management; how they develop perceived self-efficacy in the process and related processes of impression, pleasure, desire, and energy management; and how they form expectations regarding exchanges and other outcomes, both in terms of one exchange and in terms of exchanges in general.
The last idea suggests a fifth point that should be considered; that is, what I call the exchange career ( Gould, Considine, and Oakes 1993). This concept is the defined as the consumer's experience with exchanges in all forms throughout his or her lifetime. It also can be broken down into smaller careers in terms of particular types of exchange (e.g., interpersonal versus intrapersonal), exchanges with different types of people (e.g., men versus women), exchanges involving different resources (e.g., money, love, goods), exchanges involving specific types of products, and exchanges at different levels of exchange experience. Regarding different levels of experience, first exchanges are quite likely to vary from later exchanges. Although there are a number of existing approaches that might deal with this aspect of exchange (e.g., routinized versus extensive problem-solving ( Howard and Sheth 1969), there nonetheless remains the work of testing these approaches and/or developing new ones. I believe the career approach offers a rich framework in which we can explore consumer socialization and experience over time. In fact at present, we have no clear concept as to how people develop negotiating styles, learn rules of valuation, and experiment with the exchange process.
Sixth, a holistic systems approach to exchange should be taken. In this regard, the total environment of the individual should be considered in terms of energy input and output and the economy of desire and pleasure mix the consumer is seeking ( Gould 1991b). Taking such an approach means integrating various levels of behavior determination, including the cultural/sociogenic, psychological, and psychophysiological levels ( Raybeck, Shoobe, and Grauberger 1989). Looking at different levels of exchange behavior will enable us to calibrate the system of feelings and culturally constructed meanings that people ascribe to an exchange and provide a new, more global framework for both theory development and empirical studies.
This chapter has concerned itself with exchange from a consumer point of view and showed how exchange can be regarded as a much broader concept than has previously been considered. Hopefully, future theory will reflect this inclusiveness and seek to find its primary roots in intrapersonal as well as interpersonal phenomena and in the economy of desire and energy that we all share.
Stephen J. Gould