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The authors would like to thank Dr. Mark Bing, Dr. Doug Vorhies, Dr. Walter Davis, Dr. Nitika Garg, Dr. Sam Cousley, J. Mitch Price, and the reviewers for their advice and assistance on this piece.
In this study, cognitive evaluation theory illustrates how the controlling aspects of reward redemption policy (stringent versus flexible) interact with the type of offered reward (social versus economic) to influence relational program effectiveness. We look at effectiveness by defining and measuring relational worth, the non-financial value of consumers to organizations. The hypotheses are empirically tested with a sample of season ticket holders of a professional sports team (n = 373) and then replicated in a second study with experimental data using scenarios in a hotel reward program context. Results indicate that perceived social rewards lead to affective commitment, while perceived economic rewards lead to continuance commitment. Involvement is a significant determinant in how reward type and policy influence commitment types; specifically, low-involvement consumers are more influenced by reward program signals than high-involvement consumers. Affective commitment produces the most relationally valuable consumer to an organization in terms of relational worth. Controlling policies have an undermining effect on all commitment types, regardless of reward type.
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- Managing rewards to enhance relational worth
Joanna Phillips Melancon
Stephanie M. Noble
Charles H. Noble
- Springer US
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