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Customer loyalty: exploring its antecedents from a green marketing perspective

Patricia Martínez (Business Administration Department, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 13 July 2015

10973

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to propose a hierarchy of effects model to study three antecedents of green loyalty: green trust, green satisfaction and green overall image, and to examine the relationships between these variables. At present, environmental issues attract the attention of academics and professionals around the world. In the hospitality industry, this interest is even greater because of the considerable quantities of water and energy consumed by hotel companies and because of the environmental degradation that this industry can cause with unmanaged growth and development. For this reason, several authors have proposed incorporating the green loyalty construct as a key variable in tourism theory and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the proposed model empirically, personal surveys of hotel customers were conducted in Spain using a structured questionnaire. A structural equations model was developed to test the research hypothesis.

Findings

The findings show that green overall image has positive direct effects on green trust, green satisfaction and green loyalty. At the same time, they reveal that both green trust and green satisfaction have positive effects on green loyalty. In addition, green trust has a positive influence on green satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

This research deals with the relationship between the variables of interest, without considering other antecedents and consequences. Thus, there is still a need to explore other mediating variables (e.g. willingness to pay more to stay in a green room, or commitment regarding environmental issues), as the explanatory power of this model could still be improved. In addition, given the role of green trust and green satisfaction as mediating variables of green overall image and green loyalty, this study recognizes the need for in-depth research into the enhancement of green trust and green satisfaction.

Practical implications

From a practical point of view, hoteliers and marketers working for a green hotel should develop a positive green overall image and enhance customers’ perceptions of green trust and green satisfaction. In particular, they should emphasize the importance of environmental issues to customers by promoting green campaigns. At the same time, hoteliers in a green context should create effective strategies to improve their hotel’s image.

Originality/value

Although existing research has investigated relevant aspects of customer trust, satisfaction, overall image and loyalty, these issues have not been discussed from a green marketing perspective. Apart from that, the main contribution of this paper is its exploration of the influence of green trust, green satisfaction and green overall image on green loyalty in a hospitality setting, following the framework of the hierarchy of effects model. By complementing previous studies on customer loyalty in the environmental context and exploring the relationships among these constructs, this study offers an assessment of how green marketing strategies in the hospitality industry increase green loyalty.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the FPU Scholarship Program provided by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.

Citation

Martínez, P. (2015), "Customer loyalty: exploring its antecedents from a green marketing perspective", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 896-917. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-03-2014-0115

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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