Antecedents and Consequences of Relationship Quality: A Study on Private Hospitals in Thailand
Keywords:Relationship quality, Investment Theory, Transaction Cost Analysis Theory, Exit-Voice Theory
This study aims at developing a more comprehensive set of dimensions of relationship quality by employing the Investment Theory (Rusbult, 1980). It also focuses on determining the antecedents of relationship quality by applying the Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA) Theory (Williamson, 1985) as well as examining their relative significant relations. Finally, the paper examines the consequences of relation-‐ ship quality by using the Exit-‐Voice Theory (Hirschman, 1970). The focal construct in this research is the relationship quality between hospitals and their outpatients. Previous studies have developed relation-‐ ship quality dimensions mostly in the “want to” aspect and tested their models in various B2B and B2C contexts. However, in a number of long-‐term relationships, “ought to” and “have to” aspects of a relation-‐ ship are also important in helping the longevity of the relationship in spite of dissatisfaction in the relationship. Unfortunately, very few empirical studies on relationship quality have captured such dimensions. Therefore, I set out in this paper to study these issues. The questionnaire survey data were gathered from 478 outpatients of a total of four private hospitals in Bangkok, Thailand. The results show that knowledge about patients has the most significant relationship to trust and patient switching risks have the most significant association with both inertia and dependence. The variation in trust explains the most among all the dimensions of relationship quality. Trust and inertia have positive effects on constructive feedbacks and revisit intention. Trust may also discourage switching intention while dependence positively affects revisit intention.