Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Seminar Room 2-6
Date: Friday, 19/Jul/2019
10:30am - 10:55am01-06: Maarten Volkers

Chair: Rodoula Tsiotsou

Seminar Room 2-6 

Fostering 'Mango-Moments‘ – Developing and Evaluating a Health Care Management Tool to Improve Patients’ Experiences Through Small Gestures

Authors: Maarten Volkers (University of Hagen, Germany)

A journalist asked Viviane, an enervated cancer patient, if she could do anything to make her feel better. Viviane answered: „I would like to taste a mango again.“ The journalist brought a mango, and Viviane said: „I will never forget this“ (Vanhaecht, 2018).

Based on this story, researchers adopted the term ‘mango-moments’ to describe small and unexpected gestures by health care workers towards a patient. Such gestures go beyond general medical care but cost little time and resources. Mango-moments are performed spontaneously during normal day-to-day care activities, which distinguishes them from external care programs such as ‘make a wish’ (Vanhaecht 2018).

Mango-moments performed by health care workers can have a positive impact on multiple levels:

  • First, mango-moments increase patients’ psychological well-being by giving them hope, joy and warmth (KU Leuven 2018).
  • Second, mango-moments increase a patient’s trust in health care staff. Previous research suggests that trust is crucial for patients to participate effectively in the health care process (Berry 2017; Hall et al. 2001).
  • Third, enabling a mango-moment may feel rewarding for health workers and can therefore increase job satisfaction (Vanhaecht 2018).

However, enabling mango-moments is a type of extra-role customer service (Bettencourt und Brown 1997) that not all health care workers can perform intuitively (Grove et al. 2004). It requires them to be receptive for patients’ preferences and act spontaneously and creatively (Daly et al. 2009). Moreover, health workers usually have limited time and resources to spend on a single patient and sometimes need to deal with stressful circumstances. Hence, performing such gestures requires training as well as a supportive organization climate (Morrison 1996).

Research on how patient experiences can be improved is limited to communication skill training, which mainly concerns general medical care, e.g. delivering bad news and setting up health care plans (e.g. Haidet et al. 2009). Not much is known regarding the improvement of patient experiences through non-medical interactions. Literature regarding extra-role customer service has generated useful insights regarding general organizational climate factors that support such behaviors (e.g. Coelho et al. 2011; Maxham and Netemeyer 2003). However, research regarding how service providers, and particularly health care providers should foster and train such “creative extra-role service” is lacking (Wilder et al. 2014).

We aim to fill this gap by answering the following research question: How can mango-moments be fostered within health care organizations? To answer this question, we conduct a case-study in various hospital departments, consisting of observations, interviews and focus groups with health care workers, managers and educators as well as interviews with patients. The goal is to harness health workers’ and patients’ experiences as well as experts’ knowledge in order to develop, implement and evaluate a management tool that helps fostering mango-moments.

11:00am - 11:25am02-06: Ana Claudia Lavaquial

Chair: Rodoula Tsiotsou

Seminar Room 2-6 

Collaborative Strategies and Tools Enabling Change in the Healthcare Ecosystem: a Brazilian Exploratory Study

Authors: Ana Claudia Lavaquial (Berlin School of Creative Leadership), Claudia Araújo (COPPEAD/UFRJ)

The research articulates Collaborative Economy, Service-Dominant Logic and Healthcare to understand how collaborative strategies and tools could help align the actors´ purposes in order to improve the Healthcare ecosystem´s sustainability. Itconsiders the challenging Brazilian context which has the biggest public healthcare system in the world, but suffers with funding and access inequalities and poor service quality.

Collaborative Economy is a multidimensional movement, based on distributed networks connecting individuals and communities through technology-intensive tools, transforming the way we operate, favoring access over ownership, decentralizing power and catalyzing businesses’ growth as service ecosystems. The research proposes that S-D Logic premises, its multilevel ecosystem vision and value cycle are embedded in collaborative players´ culture. It also supports traditional incumbents, as Healthcare, to reveal and address social-economic challenges through collaborative lenses, suggesting a new set of competences, strategies and tools to equip its actors to effectively and efficiently integrate resources and build relevant value propositions aiming viability. The work discusses the role of collaboration, technology and leadership as change enablers in Healthcare towards reframing its Product-Dominant mindset and value creation cycle from physician and disease-centered to a patient and health-centered S-D Logic perspective.

The exploratory qualitative research applies a zoom out/zoom in perspective following a four-phase process: (1) design the ecosystem and its actors, (2) build a value matrix to map the actor´s main purposes, exchanges and expectations towards each other, (3) understand main misalignments among dyadic relations and (4) evidence collaborative enablers to act upon identified drivers helping mitigate misalignments and build collaborative outcomes. Desk research is complemented by participant observations and interviews with 15 Healthcare leaders in Brazil, including providers, payers and patients.

