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Type: Journal article
Title: Service relationships and the customer disengagement - engagement conundrum
Author: Bowden, J.
Gabbott, M.
Naumann, K.
Citation: Journal of Marketing Management, 2015; 31(7-8):774-806
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0267-257X
Statement of
Jana L.H. Bowden, Mark Gabbott, Kay Naumann
Abstract: Emergent research on customer engagement has focused on enhancing engagement within service relationships. Less attention has been given to how and why customers disengage from their relationships, and the potential interplay between engagement and disengagement has not yet been explored within the marketing literature. This study presents the findings from a qualitative exploration of the concept of customer disengagement, its initiating triggers, nature and the process by which it unfolds within functional/utilitarian (F/U) and participative/co-creative services (P/C). Rather than being mutually exclusive, it finds that engagement and disengagement are highly connected and that prior levels of engagement significantly influenced customers’ subsequent propensities to disengage. Specifically, customers’ propensity towards disengagement was higher within services considered F/U in nature and lower within services of a more P/C nature. In addition, the extent to which customers disengaged from their relationship was strongly determined by their prior levels of engagement with weak engagement for F/U services and strong engagement for P/C services. Relationships in the F/U category were subsequently transactional and volatile when compared to relationships within the P/C category that were comparatively emotionally bonded and enduring.
Keywords: Customer disengagement; relationship ending; customer engagement; service relationships; services; utilitarian; functional; participative; co-creation
Rights: © 2014 Westburn Publishers Ltd.
RMID: 0030057417
DOI: 10.1080/0267257X.2014.983143
Appears in Collections:Business School publications

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