"Collective Hedonic Services: The Mediating Role of Emotion".
MetadataShow full item record
There is a growing interest in better understanding customer's consumption of hedonic services (e.g. Arnould and Price, 1993; Hightower, Brady and Baker, 2002). There has been rapid growth in this service category (ABS, 2001) resulting in increased competition amongst the providers of diverse hedonic services (Shilbury, Quick and Westerbeek, 2003). Examples include theme parks, rock concerts and sporting events. Thus, it is important for organizations to investigate loyalty issues as they underpin business profitability. Loyal customers not only assist organizations to retain customers, but also to gain new ones by advocating and by disseminating positive word of mouth (Oliver, 1999). Customer loyalty is defined as the relationship between an individual's attitudinal predisposition towards an object i.e. attitudinal loyalty and the re-patronage of that object i.e. behavioral loyalty (Bennett and Bove, 2001). This research seeks to understand the attitudinal loyalty of sport spectators, because it is necessary to have knowledge and understanding of the attitude towards the act of purchase, before it is possible to modify loyalty behavior (Bennett and Rundle-Thiele, 2001). For this research, attitudinal loyalty is defined as the attitude towards the act of purchase (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980). Prior research has identified involvement (e.g. Park, 1996), commitment (e.g. Iwasaki and Havitz, 1998), satisfaction (Oliver, 1999) and perceived risk (e.g. Bove and Johnson, 2000) as antecedents of attitudinal loyalty. However, it appears that prior research has not investigated the role of customer affect on attitudinal loyalty. Customer affect is viewed as a family of affect constructs, including moods and discrete emotions (e.g. Bagozzi, Gopinath and Nyer, 1999; Cropanzano, Weiss, Hale and Reb, 2003). Since hedonic services are purchased for their 'entertainment' value, customers base their assessment of the hedonic experience in part on their positive or negative change in their affective states (e.g. Madrigal, 1995; Madrigal, 2003). In such service contexts, it is therefore possible to hypothesize that customer affect has a direct and positive relationship with attitudinal loyalty. Empirical results from this research support the hypothesis. This paper not only bridges the theoretical gap between the emotion and the customer loyalty literatures, but also contributes to practitioners' understanding of the role of customer affect in attitudinal loyalty. This understanding could result in better designed strategies to improve or maintain positive customer affect during hedonic service consumption and thus enhance attitudinal loyalty.
SERVSIG Research Conference2005: Abstracts & Program.