Purpose – This paper attempts to investigate the simultaneous effects of dedication and constraint factors on business-to-business (B2B) customer loyalty in the context of transforming the mobile telecommunication industry. Maintaining a successful inter-organizational relationship with the key players becomes increasingly critical to the performance and competitiveness of the mobile network operator (MNO) in the mobile telecommunication industry. Design/methodology/approach – A dual customer loyalty model which reflected both dedication-based and constraint-based mechanisms is developed and empirically tested against data collected from 129 content providers (CPs) which currently have business relationships with China Mobile. Findings – The structural equation modeling partial least squares analysis indicates that dedication-based (e.g. customer satisfaction, trust in MNO and MNO’s relationship-specific investments) and constraint-based (e.g. switching costs, dependence on MNO and CP’s asset specificity) mechanisms simultaneously, yet differentially, influence CP’s loyalty toward the MNO. Practical implications – To obtain CP’s loyalty, MNOs should consider both the dedication and constraint factors. In particular, they need to focus more on the constraint-based mechanism, as it exerts stronger influences on CP’s loyalty than the dedication-based mechanism. Originality/value – This research advances our theoretical understanding of the dual nature of customer loyalty behavior in the B2B context and offers practical implications for MNOs to leverage these two contrasting causal drivers.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2015