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Article

Gianfranco Walsh, Mario Schaarschmidt and Stefan Ivens

Service providers leverage their corporate reputation management efforts to increase revenues by shaping customer attitudes and behaviours, yet the effects on customer…

Abstract

Purpose

Service providers leverage their corporate reputation management efforts to increase revenues by shaping customer attitudes and behaviours, yet the effects on customer innovation adoption and customer value remain unclear. In an extended conceptualisation of customer-based corporate reputation (CBR), the purpose of this paper is to propose that customer perceived risk, perceived value, and service separation are contingencies of the relationship between CBR and two key customer outcomes: customer new product adoption proneness (CPA) and recency-frequency-monetary (RFM) value.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a predictive survey approach, 1,001 service customers assess the online or offline operations of six multichannel retailers. The hypothesised model is tested using structural equation modelling and multigroup analysis.

Findings

The analysis reveals significant linkages of CBR with perceived risk and perceived value, as well as between perceived risk and perceived value and from perceived value to CPA and RFM value. These linkages vary in strength across unseparated (offline) and separated (online) services.

Research limitations/implications

This study uses cross-sectional data to contribute to literature that relates CBR to relevant customer outcomes by considering CPA and RFM value and investigating contingent factors. It provides conceptual and empirical evidence that price appropriateness represents a new CBR dimension.

Practical implications

The results reveal that CBR reduces customers’ perceived risk and positively affects their perceived value, which drives CPA and RFM value. Multichannel retailers can create rewarding customer relationships by building and nurturing good reputations.

Originality/value

This study is the first to link CBR with customer product adoption proneness and value, two important customer measures. It proposes and tests an extended conceptualisation of CBR.

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Article

Gianfranco Walsh, Mario Schaarschmidt and Stefan Ivens

Given the strategic importance of firm reputation because of its potential for value creation, extant reputation research focuses on favorable customer outcomes. This…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the strategic importance of firm reputation because of its potential for value creation, extant reputation research focuses on favorable customer outcomes. This study proposes and tests a model that relates the customer-based corporate reputation (CBR) of fashion retailers to customer-perceived risk and two relational outcomes – trust and commitment. In addition, this study aims to test whether or not the hypothesized paths are equally strong for male and female shoppers.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this study were collected through an online survey approach. Using a sample of more than 300 retail customers and structural equation modeling, the authors tested the hypotheses.

Findings

Drawing on previous research, the commitment–trust theory of relationship marketing and signaling theory, the authors find support for direct and indirect links between retailers’ reputation and relational outcomes, the intervening role of perceived risk and the partially moderational role of gender.

Practical implications

The findings of this research suggest that a retailer’s positive reputation can reduce customers’ risk and engender trust, which in turn promotes customer commitment.

Originality/value

A growing number of examples suggests that retailers (specially fashion retailers) need to manage their reputation, which can come under threat in myriad ways, and its outcomes. However, so far, no individual study empirically investigated any of these reputation outcomes simultaneously or considered gender differences. Thus, the authors address an important research gap by examining the mechanism through which CBR affects relevant customer outcomes and by considering contextual factors.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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Article

Gianfranco Walsh and Eva Katharina Hammes

This research aims to investigate the contingent influence of service scripts on the links between service employees’ job demands and customers’ perceptions of discrimination.

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to investigate the contingent influence of service scripts on the links between service employees’ job demands and customers’ perceptions of discrimination.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on prior conceptual and empirical work, as well as conservation of resources theory, the authors propose a conceptual model comprising job demands (job stress and role ambiguity) and two dimensions of perceived discrimination.

Findings

A unique, dyadic data set reveals that the two focal job demands positively affect customers’ perceptions of discrimination. Service scripts enhance those negative relationships, such that they have resource-depleting and job demand-exacerbating effects.

Originality/value

This study offers the first research to link customer perceived discrimination with employee antecedents. These insights, in turn, have several key theoretical and managerial implications, and they offer directions for further work in this arena.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article

Gianfranco Walsh, Alexander Deseniss, Stefan Ivens and Mario Schaarschmidt

This paper aims to increase understanding of how the strength of the relationship between service failure-induced customer anger and revenge intentions might be influenced…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to increase understanding of how the strength of the relationship between service failure-induced customer anger and revenge intentions might be influenced by attitudinal moderators that are both within and outside the realm of the service firm’s control. Drawing on past research, the authors hypothesize that customers’ perceptions of the corporate reputation and silent endurance constitute boundary conditions of the relationship between service failure-related customer anger and revenge intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

In line with past service failure research, the authors test the hypotheses using a scenario-based online experiment with 243 participants.

