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environment (Kinard, Capella, and Kinard 2009). Thus, in some retail situations, themere presence of others who do not have high social importance and are not in closeproximity to the consumer should not increase consumers’ perceptions of social risk.In applying the precepts of Social Impact Theory to the context of consumers’ riskperceptions and their relationship to attitudes toward co-producing a self-checkoutscanning service in grocery stores, consumers’ perceptions of social risk are predictedto be uniformly weak in self-scanning environments in which several of the conditionsof close proximity, numbers of others, and importance of others are absent or weak.In the US, self-service scanners are most typically located in big box stores and large-scale supermarkets (Anand 2011). In these environments, consumers in shoppingareas of the store and in the full-service checkout areas are not situated in closeproximity (e.g. within 2 feet) of the self-scanner area. These types of facilities are alsodesigned with multiple architectural barriers (e.g. aisles, counters, displays, etc.) toseparate major shopping and checkout areas. Self-scanning areas are also designedwith space around each scanner (e.g. architectural posts that support equipment;space on either side of the equipment for shopping carts and bagging purchasedmerchandise). Thus, even when the scanning area is visible to others and occupied byseveral people, the areas are designed to limit overcrowding in close proximity to thescanner. In addition, other customers in the self-scanning area are often non-interactive strangers who have low importance to the self-scanner consumer. Thus, allthree conditions specified by Social Impact Theory, i.e. close proximity, numbers, andstrength, are not always in play at the same time. Kinard, Capella, and Kinard’s(2009) findings that shoppers experience lower perceived risk in using SSTs in thepresence of other shoppers who are not known and with whom they do not interactalso supports this supposition due to the absence of strength and close proximityconditions. Based on the aforementioned, the following hypothesis is advanced.H10: Consumers’ perceptions of social risk in using the SST will not inﬂuence theirattitude toward co-producing their scanning service.The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research347
Perceived performance riskrefers to uncertainty that a scanning system may notoperate as expected. This can be due to system failure or incorrect use by a consumer(Walker et al. 2002). Empirical findings show that perceived performance risk isnegatively associated with willingness to use SSTs offered by retail and serviceestablishments (Walker et al. 2002). In addition, Dabholkar et al. (2003) reveals thatwillingness to use scanning SSTs in a grocery store setting increases if the storeprovides assistance in using the SST from a knowledgeable employee. This findingsuggests that a present other who is a knowledgeable assistant may alleviate possibleperceived risks associated with not being able to correctly use the SST (i.e.