Date of Award

2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Public Management

First Advisor

Simone Pettigrew

Second Advisor

Katherine Mizerski

Abstract

This study examined consumers' perceptions post-adoption of technology and how these perceptions affect their levels of dis/satisfaction and their continued use of technology·assisted service encounters. To this end, this study investigated the criteria that consumers in Western Australia's retail banking industry are likely to use when evaluating banking transactions involving EFTPOS, ATM, telephone, and Online banking modes. II examined whether these criteria changed with the mode of electronic banking in use and whether the significance of the criteria changed with

consumers' demographic characteristics. In addition, this study explored whether consumers who use these modes of electronic banking experience the paradoxes of technology adoption identified by Mick and Foumier (1998). Previous studies have shown that when evaluating the quality of services provided by organizations and their levels of dis/satisfaction with these services. Consumers are likely to base their judgements on their perceptions of the service delivery process (Lehtinen & Lehtinen, 1982; Brogowicz, Delene, & Lyth, 1990; Dllllllher & Mattsson, 1994; Danaher & Mattsson, 1998; Gronroos, 1998; Swam:, 1998). In particular, the studies have shown that the most significant element of the service delivery process is personal contact, that Is the interactions between organisations' personnel and their customers (Sclmeider & Bowen, 1985; LeBIIUic & Nguyen, 1988; Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Beny, 198fl; Howcroft, 1993; Donner & Dudley, 1997; Nichols, Gilbert, & Roslow, 1998; Tan, Beaumont, & Freeman, 1999; Gabbott & Hogg, 2000). However, technological advancements have meant that some service organisations have changed their service delivery processes by substituting contact personnel with service delivery technologies. Consequently, consumers have been producing and delivering services for themselves by interacting with the service delivery technologies that are available (Bancel-charensol, 1999). Researchers assert that changing the characteristics of the service delivery process can result in changes in how consumers evaluate the quality of services provided by organisations and how they assess their resulting levels of dis/satisfaction (Chase, 1978; Lovelock & Young, 1979; Gronroos, 1984; Zeithaml, Parasuraman, & Beny, 1990). As such, this study examined the effects that retail banking technologies have on consumers' evaluations of the service encounter and how these evaluations translate into usage patterns. Data were collected using qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. The minimum of the qualitative phase of the study was to identify the criteria that consumers are likely to use when evaluating their technology-based banking transactions and the paradoxes of technology adoption that they are likely to experience. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted with consumers who reported they use at least one of the four modes of electronic banking. The interviews were tape-recorded and analysed using N.U.D.I.S.T. software. The second phase of the study examined consumers' opinions towards relevant criteria identified in the qualitative phase and the effect these criteria have on consumers' use of the four modes of el«1ronic banking. Data for this stage were collected through a mail survey questionnaire that was mailed out to a sample of 1700 Western Australians. In total, 453 useable questionnaires were returned. The data were imported into SPSS v. 10 and analysed using non-parametric statistics. This study showed that consumers are likely to evaluate their electronic banking service encounters on the basis of perceived convenience, transaction aids available, and perceived risk. The findings also indicate that these criteria have sub dimensions. Perceived convenience relates to the perceived ease of transactions, perceived speed of transactions, and accessibility to consumers' transaction accounts from different locations and beyond the bank's traditional operating hours. The transaction aids include the voice prompts available with telephone banking and the visual cues available with Online banking. Perceived risk dimensions include psychological, performance, financial, and physical risks. The present study also showed that some criteria have a greater effect on consumers' use of some modes of electronic banking than others. For instance, in regards to voice prompts, psychological and performance risks appeared to have an effect on the number of tell-phone banking transactions consumers are likely to conduct. Consumers who use electronic banking can experience six of the eight paradoxes of technology adoption identified by Mick and Fournier (199g): freedom/enslavement, control/chaos, engaging/disengaging, efficiency/inefficiency, fulfils/create needs, and competence/incompetence. The findings showed that in most case one side of the paradox dominates. It appears that existing theories, instruments, and techniques of evaluating the service encounter need to be adapted to be applicable to technology-assisted service encounter;. Specifically, these theories, instruments, and techniques need to minimise or exclude elements that require consumers to evaluate their interactions with and perceptions of organisations' customer service personnel and replace them with dimensions relating to consumers’ interactions with the technologies that facilitate the service delivery process. However, an exception needs to be made for technology-assisted service encounters conducted using the telephone because in these service encounters consumers can access organisations' customer service representatives, The findings were used to propose the TASE (technology-assisted service encounters) model, which includes items relating to the three main dimensions of perceived convenience, transaction aids, and perceived risk. The TASE model can be adapted and used to measure consumers’ evaluation of the service delivery processes of organisations in various service industries. The findings of this study have significant managerial applications. Organisations can use these findings to assess the viability of commercial technologies that they intend to implement by examining consumers' perceptions of new technologies based on the relevant criteria and paradoxes identified in this study. In addition, organizations can use these findings to develop promotional strategies that address consumers' concerns about using technology-based service delivery options in order to encourage them to participate more in the service delivery process. In addition the proposed T ASE model can be used to develop an instrument for measuring consumers' levels of dis/satisfaction with technology-based service encounters in general.

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