Findings

This research reaffirms the positive relationship between anger and revenge intentions and finds support for the hypothesized boundary conditions; customers with better corporate reputation perceptions and higher levels of silent endurance express weaker revenge intentions than those with poor corporate reputation perceptions and lower levels of silent endurance.

Originality/value

This research offers unique insights into how service organizations can buffer the detrimental effects of service failure-induced customer anger.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article

Treasa Kearney, Gianfranco Walsh, Willy Barnett, Taeshik Gong, Maria Schwabe and Kemefasu Ifie

This paper aims to undertake a simultaneous assessment of interdependence in the behaviours of front-line and back-office employees and their joint effect on…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to undertake a simultaneous assessment of interdependence in the behaviours of front-line and back-office employees and their joint effect on customer-related organisational performance. It also tests for a moderating influence of the emotional intelligence of front-line salespeople and back-office employees.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample comprises 105 front-line sales employees and 77 back-office employees. The customer-related organisational performance data come from a UK business-to-business (B2B) electronics company. With these triadic data, this study uses partial least squares to estimate the measurement and structural models.

Findings

Salespeople’s customer orientation directly affects customer-related organisational performance; the relationship is moderated by salespeople’s emotional intelligence. The emotional intelligence of salespeople also directly affects the customer-directed citizenship behaviour of back-office employees. Furthermore, the emotional intelligence of back-office staff moderates the link between the emotional intelligence of salespeople and back-office staff citizenship behaviour. Back-office staff citizenship behaviour, in turn, affects customer-related organisational performance.

Originality/value

The emotions deployed by employees in interactions with customers clearly shape customers’ perceptions of service quality, as well as employee-level performance outcomes. However, prior literature lacks insights into the simultaneous effects of front-line and back-office employee behaviour, especially in B2B settings. This paper addresses these research gaps by investigating triadic relationships – among back-office employees, front-line employees and customer outcomes – in a B2B setting, where they are of particular managerial interest.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article

Gianfranco Walsh, Zhiyong Yang, Jason Dahling, Mario Schaarschmidt and Ikuo Takahashi

Frontline service employees’ (FLEs) positive personality traits enhance service experiences, for both employee and customer outcomes. Yet, limited research addresses…

Abstract

Purpose

Frontline service employees’ (FLEs) positive personality traits enhance service experiences, for both employee and customer outcomes. Yet, limited research addresses negative personality traits. Drawing on the emotion regulation framework, the purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual model in which three negative personality traits – Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism (the so-called dark triad (DT)) – represent antecedents, and FLE emotion regulation strategies (surface and deep acting) are mediators, all of which predict job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The test of this model includes occupationally diverse samples of FLEs from an individualistic (the USA) and a collectivistic (Japan) country, to assess the potential moderating role of culture.

Findings

The findings suggest that Machiavellianism relates more positively to surface and deep acting in Japan, whereas psychopathy relates more negatively to surface acting than in the USA. Unexpectedly, narcissism exhibits mixed effects on surface and deep acting in both countries: It relates positively to surface acting in the USA but prompts a negative relationship in Japan. The positive narcissism–deep acting relationship is also stronger for Japanese than for US FLEs. These findings help specify the effects of negative personality traits on important employee outcomes.

Originality/value

This is the first study that relates service employees’ DTs with emotional labor resulting in new avenues for further research. The findings are managerially relevant because they help specify the effects of negative personality traits on important employee outcomes.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 58 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article

Werner H. Kunz and Gianfranco Walsh

Digital media has revolutionized societies and changed forever how we do business. This paper aims to determine the current scope of service research in the area of…

Abstract

Purpose

Digital media has revolutionized societies and changed forever how we do business. This paper aims to determine the current scope of service research in the area of digital media, identifying research gaps and introducing new research contributions to complement our knowledge of digital media.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on all service articles of the SERVSIG literature alert system from 2016 to 2019, a subset of digital media articles was identified and latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) text-mining methods were used on the abstracts and titles of the articles for topic modeling of the field. Dominant research topics were identified and depicted in a two-dimensional space.

Findings

The study identifies eight distinct topic areas of digital media in service research and shows their relationship to each other in a two-dimensional space. A clear tendency in service research towards taking primarily a customer (versus business perspective) of digital media can be observed. Further, for some journals, a trend towards specialization on particular topics could be detected.

