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Title: Relationship management in international supply chains involving maritime transport : the role of logistics service quality, relationship quality and switching barriers in creating customer loyalty
Author: Jang, Hyun Mi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 7800
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2011
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The overarching objective of this thesis is to explore the role of logistics service quality in generating customer loyalty by considering relationship quality and switching barriers in the unique context of maritime transport. This is to fill the gaps revealed in the current understanding of ocean carrier-shipper relationships, particularly the lack of studies attempting to investigate shippers' future intentions to use the same carrier as opposed to the many previous studies which focused on carrier selection criteria or on shippers' satisfaction with the service attributes. Specifically, this research develops a conceptual model in order to determine how and to what extent Logistics Service Quality (LSQ) and Relationship Quality (RQ) towards Customer Loyalty (CL) are related and examine the moderating role of Switching Barriers (SB). By dividing these major concepts into sub-constructs (i.e. LSQ-operational logistics service quality and relational logistics service quality, RQ-satisfaction, trust and commitment, CL-attitudinal loyalty and behavioural loyalty, and SB-switching costs, attractiveness of alternatives and interpersonal relationships), more sophisticated interrelationships are able to be explored. The overall research design adopted in this thesis is as follows. First, the coherent research model representing causal relationships between the key variables is developed on the basis of a literature review and semi-structured interviews with practitioners and academics. Secondly, the main data used is collected through a postal questionnaire survey from 227 freight forwarders doing business with container shipping lines in South Korea. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) is employed in order to rigorously test the validity of the measurement models and examine the extensive set of relationships between the construct variables simultaneously in a holistic manner. The findings of this research demonstrate significant contributions of logistics service quality in predicting customer loyalty through relationship quality in the maritime transport context. The interrelationships between the sub-constructs of these concepts are also confirmed. In addition, difference in the hypothesised relationships is highlighted depending on switching barriers. In conclusion, the thesis extends the body of knowledge in maritime transport, logistics/SCM and relationship marketing particularly in the business-to-business context by suggesting that container shipping lines should develop a high level of logistics service quality and relationship quality and also should utilise switching barriers in order to attain higher (beyond mere satisfaction) levels of shippers' loyalty.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available