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A Continuation of the Happiness Success Story: Does Happiness Impact Service Quality?

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Title: A Continuation of the Happiness Success Story: Does Happiness Impact Service Quality?
Author: Hellén, Katarina
Contributor: Hanken School of Economics, Department of Marketing, Marketing
Thesis level: Doctoral thesis
Belongs to series: Economics and Society - 222
ISSN: 0424-7256
ISBN: 978-952-232-111-4
Abstract: A Continuation of the Happiness Success Story:
Does Happiness Impact Service Quality?
The effects of long-term happiness on various outcomes for the individual and society have been studied extensively in psychology but the concept has so far received limited research attention in marketing. Happiness is defined as a summary judgment of one’s life. Previous research has shown that happiness is a relatively stable perception of happiness in one’s life. Thus, happiness in this thesis is long-term and more global as a phenomenon than in the marketing literature, where happiness is commonly conceptualized as an emotion, feeling or momentary state of happiness.
Although there is plenty of research on consumer affect and its impact on service responses, there are no studies on the effect of long-term happiness on service evaluation. As empirical evidence suggests that happy people perceive smaller and bigger events in life more positively than less happy people and that happy people are more prone to experience positive feelings and less of negative feelings it was hypothesized that happiness affects service quality directly but also indirectly through mood. Therefore, in this thesis, it was set out to explore if happiness affects customer-perceived service quality.
A survey method was adopted to study the relationship between happiness, mood and service quality. Two studies were conducted with a total of 17 investigated services. Out of the 17 different investigated cases, happiness was found to positively affect service quality in only four cases. The results from the two studies also provide weak support for a positive relationship between mood and service quality. Out of the 17 cases, mood was found to positively affect service quality in only three cases and the results provide additional evidence for the stream of literature arguing that affect plays no or only a minimal role in service quality. Based on the collective results in this study, it can be concluded that the evidence for a positive relationship between happiness, mood and service quality is weak. However, in this thesis, it was recognized that the happiness concept is relevant for marketers and serve potential to explain marketing related phenomena. Marketing researchers who are interested in studying happiness are advised to focus research attention on consumer well-being.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10227/754
URN:ISBN:978-952-232-111-4
Date: 2010-12-20
Copyright information: This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.
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