Research limitations/implications

This article advocates for more digital media research with a stronger business perspective. Further, although particular new technologies are exciting to discuss, it seems that the importance of customer relationship topics in digital media is not reflected in the current digital media research as needed.

Originality/value

The article uses a quantitative–explorative approach to determine the current state of research in regard to digital media in services. The authors introduce 11 new studies that aim to close the knowledge gap in critical areas of digital media.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article

Gianfranco Walsh and Vincent‐Wayne Mitchell

Consumer sovereignty assumes that consumers have adequate product information and are able to understand that information in order to make an informed choice. However…

Abstract

Purpose

Consumer sovereignty assumes that consumers have adequate product information and are able to understand that information in order to make an informed choice. However, this is not the case when consumers are confused. Recently, Walsh et al. identified dimensions of consumer confusion proneness and developed scales to measure these dimensions. Drawing on their concept of consumer confusion proneness, this paper seeks to examine consumers' general tendency to be confused from marketplace information and its effect on three relevant outcome variables – word of mouth, trust, and satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The reliability and validity of the consumer confusion proneness scale was tested on the basis of a sample of 355 consumers, using confirmatory factor analysis. The study employs structural equation modelling to examine the hypothesised relationships.

Findings

The results show that the consumer confusion proneness scale has sound psychometric properties and that the three dimensions of similarity, overload, and ambiguity have a differential impact on word of mouth behaviour, trust, and customer satisfaction.

Practical implications

The findings have implications for marketing theory and management, as well as consumer education. Marketers may apply the consumer confusion proneness scale to their customers and assess which dimension is the most damaging in terms of the three marketing outcomes examined.

Originality/value

This is the first study to test Walsh et al.'s consumer confusion proneness scale and to extend their work by analysing the effect of the three construct dimensions on three key marketing outcome variables.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article

Gianfranco Walsh, Sharon E Beatty and Betsy Bugg Holloway

The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a client-based reputation of business-to-business professional services firms scale (PSF-Rep) which measures clients…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a client-based reputation of business-to-business professional services firms scale (PSF-Rep) which measures clients’ perceptions of the reputation of professional service provider firms. So far, no multidimensional scale exists in the literature to measure the reputation of professional service firms, although the reputation dimensions of importance are likely to be very different from other settings.

Design/methodology/approach

From an initial pool of fieldwork-based items, an 18-item PSF-Rep scale is developed, which is validated using several samples – corporate financial decision-makers’ views of their accounting firms in a US national sample and organizational clients of one large legal firm with national presence.

Findings

The four-dimensional PSF-Rep scale meets all established reliability and validity criteria. Further, reputation and its dimensions (using PSF-Rep) are positively associated with important marketing outcomes, including word of mouth, loyalty intentions, trust and share of wallet.

Originality/value

As professional service markets become more competitive, firms recognize the importance of a good reputation in attracting customers. This research is the first to propose a psychometrically robust measure to capture client-based reputation of business-to-business professional services firms.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article

Gianfranco Walsh, Edward Shiu and Louise M. Hassan

Branding literature indicates that consumers buy branded products because they expect higher quality compared with non‐branded products. However, as private‐label brands…

Abstract

Purpose

Branding literature indicates that consumers buy branded products because they expect higher quality compared with non‐branded products. However, as private‐label brands improve in quality and deliver more value to customers, a reassessment of intention to buy manufacturer brands is pertinent. On the basis of the theory of reasoned action, the authors aim to hypothesize that the perceived quality of manufacturer brands, brand involvement, attitude toward private‐label brands, and perceived product similarity drive purchase intention. In addition, consumers' perceptions of product similarity and age might moderate the relationship between perceived quality and intention to buy manufacturer brands.

Design/methodology/approach

The model and relationships are examined with a large sample of more than 600 consumers. The primary data were collected using face‐to‐face interviews.

Findings

Regression analysis finds support for a direct effect of perceived product quality, brand involvement and attitude towards private‐label brands as well as a moderating effect of age on the relationship between perceived quality and intention to buy manufacturer brands.

Research limitations/implications

The authors suggest implications of the study findings for brand management and marketing theory development, as well as avenues for further research. Amongst others, the authors recommend that brand manufacturers should communicate the quality aspects of their brands more clearly, because consumers' quality perceptions are strongest amongst the antecedents of purchase intention.

Originality/value

Overall, the findings suggest that marketers need to revise their understanding of retail behavior in this area which constitutes the main contribution of the paper.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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