The purpose of this paper is to establish the link between three constructs, namely, service innovation, corporate reputation (CR), and word-of-mouth (hereinafter WOM). Primarily, the aim is to understand whether innovation in a service firm drives its reputation, thereby resulting in positive WOM where the direct effect of service innovation of a firm on WOM is mediated by reputation. Furthermore, the study also seeks to understand whether the type of service firm has an effect on determining the level of the mediation effect.
This study adopts an integrated approach where the measure for the construct service innovation is explored through a qualitative approach, and the conceptual model is estimated through path analysis. The service industry taken for this study is banking, and the through non-probability criterion sampling technique, 252 customers responded to their level of agreement. The PLS-SEM technique was used to estimate the path coefficient by following the two-stage approach. The multigroup moderation analysis is performed to determine whether the type of the bank plays a major role in determining the direct effects and the mediation effect of CR between service innovation and WOM.
The result of this study indicates that there is a strong positive association between the three constructs. Further, the direct relationship between service innovation and WOM is partially mediated by reputation. The result of the multigroup moderation indicates that the type of the bank plays a major role in determining the mediation effect of reputation.
The study helps the decision makers and the managers of the bank to understand that frequent innovation within the firm would help to gain reputation, and thereby customers would tend to give a positive WOM. Further, non-reputable firms can still gain a positive WOM if they continuously innovate new services. In the Indian context, it is noted that there is a difference between private and public banks in determining the mediation effect of reputation between service innovation and WOM.
The originality of the study is based on the following: development of a unique scale to measure service innovation in the banking industry overcoming the existing scales which are based on goods-dominant logic; estimating empirically the combined effect of service innovation and CR on WOM; the process of evaluating the moderated mediation effect; how the mediating effect of CR varies from private sector banks to public sector banks.
Manohar, S., Mittal, A. and Marwah, S. (2020), "Service innovation, corporate reputation and word-of-mouth in the banking sector: A test on multigroup-moderated mediation effect", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 406-429. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-05-2019-0217
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