The Structure and Dynamics of Expectations and Customer Satisfaction in Channel Member Relationships in the Victorian Fruit Industry
Many studies in channel member relationships have hitherto focussed on factors such as trust, commitment, uncertainty, dependence and situational factors. What research has addressed satisfaction in channel member has focussed on constructs of economic and non-economic satisfaction. This paper advances several reasons why these approaches may usefully be supplemented with research attempting to apply the well established dis-confirmation of expectations model, with its familiar constructs of expectations, perceived performance, dis-confirmation and customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction. Further, the paper proposes that a modification of the traditional dis-confirmation model incorporating dimensions of outcome and process previously tested in a business to business context, may be insightful in this context, despite radical differences in the nature of the product. A program of research is proposed in the context of both upstream and downstream distribution channel relationships amongst fruit producers and their distribution channel(s) in Northern Victoria. Qualitative and empirical studies of a longitudinal nature are proposed.
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