The antecedents of relationship quality in Malaysia and New Zealand

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Ndubisi, NO
Khoo-Lattimore, C
Yang, L
Capel, CM
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Abstract Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the relational dynamics, namely trust, personalisation, communication, conflict handling and empathy, and relationship quality in the banking industry of two culturally dissimilar nations - Malaysia and New Zealand. Design/methodology/approach - Bank customers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Dunedin, New Zealand were surveyed using a questionnaire. Bank intercept technique was used in administering the instrument. A total of 358 customers (comprising 150 from Malaysia and 208 from New Zealand) provided the data for the study. Multiple regression analysis was used to estimate the hypothesized relationships. Findings - The results of the study show that the five relational dynamics explain 84 percent and 76 percent of variations in relationship quality in Malaysia and New Zealand respectively. Communication, trust, and empathy are significantly related with relationship quality in both countries, whereas personalisation has a significant impact on relationship quality in New Zealand but not in Malaysia. The results also reveal that conflict handling is significantly and marginally associated with relationship quality in New Zealand and Malaysia respectively. Research limitations/implications - Although the study was conducted on the banking industry, the outcome may be relevant to other service sectors. Further, understanding relational dynamics in different cultures is important, as the study has shown; thus integrating culture in the relationship marketing/management models would advance the understanding of culture roles in consumers' perceptions of and influences on relationship quality. Originality/value - The paper assesses and compares the impact of relational dynamics on relationship quality among bank customers from two different cultures. By comparing opposite cultures this study is an advance over past single country studies, and enhances the prospect of generalizing the findings.

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International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management
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Applied mathematics
Business systems in context not elsewhere classified
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