IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Can economic bonus programs jeopardize service relationships?


  • Thorsten Hennig-Thurau


  • Michael Paul



Research findings on the impact of economic bonus programs on service relationships are contradictory. While some studies find positive effects of economic bonus programs on customer’s relational behavior, other studies demonstrate negative effects. Building on self-determination theory, Dholakia (J Market Res 43(2):109–120, 2006 ) points at a possible explanation for these conflicting results, arguing that economic marketing programs have negative effects on self-determined customers when the program is perceived as controlling by them. By testing the effect of four different kinds of economic bonus programs on loyalty in an experimental setting using a nationwide representative sample of 768 participants, this research is the first that provides empirical evidence that economic bonus programs can indeed endanger service relationships by reducing customer’s self-determination. Implications of our findings for the abundance of economic bonus programs offered to service customers these days are highlighted. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Thorsten Hennig-Thurau & Michael Paul, 2007. "Can economic bonus programs jeopardize service relationships?," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 1(2), pages 159-175, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:svcbiz:v:1:y:2007:i:2:p:159-175
    DOI: 10.1007/s11628-006-0012-9

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Geyskens, I. & Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. & Scheer, L.K. & Kumar, N., 1996. "The effects of trust and interdependence on relationship commitment : A trans-Atlantic study," Other publications TiSEM ef7c8d6c-963d-4ee7-8576-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. E. Crespo-Almendros & S. Barrio-García, 2016. "Do online discounts and free gifts damage brand image of service? The moderating role of promotion-proneness," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 10(1), pages 31-58, March.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:svcbiz:v:1:y:2007:i:2:p:159-175. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.