, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 234-250

A three-component model of customer commitment to service providers

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Abstract

Although research into the determinants of service provider switching has grown in recent years, the focus has been predominantly on transactional, not relational, variables. In this research, the authors address the role of consumer commitment on consumers’ intentions to switch. Drawing from the organizational behavior literature, they build on previous service switching research by developing a switching model that includes a three-component conceptualization of customer commitment. Structural equation modeling is used to test the model based on data from a survey of 356 auto repair service customers. The authors’ results support the notion that customer commitment affects intentions to switch service providers and that the psychological states underlying that commitment may differ. As such, future marketing research should consider these different forms of commitment in understanding customer retention. The implications of this model for theory and practice are discussed.

Havir S. Bansal (hbansal@wlu.ca) is an associate professor of marketing at Wilfrid Laurier University. He earned his Ph.D. from Queen’s University in 1997. His research interests are focused in the area of services marketing with emphasis on cuctomer switching behavior, word-of-mouth processes in services, and tourism. His research has been published in theJournal of Service Research, theJournal of Quality Management, andPsychology and Marketing and has publications forthcoming in theJournal of Services Marketing andTouris Management. He has also presented at and published articles in the proceedings of various national and international conferences.
P. Gregory Irving (girving@wlu.ca) is an associate professor of organizational behavior at Wilfrid Laurier University. He received his Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Western Ontario. His research interests included commitment and work-related attitudes, psychological contracts, and organizational recruitment and socialization. His research has appeared in a variety of journal including theJournal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, theJournal of Organizational Behavior, theJournal of Management, Human Performance, andBasic and Applied Social Psychology.
Shirley F. Taylor (Ph.D., University of British Columbia) (staylor@business.queensu.ca) is an associate professor in the School of Business at Queen’s University, where she teaches and conducts research in the area of services marketing. Her research interests include service provider loyalty and switching, customer commitment, and perceptions management of service delays. Her work has been published in theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, theJournal of Marketing, Psychology & Marketing, theJournal of Service Research, theInternational Journal of Research in Marketing, and theJournal of Public Policy and Marketing. She currently serves on the editorial boards of theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, theJournal of Business Research, and theCanadian Journal of Administrative Sciences.