Consumer Acceptance of Technology-Based Services in Retailing: A Service Science Approach
PhD Thesis Description
The appearance of new technologies, such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), mobile computing, GPS tracking and smart cards provide retail companies with a great opportunity to offer innovative consumer services. Modern technology, such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), mobile computing, GPS tracking and smart cards, has revolutionized the way services are delivered. Touch screens in department stores and information kiosks at hotels, automated teller machines (ATMs), self-scanning at grocery stores and libraries and self-check-in systems at airports are only some examples.
Previous research on consumer acceptance of technology-based services, coming mainly from services marketing literature, labels this kind of services as technology-based self-services (TBSS). However, researchers in marketing study these services as a single homogeneous group. From the Information Systems (IS) perspective, technological applications that provide consumer services belong to the greater umbrella of ubiquitous or pervasive computing. Similarly to e-services provided by e-commerce, the potential benefits of U-services can be materialized only if consumers adopt them. While acceptance and adoption of IT services has been one of the most prevailing IS research topics, the pervasiveness of u-commerce raises new questions in studying its adoption, such as what factors explain the adoption and use of such services.
Based on Service Science, Management, and Engineering (SSME) initiative, which aims to bring together work from different fields to develop the competencies required in this service-led economy, this doctoral thesis develops and empirically tests a conceptual framework that models consumer acceptance of technology-based services in retailing.
An initial exploratory study was conducted firstly in order to generate innovative technology-based service concepts that they will be examined later as exemplar focus applications in the empirical studies. The outcome of this process was the selection of the dynamic pricing product information service and the need for the development of a construct that classifies technology-based services. The empirical study 1 was used in order to develop and identify the effect of service technology contact, a concept that classifies technology-based services according to the level of customer-technology interaction they require The empirical study 2 was motivated by the previous study and it has purpose to investigate in-depth the effect of service technology contact on consumer attitudes. Finally the empirical study 3 tested the effect of the attitude towards the retail service concept into consumer acceptance of technology-based retail services.
Based on the multidisciplinary nature of the phenomenon of technology infusion into the service encounter, results of this thesis contribute to the literature in several ways. Firstly, consumer acceptance of technology is investigated at the service system level. Secondly, the notion of e-services and e-commerce are extended by including also in-store technologies. Thirdly, by proposing the concept of technology contact, technology-based services are classified according their service design characteristics. Fourthly, the concept of technology contact is shown to be important when designing and evaluating consumer services. Finally, by taking into account the application context of these services, consumer attitude towards the retail service concept is found to be significant antecedent towards technology infusion into the retail service encounter.
Dr. Aristeidis Theotokis
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Professor Georgios J.Doukidis