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Relational capital quality and client loyalty: firm-level evidence from pharmaceuticals, Pakistan

Shujaat Mubarik (Department of Economics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
VGR Chandran (Department of Development Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Evelyn S Devadason (Department of Economics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 11 January 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the influence of relational capital quality on client loyalty, comprising both behavioral and attitudinal, in the pharmaceutical industry of Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

The partial least squares technique is used to test the relationship using a sample of 111 pharmaceutical firms. We applied a non-parametric procedure, the bootstrapping method, to estimate the coefficient path of the relationships. Appropriate construct measures were used based on past studies to measure the dimensions of relational capital quality and client loyalty.

Findings

The findings suggest that relational capital quality significantly affects client loyalty. All three dimensions of relational capital quality, commitment, satisfaction and trust, have a significant and positive influence on both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty. However, client satisfaction is found to exert the strongest impact on behavioral and attitudinal loyalty.

Practical implications

It is important for the pharmaceutical firms in Pakistan to improve client satisfaction to establish behavioral loyalty and sustain their clientele base. Trust and commitment should be managed independently, depending on the focus of firms, either attitudinal loyalty or behavioral loyalty.

Originality/value

This study is among the few that was able to empirically examine the role of various dimensions of relational capital quality in influencing clients’ attitudinal and behavioral loyalty. In addition, the study uses a new firm-level data set, compiled from a survey of the pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan, which is currently facing challenges in terms of customer–supplier sensitivity.

Keywords

Citation

Mubarik, S., Chandran, V. and Devadason, E.S. (2016), "Relational capital quality and client loyalty: firm-level evidence from pharmaceuticals, Pakistan", The Learning Organization, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 43-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-05-2015-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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