Edited by Roland T. Rust and Ming-Hui Huang
Although marketing has historically been rooted in the production and exchange of goods and services, the emerging and dominant logic in marketing thought suggests the importance of firm investments in developing resources—tangible and intangible—to deliver customer value for fostering strong and positive customer perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors which drive firm performance (Rust and Oliver 1994; Vargo and Lusch 2004). Concurrently, therefore, a narrow focus on isolated marketing phenomena is giving way to a broader and more comprehensive consideration of the "big picture" through which firms can create value, deliver value, and receive value by interfacing with their customers (Rust and Chung 2006). Among the many frameworks, the service profit chain has emerged as a notable framework for studying these issues. In this chapter, we consider the service profit chain and its more general form, the satisfaction profit chain, to examine these issues. As explained later, though there are subtle differences between the service profit chain and the satisfaction profit chain, we use the term SPC to denote the more general framework. More specifically, we hope to accomplish three goals. First, we want to provide a conceptual, theoretical, and managerial overview of the SPC framework reviewing its empirical applications in published studies. Second, we hope to develop important research directions for scholarly work in this area. Third, we document a detailed illustration of the SPC framework to provide guidance for managers and practitioners who may wish to utilize the framework for improving organizational performance.
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