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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Tim D. Jones, Shirley F. Taylor and Harvir S. Bansal

The purpose of this paper is to explore the question of whether or not there are three distinct targets of commitment in consumers' relationships with their service…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the question of whether or not there are three distinct targets of commitment in consumers' relationships with their service providers; commitment to the service company, commitment to the individual service provider, and commitment to the individual provider as a friend or acquaintance.

Design/methodology/approach

Initial theories regarding targets of commitment in service relationships are developed with reference to the literature in psychology, organizational behavior, and marketing. Exploratory research into the commitment construct in service relationships is conducted using a prototyping approach. The prototyping approach involves the exploration of natural language concepts including the identification of a concept's attributes, and the concept's relationship to other concepts.

Findings

The results of the prototyping analysis give us preliminary evidence to suggest that that the three targets of commitment while related, are independent. Each target of commitment has a number of unique and central attributes.

Originality/value

Commitment is an important variable in the study of relationship marketing; however, in most marketing studies, the target of a customer's commitment is not clearly defined, nor have potential differences between various targets of commitment been fully explored. This research highlights the fact that relationship commitment is a multi‐level variable. In addition, this research demonstrates the effectiveness of the prototyping methodology in the exploration of abstract concepts and the relationship between them.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Kalyani Menon and Harvir S. Bansal

This research seeks to investigate consumer experiences of social power during service consumption. Specifically, this research examines the causes and consequences…

Abstract

Purpose

This research seeks to investigate consumer experiences of social power during service consumption. Specifically, this research examines the causes and consequences (cognition, expectations, emotions, and emotion expression) of consumer experiences of high and low power; and, given the key role of emotions in the experience and outcome of services, examines how emotions and emotion expression impacted satisfaction for high and low power consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 195 adult consumers of a range of services responded to a self‐administered survey with a mix of qualitative and quantitative measures.

Findings

The data show that most experiences of power occurred in high contact services, underlining the social nature of consumer power. While high power experiences occurred due to consumer knowledge, service failure accounted for low power experiences. High power consumers have greater self‐oriented action thoughts while low power consumers have greater ruminative thoughts. There was no statistical difference in the provider‐oriented cognition for high and low power consumers. High power consumers expect providers to focus on the core service while low power consumers have expectations regarding the interpersonal component of service delivery. High power consumers feel more positive emotions, less negative emotions and greater satisfaction than low power consumers, but there was no difference in the expressivity of emotions. Emotion expression mediated the relationship between emotions and satisfaction for high power consumers but not for low power consumers.

Originality/value

This is assumed to be the first investigation of consumer experiences of power, an important construct in understanding of consumer‐service provider interactions during service consumption.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2008

Chatura Ranaweera, Harvir Bansal and Gordon McDougall

A main focus in recent online consumer research has been on context specific trust, risk, and online buying experience. Despite the importance, their individual level…

Abstract

Purpose

A main focus in recent online consumer research has been on context specific trust, risk, and online buying experience. Despite the importance, their individual level “equivalents” – trust disposition, risk aversion, and technology readiness – have received limited attention. This research attempts to fill that gap by focussing on these crucial personality traits.

Design/methodology/approach

This research employs a survey‐based method to test a theoretically grounded set of hypotheses. The measurement model is tested using SEM and the hypotheses are tested using regression techniques.

Findings

The personality characteristics are found to have significant moderating effects on online purchase intentions. Interestingly, provided the consumers are satisfied, risk aversion is found to increase the likelihood of purchase. Moreover, while technology readiness increases the likelihood of online purchase, dispositional trust is found not to have a similar effect.

Research limitations/implications

Significant full and quasi moderator effects of three hitherto untested personality traits on online purchase behaviour are found. Results show that risk aversion, trust disposition, and technology readiness are fundamental to online consumer behaviour literature.

Practical implications

The results suggest that to be successful, relatively unknown web‐based service providers need to go beyond matching their large competitor and need to offer unique web sites to browsers. Results also indicate that personality traits pose both significant challenges as well as unexpected opportunities to online service providers in identifying inherently more loyal customers.

Originality/value

The paper identifies a set of hither to untested personality traits that have fundamental relevance to online consumer behaviour. It also offers practical recommendations to relatively unknown online service providers on how to compete with their better known competitors. Results are generalisable to online service providers in a number of industries.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Harvir S. Bansal, Gordon H.G. McDougall, Shane S. Dikolli and Karen L. Sedatole

Prior work has examined antecedents and behavioral outcomes of satisfaction in an offline setting but few studies explore whether the findings hold for increasingly…

Abstract

Prior work has examined antecedents and behavioral outcomes of satisfaction in an offline setting but few studies explore whether the findings hold for increasingly important online settings. This paper extends the prior work to explore the antecedents of e‐satisfaction and the relations between e‐satisfaction and two new behaviorial outcomes related to an online setting; customers' stated purchasing behavior (i.e. conversion) and actual browsing behavior (i.e. stickiness). Using a sample of 145 predominantly multi‐channel retail firms, the paper highlights two main results. First, existing models that examine the antecedents and consequences of satisfaction in the offline setting, also apply to an online setting. Second, Web site characteristics had a significant impact on all three types of behavioral outcomes, while Web site customer service was a significant driver of only retention/referral outcomes. Further, Web site customer service may be a necessary but not sufficient condition to achieving favourable outcomes in online settings.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Len Tiu Wright

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Peter A. Voyer and Chatura Ranaweera

Primarily, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the interaction and direct effects of tie strength between sender and receiver of word of mouth (WOM) and the…

Abstract

Purpose

Primarily, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the interaction and direct effects of tie strength between sender and receiver of word of mouth (WOM) and the receiver’s service purchase decision involvement on WOM influence. A secondary aim is to investigate how a distinctive conceptualization of perceived risk, consisting of two types (outcome risk and psychosocial risk), affects service purchase decision involvement. A conceptual model incorporating these constructs and associated hypotheses is developed and tested.

Design/methodology/approach

In a survey of actual service consumers, respondents were asked to recall a recent instance where they had received service purchase information via WOM, and relate their responses to this instance. Established scales were used to measure the constructs. The hypothesized model was tested using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Principally, findings demonstrate a strong interaction effect between service purchase decision involvement and tie strength. Also, results highlight the complexity of the perceived risk construct, suggesting that it is appropriately modeled as two types: outcome risk, and psychosocial risk.

Research limitations/implications

This research has contributed to the service marketing literature by testing a model that predicts WOM influence. Evidence confirmed that the effect of service purchase decision involvement on WOM influence is moderated by tie strength. Additionally, a conceptualization of two different types of risk associated with purchase decisions was suggested, together with empirical confirmation of their hypothesized antecedent effects on service purchase decision involvement. Findings have special implications for the literatures of persuasion, social and interpersonal influence, as well as consumer behavior in general.

Practical implications

To harness the power of WOM, managers should understand who their target audience is and how consumers are related to each other (tie strength) and to the service purchase decision (service purchase decision involvement). Recommendations are made with specific illustrations of how firms can leverage tie strength under conditions of low service purchase decision involvement to enhance WOM influence.

Originality/value

The formidable power of WOM wields substantial influence on consumers, particularly within a service (vs goods) purchase context, typically characterized by higher perceived risk and lower search qualities. The significant interaction between tie strength and service purchase decision involvement is a unique contribution to the service WOM literature.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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