Date of Award

8-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Human Ecology

Major Professor

Ann E. Fairhurst, Laura D. Jolly

Committee Members

Youn-Kyung Kim, Robert T. Ladd

Abstract

Over the past decade, many retailers have rapidly incorporated a variety of technological applications. One of the increasingly used technologies is the delivery of service through self-service technologies. The current study was aimed at understanding the role of technology-based self-service (TBSS) kiosks, as an optional channel for customer service, within a retail store setting by examining a nomological network of the relationships related to TBSS kiosks. To this end, two studies were conducted; study 1 empirically tested the research model for each type of TBSS kiosks (i.e., self-checkouts and information kiosks) while study 2 investigated whether the patterns of the hypothesized relationships are similar or dissimilar across two TBSS kiosks.

The results of this study affirmed that TBSS kiosk usage contributes considerably to retail store patronage through store service quality. This substantiated that retail store patronage is driven, in part, by TBSS kiosk usage, indicating the supportive role of TBSS kiosks in a retail store. This study made significant contributions by extending current theoretical and empirical knowledge on TBSS kiosks in retailing. The proposed model attempted to draw a comprehensive picture of a retail patronage model of TBSS kiosk by investigating a variety of factors relevant to TBSS kiosks in retail settings. Compared to previous studies that were limited to research on consumer acceptance or trial of such forms of service delivery, this study addressed formerly unexplored aspects of how TBSS kiosks contribute to patronage to a retail store. Based on the findings of this study, managerial implications as well as limitations and suggestions for future research were discussed.

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