Complementary effects of relational bonds in information asymmetry contexts

Prithwiraj Nath*, Avinandan Mukherjee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The marketing literature theorizes the adoption of the relationship marketing paradigm to foster stronger customer relationships. However, empirical evidence is scarce on how consumers' ability to judge the service influences such relational exchange. This paper aims to examine how information asymmetry influences a service firm's initiative to build customer relationships. The relationship marketing literature proposes conceptually that relational bonds and their interaction influence relationship outcomes. However, there is no empirical study to verify such an interactive effect. This study aims to provide empirical evidence on how interaction effects between relational bonds can act as buffers in developing customer relationships. Design/methodology/approach: In the first stage, this study classifies financial services offered by retail banks into search, experience, and credence (SEC) categories. In the second stage, this paper uses survey data from 452 UK retail bank customers to understand the effect of relational bonds on consumer future intentions in information asymmetry context using hierarchical regressions. Findings: The results show that relational bonds have differential impacts on firms' initiative to develop consumer relationship, and information asymmetry moderates this relationship. A positive synergistic association is present between relational bonds that strengthen their effectiveness in influencing relationships. Originality/value: This study is the first attempt to demonstrate the moderation role of information asymmetry on relational bonds → relationship quality → relationship outcome framework. The findings provide directions to managers on how to have a balanced approach in their relationship building efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-180
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012
Externally publishedYes

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