Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Marketing

Major Professor

Paul Solomon, Ph.D.

Keywords

Sales, Services, Technology, Congruity, Self-directed learning

Abstract

Technology is changing the face of both the sales and service domains. Honebein and Cammarano (2006) note that properly implemented self-service technologies serve dual purposes of decreasing firm overhead costs, while simultaneously engaging the customer in a way encourages the co-create of value for both parties. To get these benefits stakeholders must be willing to adopt and use the technologies that are available. Traditionally, this has lead to the research question "How do firms do this?" However, according to a recent article by Woodall, Colby and Parasuraman (2007), consumers are now demanding more technology-based options and becoming more technologically savvy.

This changes the research focus to answering the question "How can firms be seen as able to deliver technology-based options effectively, efficiently and securely to meet the demands of this new "e-service" model?" The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the role of stakeholder perceptions of firm attitudes toward technology in answering this question. Perceived corporate affinity for technology (Fleming and Artis forthcoming) is a measure stakeholder perception of a firm's general positive affect toward technology, and was developed and validated in sales and services contexts using samples of both employees and customers. The studies of this dissertation test potential antecedents, consequence and boundary conditions of stakeholder perceptions of corporate affinity for technology in three key groups, namely managers, employees and customers.

To accomplish this purpose, the following research questions, one for each key group of stakeholders, were proposed for this study: 1) Do manager perceptions of corporate affinity for technology influence employee perceptions of corporate affinity for technology?; 2) Do employee perceptions of corporate affinity for technology influence employee learning behavior?; 3) Do customer perceptions of corporate affinity for technology influence how they perceive the quality of the service delivery and their rating of other key customer service outcomes? Separate conceptual models were developed and tested to answer these questions.

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