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Title: A study of switching behaviours in the B2B service sector
Author: Marck, Michael J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3618 791X
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2008
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The marketing literature has argued the value of retaing customers and stated that loyal clients are more likely to focus on long-term benefits and engage in cooperative actions benefical to both partners (Lam et al., 2004). There is abundant quantitative research on B2C loyalty, but limited qualitative research for B2B loyalty within the services sector. This research has filled the gaps and contributes to the study of B2B switching by analysing the behaviours of the client, 'switched to', and 'switched from' service providers. The sample consisted of Canadian staffing agencies because this sector experiences frequent switching and is a critical component of the service economy with global sales of, $192.6 billion in 2006 (The Economist, 2007). This industry is undergoing tremendous changes that will affect the ways companies manage their recruiting and human resources needs. It was found the key switching factors are a loss of trust, inability to listen to clients' needs and f ailure to deliver a quality core service. The research also investigated the constructs necessary to form and sustain B2B relationships - trust, commitment, loyalty and risk. This study confirmed that trust is 'the blood line' of retaining relationships and any breaches of trust resulted in switching. Contrary to previous B2C switching studies (Keaveney, 1995) apathy, pricing and inconvenience were not significant switching factors while it was affirmed that there are noteworthy differences between B2C and B2B switching factors. The study contributes to marketing theory and practitioners by identifying key switching behaviours within the B2B service industry. It explores the constructs necessary to nurture B2B relationships while mitigating the chances of client switching. The staffing agency sector is particularly interesting for academic research, as it is currently being affected by significant growth which poses drastic challenges for business managers to sustain an ever-increasing competitive environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral