Exploring Determinants and Effects of Shared Responsibility in Service Exchanges

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2009

Publication Title

Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice


Service inseparability means that customers and service providers rely on each other for successful exchanges. Customer and employee interdependence or shared responsibility is often needed to complete a service transaction. Although shared responsibility is an integral part of service exchanges, few studies examine its effect on customers. Based on existing theory, we propose that perceptions of shared responsibility for service exchanges create value for customers and positively affect their responses to the service. We conduct three studies to evaluate this idea. In Study 1, we find empirical support for the direct and indirect effects of shared responsibility on willingness to pay a price premium for the service received in a full-service restaurant setting. In Study 2, we find that perceptions of shared responsibility for student learning lead to favorable emotional and attitudinal responses toward the educational experience. In Study 3, we show that for unsuccessful service exchanges, customer perceptions of shared responsibility positively influence customer responses to the service and brand; additionally, we identify key antecedents of shared responsibility. The implications of these findings for service marketers are discussed.


© 2009 M.E. Sharpe, Inc. All rights reserved.