A Three-Dimensional Customer Commitment Model: Its Impact on Relational Outcomes

  • Yaser Al-Abdi

Student thesis: Phd


Customer's ever increasing bargaining power makes it particularly important that practitioners and researchers more thoroughly understand the complex nature of customer commitment. Not surprisingly, however, although the construct of commitment has emerged as one of the key constructs in relationship marketing and has been widely studied in literature, there has been very little agreement on the conceptualisation of the construct.Building upon relationship marketing and organisational behaviour literature, the aim of this research is to extend our understanding of the nature of customer commitment by developing a three-dimensional customer commitment model relaying on commitment theory from the organisational behaviour literature; affective desire-based (AC), calculative cost-based (CC), and normative obligation-based (NC). Relationships among the commitment dimensions and relationships with a number of loyalty relational outcomes, namely, intention to stay (ITS), word of mouth (WOM), and willingness to pay (WTP) were investigated in this study. Using survey questionnaire distributed among customers of cell phone services (N=525), the data was analysed by structural equation modeling (SEM) and then additional analysis was employed to further demystify the complexity of the commitment concept.The results suggest that AC is the dominant source that generates customer loyalty, in line with the state of literature. Both cost-based and surprisingly obligation-based have shown detrimental effects on maintaining and developing the customer-service provider relationship. Additional analysis with various scenarios was implemented using mean split as cut score for high/low commitment dimensions. The findings suggest NC turns to have important positive role on relational outcomes when both AC and CC are below the mean split. When both AC and CC are high NC negatively affect at least ITS but at the same time make a clear positive effect on WTP. The findings can be instructional for identifying how firms can bend various marketing sources to secure more loyal customers to the service provider.
Date of Award1 Aug 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJikyeong Kang (Supervisor) & Jamie Burton (Supervisor)


  • calculative commitment, affective commitment, normative commitment, word-of-mouth, willingness to pay, intention to stay

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