Date of Award

5-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Business Administration

Major Professor

Daniel J. Flint

Committee Members

John L. Lounsbury, Matthew B. Myers, David W. Schumann

Abstract

Global business executives recently highlight the importance of understanding the sources of value creation for customers around the world. Beyond a push to better grasp what customers currently value, firms interact with dynamic customers whose needs do not stand still. In response, managers are searching for innovative ways to sense ongoing changes in customers’ desires and effectively adapt their company’s value propositions. Yet, an extensive research review suggests there is little, if any, evidence that managers can rely on to understand how business customers are changing what they value across global markets – or what these changes mean for fostering loyalty in those relationships.

This global study responds to these challenges through exploring the sources of value creation and the effects of value change for 939 customers of business services in the United States, Sweden, India, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. A theoretical framework is proposed that builds on research in customer value, international buyer behavior, and buyer-seller relationships and tests 22 hypotheses across three models. Two new constructs are developed, value change responsiveness and value change anticipation, which demonstrate significant effects on customer value.

Significant results and close fit across three models tested with structural equation modeling generate a number of interesting implications for global and domestic managers. For executives and strategists who are concerned about growing a profitable base of loyal customers, this study provides insights for how customers in different market segments around the world are changing what they value, and specifically the role that this change plays in their perceptions of satisfaction and loyalty.

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