The scenario shows it is improbable that collaboration happens organically, revealing systemic conflicts of interests, intense fragmentation, information asymmetry and a silos mindset based on disease as value generator, favoring providers, not in health or wellbeing, benefiting patients and payers. Technology is seen as a collaborative enabler to end the perverse zero sum cycle. Digital platforms can mediate resource integration, boosting the ecosystem´s viability cycle, decentralizing execution and shifting power from centralized organizations to the crowd. They scale assertive access to health, bring transparency, data interoperability and accountability, promoting dialog through new negotiation agendas more based on trust and collaboration, fostering social wellbeing as desired collaborative outcomes.

Despite its impact, there is no significant academic work articulating S-D Logic, Collaborative Economy and Healthcare. The research bridges theory and practice by proposing a process and frameworks to help a traditional environment to adopt a collaborative mindset and be prepared to address changes led by agile insurgents.

11:30am - 11:55am03-06: Jacquie Cherie McGraw
Seminar Room 2-6 

“He’s Too Much of a Man to do That”: The role of Masculine Identities and Self-Conscious Emotions in Men’s Help-Seeking in Preventative Health

Authors: Jacquie Cherie McGraw (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Rebekah Russell-Bennett (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Katherine Marie White (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)

Despite lower life expectancy than women and higher likelihood of premature death from disease, men are reluctant to access preventative health services (AIHW, 2017, 2019; Baker et al., 2014). Such services are transformative and aim to improve consumer well-being, usually through the co-creation of value between the service and the consumer in an interactive process, such as consumer attendance at a cancer screening clinic and participating in a screening procedure (Anderson et al., 2013; Vargo, Maglio, & Akaka, 2008; Zainuddin, Previte, & Russell-Bennett, 2011). However, the potential value of some services is not always realised, for example when men reject bowel cancer screening services (Leo & Zainuddin, 2017; Plé & Chumpitaz Cáceres, 2010). Gender literature theorises that men demonstrate their masculinity through their health beliefs and behaviours, which are usually unhealthy or risky (Connell, 2005; Connell, 2012; Courtenay, 2000). Health literature has found that male consumers cite threat to masculinity and emotions like embarrassment and guilt as barriers to help-seeking and accessing preventative health services (Consedine, Ladwig, Reddig, & Broadbent, 2011; Harmy, Norwati, Noor, & Amry, 2011; Leone, Rovito, Mullin, Mohammed, & Lee, 2017). Emotions such as embarrassment, guilt and shame are examples from a set of emotions known as self-conscious emotions and are usually triggered by self-representations or identity goals (Lewis, 2000; Tracy & Robins, 2011). Self-conscious emotions are important in social marketing for transformative services as they motivate people’s feelings, thoughts and behaviours (Lewis, 2000; Tracy & Robins, 2011). To date, there is sparse literature that examines the role of different masculine identities for men’s help-seeking and the role of self-conscious emotions and masculine identities in mature men’s help-seeking for preventative health. Through thematic analysis of five focus groups with mature men (N=39), this research identified seven key masculine identities for men’s help-seeking from 12 Jungian male archetypes, particularly the Thinker, the Caregiver and the Innocent for positive help-seeking, and the Outlaw, the Ruler and the Explorer for negative help-seeking, while the Regular Guy could have both positive or negative help-seeking (Mark & Pearson, 2001). Three key themes of masculinity for the key masculine identities and their help-seeking behaviours were identified: role in family, normative influences and stoicism and self-reliance. The research also found three themes of masculinity that triggered self-conscious emotions for the key masculine identities: head of family role, agency and power, and toughness and stoicism. The themes of masculinity also lead to regulation of self-conscious emotions through either positive or negative help-seeking behaviours. The contribution of this research includes traditional masculine identities that: obstruct or promote healthy men’s help-seeking behaviour, regulate self-conscious emotions for men’s positive or negative help-seeking, and regulate self-conscious emotions through negative help-seeking behaviours because of masculine ideals of agency and power.

3:15pm - 3:40pm04-06: Rodoula Tsiotsou
Seminar Room 2-6 

What It Takes to Transform Patients into Advocates?

