Exploring regulatory fit between service relationships and appeals in co-production

Shihao Li, Yanghong Hu, Lan Xu*, Guoqun Fu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose
This paper aims to explore how different service relationships (mentoring relationship versus partnering relationship) in service co-production affect service outcomes. Specifically, it aims to explore whether the effects of service relationships on customers’ intention to purchase the service are contingent upon service appeals’ regulatory focus (promotion versus prevention focus) and when the regulatory fit effects exist.

Design/methodology/approach
Three experimental studies were conducted to test hypotheses. ANOVA and bootstrapping were used to analyze the data.

Findings
The findings of the three experiments provide convergent evidence for the hypotheses. Specifically, when customers view service employees as mentors (versus partners) in service co-production, promotion-focused (versus prevention focused) service appeals effectively enhance customers’ intention to purchase the service because customers experience a regulatory fit. Moreover, the regulatory fit effects are strengthened or attenuated according to customers’ subjective social status.

Practical implications
Service firms should adopt promotion-focused (versus prevention-focused) service appeals if employees and customers are having mentoring (versus partnering) relationships, especially when customers have higher (lower) social status.

Originality/value
To better manage service co-production, this paper investigates beneficial outcomes of mentoring and partnering relationships from a regulatory fit perspective. It highlights the importance of compatibility between service relationship and service appeals’ regulatory focus and demonstrates a novel regulatory fit effect. It also uncovers engagement as the underlying mechanism for the regulatory-fit effect and identifies social class as a boundary condition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Early online date21 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Service co-production
  • Service appeals' regulatory focus
  • Service relationships
  • Regulatory fit

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