Relationship-specific investment, guanxi behavior, and salesperson-owned customer loyalty transfer

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Guocai Wang
ShanLiang Li
Xifeng Wang
Chunyu Lu
Chen Lv
Cite this article:  Wang, G., Li, S., Wang, X., Lu, C., & Lv, C. (2014). Relationship-specific investment, guanxi behavior, and salesperson-owned customer loyalty transfer. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42(7), 1147-1166.


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Customer loyalty has been gaining attention as firms face increasing competition. However, customer loyalty consists of a mixture of loyalty to the firm, as well as to the specific salesperson. By using dyadic data from both buyers and sellers, we investigated the influence of salespersons’ and selling firms’ behaviors on these 2 types of customer loyalty, and the moderating effect of employees’ brand-building behavior in the loyalty transfer process. Our results showed that both salesperson’s and selling firm’s behaviors can promote the 2 kinds of loyalty, and that salesperson-owned loyalty is positively related to loyalty to the selling firm. Contrary to our prediction, employees’ brand-building behavior exerted a significant, negative moderating effect on salesperson-owned loyalty transfer.

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