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Made for each other? Psychological contracts and service brands evaluations

Russel P.J. Kingshott (School of Marketing, Curtin University, Perth, Australia)
Sanjaya Singh Gaur (Division of Programs in Business, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, New York University, New York, New York, USA)
Piyush Sharma (School of Marketing, Curtin University, Perth, Australia)
Sheau Fen Yap (Department of Marketing, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Yekaterina Kucherenko (EvolutionFX, Auckland, New Zealand)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 24 September 2020

Issue publication date: 14 July 2021

432

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the individual and combined effects of three types of psychological contracts between customers and service employees (i.e. transactional, relational and communal), resulting from the service organizations’ relational marketing efforts, on their customers’ service brand evaluations in terms of their satisfaction, trust and commitment toward the brand.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a field-survey of 303 regular customers of beauty salons and hairdressers in Auckland, New Zealand. All the constructs were measured using adapted versions of well-established scales and data was analyzed using SmartPLS due to the relatively smaller sample size and the primary research objective being the prediction of the three outcome variables (i.e. satisfaction, trust and commitment).

Findings

Transactional and relational contracts have a negative and positive impact, respectively, upon communal contracts. Communal contracts mediate the impact of transactional and relational contracts on trust and commitment but not on satisfaction. Trust also mediates the relationship between satisfaction and commitment.

Research limitations/implications

This paper collected data from female customers of beauty salons and hairdressers in New Zealand, which may affect the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

This study provides practical insights into the differences in the roles of psychological contracts between the customers and service employees, which may help managers in service firms improve their customer relationship outcomes.

Originality/value

This paper extends the relationship and services marketing literature to reveal the individual and combined effects of the three types of psychological contracts on customer satisfaction, trust and commitment toward their service brand.

Keywords

Citation

Kingshott, R.P.J., Gaur, S.S., Sharma, P., Yap, S.F. and Kucherenko, Y. (2021), "Made for each other? Psychological contracts and service brands evaluations", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 271-286. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-01-2020-0002

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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