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Service convenience, service consumption experience and relational exchange in electronic mediated environment (EME)

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Hua Dai (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Al Salam

Abstract: There is increasing concern in academic research that conventional knowledge of services management may not adequately inform management in constructing an ITdriven services strategy to succeed in the emerging Electronic Mediated Environment (EME). Most services, in the traditional mode, are delivered through the mediation and assistance of knowledgeable human agents. In the context of services in the emerging EME, human agents are absent and are therefore not available to assist consumers. Services in the EME are consumed in the absence of mediating human agents. Since services in the traditional brick-and-mortar environment are mediated through human agents, past studies carried out in the traditional environment fail to provide insights into service convenience, service consumption experience and relational exchange in the context of services in the EME. Additionally, the extant information systems, marketing and consumer behavior research provides neither any analytical framework nor empirical assessment of service convenience, service consumption experience and relational exchange in the EME. To fill this gap in the information systems literature and provide insights into consumers’ perception of services consumption and development of longterm exchange relationship between consumers and service providers in the EME, this dissertation examines how service convenience and service consumption experience affect long-term relational exchange in the EME. In this dissertation, services in the electronic mediated environment are defined as any kinds of services that incorporate service convenience via electronic devices where the consumer interacts with an appropriate user interface for service consumption in an electronic mediated environment such as Web site, mobile phone, PDA, iPod, Virtual World Environment, etc., in order to gain a consumption experience and pursue desired benefits preferably on a long term basis. Three studies comprise this dissertation. The first study investigates service convenience and its antecedents and consequents in terms of relational exchange in the EME. Service convenience is conceptualized as a second order construct with six convenience dimensions reflecting the process of online service consumption. An analytical framework is developed and tested to validate a comprehensive research model of service convenience and its antecedents and consequents, in the EME, leading to longterm exchange relationship between the consumers and service providers. The second study examines service consumption experience and relational exchange in the EME. Service consumption experience is conceptualized as a second order construct with five consumption experience dimensions. A research framework of service consumption experience and its antecedents and consequents in the EME is developed and validated. The third study analyzes the interrelationship between service convenience and service consumption experience. This study then presents a comprehensive research model of service convenience, service consumption experience, and relational exchange in the EME. Analyses of data from 1,250 U.S. consumers, with at least six months or more experience in consuming services in the EME, reveal that both service convenience and service consumption experience are multidimensional concepts. All six service convenience dimensions contribute to online consumers’ overall perception of service convenience while the five service consumption experience dimensions significantly influence consumers’ overall consumption experience in the EME. Service convenience and service consumption experience were also found to serve as important mediating variables between their antecedents and consequents respectively. The service convenience, along with service consumption experience, was found to be significant in developing long-term exchange relationship between consumers and service providers in the EME. This dissertation contributes to information systems (IS) literature by being the first to develop service convenience and service consumption experience constructs in the EME. Additionally, this research also provides the analytical nomological network of important antecedents and consequents of both service convenience and service consumption experience. Furthermore, this dissertation informs managers on the development of an integrated service convenience and consumption experience strategy to meet consumers’ requirements and expectations for long-term relationship development between consumers and services providers in the EME. Given the current service-based and information-driven economy and the role of services in the emerging EME, this dissertation significantly advances our knowledge by contributing to the extant IS research, related to services in the EME, in terms of theory development, empirical validation and insights for managerial practice.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Consumer, Electronic Mediated Environment, Relational Exchange, Service Consumption Experience, Service Convenience
Subjects
Information services.
Consumer satisfaction $x Evaluation.
Information society.
Information technology.
Information networks.