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Erschienen in: Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 5/2022

14.03.2022 | Original Empirical Research

Not the relationship type? Loyalty propensity as a reason to maintain marketing relationships

verfasst von: Jeremy S. Wolter, Dora E. Bock, Christopher D. Hopkins, Michael Giebelhausen

Erschienen in: Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science | Ausgabe 5/2022

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Abstract

The relationship marketing literature largely overlooks the most common type of loyal consumer, one who feels no personal attachment to a firm (Guo et al., Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science,45(3), 357–376, 2017). To explain why so many consumers engage in this pragmatic form of loyalty, we bridge the loyalty and relationship marketing literature to reconsider the conceptualization and measurement of loyalty propensity. In particular, the present research provides evidence of loyalty propensity as a multi-dimensional relational schema that draws from consumers’ self-identity as a moral actor and less altruistic traits (e.g., deal proneness). As per these theoretical foundations, we develop a two-dimensional scale for loyalty propensity and assess it across four studies. The results indicate that loyalty propensity predicts loyalty outcomes (e.g., loyalty and economic exchange), whereas relational constructs (i.e., preference for closeness) predict relational outcomes (e.g., attachment and social exchange). A field study shows that loyalty propensity strongly predicts consumer responsiveness to a firm’s loyalty investments (e.g., sales agents’ customer orientation). Overall, the present research provides a way to expand the view of consumers as either relational or transactional.

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Fußnoten
1
We also measured relationship proneness, normative commitment, and continuance commitment to compare to loyalty propensity. Subsequent analyses that replaced loyalty propensity with any of these variables revealed that relationship proneness and continuance commitment lacked a significant relationship with the antecedents and normative commitment exhibited a significant relationship with moral identity (γ = 0.18, t = 3.11, p < .001) but not with deal proneness. As a result, relationship proneness and continuance commitment mediated no relationships, and normative commitment mediated the effect of moral identity on loyalty, but not deal proneness.
 
2
Loyalty propensity exhibited a positive relationship with attitudinal loyalty for coffee shops (β = 0.17, t = 2.54, p = .01) and insurance providers (β = 0.21, t = 3.52, p < .001). These coefficients were not significantly different.
 
3
We examined the dimensions separately and found that the customer dimension exhibited a statistically stronger effect on attitudinal loyalty. All other relationships with antecedents and outcomes were statistically equivalent.
 
4
We also measured relationship proneness as a potential substitute with loyalty propensity. Relationship proneness, when substituted with loyalty propensity, exhibited no relationship with deal proneness and a weaker relationship with moral identity than loyalty propensity. As a result, relationship proneness did not significantly mediate the effects of deal proneness or moral identity on any of the outcomes.
 
5
Loyalty propensity exhibited a positive relationship with economic exchange for retail banks (β = 0.39, t = 3.58, p < .001), restaurants (β = 0.50, t = 5.98, p < .001), and grocery stores (β = 0.16, t = 3.09, p < .001). Even though some of these coefficients were significantly different from each other, the categories still only predicted up to 2% of the variance in economic exchange.
 
6
All antecedent and outcome relationships did not differ significantly between the two dimensions except for the following: (1) the customer dimension exhibited a significant, positive relationship with mutual interest whereas the company dimension exhibited a negative relationship, (2) the company dimension exhibited a stronger positive relationship with economic exchange than the customer dimension, and (3) moral identity exhibited a stronger positive relationship on the customer dimension as compared to the company dimension.
 
7
A series of regressions at the sales agent level and multilevel modeling across levels supports the effects of loyalty propensity on customer gratitude (γ1 = 0.26, t = 3.31, p < .01) and the moderation of customer orientation by customer loyalty propensity (b11 = 0.42, t = 3.10, p < .01).
 
8
When separated, the company (γ = 0.22, t = 2.01, p < .04) and customer (γ = 0.31, t = 3.19, p < .01) dimensions exhibited significant interactions with customer orientation.
 
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Metadaten
Titel
Not the relationship type? Loyalty propensity as a reason to maintain marketing relationships
verfasst von
Jeremy S. Wolter
Dora E. Bock
Christopher D. Hopkins
Michael Giebelhausen
Publikationsdatum
14.03.2022
Verlag
Springer US
Erschienen in
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science / Ausgabe 5/2022
Print ISSN: 0092-0703
Elektronische ISSN: 1552-7824
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-022-00847-w

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