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The effect of cognitive trust on hostage relationships

Scott R. Colwell (Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph, Department of Consumer Studies, Ontario, Canada)
Sandra Hogarth‐Scott (Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and Director of Postgraduate Research at the University of Bradford School of Management, Bradford, UK)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



This study examines the role of cognitive trust and the potential for relationship dissolution when consumers perceive themselves to be in a hostage relationship with their retail banking service provider. This study reviews current literature on relationship continuance intentions, hostage relationships and transaction‐based cognitive trust to develop testable hypothesis on the affect of cognitive trust in hostage relationships. Quantitative data gathered via a cross‐sectional survey is then analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results indicate that consumers who perceive themselves to be in a hostage relationship with their bank indicate significant cognitive trust in the transactional ability of their bank and are deterred from dissolving the relationship, regardless of their perception of the undesirability of the relationship. This paper provides evidence of the effect of cognitive trust as a deterrent of relationship dissolution in hostage relationships. Also provided are managerial and theoretical implications and directions for future research.



Colwell, S.R. and Hogarth‐Scott, S. (2004), "The effect of cognitive trust on hostage relationships", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 384-394.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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