Authors: Rodoula Tsiotsou (UNIVERSITY OF MACEDONIA, Greece)

Word of mouth is a well investigated area in marketing and has been distinguished into negative and positive communications of evaluations of products or services from one customer to another (Anderson, 1999; Singh, 1988). Advocacy is a particular type of word of mouth communication (Harrison-Walker, 2001) that refers to the willingness of the customer to give strong recommendations and praise to other consumers on behalf of a product or service supplier (Fullerton, 2011, p. 93). Advocacy has been proposed not only as a “soft” measure of loyalty but also of customer’s lifetime value. That’s it the value of a customer does not reside only on what he/she buys and how much money he/she spends but also on the ability to bring in profitable new customers (Kumar et al. 2007). Despite the growing acknowledgement of the value of advocacy in services and in health care services, there is limited available research in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to predict customer advocacy based on customer-based variables. Specifically, the objectives of this research are twofold. First, the study aims to contribute to the services marketing and to the health services literature by identifying key predictors of advocacy in health services. Second, several of the proposed variables have not been used before in the services and health services marketing literature as predictors of customer advocacy (e.g. Customer and Service Provider Responsible Behavior). Thus, this investigation examines the role of these variables in conjunction with other important concepts such as “Service Expertise”, “Information Sharing”, “Accepting Information from Service Provider”, and “Customer Engagement” in predicting Customer Advocacy Behavior. The target population for this research is health service customers (patients). Data were collected from a questionnaire distributed to a convenience sample of a Southeast European country. A total of 460 completed questionnaires were collected. All measures of the study were adapted from previous research. Specifically, Service Expertise and Accepting Information from Service Provider were adapted from Sharma and Patterson (2000). Information Sharing, Customer and Service Provider Responsible Behavior as well as Customer Advocacy were adapted from Yi and Gong (2013). Customer Engagement was measured with 4 items derived from Bettencourt (1997) and Lengnick-Hall et al. (2000). A five point Likert scale anchored by Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (5) was used in all measures. Structural Equation Modeling shows the relationships between the variables under investigation as well as their predictability of advocacy. The findings of the study provide significant theoretical and practical implications.

3:45pm - 4:10pm05-06: Janet R. McColl-Kennedy

Chair: Janet R. McColl-Kennedy

Seminar Room 2-6 

Modelling Multiparty Choices in Healthcare Using Discrete Choice Experiments

Authors: Janet R. McColl-Kennedy (The University of Queensland, Australia), Lilliemay Cheung (The University of Queensland, Australia), Leonard V. Coote (The University of Queensland, Australia)

Every day customers make hundreds of choices, many being relatively simple. Some choices, however, are particularly important as they will have significant effects on future outcomes, such as an individual’s health and wellbeing (Seiders et al. 2015). Traditionally, many of these important decisions were made by “experts” for customers, such that individual customers played a relatively passive role (Berry and Bendapudi 2007; Payne et al. 2008).

In healthcare, choices are often difficult requiring considerable effort and trade-offs. This is the case with chronic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis (CF) where there is no cure, and the onus is being placed on the healthcare customer to manage their health options (McColl-Kennedy et al. 2017; Sweeney Danaher and McColl-Kennedy 2015). Yet, not all healthcare customers want to have an active role, nor do they undertake the same types of activities, as some involve considerable effort (Sweeney et al. 2015). While McColl-Kennedy et al. (2017) and Sweeney et al. (2015) highlight that healthcare customers engage in activities and interactions with clinicians and family members, their work does not investigate the decision-making process, nor the influence of these other key parties on treatment plan choices.

Decision-making requires healthcare customers to trade-off between alternatives and consider short and long-term consequences, often in contexts of uncertainty (Turner and Coote 2017). To do so, healthcare customers draw on a repertoire of knowledge, skills and abilities. Despite advancements, and recognition of the need to involve patients in decisions, shared decision-making, if implemented at all, is limited to the expert-customer dyad (Joseph-Williams et al. 2014), with little consideration of the influence of others. Hence, multiparty decision-making is not well understood. That is where our two-study research program contributes.

In Study 1 we conducted 25 in-depth interviews with adolescents and adults with CF and their respective parents/partners. This study identified the complexity of choices required to maintain or improve health and wellbeing and a series of choice sets was devised for Study 2 that related to the health treatment plans including use of prescription drugs, exercise therapy, airway clearance regimes, alternative medicines and diet selections.

