The purpose of this paper is to develop a cross-cultural scale of customers’ perceived switching costs (PSCs). Customers’ PSCs function as a powerful defensive marketing tool that restrains customers from switching.
Four sets of survey data were collected in the UK, Egypt, Germany, and China. An overall response rate of 86 percent was achieved across the four countries. Cross-cultural equivalence of the PSCs scale was assessed using multi-group confirmatory factor analysis.
Tests of configural, metric, and factor variance invariance confirmed that the PSCs scale is appropriate for meaningful cross-cultural comparisons.
Data were collected in four countries from the financial service context. Future researchers should test the short-form PSCs (PSCs-S) scale across different cultural and industrial contexts to enhance its generalizability.
The cross-cultural PSCs-S scale presented here will enhance international marketing researchers’ ability to test theory containing customers’ PSCs as central variables, and provide managers with a measurement tool that they can use to better segment and manage their customers.
This study is one of the first to develop a cross-cultural PSCs scale. Despite the growth of research into customers’ PSCs, research on the topic has been limited by the lack of a cross-cultural measurement instrument. The latter now furnishes the research community with the opportunity to gain a fuller understanding of switching behavior, to establish the scale's generalizability, and to make meaningful comparisons of PSCs across cultures.
The author thanks Professor John Cadogan, IMR Editor, for his invaluable comments and helpful suggestions.
A. El-Manstrly, D. (2014), "Cross-cultural validation of switching costs: a four-country assessment", International Marketing Review, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 413-437. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-08-2011-0219Download as .RIS
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