The Psychological Antecedents of Enduring Customer Relationships: An Empirical Study in a Bank Setting

J.M.M. Bloemer, G.J. Odekerken-Schröder

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Despite the extant literature on customer relationships, it is recognized that the psychological processes behind commitment and customer loyalty are still ill understood. Therefore, the primary objective of this study is to assess the impact of three psychological antecedents (position involvement, volitional choice and informational complexity) on affective, calculative and normative commitment to a bank. In turn, we assess the impact of an individual difference variable (consumer relationship proneness) on these three psychological antecedents. And finally, this research project addresses the consequences of affective, calculative and normative commitment on loyalty in terms of word of mouth, purchase intention, price insensitivity and complaining. An empirical research among 439 bank customers was conducted to test our conceptual model. Structural equation modeling (sem) results reveal the pivotal role of affective commitment as an antecedent of customer loyalty. In turn, affective commitment can best be explained by position involvement. Moreover, relationship proneness seems to be most strongly related to position involvement. Managerial implications, limitations and directions for future research are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-45
JournalJournal of Relationship Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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