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Effects of the organization‐public relational gap between experiential and expected relationship outcomes : Relational gap analysis

Minjeong Kang (Journalism Department, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 8 February 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

A monopolistic relationship between utilities and their customers creates a unique relational context in which the basic assumption of one's ability to terminate a relationship with an unsatisfactory relationship partner is violated. The purpose of this paper is to examine how attitudinal and behavioral outcomes are influenced by relational gap as the discrepancy between the expected relationships under deregulation and the experienced public relationships under monopolistic completion.

Design/methodology/approach

With this purpose, an online survey was conducted with customers of a monopolistic utility provider; a sample of 1,145 adults living in the region was provided from an academic online panel database project for research participants, yielding a response rate of 32 percent.

Findings

The key findings are that, among the four relational outcomes, control mutuality and satisfaction showed the biggest and significant shift to higher levels of performance expectations under competition than under a monopoly. Further, a shift in control mutuality and satisfaction led to more negative attitudes toward the company and a stronger intention to switch.

Originality/value

This study can contribute to the practice and study of communication management by suggesting a sound empirical framework in managing public relationships.

Keywords

Citation

Kang, M. (2013), "Effects of the organization‐public relational gap between experiential and expected relationship outcomes : Relational gap analysis", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 40-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/13632541311300142

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited