Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Marketing (Business Administration)

First Advisor

Joseph F. Hair, Jr

Abstract

The concept of promises is important with services, because they can represent some tangible aspect of the service organization upon which the customer can develop expectations and partially evaluate the performance of the organization. It is also important to examine the marketing processes (external, internal, and interactive) the organization utilizes and the consumer can participate in, because these processes act as the communication avenue for the promises. Finally, it is important to evaluate the promises and marketing processes from the perspective of the consumer in order to determine the consumer's expectations, perception of service personnel, evaluations of actual service delivery, and commitment to the long-term relationship. Overall, studying these relationships and developing this type of model is important because it represents the whole process of relationship development, based on the concept of promises, which has neither been modeled or measured. The model developed here examines the relationship between promises which are inclusive of various marketing activities and/or communication processes, the interim outputs such as realistic expectations, customer-contact employees, and service delivery evaluations which each contribute to the development of long-term relationships. In total, six studies were conducted including 2 pilot studies, 2 focus group sessions, 1 pre-test, and the final study. The total number of persons sampled or interviewed was in excess of 1200 subjects. Empirically, studies conducted in this research endeavor have provided rigorous statistical testing which has contributed to the development of measurement scales that contributed to the subsequent analysis of the structural model. In particular, a considerable amount of this study has been devoted to the moderation and analysis of multiple focus groups. The results of these focus groups have provided insightful contributions to the development of specific items. These items help to differentiate concepts that are inherently similar, and the statistical results further indicate that, through appropriate wording, bank customers readily differentiate the various components. The results from the structural model analysis also provide support for the proposed relationships among the constructs, and provides evidence that long-term relationship commitment can be managed. Finally, implications for services industries research and future research directions are provided.

ISBN

9780591905021

Pages

277

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