The effects of switching costs on relational outcomes in the insurance industry

Anabela Maria Bello da Silveira Baptista Marcos, Arnaldo Fernandes de Matos Coelho


Purpose: This study seeks to propose and test a framework in car insurances for examining the alternative routes through which different types of positive switching costs (social and lost benefits) operate in affecting relational outcomes. Thus, the objective of this paper is to understand the effects of positive switching costs on relational outcomes in the insurance industry.

Design/methodology/approach: This investigation proposes a theoretical model tested using structural equation modelling (SEM). A questionnaire survey was developed to explore the relationships among two positive switching costs (social switching costs and lost benefits costs), relational commitment, loyalty and word-of-mouth (WOM). For this study, 744 valid questionnaires were collected from a sample of Portuguese car insurance holders.

Findings: The results show that lost benefits costs directly influence relational commitment, loyalty and WOM. However, social switching costs only directly influence relational commitment. In turn, relational commitment increases loyalty and word-of-mouth. Finally, loyalty is a determinant of word-of-mouth.

Originality/Value: In order to address gaps in the literature, the present study developed an integrative model through which two types of positive switching costs operate in directly affecting loyalty and WOM and indirectly, via relational commitment. Research on the downstream effects of different types of switching costs is lacking. Therefore, this investigation examines the partial mediating role of relational commitment in the relationship between two positive switching costs and loyalty and WOM, in a relational perspective.


Keywords: switching costs; relational outcomes; insurance industry.




Título: "Os efeitos da mudança de custos nos resultados relacionais no setor de seguros"


Objetivos: Este estudo procura propor e testar uma estrutura em seguros de automóveis para examinar as rotas alternativas pelas quais diferentes tipos de custos de troca positivos (benefícios sociais e perdidos) operam afetando os resultados relacionais. Assim, o objetivo deste artigo é entender os efeitos dos custos de troca positivos nos resultados relacionais no setor de seguros.

Desenho/metodologia/abordagem: Esta investigação propõe um modelo teórico testado usando modelagem de equações estruturais (SEM). Uma pesquisa de questionário foi desenvolvida para explorar as relações entre dois custos de mudança positivos (custos de mudança social e custos de benefícios perdidos), comprometimento relacional, lealdade e boca a boca (WOM). Para este estudo, foram coletados 744 questionários válidos em uma amostra de segurados portugueses.

Resultados: Os resultados mostram que os custos com benefícios perdidos influenciam diretamente o comprometimento relacional, a lealdade e o WOM. No entanto, os custos de troca social apenas influenciam diretamente o compromisso relacional. Por sua vez, o compromisso relacional aumenta a lealdade e o boca a boca. Finalmente, a lealdade é um determinante do boca a boca.

Originalidade/valor: a fim de abordar lacunas na literatura, o presente estudo desenvolveu um modelo integrador através do qual dois tipos de custos de troca positivos operam afetando diretamente a lealdade e o WOM e indiretamente, via compromisso relacional. Faltam pesquisas sobre os efeitos a jusante de diferentes tipos de custos de mudança. Portanto, esta investigação examina o papel mediador parcial do comprometimento relacional na relação entre dois custos de troca positivos e lealdade e WOM, em uma perspectiva relacional.


Keywords: custos de troca; resultados relacionais; indústria de seguro.

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