Uncertainty avoidance as a moderator of the relationship between perceived service quality and customer satisfaction

Martin Reimann, Ulrich F. Lnemann, Richard B. Chase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extent to which members of different cultures vary in their reactions to uncertainty can have a major impact on how perceived service quality affects customer satisfaction. This article addresses the issue of cultural differences in the context of business-to-business relationships. A study involving 303 Spanish, German, and Swedish business-to-business customers reveals that clients from cultures with a high degree of uncertainty avoidance were less satisfied than low-uncertainty avoidant clients when, as a result of a service defect, their service expectations were not met. In light of the tolerance zone concept, the finding suggests a narrower range of acceptable outcomes for high-uncertainty avoidance cultures. Important management implications of this study relate to service quality efforts, which should be explicitly designed to reflect intercultural differences in operations planning and training of service personnel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Service Research
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Business-to-business
  • Cultural values
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Perceived service quality
  • Uncertainty avoidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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