Pilot work is underway for the discrete choice experiment designed to model multiparty decision-making in health treatment plans (Louviere et al. 2000). The decision partners are the healthcare professionals, parents, partner or others significant to the person with CF. The multidimensional choices are the attributes of the health treatment plans. In this first study of choice modelling in CF, the discrete choices of adults are recorded separately and then jointly with doctors, parents, partners, and friends. This modelling enables better understanding of the preferences of each party in choices and the role others play in influencing the decision. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

4:15pm - 4:40pm06-06: Megan Godwin

Chair: Janet R. McColl-Kennedy

Seminar Room 2-6 

Women in the Sandwich Generation: The Relationship Between Health Behaviours and Wellbeing

Authors: Megan Godwin (Queensland University of Technology), Rebekah Russell-Bennett (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Uwe Dulleck (Queensland University of Technology)

A key outcome of transformative service research (TSR) is achieving citizen and social wellbeing (Anderson et al. 2013). Behavioural scientists seek to understand human lived experiences and their subjective wellbeing (Diener, Oishi & Tay, 2018). The modern concept of wellbeing is fluid and develops around economic, political and social structure changes. A key segment in many developed countries that is suffering low wellbeing are 35-55 year old women (Generation X) or ‘The Sandwich Generation’ (squeezed between teen children and ageing parents). In the 1980’s these women heard the catch cry of “You can have it all!” however this contrasts with their lived experience of a decline in wellbeing health behaviours and the creeping consumption of alcohol (mummy wine time), less physical activity, poor diet and poor sleep. There are multiple health behaviours that are monitored by the Australian Government as indicators of health wellbeing across different population groups, such as substance use, physical activity, tobacco and obesity (AIHW, 2018). Alternative surveys (Jean Hailes Women’s Health, Australian Women’s Longitudinal Health Survey) highlight another pertinent health issue of sleep. Typically, the behaviours addressed in both TSR and at a policy level are considered separately in both analysis and interventions. However given the evidence that these behaviours appear to be related there is need to investigate the empirical relationship between these behaviours and wellbeing. Currently we do not know about the inter-relationship between these behaviours. For instance, do some behaviours cluster together to affect wellbeing or are they separate? The decline in women’s wellbeing behaviours is not constant, some women have high wellbeing indicating they are coping with life’s stressors while others have low wellbeing (they are cracking at life stressors). However as we do not know which of these wellbeing behaviours is related to high and low levels of wellbeing it is difficult to design transformative services aimed at improving women’s wellbeing. This research combines services marketing with behavioural economics to answer the research questions of RQ1: What is the relationship between health behaviours and wellbeing for Gen X women? and RQ2: Which health behaviours are associated with high (coping) and low (cracking) levels of wellbeing. The method for this research is analysis of up to 10,000 Australian women from the Housing, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey (Melbourne Institute). The HILDA survey is a household panel data set that begun in 2001 and contains subjective wellbeing (e.g. health, QOL) and objective wellbeing (e.g. perceived financial prosperity, education status) measures. The results of this analysis will be presented at the conference. This research will provide a useful base about the relationships of health behaviours and wellbeing.

4:45pm - 5:10pm07-06: Heiko Holz

Chair: Janet R. McColl-Kennedy

Seminar Room 2-6 

Convenience over Concern - The Value of Application-Based Service Experience

Authors: Heiko Holz (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), Stefanie Paluch (RWTH Aachen University)

Recently, enhancing the customer experience (CX), defined as the sum of customers’ perceptions of customer-firm interactions (Court et al., 2009), has been claimed to be top priority for corporate decision makers (Accenture, 2015). With a constantly increasing number of touchpoints between service provider and customers across a multitude of channels, exploring (scholars) and managing (practitioners) the service experience has become more and more complex. Consequently, the Marketing Science Institute names CX one of the major research challenges for the next years and identifies two research areas to be particularly promising: the influence of mobile technologies on consumer decision-making and behavior (MSI, 2016) and the design of an integrated omni-channel, multi-device service experience (2018).

With 35% of all online-transactions worldwide being processed via mobile devices (Accenture, 2016), mobile service environments deserve significant academic attention. But despite scholarly demands to investigate the mobile experience (MSI, 2016+2018; Lemon&Verhoef, 2016), the technology-based service delivery channel has not yet attracted significant academic attention. With most experience-oriented research focusing on retail (Grewal et al., 2009) or online (Rose et al., 2011) experience, it has been McLean and colleagues (2018) who have recently initialized experience research in the mobile area.

We address this newly discovered area of research opportunities by introducing a framework to disentangle the mobile shopping experience (MSX). Our scientific approach is shaped by a mixed-methods, multiple study (I-IV) design. Our conceptual background bases on the two relevant literature streams on customer experience (Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982; Verhoef, 2009; Lemon&Verhoef, 2016) and mobile applications (Pantano&Priporas, 2016; Kim et al., 2017). Supportive literature is drawn from research on online shopping behavior (Novak et al., 2000; Rose et al., 2011) and omni-channel retailing (Verhoef et al., 2015). Our empirical setting is based on an explorative study (I) comprising 29 consumer interviews with mobile shoppers. Profound literature review and qualitative content analysis of the interviews then provide the building blocks of our MSX model. While our model evolves around the “convenience triangle” of accessibility, availability and functionality, consumer characteristics (prior experience, expectations and goals, involvement, trust) and perceptions (perceived risk, control) play a significant role in determining the overall mobile shopping experience. Therefore, our survey-based main study II quantitatively tests the importance of our convenience triangle for the MSX. Experimental studies III (perceived risk on experience) and IV (trust on experience) reflect the impact of manifestations of consumer concern on the service delivery experience through mobile applications. Ultimately, our findings help decoding the complex network of determinants affecting the MSX and thereby address the contemporary demand of research on technology-based service as well as on customer experience. We end our paper with a discussion of our main contributions and comment on implications for academics and practitioners alike.

