Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 150-167

Agency and trust mechanisms in consumer satisfaction and loyalty judgments

  • Jagdip SinghAffiliated withCase Western Reserve University
  • , Deepak SirdeshmukhAffiliated withCase Western Reserve University

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The authors propose a framework for understanding key mechanisms that shape satisfaction in individual encounters, and loyalty across ongoing exchanges. In particular, the framework draws together two distinct approaches: (1) agency theory, rooted in the economic approach, that views relational exchanges as encounters between principals (consumers) and agents (service providers) and (2) trust research that adopts a psychological approach toward consumer-provider relationships. In so doing, the authors specify how trust mechanisms cooperate and compete with agency mechanisms to affect satisfaction in individual encounters and influence loyalty in the long run. Because a multidimensional conceptualization of trust is used, the hypothesized framework offers a fine-grained understanding of the interrelated mechanisms. The high level of specificity allows extraction of multiple propositions, facilitates empirical testing, and encourages theoretical development of the proposed model. Several directions to guide future research are provided.