Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Marketing (Business Administration)

First Advisor

Daniel L. Sherrell

Abstract

The objective of the dissertation was to address the influence of affect towards service provider on service encounter satisfaction. The following research questions were examined: (1) the impact of affect towards the service provider on perceived performance and satisfaction; (2) the relative influence of affective versus cognitive variables in explaining satisfaction with services; (3) the explanatory ability of the disconfirmation model of satisfaction within the context of services. An experimental study was designed to address the above questions. Two factors, affect towards the service provider labeled Evaluative Impression of the service provider and Interaction Style (one dimension of perceived performance) of the service provider were manipulated in a 3 (Positive Evaluative Impression, Negative Evaluative Impression and Neutral Evaluative Impression) x 2 (Positive versus Negative Interaction Style) design. The dependent variables of interest were Perceived Performance and Satisfaction with the service provided. The experimental stimuli were six videotapes, each of which showed a spokesperson introducing a hypothetical scenario and the proposed manipulations to the audience followed by an interaction between a doctor and a patient. A total of 198 students participated in six computer lab sessions, where they watched the videotape of the interaction and responded on the computer regarding their perceptions of the quality of care provided. A 3 x 2 full factorial MANOVA was performed on the experimental data. The results indicated that Interaction style had a major impact on the satisfaction with the physician. An interaction between Evaluative Impression and Interaction Style also achieved significance. To address the structural relationships among the model components, additional data was collected in two of the cells, positive evaluative impression/positive interaction style (The Affect Group) and neutral evaluative impression/positive interaction style (The Cognitive Group). The hypothesized relationships were tested using structural equations analysis. Results indicated that the Affect-Based Model of Service Encounter Satisfaction provides a better fit to the data compared to the Disconfirmation Model. The main limitations of the study are its artificial nature and high correlations found among measures of performance, disconfirmation and satisfaction. The positive influence of Evaluative Impression on perceived performance is suggested to have significant theoretical and managerial implications.

Pages

296

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