Date: Saturday, 20/Jul/2019
10:30am - 10:55am08-06: Moshe Davidow

Chair: Thomas Reimer

Seminar Room 2-6 

Complaint Handling to the Rescue: Customer Centricity From Within

Authors: Moshe Davidow (University of Haifa, Israel)

Much has been made of Complaint Management as a profit center or even a strategic asset to the organization, but few companies have actually implemented the idea or even measure the ROI of Complaint Handling today.

This research project seeks to advance the idea from a different direction. We look at complaint management as the customer centric compass of an organization, an integral part of the customer centric culture and a fertile training ground for customer centricity. As the core customer centric capability in the organization, the complaint management department has strong ties with other departments.

Human Resources – All new employees start at complaint management. Here they learn the importance of fixing the customer first, and then fixing the problem. The relationship is much more important than the problem. The customer centric skills they learn here will help them serve customers better by learning to identify, understand and solve the customer's needs first.

All employees (including senior management) spend one week a quarter (one month a year), re-training in complaint management. This allows them to keep current on customer needs and issues. Having experienced people handling complaints increases the likelihood of actually solving the customer problem, thus preventing future complaints.

Marketing – Customer problems today are new market opportunities for tomorrow. Only one third of complaints are production related, so it is up to the organization to identify any source of misconception, just as much, if not more so than the source of an objective complaint.

Logistics – What problems are customers experiencing in doing business with the organization? How can the organization make it more convenient for the customers to do business with them?

Research and Development –Needs to work closely with the customers to see how customers actually use their products, and verify they are solving the important issues for the customer, thus increasing the share of customer.

Production – The organization needs to produce products that customers really want (fill a need). Focusing on the customer allows firms to focus on consciously trying to help the customer by creating value, while simultaneously trying to decrease value destruction.

Internal Marketing – Having senior management handling complaints sends a very clear message to everybody about the importance of solving customer problems and developing the customer relationships. What better way to break down silos, and get everybody working together to solve the assist the customer.

Customer Centricity starts with complaint management. Value is an emotional construct. Service quality and satisfaction are both determined by the customer, and their success is the organization's success. Being Customer Centric is the best way to ensure the customer's success. Complaint management is the best way to ensure customer centricity.

11:00am - 11:25am09-06: Thomas Reimer

Chair: Thomas Reimer

Seminar Room 2-6 

New Dynamics of Customer Complaints on Social Media: Introducing Data Mining Methods

Authors: Thomas Reimer (University of Rostock, Germany), Banu Aysolmaz (University of Maastricht)

When customers are dissatisfied with an organization or its service, they increasingly express complaints via social media. The viralness and possibility for follow-up comments increases the reach and impact of customer complaints. Thus, company’s social media efforts are becoming increasingly important.

In this paper we aim to gain a better understanding of the process of complaint recovery and factors that contribute to the recovery satisfaction. We address three major research questions: (1) What is the influence of the changed conversation structure due to the interference of other customers. Specifically, the influence of unaffected other users that virtually interact with the complainant, i.e. providing help, defending the company or confirming the complaint. (2) To what extent does recovery speed influences the satisfaction with recovery performance? (3) How to optimize the activity selection and process sequence of an online complaint conversation to satisfy complainers?

To address the research question (1), the Social Influence Theory (SIT) is used to explain how complainants are influenced by the presence and behavior of virtual others. In service recovery, virtual presence and interaction should enhance a complainant’s emotional and behavioral responses. To answer research question (2) we make use of the justice theory, assuming that fast responding to customers’ complaints can reduce customer anger and uncertainty and signals that the company cares about their customers’ comments. In order to address research question (3), we have used an innovative research approach. For the structured analysis of a large social media data set, we have used data mining methods to identify weak points or preferred sequences in the complaint handling.

We analyzed 1000 complaint-related twitter conversations of a big Chinese smartphone producer. The company's recovery performance was coded as positive or negative, depending on whether the complainant responded that the problem had been satisfactorily solved or still existed without an updated solution. We used the well-known process mining software Disco.

