Market orientation and the use of Internet as a relationship marketing tool in service industries

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Market orientation and the use of Internet as a relationship marketing tool in service industries

 

Author: Sum, Ka-man
Title: Market orientation and the use of Internet as a relationship marketing tool in service industries
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2007
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Service industries -- Marketing.
Relationship marketing.
Internet marketing.
Department: Dept. of Management and Marketing
Pages: xiii, 332 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2116782
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1240
Abstract: Relationship marketing is a new-old concept which has been widely explored and discussed among academics and practitioners, but its implementation process remains a challenge to them. The emerging concept of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) gives an insight into this query by utilizing the Internet and employing market-orientation philosophy. The ultimate aim of this research is to explore the synergy effect of Website quality and perceived market orientation on customer relationships. The research objectives are to investigate the causal effect of Website quality on customer loyalty via customer relational benefits and customer satisfaction, and to estimate the moderating impact of perceived market orientation on the aforesaid causal relationships. An exploratory research by means of focus-group discussions and pilot study was conducted to identify and explore the measurement scale for Website quality. It is made up of two dimensions - product and information quality, as well as technical quality. A causal study was followed to examine the proposed structural model and related hypotheses in according to the research objectives. Two types of services were selected for investigation — Internet personal banking and Internet movie-ticketing services, and the target respondents were those who have experiences in using either of the above services. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to verify the operationalization scales of all involved constructs and satisfactory model fit results are obtained. The overall structural model which addresses the path relationships among Website quality, customer relational benefits, satisfaction, and loyalty was assessed. Satisfactory model fit indices are reported and all path loadings are statistically significant. Multi-group analysis was finally performed to investigate the moderating effect of perceived market orientation on the structural relationships. Significant variance of the structural model is found between highly and less market-oriented firm as perceived by customers. It is suggested that relational benefits have a greater power to intervene between the relationships from Website quality to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty in a more market-oriented firm. Such encouraging results provide an insight for practitioners to carry out relationship-marketing strategy by adopting the market orientation concept and the Internet to deliver services to customers. The roles of Website quality, relational benefits, and perceived market orientation should receive greater attention when implementing relationship marketing strategy. However, the structural relationships in the proposed model are significantly different between two types of services being investigated. It reveals that customer relational benefits carry a greater significance in customer relationships for Internet personal banking services than the case of Internet movie-ticketing services. It may due to the inherent business natures which are quite different among them. Future research is recommended to first explore the synergy effect of Internet and market orientation in relationship marketing for other business contexts. Second, more possible variables could mediate the relationship from Website quality to customer loyalty, such as service quality performance, relationship quality, etc. Third, the Website quality construct could be examined across other business disciplines. Lastly, perceived market orientation could be estimated and its moderating effect could be assessed.

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