This paper aims to combine the social–technical systems and social exchange theories with the resource-based view of the firm, to investigate how business-to-business (B2B) service firms manage their social and technical resources to manage customer relationships.
An online survey-based study with 321 managers working in Australian small and medium (SME) firms is used to test hypotheses about the sequential and substitutional impact of four social and technical resources (service quality, satisfaction, trust and commitment) on customer loyalty, using both offline and online platforms.
The findings show that both social and technical chains of effects are viable channels for B2B service firms to build customer loyalty; however, mixing of both social and technical resources results in the weakening of both these chains.
The results based on B2B service relationships between Australian SME firms and their banks may not be generalizable to other contexts.
This research would help managers in B2B service firms understand the pitfalls of combining their social and technical resources because it may hamper their ability to build customer loyalty. Hence, they need to learn how to synergize their marketing resources across both offline and online platforms to achieve optimal results.
This research introduces social and technical chains of effects as a novel way to examine the ability of B2B service firms to optimize their social and technical resources in a synergistic manner to build and nurture stronger customer relationships.
Kingshott, R., Sharma, P. and Nair, S. (2020), "Social and technical chains-of-effects in business-to-business (B2B) service relationships", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-04-2019-0329Download as .RIS
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