The moderating role of online social influence in switching of personal current accounts

Heneghan, Michael (2019) The moderating role of online social influence in switching of personal current accounts. Doctoral thesis, Waterford Institute of Technology.

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Abstract

This research examines the moderating effect that online social influence has on customer switching behaviour in the switching of current bank accounts in the UK and Ireland. This quantitative study is set in the context of the challenges facing the retail banking sector post-financial crisis. The concept of online social influence, explored through online opinion leaders and eWOM in contemporary society wholly integrated with Web 2.0, is studied using the extant literature on social networks and social influence. Separately, analyses of 21 studies of bank consumers’ switching behaviour, a 2015 industry report and seminal work on customer switching identifies the common factors behind customers’ intention to engage in bank switching behaviour. The Theory of Planned Behaviour is selected as the theoretical foundation. The conceptual framework representing the hypotheses is developed from this review of the literature. Non-probability sampling is employed to secure participation of a critical mass of UK and Irish retail banking customers. Data collection is carried out using a self-selected web-survey method which is based on a newly constructed, dedicated research website. Scales are built to measure the effect each variable has on the intention to switch. The survey is constructed following an analysis of 329 relevant construct measurement items from the literature. The results generate a final predictive bank switching model that confirms the moderating effect of online social influence on bank switching behaviour. The subsequent discussion also comments on the findings of the testing of alternative bank switching research models, one of which indicates a new direction to a relationship in the research model that was otherwise predicted by the literature. This study is one of the early pieces of research to assess the impact of online social influence on the predictive capability of the various elements of the Theory of Planned Behaviour, and of the predictive capability of that theory on customer switching in the banking industry. It assists managers in retail banking to better understand the effect of online social influence in customer switching of current accounts. It also contributes to the growing literature of online social influence and customer switching behaviour. Keywords: Social Influence, Online Social Influence, Opinion Leaders, eWOM, Product, Online Social Networks, Attitude and Behaviour, Theory of Reasoned Action, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Social Banking, Switching Behaviour, Bank Switching, social media, growth strategy, consumer switching behaviour, customer switching, web survey

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Influence, Online Social Influence, Opinion Leaders, eWOM, Product, Online Social Networks, Attitude and Behaviour, Theory of Reasoned Action, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Social Banking, Switching Behaviour, Bank Switching, social media, growth strategy, consumer switching behaviour, customer switching, web survey
Departments or Groups: *NONE OF THESE*
Divisions: School of Business > Department of Management and Organization
Depositing User: Derek Langford
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 14:01
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 14:01
URI: http://repository.wit.ie/id/eprint/3379

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