Our preliminary analysis shows some interesting findings that can be used to cope with customer complaints. The results show that SIT is applicable to the service recovery context in virtual environments. The interference of other customers decreased the satisfaction with the recovery handling both due to follow-up complaints and answers by brand advocates. Which shows that customers prefer the complaint handling just with their company. Furthermore, firm’s high response speed and low number of events to achieve a solution is a crucial indicator for service recovery satisfaction. Finally, process path analyses revealed that there exist favorable sequences, but also activity pairs which should be avoided. Especially, loops and repetitions decreased the satisfaction with the complaint handling. Thus recommendations for companies can be derived how to cope with customer complaints and how to take into account virtual interactions between customers.

11:30am - 11:55am10-06: Svenja Widdershoven

Chair: Thomas Reimer

Seminar Room 2-6 

A Friend Laughs at Your Jokes When They're not so Good, and Sympathizes with Your Problems When They're not so Bad. The Effects of Perceived Service Failure Severity, Emotional Contagion Susceptibility and Interpersonal Relationship on Anger and Service Quality Inferences to Service Failure Depiction in Facebook Posts.

Authors: Svenja Widdershoven (Zuyd University Of Applied Sciences), Josée M.M. Bloemer (Radboud University), Mark Pluymaekers (Zuyd University Of Applied Sciences)

Service failures are known to evoke anger, an emotion that typically associated with negative behavioural responses. A negative behavioural response customers often display in this day and age is to use social networking sites to inform friends, acquaintances and others about the service failure they experienced (social eWOM), thereby attempting to persuade their network not to engage with the service provider. Service providers, knowing the influence that negative eWOM can exert on fellow consumers’ service quality inferences thus fear the effects that these negative messages can have with regards to those inferences.

According to the literature, two routes can be distinguished through which a message describing a service failure can influence fellow consumers’ service quality inferences: the direct, cognitive, route and the indirect, affective, route. Fox et al. (2018) demonstrated the existence of the two routes for negative eWOM spread via review sites, but did not look at negative eWOM spread via social networking sites (social eWOM). Generally speaking, research on the effects of negative social eWOM is scarce, which is rather surprising since 1) social networking sites (SNS) have become an increasingly popular platform for sharing negative eWOM, and 2) the literature suggests that the mechanism through which negative eWOM affects service quality inferences may differ depending on the characteristics of the medium used. This is particularly the case for the affective route to service quality inferences, which is believed to rely on a process of emotional contagion.

The current study investigates the two routes from negative social eWOM to service quality inferences. Furthermore, we add the interplay between personal and interpersonal relationship factors, which, according to Kimura et al. (2008), influences the emotional contagion process and thereby possibly also the affective route to service quality inferences. The research questions we aim to answer are:

(1) How does a negative eWOM message on a social networking site in which a customer expresses anger about a service failure, affect the service quality inferences of fellow consumers?

(2) How does the interplay of the interpersonal factor ‘interpersonal relationship’ and the personal factor ‘emotional contagion susceptibility’ affect the impact of perceived severity of a service failure on anger and (consequently) service quality inferences of fellow consumers?

To answer these questions, a scenario-based experiment was conducted in which participants were shown a Facebook post describing a service failure. The results indicate that the cognitive route is more prominent for negative eWOM posted by a stranger, whereas the affective route is more prominent for negative eWOM posted by a friend. Moreover, the pervasiveness of emotional contagion depends mainly on emotional contagion susceptibility if the negative eWOM is posted by a stranger, which is not the case when the post is written by a friend.

3:15pm - 3:40pm11-06: Thijs Johannes Zwienenberg

Chair: Velitchka Kaltcheva

Seminar Room 2-6 

To Solicit or Not? Exploring the Effects of Soliciting Reviews in the Collaborative Economy on Review Content and Style

Authors: Thijs Johannes Zwienenberg (KU Leuven, Belgium), Tine Faseur (KU Leuven, Belgium), Yves van Vaerenbergh (KU Leuven, Belgium)

Organizations and consumers strongly rely on customer reviews and ratings. Consumers use reviews in their decision making processes, while organizations use the input of customer reviews to gather relevant insights and develop new or improve current products and services (Chevalier & Mayzlin, 2006; Ludwig et al., 2016). As organizations benefit from collecting as many reviews as possible, many organizations explicitly solicit reviews from customers. This practice is particularly prevalent in the collaborative economy, where consumers acquire temporary access to personal goods or services from peer-consumers via dedicated platforms. Apart from process and product improvement purposes, platform providers rely extensively on reviews to instill trust among the users. Platform providers explicitly ask customers to review the peer service provider. Any peer service provider who fails to reach a certain rating gets removed from the platform. This policy creates an abundance of reviews, yet researchers suggest that these reviews tend to lack informative value, underreport negative experiences and report inflated ratings.

