Because service encounters and service relationships are first and foremost social encounters, norms and expectations related to such encounters are likely to vary from culture to culture, but especially between high context Eastern, collectivist and low context, Western individualistic cultures. The purpose of this study was, in part, to replicate and then extend the work of Gwinner et al. in the USA, but this time in a Southeast Asian context. Gwinner et al. ’s work examined the benefits customers perceive they receive from engaging in long‐term relationships with a variety of service‐providers. The current sample comprised 155 respondents in Bangkok, Thailand who each completed a series of questionnaires concerning their relational behavior with service suppliers. The results support the earlier study showing relational benefits can be categorized into three distinct benefit types. However, compared with the past research results in a Western context (USA), the results indicate some clearly discernible variations. It is apparent that we should not rely wholly on empirical research emanating from Western cultures, but also develop reliable models of how various marketing phenomena work in the rapidly expanding Asian economies.
Journal of Services Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 2001
Keywords: Service industries; Customer loyalty; Retention; Relationship marketing; Thailand
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