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Title: Examining the influence of corporate website favourability on corporate image, corporate reputation, consumer company identification and loyalty : a study of consumers' perception in the context of the financial setting in the United Kingdom and Russia
Author: Ageeva, Elena
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 0353
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2017
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The main aim of this study is to add to the current knowledge about the corporate website favourability within the discipline of marketing by developing a rigorous conceptual framework of factors that influence corporate website favourability, and to explore how corporate website favourability contributes to building corporate image, corporate reputation, consumer-company identification and loyalty within the context of the financial setting in the UK and Russia. This research addresses two main questions: 1) what is the impact of the specific antecedents of corporate website favourability on corporate image, corporate reputation, consumer-company identification and loyalty? 2) what are the main favourable influences of corporate website favourability on corporate image, corporate reputation, consumer-company identification and loyalty? To achieve the goals of this research, the thesis adopts a mixed method research design - a predominantly quantitative approach, which is supported by insights from an exploratory phase that embodies in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The thesis draws on attribution, social identity and signalling theories. Based on the multi-disciplinary approach, this study resulted in the introduction of a validated conceptual framework that explains the phenomenon of corporate website favourability. The conceptual framework was supported and enhanced by a qualitative study (in-depth interviews and focus groups) that added three factors which influence corporate website favourability: customer service, website credibility and perceived corporate social responsibility. The conceptual framework was empirically evaluated through the insights from 555 questionnaires in the UK and 563 questionnaires in Russia. The sample of respondents permitted multivariate data analysis to be conducted in both contexts. The data from two contexts (consumers from HSBC in the UK and Sberbank in Russia) were analysed separately. This research employed exploratory factor analysis (EFA), cronbach’s alpha, and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to ensure that the scales developed and adapted were robust in terms of validity and reliability. Afterwards, structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to conduct the hypothesis testing for each context. The model confirmed a good fit to the data, good convergent, discriminant and nomological validity and stable reliability in both contexts. The proposed conceptual model showed that 17 hypotheses in the UK and 14 hypotheses in Russia were supported out of the 19 hypotheses. Thus, overall, the research framework was generally supported in both contexts. The results indicated that navigation, information, security, availability, perceived corporate social responsibility, and perceived corporate culture influence corporate website favourability in the UK and Russia. Furthermore, the findings showed that the usability factor does not influence corporate website favourability in either country. Unexpectedly, the visual, customisation, website credibility, and customer service factors were rejected in Russia, but accepted in the UK. Additionally, corporate website favourability was found to have a direct positive affect on corporate image and satisfaction in both the UK and Russia. However, the relationship between attractiveness and corporate image was only supported in Russia, and not in the UK. In addition, in both contexts, corporate image was positively related to corporate reputation, corporate reputation was positively connected to consumer-company identification, and, finally, consumer-company identification was positively related to loyalty. This study is the first systematic research which has conceptualised and operationalised the notion of corporate website favourability, its antecedents and its consequences. It is anticipated to be of value in advancing existing knowledge by proposing a threefold theoretical contribution to the literature: 1) theoretical extension (level of conceptualisation and measurement); 2) assessment of theory; and 3) investigation of generalisation. Additionally, it is hoped that the findings of this research would make a substantial managerial contribution to the understanding of marketing and communication managers and website designers regarding the entire association among corporate website favourability, its antecedents and consequence. Furthermore, it is expected that this examination will enhance the knowledge of company decision-makers, communication professionals and website specialists about the building of a favourable corporate website in line with the corporate identity strategy of the company. Corporate website favourability should be adopted by companies, as part of the overall corporate identity management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available