This study examines for the first time, antecedents of relationship commitment in service industries in an Eastern cultural context. The study investigates the reasons for customers engaging in long‐term relational exchanges with service firms, as well as the impact of attractive alternatives and switching costs on such relationships. The sample comprised respondents in Bangkok, Thailand, who each completed a series of five questionnaires over a period of two weeks pertaining to their relational behaviour (technical service performance, social bonds and communication) with five predesignated service types. The results indicate that collectivist cultural norms impact the nature of relationships, and that antecedent variables have significantly different impacts across service types. Furthermore, switching costs were identified, which act as powerful inducements to stay in a service relationship. Management implications for relational strategies and future research implications of the findings are discussed.
International Journal of Service Industry Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2001
Keywords: Service; Culture; Asia