Too Much of a Good Thing: Curvilinear Effects in the Evaluation of Services and the Mediating Role of Trust

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 440–450

31 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2008 Last revised: 13 Dec 2013

See all articles by Pavlos A. Vlachos

Pavlos A. Vlachos

ALBA Graduate Business School,The American College of Greece

Adam Vrechopoulos

Athens University of Economics and Business

Katerina Pramatari

Athens University of Economics and Business - Department of Management Science and Technology

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The satisfaction-trust paradigm has been recently criticized regarding its ability to deliver positive consumer behavioral outcomes. This study argues that -amongst others- a reason for this unpleasant situation may be the failure of service managers to account for non-linearities in the satisfaction-trust paradigm. We posit consumer trust as an important intervening variable through which non-linear service evaluation effects translate into word-of-mouth. Findings imply that investing resources in satisfaction programs do not do a good job in building positive word-of-mouth from a point on. Economic value evaluations and trust judgments seem to be both necessary and sufficient conditions for building consumer relationships. The study extends the literature in that it investigates whether consumer trust suffers from diminishing returns. Service providers who strive to build long-term relationships with their consumers may not do a good job if they continue to invest on trust determinants that present diminishing returns to scale.

Keywords: Trust, word-of-mouth, satisfaction, economic value, curvilinear mechanisms, grocery retailing

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Vlachos, Pavlos A. and Vrechopoulos, Adam and Pramatari, Katerina, Too Much of a Good Thing: Curvilinear Effects in the Evaluation of Services and the Mediating Role of Trust (2011). Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 440–450. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1147115

Pavlos A. Vlachos (Contact Author)

ALBA Graduate Business School,The American College of Greece ( email )

6-8, Xenias str., Ampelokipoi
Athens, 115 28
Greece

HOME PAGE: http://www.alba.acg.edu

Adam Vrechopoulos

Athens University of Economics and Business ( email )

76 Patission Street
Athens, 104 34
Greece

HOME PAGE: http://www.dmst.aueb.gr

Katerina Pramatari

Athens University of Economics and Business - Department of Management Science and Technology ( email )

Athens GR-11362
Greece
+30 210 8203663 (Phone)
+30 219 8203664 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eltrun.aueb.gr

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