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Effects of Reference Groups and Country of Origin on the Relationship of Service Quality Expectations and Choice of Brands

A Study with Reference to Banking in India
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Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation from the year 2017 in the subject Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media, grade: 4.0, Jain University, language: English, abstract: Service sector is highly impacted with the fourth industrial revolution. Technology is back bone of most services today. ...
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Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation from the year 2017 in the subject Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media, grade: 4.0, Jain University, language: English, abstract: Service sector is highly impacted with the fourth industrial revolution. Technology is back bone of most services today. Technology is blurring the characteristics of services like inseparability, perishability and for sure variability. Banking a most transacted service is no different. The relationship of service quality expectations with choice of brand is well established, but in highly competitive environment where general service quality attributes are almost non- variable, it becomes important to understand what other constructs influence the service brand choices. We in this paper attempted to explore how reference groups or country of origin influences the choice of service brands. The service quality expectations are derived from the service perceptions of existing customers and word of mouth. Word of mouth is more impactful when it comes from friends and family or people with likeliness in needs of consumption. This paper attempts to establish the possible relationship of reference groups influence on service expectations and choice particularly focusing on the normative and comparative influence. It also attempts to check if country of origin which is so predominant in goods, influences the brand choice for services.The empirical study was initiated with a survey conducted on convenient sample across India on questions developed from marketing scales relating to the construct of service expectations, reference group influence, country of origin of two pre- tested banks having most mind share, one a private player another a foreign bank operating in India and lastly the choice of brands amongst the two. The respondents had to rate both the banks, private and foreign, so that the perceptions can be dissected. To analyze SPSS was used to supplement the descriptive statistics with the theory of moderation and mediation to gauge the kind of influence several reference group factors on country of origin have on the established relationship of service expectations and choice of brands.We noticed through the descriptive study that while assurance and trust continue to weigh high as quality dimensions for most respondents. It is also observed that people make a choice primarily because of “Empathy” dimension of SERVQUAL. Study also revealed that there is a significant relationship between SQE and RGI and which is well moderated by age.
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