To date, research on the consequences of explicitly soliciting reviews from customers is surprisingly scarce. Research shows a positive effect of explicitly asking consumers to spread traditional word-of-mouth, yet it remains unclear whether these results are also applicable in today’s digital economy (Wirtz and Chew, 2002; Söderlund & Mattsson, 2015). The purpose of this research is to expand our knowledge on the consequences of explicitly asking customers to write a review by testing whether this practice influences the review content (i.e. what and how much is being said) and the review style (i.e. the way the review is written).

We gained access to about 7,500 online reviews from two car- and ridesharing organizations, which were either solicited (N=6,524) or unsolicited (N=1,045). The initial results of an automated text analysis reveal that the content of solicited (unsolicited) reviews are highly positive (negative), with the majority of customers providing a 5(1) on a 5-point rating scale, that solicited reviews were much shorter then unsolicited reviews, and contained less disclosures than unsolicited reviews. In terms of review style, solicited reviews were much more impersonal and contained more signs of dishonesty than unsolicited reviews. Additional analysis will be carried out and include more in-depth analyses of both review content (i.e. which aspects of the service are customers writing about) and review style (is there a difference in linguistic style features). In a second step, we will use this input to build a predictive model that can estimate the probability that a review was explicitly solicited or not. This model may assist customers in deciding the weight they attach to a particular review they have read. This research contributes to literature as it fills an underexplored gap in current literature regarding online reviews and collaborative consumption.

3:45pm - 4:10pm12-06: Michael Kleinaltenkamp

Chair: Velitchka Kaltcheva

Seminar Room 2-6 

The Impact of Psychological Ownership on Value in Use and Relational Outcomes in Sharing Economy

Authors: Michael Kleinaltenkamp (Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany), Franziska Storck (Zalando SE), Patrick Gumprecht (Mobis Parts Europe N.V.), Jingshu Li (Freie Universitaet Berlin)

Services refer to transactions through which customers gain the right to use tangible or intangible resources of service providers (Wittkowski et al., 2013). As such, customers attain access to suppliers’ resources without the need to own them. Research in psychology has sufficiently proved that feelings of ownership have important behavioral, emotional, and psychological consequences (Pierce et al., 2001). However, such feelings of ownership can also occur when an individual is not the legal owner but only the user of resources. This so-called psychological ownership (PO) has received a great deal of attention in the organizational field (e.g. Van Dyne & Pierce, 2004, Rodgers & Freundlich, 1998; Pierce et al., 1991; Rodgers & Freundlich, 1998; Dirks et al., 1996). In line with this research tradition, this study’s first assumption is that the degree of PO also affects the behavior of service customers using supplier resources within the process of service provisioning without owning them, like in car sharing.

Moreover, Reb and Connolly (2007) show that a high degree of PO positively affects an individual’s endowment effect. Hence, people judge the value of certain objects as higher merely when they develop subjective feelings of ownership toward these objects. Thus, the second assumption is that PO also affects the value in use customers perceive in service, defined as all customer-perceived consequences arising from use that facilitate or hinder the achievement of goals (Macdonald et al., 2011; Woodruff, 1997). Moreover, as value in use is seen as an important driver of relational outcomes like satisfaction, commitment, and word-of-mouth (Bruns & Jacob, 2016; Lemke et al., 2011; Macdonald et al., 2011), we also assume that PO drives, mediated through value in use, such relational outcomes.

Based on these assumptions, this study investigates the effects of customer-perceived psychological ownership in the field of car-sharing services. Based on a qualitative pre-study in which relevant value-in-use dimensions were identified, a quantitative study was conducted (n = 152). It shows that psychological ownership has a significant positive influence on each of the identified value-in-use dimensions. Further, the study reveals how the various dimensions influence customers’ satisfaction, affective commitment and word-of-mouth intention.

The study thus contributes to the current state of knowledge in three ways. First, it provides additional conceptual and empirical insights into the relevance and impact of PO in the service field, especially in car sharing. Second, by transferring the theoretical foundation of PO to a practical service context, this study extends the service marketing literature, in that few studies in this field focus on the usage of specific objects to which PO relates. Third, this study helps guide firms in improving service design by empirically demonstrating how the degree of PO leads to increased customer-perceived value in use and thus relational outcomes.

