Two Essays on the Effects of Uncertainty Avoidance on Customer Loyalty
This dissertation is dedicated to investigating the effects of uncertainty avoidance (UA), which reflects a customer's attitude toward future uncertainty, on customer loyalty. Customer loyalty has been studied in the marketing literature for several decades given the important role of customer loyalty in marketers' long-term success. However, the role of cultural orientation, specifically, the cultural orientation of UA on customer loyalty has largely been ignored in the literature. This dissertation consists of two essays that explicitly focuses on the cultural orientation of UA and examines its effects on customer loyalty intention, i.e., customers' intention to engage in long-term relationship with marketers. Country-level secondary data analysis, field survey and experiment, online and lab experiments, and online surveys were used to test the proposed effects as well as the underlying mechanisms. More specifically, essay one aims to understand the negative relationship between UA and customer loyalty (counter to the conventional wisdom) via a series of eight studies. I propose and find that UA, negatively impacts customer loyalty. Essay two aims to provide a theoretical reconciliation effort regarding the inconsistent findings of online vs. offline shopping and customer loyalty through a series of eight studies. I propose and find that UA is a key moderator for the effect of online/offline shopping on customer loyalty intention. More specifically, for high UA customers online (vs. offline) shopping leads to more customer loyalty; however, for low UA customers online (vs. offline) shopping leads to less customer loyalty.