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Customers ’ ways of making sense of a financial service relationship through intersubjective mirroring of others
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Banking and Finance, Cefin.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Banking and Finance, Cefin.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4394-4020
2010 (English)In: Journal of Financial Services Marketing, ISSN 1363-0539, Vol. 15, no 2, 99-111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The importance of relationships between buyer and sellers in marketingresearch is well established. This study contributes to relationship marketing (RM)research as it examines the microfoundations of fi nancial service buyer and sellerrelationships. The study uses intersubjective theory and a qualitative method with thepurpose of conceptualising the qualitatively different ways customers experience faceto-face interactions with a service provider. An empirical study is conducted to determine,based on the customer ’ s own words, what is experienced in the interaction between thecustomer and the provider. Findings from the empirical material show that not all personalinteractions between customers and a service provider, in this case a bank, can belabelled as relationships. Instead, what customers do perceive as a relationship is anencounter where the interaction entails symmetry in the way the customer and the providermirror each other. When customers receive a treatment in opposition to an expectationof intersubjectivity, they will not refer to the situation as a relationship and, subsequently,according to the underlying assumptions of RM, do not willingly engage in further businesswith the provider.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Vol. 15, no 2, 99-111 p.
Keyword [en]
customers ; intersubjectivity ; relationship ; relationship marketing ; retail banking ; service provider
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-73975DOI: 10.1057/fsm.2010.8ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77956358849OAI: diva2:489126
QC 20120210Available from: 2012-02-10 Created: 2012-02-02 Last updated: 2013-01-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Financial Advisory Services: Exploring relationships between consumers and financial advisors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Financial Advisory Services: Exploring relationships between consumers and financial advisors
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The need for more knowledge about different aspects of financial advisory services has been highlighted by scholars of many disciplines, and calls for more in-depth studies of this practice have been put forward. The purpose of this thesis is to answer this call and, thereby, enhance knowledge about financial advisory services and the provision and receipt of advice occurring in a face-to-face encounter between a professional advisor and a consumer. The thesis consists of five papers in which different methodological and theoretical lenses are applied to the study of the practice. A mixed methods approach is applied to the object of study—financial advisory services. This approach entails using qualitative methods to analyze video-recorded interviews and quantitative methods to analyze survey data. The qualitative methods are used primarily to generate new constructs and ideas, whereas quantitative methods are used more to confirm and deepen the knowledge of constructs and relationships.

The findings show that there are important aspects of financial advisory services that have been previously neglected. The characteristics of both consumers and advisors, as tested from the aspect of gender, are shown to have importance for both consumer and advisor perceptions of different aspects of core elements of financial advisory services. Focusing on the micro-foundations of the relationship between customer and advisor in financial advisory services reveals the importance of mirroring for customers in perceiving a relationship. Two types of interactions that customers do not consider to be relationships are identified. Scholars have referred to occasions in which customers are too trusting as “the dark side of trust”, meaning that the customer becomes less actively involved in the relationship with increasing advisor trust.  Applying a concept borrowed from psychotherapy—working alliance—has opened up possibilities for further exploration of the inner workings of the financial advisory session. This thesis proposes and tests the concept of a working alliance as a way of enhancing theory and, thereby, the understanding of relationships between consumers and service providers.

The results of this thesis have implications for theory by contributing to the understanding of relationships. The implications for policymakers, the industry, and advisors and customers are many. Exploring the practice of financial advisory services lays the groundwork for discussions on, and elaborations of, regulations, educational programs, and hiring practices within the industry, as well as on financial literacy programs directed toward consumers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. 114 p.
TRITA/KTH/CEFIN-DT, ISSN 1654-9376 ; 07
financial advice, conusmer finance, financial services, financial decisioin making, risk perception, relationship, working alliance
National Category
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116207 (URN)
Public defence
2013-01-25, D1, Lindstedtsvägen 17, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (Swedish)

QC 20130117

Available from: 2013-01-17 Created: 2013-01-16 Last updated: 2013-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, KentSöderberg, Inga-Lill
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