprehensiveness of quantification and the decision-maker’s experience. We conducted experiments with 817 participants, both students and managers. We found that student participants were more inclined to give a higher weight to the attribute missing from the TCO information, while the practitioner participants tended to give less weight to the missing attribute. Within the group of practitioners, the pattern was strongest for the most experienced practitioners. The results suggest that experienced decision makers might be less mindful of the imperfections of monetary quantification.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)132-142
    JournalJournal of purchasing and supply management
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Total cost of ownership
    • Purchasing decisions
    • Supplier selection


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