4:15pm - 4:40pm13-06: Pirmin Bastian Bischoff

Chair: Velitchka Kaltcheva

Seminar Room 2-6 

It’s All About the Content: The Value Proposition’s Role in Selling Solutions

Authors: Pirmin Bastian Bischoff (Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Germany), Jens Hogreve (Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Germany)

Offering solutions is an increasingly popular strategy in B2B markets to sustain healthy profit growth (Eggert et al., 2014, p. 23). However, the success of offering services is far from being guaranteed and depends highly on the sales force capabilities to provide proficient justification for the solution offering (Worm et al., 2017). In order to communicate how solutions provide value to their customers the value proposition concept has enjoyed rapid attention among managers and scholars recently (Payne et al., 2017). Nevertheless, there is limited understanding on what value proposition dimensions and related value components should be highlighted by salespersons in order to address the differing customer needs. Our research addresses this apparent gap in literature by answering the following research questions: (1) How does the effectiveness of solution selling vary by value propositions? (2) How do the effects of value propositions vary across members of the usage center?

To answer these questions, we use a multimethod research design. First, we conduct qualitative in-depth interviews with 30 salespersons from four large firms operating in diverse industries. Based on these insights we develop a conceptual framework comprising different value dimensions. Following the qualitative phase, we conduct a field experiment to test the effectiveness of highlighting different value dimensions in a real purchase situation.

Our contributions to the service marketing literature are threefold: First, we expand on B2B value communication strategies by examining the effect of differential value propositions on customer purchase behavior, a topic that has been largely overlooked by empirical studies in the B2B context. When interacting with current or potential customers, salespersons can choose between several design characteristics for crafting their solution value proposition. They can highlight different value dimensions (i.e. economic, functional, emotional), communicate unidirectionally or reciprocally or stress the customer’s resource integrating role. Yet aside from some conceptual studies, there is a lack of understanding what constitutes a superior value proposition.

Second, to date the literature assumes a “one size fits all” approach without taking into account the multidimensional aspect of how value in use is perceived by business customers (Macdonald et al., 2016). Our innovative conceptualization of value propositions allows adapting the communication of value towards an individual customer level with its specific usage context. To our knowledge we are the first incorporating the heterogeneity across the different roles within usage centers into the content design of value propositions.

Third, whereas crafting value propositions has been mostly seen through the lens of a strategic marketing imperative, a more fine-grained approach has received limited attention in the literature so far (Eggert et al., 2018). However, our results highlight the importance of creating more granular value propositions in order to improve direct communication effectiveness.

4:45pm - 5:10pm14-06: Velitchka Kaltcheva

Chair: Velitchka Kaltcheva

Seminar Room 2-6 

Marginal Upselling: An Empirical Investigation in the Perishable Service Industry

Authors: Aidin Namin (Loyola Marymount University, USA), Velitchka Kaltcheva (Loyola Marymount University, USA), Dinesh K Gauri (Loyola Marymount University, USA)

This paper investigates, and empirically validates, advertising strategy and policies in the cruise industry for different cruise cabin types. An experiential good, cruises are one of the major offerings in the marketing, service, and hospitality fields. We model advertising strategy as share of advertising expenditures by the focal company relative to total ad expenditures in the cruise industry over weekly time periods. We estimate our demand model (i.e., number of bookings over time) using a Poisson regression setting. Our model’s major variables include different cabin types, weeks left between booking and departure, and share of advertising, as well as several interaction terms and covariates, including, traveler’s income, and travelers’ distance from sailing point. Using a proprietary dataset, which covers booking information from a leading cruise company in the United States, we empirically test our model.

Empirically validating the effect of marginal upselling, our findings indicate that for the closest three weeks to cruise departure, increasing share of advertising by the focal company would result in an increase in the number of bookings for suite and ocean-view (with a higher impact for the latter), but would result in loss of bookings for balcony and upper/lower cabin types. Such loss of demand is expected to be higher for balcony. For those weeks which happen to be 2 to 26 weeks from the departure date, increasing share of advertising expenditure contributes positively to number of bookings for suite and ocean-view cabin types with a similar effect for either. While it harms demand for upper/lower and balcony cabins, with a considerably larger negative effect on upper/lower cabins. If the increase in share of advertising happens between 26 to 52 weeks before cruise departure, then it would result in an increase in demand for ocean-view cabins only, causing reduction in demand for all three other cabin types, relative to our baseline. The negative impact on upper/lower is remarkably higher than the other two, where the impact is very similar for them. Finally, if increase in advertising expenditure share occurs during the farthest two weeks from departure, the company should expect demand elevation for upper/lower and ocean-view cabin types, with a stronger impact on the latter, while they should anticipate demand reduction for suite and balcony types, with a larger reduction for suites.

From the academic point of view, to the best of our knowledge, our analysis is among the first studies in the literature which investigates the impact of upselling for different cabin types in the service industry. From the practitioners’ perspective, our unique results have important managerial implications for cruise-ship managers and shed light on advertising decisions made in this growing industry.


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