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Developing a framework for understanding e-service quality, its antecedents, consequences, and mediators
Purpose - This research seeks to extend the work of Dabholkar et al. into the e-retail domain to assess alternate theoretical frameworks of e-service quality. Particular focus is placed on e-service quality and whether elements of e-service quality should be viewed by dimensions, as antecedents to a global evaluation of e-service quality, or as a formative configuration to predict behavioral intentions. The mediating role of customer satisfaction is also to be explored in these frameworks.
Design/methodology/approach - This paper is premised on an empirical study using cross-sectional data from actual consumers. Data from a survey of 518 online consumers were used to test the research models through the use of a structured equation modeling (SEM) tool.
Findings - The results show support for all three theoretical models, and slightly stronger support for the formative model. Customer satisfaction was also found to play a mediating role on behavioral intentions within these e-service quality models.
Research limitations/implications - The research is limited to a single e-retail product category of sport and leisure. The generalizibility of these findings is therefore limited. Further work in other sectors and over longer periods would establish the reliability of the findings. The paper also highlights some limitations in the e-service quality literature, particularly the emphasis on the use of reflective indicators over formative approaches in the modeling of e-service quality.
Practical implications - Multiple configurations of e-service quality exist in the literature, as well as variations on how it is actually measured. The authors provide specific recommendations to improve future research (and practice) involving e-service quality conceptualization and measurement.
Originality/value - The paper examines three alternate configurations of e-service quality's antecedents, consequences and mediators. The authors provide a platform for further research to improve the conceptualization and measurement of e-service quality and its effects.
Publication titleManaging Service Quality
Place of publicationUK
Rights statementCopyright 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited